Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Experience with Whole 30

This picture is completely unrelated, but I feel like I have to put one with this post for variety's sake. And it's not even from the time during our Whole 30. I seriously don't take pictures anymore. Oh how the once-photo-fanatics have fallen.

Brett and I (and Brett's mom and sisters) just finished a successful round of Whole 30. Our unsuccessful trial was a two week stint back in September, but I had marathon training and wasn't about to not get the energy I needed from the lack of eating carbohydrates. So this time we stuck to it.

For those of you who don't know, Whole 30 is a diet where you abstain from eating sugar, grains, legumes and dairy for 30 days. And peanut butter. During that time, you focus on eating lots and lots of vegetables and protein with some fruit and satiate your belly with natural fats like olive oil, avocado and nuts. And you don't count calories or restrict how much you eat.

It's basically like the Paleo diet, just stricter, and only for 30 days.

Did you cheat?

I had one cheat meal when we were at a family party because I wasn't going to be like, "Excuse me, does this delicious entree you made for us have cheese in it?" That's just rude. Also, I accidentally had a few candied nuts here and there. All in all, I'm proud of myself for sticking to it.

The hardest day not to cheat was when my work decided to bring in all my favorite foods in one day. There were bagels with cream cheese offered to us for breakfast, HAULS of pizza for lunch, with some platters of cookies and cheesecake for dessert. I was whining like a puppy left out in the rain. It was a sensory overload.

Did you lose weight?

Miraculously, yes. I thought losing weight was impossible for me since I lost maybe a pound training for my marathon (will she just shut up about that marathon already, sheesh! We get it!)

I tried not to be glued to the scale, but my lowest was 115, which I don't think I've been since my wedding. So that's pretty exciting. And I maintained that weight for more than a week.

For reals, guys, this Whole 30 thing does wonders to your body. I could see my butt getting smaller (good for me) in my jeans, my thigh gap actually maybe coming into existence (okay, thigh gaps ARE NOT POSSIBLE FOR WOMEN!) and my stomach/abdomen felt lean and serene almost always, even after big meals.

Did you like it?

After yesterday, stuffing myself with pizza, pretzel rolls, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, waffles, cookie butter, and oatmeal (yep, I definitely gorged), I'd have to say the taste is not worth the body consequences. I feel like crap, even as I'm writing this. 

So, yes, I did like the Whole 30 because I felt great most of the time. The only times I didn't like it was when I was hungry and there wasn't anything for me to eat at work. Then I just might have texted Brett a hateful "I'm NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN! You can't force me into it!" 

I also liked the solidarity it brought between Brett and me. We made lots of food together, talked about meals together and it bonded us in a cool way. Brett also makes some mean homemade gluten-free vegetable gravy, shredded pork and lime & cilantro cauliflower cous cous. He may just be a much better cook than I. 

What did you eat most of the time?

We tried to add variety, because it's good to have a wide array of healthy foods in your system to get all the vitamins and minerals you need. However, we did have some go-to recipes.

Breakfast: Spinach smoothie with frozen berries, a banana and water as the base. Much more spinach than anything else

OR what I call "eggs fantastico" which was little bits of bacon mixed with eggs. Yes, you can have bacon on Whole 30, which was a major selling point for me.

Lunch: Varied, but many times a salad with olives, some sort of protein on top, and a vinaigrette. 

Dinner: Sweet mashed potatoes with coconut oil, cloves and cinnamon. We ate a lot of the Trader Joe's sausages with lettuce. Sometimes brussels sprouts with bacon. 

Snacks: Lots of times I would eat a whole avocado with salt and pepper. I ate them so much, it makes me sick to think of eating it again. Hard-boiled eggs. Fruit, always. Lara Bars, seriously saved us during our hungry spells such as after a run.

If you want to reset your body and lose some weight and feel great, try the Whole 30. It might be super hard, but it's worth it. I don't recommend doing this as a lifestyle, however. I believe your body needs the healthy whole grains that this diet deprives you of. Plus, you need indulgence every now and again.