The first time I heard of Whole 30, I thought “these people are nuts.”
For those unfamiliar: it’s a challenge/elimination diet â€” 30 days of no gluten/grains/dairy/added sugar/legumes/booze/fun. (Longer explanation here.) After the 30 days, you add one those items back in slowly to see how they affect you. The idea is that the elimination allows your body to heal from any inflammation/damage that these so-called inflammatory foods have caused.
But why would I do that? Well, in short, moderation hasn’t been working out so well for me the past few years. I’ve inched further and further away from the really healthy diet I once had. I’d like to think I was still eating more healthy than not, but there were a whole lot more “treats” and wine than is really healthy.
I’ve long had digestive issues that are exacerbated by stress (and hi, stressful time in my life right now) and diet, and I tried going gluten-free two years ago and felt much better…but didn’t keep it up.Â I knew strictly giving up dairy would also make me feel better, as I’m kind of lactose intolerant? sensitive? (I save exceptions for cheese because cheese > yogurt, duh.)
But to give up all of that AND wine and sugar? Yikes. Which is precisely why I thought it was worth a try. And…yeah, I wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds right now.
Also, the book’s authors are pretty intense. One section says “Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard.” If my mom can handle chemo like a champ, I can give up some of the crap I eat. (That line was what really convinced me to finally try it.)
I’m finishing my seventh day! How’s it going so far? I’ll share the positives and the negatives with you. I will be 100% transparent that I guess I’m not doing a “true” Whole 30 because there’s two cocktail parties this month I’ve identified as exceptions for me. Could I make it through them without wine or hors d’ouevres? Sure. Do I want to? Not really.
- I know you’re not supposed to weigh yourself on this, but I have already lost 5 pounds. Likely all water weight, but hey.
- My clothes are already feeling better.
- I can see more of my muscle definition and less fluff.
- My stomach has largely been happy.
- I am sleeping like a baby.
- And saving SO MUCH MONEY.
- No hangovers.
- Meal prepping like a champ. I used to cook so much more but got seriously out of that habit. I’m baaaack.
- I’m already learning so much about my attitudes towards food/booze and using them as crutches. Bored? Wine. Want something sweet? Go for those chocolate chips in your fridge that you always “buy for cookies” but never actually make. There’s been multiple times already when I’ve gone to go for an easy snack and when I realized I could only eat fruit/veggies/protein decided not to. I wasn’t actually hungry, I just wanted something because I was bored.
- Making myself find alternate methods of weekend fun other than going to bars and restaurants with friends at night. Friday night, Meg â€” who’s doing something similar, the Bon Appetit Food Lover’s CleanseÂ â€” and I went to see Beautiful: The Carole King MusicalÂ on Broadway the other night for about the same or maybe less than we would have spent going out for dinner and drinks that night.
It’s not all good though.
- I’m spending a LOT on food.
- This meal prep business takes a long time, and it makes things much more difficult if you don’t do it.
- It’s difficult to go out. I’ve so far used this as a great excuse to lay low, but I don’t want to be a recluse all month.
- My energy levels are like a yo-yo. I’ve woken up foggy, feel better after I have my coffee and then sometimes have a distinct crash later on.
- I go from completely full to hangry with seemingly no warning (mostly between breakfast and lunch.)
- I’ve had some terrible headaches. To be honest, this probably isn’t entirely to do with Whole 30 since they started as soon as we found out about my mom, but it’s worth mentioning they’ve gotten a little worse this year. Maybe a coincidence?
Have you done a Whole 30? Would you? Is there anything else you want to know?