Monday, February 5, 2018

My Whole30 journey

I spent the month of January completing my first Whole30 diet reset. The premise is very clear cut- remove all inflammatory foods (grains, legumes/beans, sugar, dairy alcohol and additives and preservatives) eat a high fat, veggie and fruit filled diet and start to feel better inside and out. *This was actually my second time doing a Whole30 but I quit at the two week mark when I first attempted this in 2015. Affiliate links used. A small commission may be received if you purchase an item through my links. Thank you for supporting my blog!
My Whole30 journey by blogger Whitney of Work it Mommy
So why did I want to do a reset? I had two very prominent reasons, one being very real and the other a tad superficial:
1) I wanted to be in control of my sweet tooth and sugar intake
2) I wanted to lose the last of the baby weight.

It’s no secret around here how much I enjoy sweets. I am very open about my sugar addiction (which it truly is) so I knew I had to do something drastic to get control. But if you've ever read product labels you know how sneaky sugar is. Its added to so many foods unnecessarily (frozen vegetables, anyone?) that its not a surprise why I always seem to crave it, its practically always in my system! 
My Whole30 journey by blogger Whitney of Work it Mommy
I also had an accountability group this go around and it really made all the difference. There's something about having a shared experience that keeps me motivated and on track. I highly suggest finding a coach and/or group to join if you are considering doing a Whole30. I would also read Dallas and Melissa Hartwig’s book, It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways for the reason and science behind the Whole30 guidelines and premise.

My experience seems pretty textbook; the first couple of days was a huge high, after the first week I was sleeping great and had mental clarity. And then days 13/14/15 k-i-l-l-e-d; I wanted to peck people’s eyes out and was very on edge. By week three I was starting to get bored with my food and then all of a sudden it was over. 

There was so much uncomfortable food things that I had to deal with. There were several nights I was literally pacing around, wringing my hands because it was the usual time I would be reaching for a sweet snack. I was short-tempered and aggressive (hangry) if I waited too long to eat between meals. The only pleasure I get from drinking coffee is due to the creamer in it. Being on the other side of this journey I can say it was challenging but worth it. 
My Whole30 journey by blogger Whitney of Work it Mommy
On the plus side, food tasted so much more vibrant! Without the "sugar coating" on my tongue, fruits and vegetables had more complex and delicious flavors and my sense of smell (though already super strong) was enhanced more. I can liken this to being newly pregnant when everything is extremely smell-sensitive and there are food aversions and cravings, haha. 

Now I'm slowly reintroducing foods back into regular rotation and its a process. I realize I don’t need cheese on everything. I don’t have to have dessert every night. Eating pasta and bread isn’t mandatory. Don’t get me wrong, I still like them I just don’t crave them the same way. 

And that feels AMAZING.
Not being a slave to food and whims feels so empowering. 

I’m actually thinking of staying away from gluten as I noticed it gives me joint discomfort (any gluten-free recommendations?!) but will add beans, dairy (hello creamer in my coffee!!) and the occasional sweet treat. I feel like moderation really is the key. I also really just enjoy eating, period.

Things I learned:
I really like full-fat, canned coconut milk. Like, it is now a pantry staple. Great for adding creaminess to soups, sauces and smoothies; it can be sweet or savory.

I love cooking but all the veggie chopping, from-scratch stuff was hard. And time consuming. Prepping as much as possible the previous weekend was a lifesaver.

I will never buy mayonnaise again. With only 5 ingredients and an immersion blender you've got fresh, delicious mayo in under 5 minutes.

Leftovers are a godsend. I don't think I've ever treasured leftover food so much. Making extra for repurposing throughout the week is a must. I made new food pairings I never thought edible (egg salad stuffed mini peppers) but were damn good!

“Put an egg on it” is probably the unwritten tagline of Whole30. But seriously, a fried egg is good on everything.

I can not with riced cauliflower. It must be the texture because I love cauliflower florets. Or maybe I was just really hoping for real rice and the substitute was not cutting it. In any case, I will not be eating it again.

My crock pot has never seen so much action. I love it even more now.

Recipes to try:

Oh yeah, I also lost 6 pounds which brings me exactly to my (lowest) pre-pregnancy weight. Victories all around, friends!

Have you tried doing a Whole30? Share your successes!

My Whole30 journey by blogger Whitney of Work it Mommy

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  1. Sounds like you stuck it out and achieved such wonderful results!!

  2. I'm so proud of you!! You rocked it in January and I loved following along. Obviously, you know why I bailed on day three of my W30 this time -- I can only eat, like, three things. ;)

  3. That's awesome! I have heard so many good things about Whole 30.

  4. Woot woot! I think there would be blood shed if I ever did this friend. Super proud of you.

  5. Great job!! From one sugar addict to another, that's a HUGE accomplishment.

  6. Way to go, friend! I love how honest you are about the process and how you were feeling throughout those days. The food all looks amazing!!

  7. I am so impressed that you did this while breastfeeding!!! I am ravenous right now! But I totally need to get it in check because swimsuit season is coming....

  8. I'm so excited that you did this post! First of all, CONGRATS! Second of all, your food looks amazing! Third of all, i think I need to do this again. I have fallen off the bandwagon hard and need to get back on. We did our whole30 in Jan 2015 and then went on a cruise in Oct 2015 and that's when it started going downhill. I resumed regular eating after the whole30 in Feb and then the cruise totally derailed me. I need to properly re-introduce foods and see what I need to stay away from. Also, my MIL is gluten free so I can get you some recipes if you'd like!

    I need to do this. Truly. I'm 99.9% sure I'm a sugar addict, and need a way to get 'ish under control. I can so see myself pacing at night, wringing my hands, because that is when I'm at my WORST.


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