We survived Whole 30…for 2 weeks. Yup, we completed the Whole14.
It really kills me to tell you that we didn’t complete all 30 days and that we tapped out early..but I will say we definitely followed the plan for those 14 days to the T (I know I know…if you’re not first you’re last). There were a lot of aspect I really did enjoy from the plan but also a lot of things one should know before trying!
So now that I’ve destroyed all the credibility I had, I’m going to go ahead and give some advice I think you should know if you are thinking of Whole30ing.
Because this is my blog.
And I can.
So here we go.
Why I chose to deprived myself (and Steven) of Cheese (and other things we love)
You may or may not know that I really began to change the way I was eating/living around last September. I weighed the heaviest I had ever weighed and it was all due to my lack of activity and really poor eating habits. You can read more about that crazy here. Well, I was really on a roll until I was diagnosed with the stress fracture a few weeks back. A little runner’s depression, a little laziness and a big work trip to Austin made me spiral back into a world of donuts, alcohol, pizza and [insert processed food of choice here]. I gained back around 6-7 pounds in just 2.5 weeks. It was crazy. Once I was cleared to start moving more, I knew I had to get back on track, eating wise, to train my best. I had wanted to try Whole30 for awhile, but knew I couldn’t do it unless Steven agreed to it– both for moral support (I certainly could not be eating a salad while watching him down a pizza) and for the ease of cooking 1 meal instead of 2 different ones. He came around and we decided to go for it.
Why we threw in the sweet potato
On Saturday, I came home from a swim and saw Steven playing Fifa, a pretty normal occurrence on the weekend…or weekday. Next to him, I saw an empty plate.
Me- “What did you eat?”
Steven- “Just a little snack”
*I pick up the plate, give it a sniff, inspect the remains of the food….
Me- “There are crumbs on this plate…”
Me- “We can’t eat anything that results in this crumb-like residue…”
Steven- “OK…I had a teenie, tiny, mini-pizza.”
*Insert Big-Eye Emoji from me. Then I storm out of the room.
Did I overreact? Uh, yes. I freakin’ sniffed a plate of crumbs for goodness sake. But it was my breaking point- I had gone insane. And this is WHY we threw in the towel (or sweet potato if we are being Whole30 compliant).
I had spent the majority of the past 2 weeks prepping food, grocery shopping, stressing over making sure we weren’t cheating, trying to make meals that didn’t make us miss our favorite foods….it was exhausting. It made me sniff a plate of crumbs. It made me into a crazy woman. On top of life stress, the food stress really broke me.
That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy some aspects of Whole30. Within a few days, I was feeling really good: I wasn’t bloated, I was sleeping better than I have in a long time, I was feeling guilt free about food, I learned how to cook better (not just follow recipes), my skin actually started to look nicer, my nails and my hair were stronger, I wasn’t wanting to snack much….many of the benefits I was expecting to gain based on the Whole30 plan. I also lost 6 pounds.
It took a lot of time….a lot of time. Between work, working out, grocery shopping, looking for recipes, and cooking, I barely had time for anything else (sorry blog!) It added some stress to my life (which was probably my own doing) but I just wan’t feeling as chipper as I normally am. But I know PLENTY of people who have finished (who have kids, who are WAY busier than I am…and to them, I tip my hat. It truly is a feat to finish!)
So YOU want to try Whole 30?
I’d say absolutely go for it– I think the best thing I took out of my Whole14 was the fact that I now know what real food is, as opposed to the process foods that are constantly being shoved in our faces. I have come to realize that sugar is in EVERYTHING. I just understand food better. I just clearly wasn’t strong enough to to finish the last half. IF you are thinking of doing it…
– Choose a month where you don’t have ton of events: Whole30 is hard to follow if you have to eat out…or are put in a situation where everyone is drinking…unless you don’t drink…then I guess you’d be fine! Cut the stress out of trying to figure out what to eat at a wedding, party, etc by choosing a month that is a little calmer.
– Have good reasons of WHY you want to do it: If you know why you are depriving yourself of cheese, you might be more driven to complete the challenge. I didn’t do that. For me, I just wanted to “feel better” and lose a few pounds…that didn’t work out so great because I “feel better” when I have pizza in my mouth.
– Read the plan: If you know all the benefits, rules and tricks to Whole30, you’ll buy into the program a bit more. I jumped in without having done all my homework, so when people asked me why I couldn’t eat beans, my response was..
“well you see….ummm…ya…yaaaa, why CAN’T I eat beans!? I’m doing it!
Be prepared to clean and run your dishwasher A LOT: I ran our dishwasher, full, almost every other day. Eating every meal at home means way more dishes/pots/pans/utensils. If you don’t have a dishwasher, god speed- make sure you have a good drying rack and an iron will.
EAT ENOUGH: Whole 30 says eat a fist size full of protein and then fill the rest of your plate with veggies. Well, because I was making some Whole30 recipes, it wasn’t that simple. There weren’t just veggies to fill the plate with since they were IN the recipe. As a result, I think we might have under eaten the first week. I was feeling a bit tired and my runs were a little weaker. Nothing a little course correcting didn’t fix but you have a much better chance of finishing if you are eating enough.
A few tips from a Whole14 completer…
I know I know, why would you listen to me when it comes to tips on how to complete Whole30 considering I did NOT? Well, if I knew then, what I know now (channeling my inner Kate Perry) I think things would have gone a lot smoother…
Find a good grocery store where you can find great produce and meat: We have 1 grocery store we like for produce and 1 that we like for meat, one that we like on Sundays, and one that we like on Tuesday, if rains we like a different one…
Seriously though, you will be grocery shopping so much as it is, having to go to different stores will drive you insane. Make it easy on yourself.
Get a few of the staple gadgets: One time, in high school, I went to my lacrosse game but I forgot my stick at home. I immediately got a text from my mom:
“HOW CAN YOU GO INTO BATTLE WITHOUT YOUR WEAPON?!”
Well, I am passing my moms famous words on to you. If you have the right tools, the battle of Whole30 is going to be a lot easier. From my halfway experience, these include tools include;
- A good food processor
- A Zoodle Maker or Spiralizer (I tried a handheld one that it just mushed it a ton…I think one of these bigger ones would be better but I know others who loved the handhelds)
- Good knives
- A mandolin I don’t have one yet, but this would have saved my LIFE when it came to chopping prep.
- A dutch oven
- Cast Iron Skillet (Will really help with flavor when you can’t use butter…)
- Good tupperware (If you are like me, you’ll use leftovers for lunches or dinners)
Determine what kind of eater you are: For me, I need variety. This means one meal prep, at the beginning of the week, of the same food, will drive me away from a diet faster than the Whole30 did. The one thing I did do well was plan my meals so that I could have a different dinner every night (even if dinner and lunch were the same.)
Here are a few of my favorite meals…and when I say favorite, I don’t mean, favorite in terms of a Whole30 meal…I mean like ever! But all are Whole30 compliant…
Chia Seed Pudding
Cauliflower Fried Rice
Am I glad I tried? Yes. Disappointed I didn’t finish? Absolutely. I’m at peace though knowing I learned about food. This experience, with my Advocare experience have given me a good idea of how I should be eating and how to do it….without being driven to sniff a plate like a K9 bomb sniffing dog.
Let me know how your Whole30 experience was if you have done it or comment below any concerns if you are thinking of trying! Sorry to those who I’ve dissapointed, but mama gotta have her pizza.