Overall, I had a great experience with the Whole30. I like to think I eat pretty healthy most of the time, but the Whole30 helped me learn even more about nutrition and what my body needs in order to nourish it properly throughout the day. Moving forward, my outlook on nutrition is a no brainer– eat real food that tastes good and makes you feel good.
New Recipe Ideas: The Whole30 has forced me to search around the web for new recipes to incorporate into our meal plan. Along the way I’ve found some amazing recipes that I plan on continueing to make.
Increase in Energy: The first week I didn’t really notice a change. I actually had a bit of a headache for a few days (due to the decrease in sugar consumption?) but by week two I felt like I was seriously bouncing off the walls. I had to force myself to go to bed at 10PM (which is late for me!) even though I truly wasn’t tired and I constantly wanted to be moving around.
I Felt Full: Ideally throughout the 30 days you shouldn’t snack between your three square meals. Before, I almost always would grab a little snack around 10AM and one after dinner– nothing huge, a piece of dark chocolate, a small bowl of popcorn, a handful of nuts or an apple. I thought this would be hard for me, but the plan had me adding in more healthy fats than I was used to eating which helped me keep full throughout the day so I didn’t even think twice about grabbing a snack.
I Felt Stronger: Again, not sure if this is directly correlated with the Whole30 or not, but I increased my weight in almost all of my workouts since starting the challenge. I’ll take it!
Decrease in Sugar Consumption: The Whole30 forced me to read labels and in return I realized how much sugar is in EVERYTHING. We’ve swopped out a lot of our condiments and sauces for healthier sugar-free (no fake sugars either) options.
Less Stomach Issues: I have a pretty sensitive stomach for the most part but haven’t had any issues on the Whole30! I am anxious to start incorporating certain foods back into my diet to pinpoint specific foods that may have been causing issues.
Cons (I really only have a few!)
Time and Preparation: I always grocery shop and meal prep on Sundays so this wasn’t too difficult for me but I could see how it could be a challenge. I also chose a period when I knew I was going to be home for a few weekends in a row to have time to do so. Once summer roles around, we are often traveling and don’t get home until later on Sunday so I don’t have as much time to get everything done. If you don’t take the time to prepare things ahead of time it would make this challenge extremely difficult and easy to fall off the wagon in my opinion.
Social Outings: Scott and I go out to eat and grab drinks at least once or twice a week with friends. It’s just what we like to do aaaand it’s the middle of winter so there isn’t much else to do for fun. This made it hard because a lot of restaurants can’t accommodate to your needs (and if they can its a blah meal like chicken and broccoli or a dry salad not worth the money).
Cost: Buying in bulk at Costco helped tremendously, but it still was more expensive than our average grocery bills. Good, quality meat is certainly not cheap, but the benefits far outweigh the cost so it wasn’t a huge deal for us.
So, What Now?
I don’t plan on continuing with the Whole30, but not a heck of a lot will change either. If anything, this was a learning experience that taught me how important food choices are and how certain foods can make me feel. Every body is different so figuring out what foods work for you is key. That being said, I do plan on incorporating some “off-limit” foods back into my diet such as grains, dairy and sugar but all in moderation. My body never really was a fan of too much gluten or dairy anyway, so it shouldn’t be too hard to stick to small quantities…except a good craft beer and a slice of pizza. Gets me every time. Every.Single.Time.
Full Disclosure: I drank a few times on the Whole30. So shoot me. I also had some cheese curds one night (I live in Wisconsin) and paid for it the next day. So there’s that…you know my deepest darkest secrets.Keep in touch with me:
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