Monday, November 2, 2015

My Whole30 Recap

WOW! It's been a while since I posted! I guess the floors were being installed in the basement that day, and ever since then I have been trying to get all the baseboards and doors repainted and everything put back in its place. It has been a lot of work, and it's not quite finished, but that's not what I'm here to talk about today...

Around September 29, I decided, pretty much on a whim, to start a Whole30 on October 1. My diet had gotten out of control, and it was past time to rein it back in. Suddenly, it is November 2 and the (first) Whole30 is over! Surprisingly, it was much easier than I expected, possibly because I generally try to eat a primal/paleo diet, but I still had to restrict a lot more than I'm used to. I was NOT excited about giving up every last form of grains and my  beloved dairy. Alcohol I can live without, but the rest was going to be a bit of a struggle.

However, while it was sometimes challenging, getting rid of all the cravings made a big difference. The Whole30 timeline is invaluable in helping you understand what is causing your symptoms---because your body, emotions, and energy level will change during the whole month! It was great to just check the timeline, see what was happening and get some support.

What did I eat, you ask? Lots of eggs. :-) Not so many that I am sick of them, but they definitely came in handy when, because of my poor planning or busy schedule, dinner was something I simply couldn't eat. I have this Whole30 cookbook...which I don't think I used more than once this month...but the whole family has loved recipes I have made in the past. Honestly, this month has been so crazy busy with the basement and regular life that I didn't plan out meals as I should have. Where I normally would have added rice as a starch, I used potatoes, white or sweet. Yay! Potatoes are allowed! Burrito night was taco salad for me, sadly, minus cheese or sour cream. One new favorite is PaleOMG's Pizza Spaghetti  Pie . That came in handy for lots of easy leftovers, even though I had to keep everyone else from eating it!

There were a few cheats that I allowed myself out of necessity. The breakfast sausage we use comes from a local farmer and has a little sugar in it, but in lieu of spending hours finding an alternative, I decided to use it, though less than usual. I also allowed myself Primal Fuel meal replacement shakes because the ingredient list is pretty stellar even though it contains a little sugar. I made these choices knowing that neither of these options causes sugar cravings for me. (Pro-tip on the Primal Fuel, which is pricey: I discovered that my serving size (1.5 scoops, not 2) is cheaper than other protein powders if I use the auto-ship option. I love that---the higher quality shake for less money!)

The other actual cheat meals were a Tropi-Kale smoothie from Robeks which had yogurt in it. I didn't know that until after I drank it! That cheat was caused by poor planning for a long day out. Meg's feast day celebration included her favorite cheese fondue (alcohol, dairy, and grains--cornstarch!) which I ate with cauliflower, not bread. The fondue was a "safe" cheat because I knew it wouldn't derail the whole diet as a cupcake or cookie would. I can't decide if Chik fil-a waffle fries are a cheat or not, but they came in handy and made me happy. Eating at Chipotle a couple of times also made life easier. Their rice bran oil is probably, technically illegal, but as they have switched from the endocrine disruptor and illegal legume, soybean oil, I'll take it.

To wrap up, I lost about 10 lbs.! A few of those were gained just before I started, so probably came off quickly. I didn't count carbs or calories at all, which might improve weight loss, but I was rarely hungry. If I was hungry, it was real hunger, not head hunger. And I simply forgot about the rule that we're not supposed to snack between meals---and still lost 10 lbs. My belt is 3 (!!!) notches tighter, so that is 3" off the hips.

Am I going to continue? Absolutely. I feel great---happy, even-tempered, energetic. Thin. ;-) I experimented with a little dairy this weekend----cheese tasted terrible. Cream in my coffee was not appealing. Sour cream on my taco salad tasted great, but I was puffy and bloated this morning. My Halloween treat was 1 bite of a fine chocolate that actually tasted good, but I didn't want to finish. I got out 5 chocolate almonds later to treat myself, and the first one tasted dreadful so I put the rest back. I call that a total win.

Have you done a Whole30 or are you thinking of starting one? Let me know in the comments!



  1. I have thought about trying the whole30, but I have so many limitations on my diet already. A recent discovery that I am homozygous for the MTHFR gene mutation means no enriched flour/rice/food. Nothing with synthetic B vitamins, especially folic acid which is everywhere. I truly wish I could stop eating, period. I get very little enjoyment from food, and eat very little - still have shed very few pounds. Add to that my vit K food limitations (must have one, but only serving a day). It all feels rather hopeless!

    1. I felt a little of that at the start, but not for the same reasons. I really was reluctant to give up so much, but I also knew that it was the key to finding the answer. Give it a try; it's not as bad as you think. And what can happen in 30 days? You might find some joy in food again or, at least, feel better!

    2. I also don't like that you have to "buy into" their scheme (for lack of a better word at the moment). That might sound like a cop-out but I feel like "why not just be open about it?" They're making money scaring people into dieting. I guess I'll always be "an everything in moderation" person. I don't have addictions. There is nothing I can't live without. Right now I'm just about living on vitamins and water.

    3. I disagree. All the info you need to follow the "diet" is available for free on their site, so you, literally, don't need to buy anything. And I know that's not exactly what you meant. It's just that it needs to be all-or-nothing, not moderation, because of the inflammation issue. You can't tell what's going on by eating in moderation.

      I felt fantastic on the plan and I lost weight, slowly. While I had intended to continue, I have allowed small amounts of dairy and a couple of cookies----moderately. I am like an alcoholic with sugar and grains; moderation is not an option; I know I will not be able to control it indefinitely if I continue to allow it. I already don't feel as well, especially mentally, and the weight is creeping up .5 lb every day.

      Lots of vegetables, enough protein as eggs or meat for your needs, and there's a lot more to eat than vitamins and water! :-) What's a month? But it has to be all-or-nothing because the inflammation just starts again when you cheat.

  2. i have a friend who did it and like you felt really really good after...not sure she's continued, though. Must ask her. Good for you. I'm trying (really trying) to get rid of the obvious sugar in my life. It's those hidden sugars that are pesky!!!!

    1. Sugar is evil.:-) I found out yesterday, to my chagrin, that I am not over the addiction and it is not safe to make cookies!


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