What is Whole30? and Why I Swear by it

What is Whole30?
I will never do whole30 justice, so before you read my explanation I suggest you buy the book or at least the sample to better understand the entire approach. What I define whole30 as is: 30 days to reboot your digestive system, create a new relationship with food and start feeling better. Maybe lose a few LBS along the way :).

What was my motivation:

Just a few months ago I went for extensive tests for Crohn’s, a disease my gastro suggested I may have due to irregular blood test results. After a not so pleasant MRI I refused to proceed with tests to confirm the diagnosis.

I mean- having bad reactions to every food was something I was used to. From high anxiety middle school days to today, I find that situations define the way my reactions present themselves. Basically I have become numb to the extreme stomach pains I have after every meal. So did I start whole30 when my doctor suggested it- of course not. No sugar or DAIRY!… I was not willing to do it! I LOVE DESSERT, I’m a foodie!

Then, a month later my friend Julie instagram storied asking who would do Whole30 with her. I figured a support system might just be what I needed and it was! On second thought rebooting my digestive system by eating really clean food, cutting out grains, sugars and processed food actually was what I needed! And a few pounds off before my vacation was a major plus!

My Whole30 day by day(sorta):

Day 1: a random Tuesday with absolutely no meal prep- I figured what better time than now. Plus I wanted to be off whole30 by the time I got on vacation. Day 1 felt like any First diet day- I was craving sugar, carbs etc but was motivated. I even went to the gym.

Day 2: started strong with eggs in the morning, but after getting a salad for lunch I was bummed to not have anything good in it (aka cheese). And by dinner I had lost my appetite and decided there was no way I would be able to do this for 30 days. I was cranky and felt like no matter what I ate I would never be satisfied.

Day 3: I was actually feeling great! I looked in the mirror and convinced myself I looked great! Now I was ready to go back to the gym because I was eating less sugars and more fat, protein and fiber. My work out started with a 5 minute run, then weights and finish off with incline training on a treadmill. I felt determined not to mention 3 other girls I’m friends with joined me on the adventure.

Day 5-7: the weekend hit and it hit hard. My friends wanted to go out, get drinks, eat fantastic dinner (my boyfriend wanted pizza). This is when I decided that regardless of what the book said I had to alter the program to ensure my own success. I decided 2 drinks per week (limited to one night and ONLY vodka sodas) was the only way I could power through 30 days (especially with company dinners, clients in town and holiday parties). While I technically was breaking Whole30 I still stuck to every other rule. I was still drooling over all of my friends food choices, and they were still bugging me why I wasn’t eating, but I was still determined.

Day 8-12: I was feeling great! I was still able to go to work dinners and order accordingly. I feel like I was at the top of the hill and the run down would be easy. I stopped missing sugar and instead looked forward to having my frozen banana and almond butter treat when I got home. I was making huge efforts to work out EVERY other day (if not more!) I felt great! My 5 minute run turned into 10 minutes, I had been able to sleep well every night and food did not hurt my stomach anymore.

SIDE NOTE: Everyday routine: hot water and lemon right when I get to the office, then an RX chocolate sea salt bar (thanks to the suggestions of my followers). That would hold me over until 11:30/12. Lunch time was easy usually just turkey and avocado or a salad with minimal in it and balsamic and oil. Snack would be a small handful of nuts and strawberries or an apple and kale chips. Dinner I loved getting creative with! I made everything from meatloaf, to salmon to cauliflower rice.

Day 12-20: besides going on a business trip and to a holiday party I still maintained my Whole30 with no problem! I felt energized and my friends were noticing the difference. I was noticing the difference. My family and boyfriend were so supportive. My friends no longer bothered to ask why I wouldn’t drink or if I would break it. 2/3 the way there felt great. However, my agitation and crankiness was at an all time high, especially when my options to eat were few and far between (aka family dinners and holiday parties). My anxiety to go to the gym, when I wasn’t feeling up to it or was exhausted from work was making me crazy and I ultimately allowed myself to take breaks.

Day 22: I went to my doctor for my yearly check up. I told her about my new diet/lifestyle and she ensured me that Whole30 is great and the research has shown some really great results! I did not look at my weight when she weighed me, instead I had to step on backwards hah (when you’re on whole30 you’re told not to look until the last day). I then had a tetanus shot for I was due and this (besides hurting) threw me for a loop.

