The Whole30. Again. Why???
I did the the Whole30 (a.k.a. #Whole30) for the first time last August/September (2014).
I announced it on the blog here. And talked about it here and here. I made 5 daily videos (Day 1, Day 2, Day 7, Day 8, and Day 14). So the term “daily” is used loosely. Veeeery loosely. I did film a recap, but did nothing with it and have decided to continue to do nothing with it.
Soon after the close of my first Whole30, our home finally (after 18 months) sold. So, in the midst of my daughter’s cheer , and son’s football, and a handful of work projects and trips, and having to pack and move, and of course there was Thanksgiving and Christmas and my 20th anniversary trip to Hawaii (which *leans on heels of hands* I SO need to tell you ALL ABOUT!)… in the midst of it all I just let the pressure of a Whole30 recap go.
I also slowly let the principles of Whole30 go over those few months.
Today… I find myself on the dawn of a new #Whole30 (actually, today is day 4 for me) and I have decided to recap the benefits of my first effort for you. And me.
Herefollows the reasons why I would take on doing the Whole30 for a second time:
– It’s not because I felt good the first 3 weeks. In fact, I felt pretty horrible until Day 23/24. But I read the book It Starts With Food. You can get all the info you need at Whole30.com to do it – for free – but I got the book. I found the in-depth information from the book gave me the book-smarts and convincing I needed to push through 3 solid weeks of hard work. By day 23 I got the energy I was assured would come. It was quite amazing, actually. It was like clouds parted and all the rays of sunshine and productivity shined down on me and only ME.
– Within a week my skin (face, specifically) was feeling and looking better. By better I mean less acne, more consistent color, and not so dang dry. Or oily. You know how skin gets. It just felt great.
– Within a week I noticed weight loss. You are not allowed to weigh yourself, but I did a couple times. However, the weight I was feeling did not match the scale. I felt I was losing more than the scale showed. I weighed myself on Day 1 this round (and took measurements and photos which most likely will NEVER be seen by eyes other than my own). By the end I had lost 7 pounds and a couple pairs of pants that had fit tight (but wearable) we too big for me. I think feeling the loss was helpful in those first weeks where I was EXHAUSTED. Crazy exhausted. And the headache the first 5 days was a BEAST.
– Before my first Whole30 I had headaches nearly every day (I would take Ibuprofen every day. Every.). Joint aches that just didn’t happen when I was in my 30s. Generalized anxiety with wonderful random chest pains. By the last week of the Whole30 I had no headaches, the joint aches (after exercise or long periods of sitting) drastically reduced, and those bothersome anxiety chest pains – goneZO!
– Solid sleep. You. Guys. Almost immediately I started sleeping like a CHAMP. I was also dog-tired by 9. I didn’t exercise (about 5 times) during my first round. I was so beat in detox mode. But almost from the beginning I slept through the night – SOLID. No random wakings (outside of children and the snoring husband)… I had been having to hit the melatonin on a regular basis (a few times a week). Not on the Whole30. There is little more beautiful that being able to fall asleep and stay asleep unassisted.
– By the end, I was the proud recipient of some awesome mental clarity. I am not one to love decision-making, but even that changed. This was the biggest surprise. How can food affect one’s brain SO much? I’ve heard the brain is our second stomach, and I am a believer.
I was able to maintain a 80% Whole30 life for a few weeks… I gained a little back. And then maintained that until I went to Hawaii right after Thanksgiving.
Though not back to square one, all the weight is back. The headaches started back. The joint aches. And the exhaustion started creeping back too.
Therefore Whole30 Round2. My intent is so Whole60, but I have a trip over days 40-43 and am not sure I can be as rigid on the road.
Actually, I truly believe I need to WholeLife. The closest cousin to the Whole30 is Paleo. To be honest, Whole30 is so extreme I question if it is something I can hold to 100% the rest of my life. But it is actually not necessarily something to do for life – it is an intense reset and training for those who have become addicted to processed food. I have found the Paleo approach to eating is the closest cousin and while still pretty restrictive (compared to my eating life before) it is not.
I’ve had lots of people make comments about having to eat cardboard.
Here’s the thing… it is impossible to eat cardboard on the Whole30. You can’t make faux pancakes or muffins. It’s about eating veggies and meats and good fats and some fruit and nuts. And the spices! I have discovered SO MANY incredible recipes.
I was excited most meal times. Most times. There were those days that laziness or lack of time forced me to have the usual salad. I am not a huge salad fan, so those were the hard ones for me. I am more of a fan now as I have explored new dressings and *toppings*. But, salads are still never my first choice.
The biggest hurdle is turning away from the poison we’ve been eating (a.k.a processed foods). I encourage everyone to watch Fed Up to gain a better understanding of processed foods, sugar, and the role the food industry has played on our health. Our poor health. Did you know the generation coming behind us is the first to have a lower life expectancy than their parents?
Ooops. I was getting on the soap box. And I still haven’t nailed the #Whole30lifestlye. I am believer. But living it is tough.
Though it is tough, it is worth it. In fact, after falling of and practically UNDER the wagon, I was feeling so crappy I couldn’t WAIT to start up again. In fact, the first 3 days of Round 2 have been the total opposite of my first days the first time. I was feeling so crappy from eating poorly, I couldn’t wait to trade for some detox to work toward feeling better.
You see, eating crappy and feeling crappy only get us to one place – eating and feeling crappy. To push through a few days (or weeks in some cases) of feeling crappy for the promise of feeling almost brand new is exciting to me.
Last night I was feeling drained… what I assume is some detox finally kicking in. I woke up with a raging headache… detox I am sure. But I’d have a headache if I was eating poorly anyway. So I am not really losing anything.
Except for cream in my coffee and I am doing a lot of dishes.
How do I enjoy my coffee? During Round 1 I blended melted coconut oil into my coffee. This time I have found that blending melted ghee is quite delightful. If I feel particularly needy for sugar in my coffee – I have found eating a banana while drinking coffee is quite delightful.
Are you sold? Are you skeptical?
I have created a new Instagram account that features my daily meals, with some recipe resources… and will feature some tips and tricks along the way. You can check me out at @thewholeavocado.
I have a Whole30 Pinterest board you can peek out for recipe inspiration or just proof that eating #Whole30 can be exciting, non-cardboardy, and delicious.
But more important than that… I think it can be a life changer.
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