Well, we did it folks. We finished our first Whole30 round. I did a post with some tips at our halfway mark and now that we’re done, I’ve had a few people ask me how I liked so where else but here would be a good place to share? Because I have some feelings on this 30 day experiment.
Let’s start with the food. It’s the obvious jumping off point. I mean, this is a diet makeover. The book talks about the importance of eating real food – nothing with preservatives or additives or added sugar, well any sugar really, except naturally occurring sugar in fruits and vegetables. You cannot eat alcohol, dairy, grains, legumes, carrageenan, MSG or added sulfites. This was fine. Well, no sugar and no alcohol would be a challenge but I already don’t eat grains and I figured giving up pasta was probably where people got hung up on. Thanks celiac! The MSG thing seemed to be a callback to the MSG scare because really, there is nothing wrong with it and it occurs naturally in many foods. The book is full of tasty recipes and most of our meals came from it. Giving up our wine on Thursdays with Project Runway was tricky but we made it work.
You cannot have any. Okay, you can have tea with no sugar, coffee with no sugar, sparkling water (natural flavors are allowed), and of course, plain old H2O. You can also drink herbal teas of any kind, still can’t add sugar though. As a 1 diet coke a day person, this was tricky. I’m probably the only person in the U.S. Army who doesn’t drink coffee so I was not about to drink the sugarless stuff. I also discovered that I do not like sparkling water so I got bored pretty quickly. I have bought a variety of herbal teas and while they were tasty, I was still like “eh.” I will be going back to 1 soda a day because I recently got over a 3+ a day habit and I’m proud of that.
The Good Stuff
We have recently gotten into meal prepping and this is the plan to kick that into overdrive. Sundays became about cooking. We cooked 5 days of breakfasts, proteins and sides for lunch, and mise en place most of the vegetables for the weekly dinners. It is exhausting. We ran the dishwasher twice every Sunday and did so many sinks full of dishes. It also costs more than you probably spend on your groceries. Spending your time on the parameter of the grocery store is pricy. Vegetables are expensive, so is meat – especially if you buy the grain-fed, free roaming, organic, hippie meat they recommend. We bought Safeway or Sam’s Club brand because feeding 6 people is expensive enough. Ghee is also expensive. Coconut oil is expensive. I am going to look into ordering it offline because I like money in my bank account. Sorry. Oh this, was supposed to be good stuff. Having our meals prepped was key because these recipes take a lot of time, a lot of steps, and until we figured out “plateable fats,” I was always hungry.
The Annoying Stuff
No dairy. No legumes. No freaking green beans. Do you know what my kids like eating? Cheese, black beans, and canned green beans. Yes, I know, I could still give them some (which I did) but really. What’s wrong with green beans? Cheese is like a million years old so why can’t I eat it. That was hard for me because I often grab a cheese stick as a midday snack – instead I’d grab a handful of olives or some grapes. For the first 3 days, I was always hungry until I was clued into eating “plateable fats” like olives and avocado. I think there are others but canned olives were $1 and I bought literally 20 of them. Also avocados are life. There was a lot of things in the book that made sense but some things definitely swayed into Dr. Oz territory. If you know anything about Whole30 people online, you know they’re kind of cult-like and so there’s that. They also shit on whole grains as a reason for every problem in your life. The book literally calls them “anti-nutrients.” As someone with celiac, I take grains seriously and people who bullshit society with their “gluten troubles” just make my life harder because no one takes me seriously. I can be sick up to 6 weeks after getting glutened. You claiming a “headache” after a cookie is some placebo-level bull.
There is a small paragraph in the front of the book that talks about weight loss and how “this diet isn’t meant to make you lose weight. It’s a LIFESTYLE CHANGE!” and then every single chapter starts with a vignette about someone doing Whole30 and losing a huge sum of pounds and how their life has changed forever now that they are 20+ pounds lighter. Would I like to lose 20 pounds? You bet your mama I do. Did I? No. I lost 3 pounds. Hubs lost 7 pounds by mid-month, you’re not supposed to weigh yourself but every Army person knows October is PT test month so he had to do his 6 month weigh in. He did not do a weigh in yesterday but he looks trimmer and probably lost 10+ overall. So why didn’t we shed weight like crazy? I have no idea. The book tells you not to count calories and all the pictures in this post are things I ate which I don’t think are excessive. It’s a little bit of a downer to be honest. I think maybe because I already eat a gluten free lifestyle I was not that affected by the sudden caloric change. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.
So, Will I Do It Again?
Maybe. Whole30-ish? I desperately want some rice and soy sauce and not being able to enjoy a glass of wine after a long day is a bummer. I already said that I was not going to be giving up soda so there’s that. I also really like making lunch bentos with nuts, meat, and cheese and unless when I go to reintroduce cheese, my body goes crazy, I don’t see myself giving it up any time soon. Hubs and I decided that we would eat mostly Whole30 Monday through Friday and then over the weekend have rice dishes or something with soy sauce. And the wine. Don’t forget the wine. This month flew by and I was surprised that I was suddenly done. I am happy we stuck with it because there were a few days where I wanted to say eff it and get some Chick-fil-a but we didn’t and that’s cool.
Overall, the month was fun. Hubs and I like to cook and we were pushed to try new recipes so that was fun. He is now obsessed with sweet potato noodles and I made some bomb salmon cakes (recipe to come next week!)
Have you done Whole30? Do you want to?