Day 23: My arm was killing me, I was extremely nauseous and felt beyond weak and feverish. I, to this day, do not know if this was due to the shot, a virus or total rundown of my body BUT I could no longer get enough energy to workout let alone walk to work. I started relying heavily on sweet potatoes to help coat my stomach after feeling violently ill. Day 23 was my day I almost gave up. I felt bloated and fatter and I was tired of not eating what I wanted.

Day 24: The nausea was so unbearable my doctor prescribed medicine, but I wasn’t going to let myself give up. I maintained a steady and limited diet during these days and made sure to rest. I did not push myself to work out or anything that could make me break down. Luckily this nausea struck when I was baking for the holiday, which was critical for me to be able to try batters without swallowing haha. My cake and cookies looked amazing, but I was too nauseous to even care.

Day 25: Finally! I felt better, but I started having crazy cravings from the delicious Christmas parties. Spiked hot chocolate, egg nog and Jack Daniels Cookies! It was the ultimate test. I can’t lie I tried the hot chocolate and egg nog, but I counted them as drinks so they wouldn’t motivate me to quit and eat everything in sight. I guess technically I failed, but I think everyone’s 30 day journey is really unique.

Day 26: Julie and my sister and a few friends asked me what I was planning on eating after day 30. What was the one thing I wanted so badly. This got me thinking. There wasn’t anything I really wanted. I loved the idea of dessert, but the thought of actually eating it gave me a stomach ache. That night at a pre-Christmas dinner all of the dessert was in front of me and still I wasn’t really craving it. I sat there chatting and blatantly not tempted. I was full from a nice piece of beef, carrots and salad. (Full: before Whole30 was  a word I was never familiar with, it was either still hungry or nauseous) 

Day 27: I woke up and was frustrated. I didn’t want to eat eggs or anything I had been eating the past 27 days. That night I had a plain salmon and I was BUMMED. I went to sleep over this diet/ way of life. I had no motivation to work out or continue… Until! I tried on a bathing suit. Yup. I felt amazing. I was confident and happy in the bathing suit.

SIDE NOTE: DISCLAIMER: as someone who is admittedly 5’2 a fluctuation of 5 lbs in weight shows drastically. My clothing becomes uncomfortable and once I start I have a hard time getting back into dieting or working out. My weight increased 15 lbs from where I was comfortable and the scale became my worst enemy. Not because I need to be tiny, but because I need to be comfortable! Looking at me you’d never say I’m fat, but now you wouldn’t say I’m too skinny. My goal is to be healthy!

Day 28: Christmas. Bored with the food, not that hungry just pushing through the last few days. Utterly agitated and not excited for any meal.

Day 29: travel day. I blew off breakfast because I was looking forward to a really delicious salad from a place near my parents house (Turkey Bacon chopped!). Oddly enough, I have adopted coconut water to quench my thirst and bored hunger (you know the eating you do when you’re bored).  I noticed that my cravings , once being for a bagel, was transformed for a great salad, some fresh turkey and maybe some fruit. I was so exited for day 30. Discipline has paid off and completely altered my relationship with food.

Day 30!
Feeling wonderful. I weighed myself first thing in the morning. Down 9 lbs and feeling great! I had a feeling I lost weight as my clothing was actually comfortable again. One thing I didn’t like was that I started having this nervous pit in my stomach, as if I were home sick, but really I was nervous to go back to Foods I Love again because I didn’t want the stomach problems and cravings again. I planned on introducing food slowly not aggressively… My plan failed. Day 32 brought eggplant parm and strawberry short-cake with a side of total stomach malfunction!

The next few days were filled with balancing Whole30 lessons with the want and craving of going back to normal, stomach hurting, binge eating days. Not healthy at all. This is when I made a new plan. I would adopt Whole30 (with the exception of gluten-free grains) during week days and on week ends, I would allow myself one meal a day off Whole30.

Summary:

I still really love some beautiful, fattening and unhealthy food, but I have found a new appreciation for the health benefits from eating clean. I highly suggest whole30 to anyone with a New Years resolution and I am more than happy to be a source of motivation and comfort if/when you need someone to complain to.

Email, DM or text me and I will cheer you on! Whole30 changed my life.

Thank you Julie for motivating me. Thank you my family, and friends and followers for supporting me!!!!

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