If you’ve been following me on Instagram (which you definitely should), you know I’ve been going through my first Whole30. It’s definitely had its ups and downs, but today marks day 15, and I feel like things are finally smoothing out. I wanted to give an update halfway through my Whole30 to talk about some of the benefits I’ve been feeling, as well as some of the downsides, and a few recipes that have completely saved my butt this month.
For those unfamiliar, Whole30 is a 30 day nutritional program designed to be a nutritional reset for your body. For 30 days, you cut out all sugar, alcohol, legumes, dairy, MSG, and grains (and yes that includes non-gluten grains like quinoa). It’s like a more intense form of Paleo, where things like banana nice cream and paleo banana pancakes are off limits. The idea is to eliminate food groups that irritate your body, and get rid of craving-inducing snacks to help get your body back to a “square one” with minimal bloating, irritation, or food dependence.
I was really hesitant to start the Whole30 initially; so many of my favorite foods would have to be eliminated from my diet: Pasta, butter, and half and half in my coffee. I was intimidated to say the least, but I figured 30 days is the least I could do. So what are my impressions after 15 days 0f no frills food?
- Less bloating. There were a couple days around day 8-9 where I actually felt more bloated, but according to the forums, this is pretty typical of the Whole30. After about one week, your body starts to adjust to a new diet free of all the irritants it’s used to. But after those couple days, I’m waking up much less bloated, and I’m feeling leaner.
- More energy. Like my bloating, there were a couple days early on where all I wanted to do was nap. But I’m combining my Whole30 with working out 5 days a week, and now I’m waking up before my alarm, and with tons of energy, feeling like I can take on the world. I’m more productive, less scatterbrained, and feeling great.
- Trying new foods. I made slow cooker butter chicken last week (Whole30 compliant and made with coconut milk). That’s something I never would have made before, but in the search to find recipes to keep myself excited about foods I’m eating, I’m trying new foods and meals that are completely new to me. Expanding my horizons has never been so tasty.
- Less going out to eat. This is kind of a double edged sword. I spend less money going out to eat, but really only because it’s essentially impossible to eat out while doing Whole30.That brings me to the next section of my check in.
- Limited social life. I never realized how many of my social gatherings revolved around food or alcohol until I put my diet under the microscope with Whole30. Trying to find Whole30 compliant restaurants can be incredibly daunting, because most restaurants use soybean oil for food preparation (and soy falls under the “no legumes” rule). I’ve had to pass on meals out with friends, or opt for snacking on a sad Larabar while everyone enjoys their sushi or burgers and fries. I skipped out on a fun weekend getaway with friends because I knew I sticking to my La Croix while everyone else had fancy cocktails would either be impossible or completely demoralizing.
- More expensive. Even though I’m saving money by not going out to eat, I’m still spending lots of money to find very specific replacements for non-Whole30 foods. Things like Coconut Aminos to replace soy sauce or cases of La Croix to fill my cravings for sweet sugary beverages have really added up to be a pretty pricey meal plan.
- Crazy mood swings. Scrolling through Instagram and seeing countless sugary snacks, avocado toasts, and fancy cocktails definitely drives me a little crazy.
- Paleo Poops. I will not be elaborating further.
I wanted to share some of the recipes and products that have absolutely been saving my butt while on the Whole30.
- Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from The Real Food Dietitians
- Mayo from scratch on the Whole30 website (way easier than you think)
- Slow Cooker Butter Chicken from One Lovely Life
- Whole30 Approved Ketchup from Little Bits Of
So far, Whole30 is definitely easier than I anticipated it would be. If you’re looking for a way to kick start healthy eating habits, I would definitely recommend checking it out. Stay tuned in a couple weeks for my recap after completing the Whole30!