So did I make it?
Yep. I did have some honey in my coffee on a disastrous morning, and also I chewed a piece of gum right before I went to the dentist (brushing my teeth just didn't seem good enough for that kind of close encounter), but otherwise, I was a good girl and followed the rules. Oh, I forgot about the vanilla latte. Well, I was almost done, it was more really like a test latte then a slip-up, right? Yes, I thought so too.
Actually, this whole thing just wasn't that bad. More than one person said, "that's crazy, there is no way I could do that." But really, I didn't find it that hard to say no to foods I usually enjoyed, (other than sweetener in my coffee. black coffee = yuck) because I saw results physically, emotionally, and mentally after the first week. Results amazing enough to keep me motivated to see this Whole30 thing through. I had to be creative when eating out, and I most definitely had to plan meals ahead of time, but when you get right down to it, the hardest part is the same no matter what you eat: you have to cook it! You'd think I'd be used to making meals for myself and my family at this point in my life, but it always seems to come as a surprise to me when dinner time rolls around: "You mean I have to make dinner again?" Laziness, I tell you. Laziness!
My Whole30 results
- increased energy (no tired, heavy feeling)
- unreasonable irritability and tearfulness vanished
- even moods
- increased emotional resilience (I can handle my life!)
- better sleep
- no more brain fog (ok, less brain fog)
- some weight loss, general slimming (a friend said, "you're shrinking!")
- clearer, brighter skin (this link isn't me, but I thought it was so interesting)
- decreased need for snacks due to feeling comfortably full
- much better awareness of when I'm actually hungry and when I'm eating just because
- 28 days of absolutely no depression symptoms
Seriously people, I'm not making one bit of this up. It's true that I am, by nature, prone to a bit of hyperbole, but no exaggeration here. It sounds like magic, and it really kind of was. And it's not just me: people have used the Whole30 diet to treat everything from asthma and acne to zealous sugar consumption and more! I was definitely on the upswing out of postpartum depression when I started the diet, but I still had nagging symptoms that were making my day-to-day life unpleasant. The Whole30 seemed to put one more piece into place for my overall wellness. I haven't yet gotten new thyroid tests, but I'm very curious to see what my numbers look like once I do.
It's called the Whole30, but's really more like Whole45 because after you finish the elimination period, you have this nice clean slate and really need to reintroduce foods slowly and separately so you can find out what actually affects you. So far I have reintroduced wheat and cheese. The cheese, I haven't decided yet on that one. I ate it with every meal for one day, and about 24 hours later I felt some general stomach discomfort. . .not sure on that one. I'm spending a few days back at the whole30 bottom line, and then I will try again. I did the same thing with wheat, eating wheat crust pizza for dinner, and then for lunch the next day. By the end of the day, I felt so exhausted I could hardly drag myself around. The feeling continued to settle over me the next day, accompanied by a heavy-limbed, achy, unfocused, flu-like feeling. I think I even had a headache thrown in there as well. It might go without saying that I was rather irritable as well. I did not eat anymore wheat after that lunch, and by the evening two days later (so three days from my last bite of pizza) I was feeling better again. Chipper and bouncy. You know, my normal self. *snort*
Anyway, it seems like I'm gluten intolerant and didn't know it? It was amazing how the symptoms came on right away and then went away just as quickly. I'm pretty savvy in the kitchen, so it won't be heartbreaking to give up wheat (at least not until I'm staring a warm slice of garlic bread in the face), and absolutely worth it if I keep feeling great (or NOT feeling like I did after I ate that pizza). I'll take a gluten-free diet over anti-depressants any day.
So the jury's still out on cheese, and next up I have some gluten-free oats to try. I do love oatmeal in the morning, so I hope this test goes well. We shall see. . .
My Whole30 tips
- If you drink coffee and you usually sweeten it, adding full-fat coconut milk can help. You can also search for date-based creamers, but they look like a lot of work to me.
- Plan. You must have a plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Otherwise you will get hungry and you will eat a loaf of bread and tell yourself you'll start over again tomorrow. Any recipe that says "paleo" in it is a good place to start, although you might have to omit some ingredients to adhere to whole30 rules.
- Canned pumpkin/squash/sweet potatoes can save your life. All three are hearty vegetables and the canned versions can make your life so much simpler as you prepare meals. You can scoop out some pumpkin/squash/sweet potato into a bowl, warm it up, add in some nut butter or cinnamon, or whatever you like to spice it up, and then you have a nice snack or side to pull you through. (You can buy it by the case from amazon and get organic for a reasonable price.)
- Talk someone else into doing it with you. You can share ideas, commiserate, or even get lucky and have them bring you chocolate treats made from dates.
- Larabars are your friend. (Costco or Amazon)
- An avocado dressing like this one will make salads of any kind more exciting. Also good on pretty much any kind of meat.
- Salads with leftover meat and whatever veggies you have around make a great lunch.
- These pancakes are delicious. Just swap the sweetener for applesauce, and top them with more applesauce. Yummy and portable.
- It's not as hard as you think.
You can read the rest of my Whole30 journey here:
*This post contains affiliate links, but I did not receive any compensation for this post.