If you follow me on any form of social media, you know I haven't stopped talking about Whole 30. Sorry in advance, because April will probably be a non-stop Whole 30 talk month!
So if you have seen me talking about it, you may be wondering what exactly is Whole 30, and why I keep complaining all the time about wanting a cookie. (Seriously though, a big chocolate chip cookie sounds like a dream right now.)
You can find more detailed information here, but basically Whole 30 is a nutritional program for 30 days where you eat very very clean. You cut out sugar, wheat, dairy, soy, legumes, and alcohol. Any extra ingredients that aren't really found naturally are to be cut out in order to reset your diet and from what I gather it leads people to eat healthier. By cutting out all these foods and then reintroducing them into your diet after your 30 days, you can see how your body will react to each one.
Some people suffer from stomach aches or little irritating pains daily, and apparently some of these can be caused by what you're putting in your body! In one of the many stories I read about different people's journeys through the program a mom had her whole family go through the diet and found out that her son's nose bleeds were always happening after he ate some form of dairy. It's actually pretty interesting to read! Although I don't think I'm going to have any major break throughs on my daily pains, I wanted to start this so I could start eating better.
I figured what better way to eat healthier than to cut out almost everything but fruit and vegetables. Sounds intimidating, right? Well it's actually not so bad. I love the way the Whole 30 website is written when explaining things, because they put it into perspective for you. They tell you that going through cancer and giving birth is hard, but eating better is nothing near either of those two things. Eating better shouldn't be a challenge, it should be something you do for your body because that's how it stays happy.
Why am I doing Whole 30?
I made a promise to myself at the beginning of this year that I would eat healthier. Although I was definitely doing that, I knew I was regressing from where I was in the first few weeks of the year. One of my favorite bloggers did Whole 30 (read her experience here, here, and here) and I thought "this is a great thing that will kick start me into eating better.
I don't see myself eating 100% like this after the 30 days are up (I'll let you know if I feel differently in my second update!), but I already know that I want to look at labels more carefully and incorporate more fruits and veggies into my regular meals and snacks.
Although losing weight is something that happens while on Whole 30, that isn't my main goal. My goal is to be healthier and stay on track with better eating habits.
I went over the idea of Whole 30 with my roommate Steph and she loved the idea, so we're doing it together! I think doing this with a partner of some sort is a lot easier than doing it by yourself.
What exactly can I eat?
Any type of meat, fruit or vegetable is 100% allowed. Most spices are allowed, although you still have to check for added sugars or wheat because sometimes it can be hidden in there! Like I said earlier you eliminate sugar, wheat, dairy, legumes, soy, and alcohol. A big part of Whole 30 is checking the label of everything you buy from the store and making sure there aren't any added sugars or anything that you don't know about. Finding compliant ingredients really isn't that hard, you just have to do a little searching. The most annoying thing is that you're going to have to go to more of a specialty store (think Whole Foods) if you want to make specific recipes. Steph and I had to go there to buy almond flour, coconut flour, and coconut aminos (basically the coconut version of soy sauce).
You also aren't allowed to make any compliant recipes that resemble anything unhealthy. For example you could find multiple ingredients to make a Whole 30 compliant brownie, but that isn't allowed! This makes it really hard when all you want is dessert!
There's an average timeline of the program here, but this is how I've been feeling these past few days.
Day 1: I can totally do this
I was cooking like no tomorrow. Me and Steph had just bought tons of great ingredients, we even bought from Whole Foods for the first time. (I. Know.) These next 29 days are going to be a breeze.
Day 2: Ow, why do I have a headache?
I was fine during the morning and afternoon this day. I ate my breakfast and lunch, and was drinking my water without issues. 2pm hit and I had a small headache. No problem, I took an advil and hoped for the best. I had dinner and then went to the Greek Life Skit show on campus. During the show my headache only got worse and by 9pm it was pounding. Days 2-3 in the timeline say you'll get hangover symptoms, and for me it came in the form of a headache. Steph was feeling kind of nauseous on and off all day.
Day 3-4: IM SO HUNGRY.
I didn't really have any other symptoms on these days besides being super hungry! I think my body started realizing it wasn't going to be getting of the stuff it was used to and wanted to fight back. I actually was pretty full for each of my meals, but I just wasn't satisfied with anything I was eating. I wanted cookies, I wanted chipotle, I wanted a diet coke. I wanted everything I couldn't have.
Day 5: I'm mad at everything and I also want dessert.
The Whole 30 timeline tells you to warn your friends and family that you may be a little irritated for the next few days. I was mad at myself for starting this thing, because I was desperately seeking cookie dough ice cream (I caught a whiff of some and started drooling). I was mad at my roommates for not putting the knives in the right places. I was mad because the chicken was taking too long in the oven. Seriously I couldn't have been any more irritated.
Day 6: Totally fine.
It's the end of day 6 and I've been totally normal! I had a good 3 meals today with some snacks in between and am feeling like I have everything handled.
Insights so far:
I really miss dessert. I've never really been a dessert person, but the things I've been craving have all been dessert related. It may not have helped that there were cupcakes sitting on my coffee table the first few days tempting me, but seriously all I've wanted are sweets. The occasional thought of pizza comes into my head, but for the most part I crave sugar.
I have a few favorite meals so far, but I'll share those in the next update when I have more to add!
Hopefully this was helpful to anyone who's curious in any way about Whole 30 or wants to start the program. It looks so difficult if you're just looking at the facts, but honestly the hardest part is forcing yourself to stay on track. It's more of a mental challenge than a physical one. If you can get through the first 10 days, you're most likely going to finish the program! If you want to start and need a buddy, come talk to me!
If you have any questions you'd like answered you can put them in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll either answer them there or put them in the next update.