Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Friday, March 6, 2015

My Whole 30

Have you heard of Whole30? The basic idea is to eliminate sugar, legumes, dairy, alcohol and grains from your diet for 30 days. You can eat meat, veggies, fruits and good fats (avocados, nuts, olives, coconut and more) Most of us have grown so accustomed to eating highly processed foods and our tastes are turned off to the foods that are really good for us.

a breakfast alternative to scrambled eggs...salmon, hard boiled egg, kiwi, almonds and coconut

olives became my new blue cheese

After completing my first Whole30, here are some thoughts in case you are interested....

1) read the book - it's helpful to know why you can't eat the foods that are being eliminated and exactly what you can eat. I recommend the hard copy over the kindle version - I bought the kindle version so I could read it on my trip to Nicaragua, but wish I had the physical book to use as a reference guide.

2) focus on what you can eat and be prepared - The foods you can eat are so delicious and when you focus on that, you don't feel like you are missing out. I found myself shopping a little more frequently and often made trips to more than one store to find what I needed. I also found myself cooking and prepping food in the evening so I had good options all day long. I would gill several chicken breasts for the week's lunches or roast sweet potatoes so they were ready for breakfast. It's actually hard finding some foods without sugar added, but Trader Joe's was a lifesaver.

3) expect ups and downs - Some weeks were better than others. I lost weight quickly in the first two weeks, then stalled. The second week I hardly had any energy to exercise - it turns out I needed more whole carbs (sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, fruit). Eating out is hard. The few times we did, I'm sure I broke the rules in more ways than one, but I did my best and extended myself some grace. Eventually, by the third week, I felt better and eating this way was my new normal. I was no longer thinking about food all day, nor was I craving sugar.

4) try new recipes - Very likely you'll have to try new recipes. At the beginning of the year I was intrigued by the idea of a capsule kitchen (limiting what you eat to approximately 30 different foods - similar to creating a capsule wardrobe and limiting your closet to approximately 30 items) and I found that paired nicely with Whole30. I found some fantastic new recipes to add to our meal plan and I feel really good about serving them to my family. When you are buying less variety of food, the food budget shouldn't increase too much to buy quality food.

5) you might change your thinking about how you eat - prior to my Whole30 experience, I would have argued that I ate fairly healthy. Switching to a pretty extreme diet for 30 days was a paradigm shift for me. I fell in love with fruit and the natural sweetness found in an apple. I grew to love black coffee and won't go back to cream and sugar. Speaking of sugar... it was hiding in every single meal I was consuming before Whole30 - in my coffee, in my yogurt, in my salad dressing, in my spaghetti sauce...

6) timing is everything - I first heard about Whole30 more than a year ago. When I read about it, I decided there was NO WAY I could live without dairy or sugar or bread. And then I heard about it again this year, read a little bit more about it and decided it was time. It's only 30 days and I figured February was the perfect time for me to give it a try.

I guess that's why I'm sharing about it here. Another blogger shared her experience of doing this in January and it was the gentle push I needed to give it a try myself. I told my family what I planned to do - being very specific that I didn't expect them to join me, but I did expect them to support me. I called myself a 30 day science experiment. Even though my family didn't join me fully, their eating habits improved during the month. With lots of fruit and veggies around, they consumed more than normal. I also didn't cook separate meals at dinner - they ate what I ate for the most part.

I tried and fell in love with many new foods (kale, spaghetti squash, brussel sprouts...) and although I'm officially done with my 30 days, I haven't returned to my old ways of eating. I've had a cheeseburger (with the bun and cheese!), but I'd say 95% of the time, I'm still adhering to the rules of Whole30. I'd love to drop a few more pounds, but even if I don't, I feel like I'm fueling my body instead of feeding it.

So what are your questions?


  1. Replies
    1. I was amazed at how much more tasteful food was once I eliminated sugar from my diet.