I’m on Day 27 of Whole30. I’m known as a pretty healthy eater but Whole30 is even stretch for me. If you haven’t heard of Whole30, you’re probably wondering what the hell I’m talking about. Whole30 is an elimination diet. Eliminate foods that are potentially problemantic or inflammatory for 30 days. Let your body reset, then introduce the foods back into your system one by one and see what makes your body feel good and what makes your body feel like dog poop. I did a Whole30 in 2017 and since then, I’ve been a lot more mindful about what I’ve eaten. However, the last few months haven’t been kind to me. We’ve been going out to eat more and I’ve been having stomach issues and gaining weight. I knew doing a Whole30 again would be beneficial but didn’t want to do it. Why? Because it’s freaking hard! Basically, make a list of everything you like to eat, then tear it up because you can’t eat any of it on Whole30. The rules on the Whole30 are so strict it will make military school seem like a frat party. So what are these awful rules that I volunteered to follow for 30 days? Read on..
No alcohol. Yes, you read that right. No alcohol for 30 days. This wasn’t hard for me. I only really have a drink if we are out eating on the weekends. Since we had decided to cut back on eating out, this wasn’t an issue. Alcohol also messes with my sleep and gives me a headache. The only time I really craved alcohol was when we had our neighbors over and everyone else had a drink. I made it through and I’m here telling you about it so it’s ok.
No legumes. This was another easy one. I don’t like beans and I’m not a fan of peanuts either. The only downfall of this rule was that I couldn’t eat hummus because it’s made of chickpeas. Oh, and no peanut butter. I love peanut butter but I’m learning to live without it. I found a compliant brand of almond butter and yes, I do eat it by the spoonful.
No dairy. Here’s where I don’t entirely agree with this program. I really don’t feel that dairy is as bad as some people make it out to be. The dairy industry gets villianized but it’s mostly by people who are uneducated about dairy. My uncle and cousins are dairy farmers. I’ve seen what goes into a dairy operation and I feel that most people don’t do their research. I also feel that some dairy is better than others. Eating a big bowl of ice cream is a lot different than adding some milk to your mashed potatoes. The only dairy that Whole30 allows is ghee, which is clarified butter and tastes like Satan’s shoes. At least, I’m guessing that’s what Satan’s shoes taste like. It leaves a horrible aftertaste and made me gag when I tried it. Just don’t.
No grains or gluten. This was difficult..kind of. I’m not a bread or pasta lover, but I do like rice. But again, it’s rule, and like the good girl I am, I followed it. No grains also means no flour- white or wheat.
No added sugar. Notice that it doesn’t say ” no sugar at all”. It’s no added sugar or fake sugar. You can eat all the fruit you want since that is a natural sugar. This is the rule that sucked the most. I freaking love coffee creamer. Personally, my favorite is the salted caramel creamer with REAL dairy in it. But since it also has sugar (most coffee creamers do- that’s why they are delicious!)it’s a no go. Instead you get to have black coffee or Nutpods, made from almond or coconut milk. Supposedly they taste just like creamer that you love. The makers of Nutpods should be sued for false advertising because their caramel flavor tastes NOTHING like caramel. I’m fine with not eating cakes or cookies, but for the love of God, just let me have my creamer in my coffee. It’s really for everyone’s safety.
No MSG, carrageenan, or sulfites. Basically, no chemicals. Easy peasy if you’re eating real stuff.
No stepping on the scale or taking measurements for 30 days. I broke this one 2 weeks in. We’re having a weight loss challenge at work and I had to get weighed in. I’m pleased to say that after 2 weeks, on Day 15, I had lost 4.5 pounds. I get so mad when people say something trite like, “You look great! Don’t worry about your weight.” Well Karen, I have a heart condition and I DO have to worry about my weight so thanks for the compliment, but my cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic doesn’t care how good I look. She cares about my weight and how healthy my heart is. Right now, I weigh more than what she would like so that’s a problem. Hopefully one that Whole30 can help me fix.
Are you still with me? Good. Yes, it’s strict but there’s a reason for it. I’m not going to claim that Whole30 can cure cancer, but eating healthy makes you feel better inside and out.I really believe people have been eating crap for so long that they don’t know how good their body can feel. I got the Whole30 Day by Day companion book and the author and co-founder of Whole30 encourages you to write down a non scale victory everyday. Non scale victories (NSV) are things that make you feel good but are not tied to the number on the scale. For me, my skin is clearer, I’m not getting hangry (my hanger is legendary. I can’t make a decision and lose my shit whenever my blood sugar dips too low), and my pants are a lot looser. Most of all I just feel better. On day 31, I’ll probably introduce dairy back into my diet and see how my body reacts. Then a few days later, I’ll introduce something else and see how my body deals with that.
Whenever someone tells me, “I could never do Whole30”, I usually ask them if they have even tried. Yes, it’s difficult. Yes, your body goes through a period of adjustment. Yes, it’s more fun to go out for a margarita and chips and salsa. Yes, it requires you to eat your vegetables and cook your own meals. But the benefits far outweigh the difficult points. Learning what real food tastes like is awesome. We’re so used to having artificially sweetened, pre packaged food that our tastebuds don’t know how real food is supposed to taste. Case in point: I had a clementine today and it tasted sooooo sweet. Why? Because my tastebuds aren’t deadened by some cardboard cookie. I’m not having painful stomach bloating and my pants slide on a lot easier. My husband told me my legs looked thinner a few days ago.(Maybe he was trying to get brownie points but I appreciated it) My face isn’t as puffy as it was a few weeks ago. My fingers aren’t swollen every morning.
If you think you can’t do a Whole30 , I’d encourage you to do a little research on it. Check out the website and check out a few blogs with Whole30 recipes. The food is delicious and there is so much information available to help you. If you’re still not sure, try giving up one thing for a month. Give up your nightly glass of wine or your dessert after supper. See how you feel without it. I bet you feel better!
I hope that helps you to learn a little more about the Whole30 program. Next blog, I’m going to be doing a post on the foods I keep in stock when I’m doing a Whole30 and an example of what I eat in a day.
**All opinions on this blog are my own. I am not compensated for this post**
I just read your blog for the first time ever. You are a brilliant writer and person. Getting to know you through dance class was a wonderful experience for me. I think I was the one that learned the most. Keep sharing your stories. Maybe you’ll write a book some day.
Bernie you are the sweetest person! I learned so much from you as well!