You can do anything for 30 days right? That's was my mantra for the month of January when I decided to do a Whole30 with my two friends, Jen and Lisa. Turns out, a lot of folks do Whole30 in January and there is an overwhelming amount of support out there to help get your through the "rough times." I found out a group of my running friends was doing it too. So not only did I have two of my closest friends at work, but I had nearly daily Facebook chats and g-chats with friends who were doing it right along side me - which was a great distraction from the box of sweets sitting on the office desk talking to me in Parseltongue. But I'm happy to say I did it! Boom!
But let me back up for a second and explain what Whole30 is all about. It is a way to reset your body and get back to the basics of eating while educating yourself about what actually is in the food you eat. It isn't meant to be a lifestyle, but a way of shifting how you look at food and what you eat and how/why you eat. It is very similar to Paleo, but more restrictive, but like I said, you can do anything for 30 days right? Basically you are eating lots of meats, veggies, good fats, nuts, and fruits. No sugar, booze, grains, legumes, or dairy. I've never done it before because I am usually training for some crazy endurance event and was too scared to cut carbs that much. And Though I'm not training for anything right now, I'm still working out 5 days a week and was in need those carbs, but I found ways of getting what I needed without feeling deprived - I just ate A LOT of sweet potatoes.
How'd I do? Well, with LOTS of food prep and planning, it turned out that I survived. If you don't plan, you will set yourself for failure. You gotta know your meals, and your backup meals, and have emergency snacks - everywhere. I now have Lara bars stashed in all sorts of places in my house, car, office, purses...just in case.
Things that helped besides meal prepping and planning: the support. My friends and I did a lot of texting and messaging about our meals. We sent photos, lists, menus, meal ideas, and lots of struggles.
What I learned and what changed: I found out I craved sweet things in the evenings. I also tend to turn to wine when I'm bored. I really missed grains with my meals, but ended up eating more veggies instead. I missed yogurt. Going out of eat while doing this is a anxiety provoking. I slept better. I lost 5lbs and kinda saw an ab pop out of my stomach. I learned that sugar is in everything. And I kicked my chocolate addiction.
Overall it was a success and I would totally do it again - maybe next year. It was super strict and for it to be effective, you have to follow the rules. Those rules don't always fit into life. And I don't want to not live my life. So I'll adapt things I learned, but this way of like will not be full time for me.
Throughout the month, I tried to document most of what I ate. I was sending a lot of photos to friends, so these are not pretty shots of food, but real meals. I also took photos of my menus to share and summed up some resources I loved using throughout the month.
Have you done Whole30? What'd you think? Tips for future Whole30ers?
Scramble eggs in Fourth and Heart ghee (cheapest on Amazon) with avocado with a stuffed sweet potato on the side. The potato is stuffed with nut butter, banana, blueberries, and topped with toasted coconut.
Burger topped with homemade mayo, avocado, and an egg with a side of butternut squash crinkles from TraderJoe's. The burger patties are also from TJs in the freezer section - they are now on my regular shopping list!
Beef tacos using my taco seasoning. I used my mayo and blended in some cilantro and lime to make a topping and used cabbage leaves for the taco shells.
Leftover brussels with egg and a pear
Zoodles with meat sauce and roasted tomatoes
Lemony chicken tenders with roasted broccoli and parsnip mash
Roasted carrots and brussels with pulled pork
Salmon Cakes!! They are so good. I used this recipe and added them to a bed of arugula with an orange, tomato, and avocado. They freeze well too.
Slow cooker chili with roasted broccoli and a sweet potato. I topped the chili with sauerkraut
Salad with leftover chicken, roasted cauliflower, dried peaches and cashews.
Some of my favorite or things I ate:
- Steamed/Hard Cooked Eggs
- Rosemary Sweet Potato Frittata
- Avocado Egg Salad - with no yogurt, sub mayo
- Mustard Pork Tenderloin - using coconut aminios for soy sauce and spicy mustard for dijon (most dijon has white wine)
- Spaghetti Squash for noodle sub
- Roasted Fennel and Grapefruit Salad with Chicken
- Almond Butter Stuffed Dates
- Energy Bites
- Eggplant Dip
- Oven Fried Salmon Cakes
- @Whole30Recipes on Instagram which leads to a lot of other resources and ideas for meals
- Nom Nom Paleo
- Shutterbean Meal Ideas
- Pinterest Boards!
- Stupid Easy Paleo
- Whole30 website and forum
- Well Fed
There too much out there to list them all!
But that's it. My January in a nut shell.
Yay - we did it!
Cheers to incorporating all the good habits into every day life now.