My Whole30 Experience
After going through 41 years of eating whatever I want whenever I want and never feeling as great as I thought I should, I decided to try something new. Well, if you want to get into specifics, I can't really remember the first few of those 41 years, so who knows. Maybe I felt good then.
Anyways... I decided to look into the Whole 30 plan for a few reasons:
- It has an end point.
- The food looks good.
- I had already planned on giving up booze for Lent.
- It seemed to fit in with the way I eat anyway.
I never really enjoyed the idea of elimination diets. Everything in moderation was always my favorite saying. But (let me get a little philosophical here for a second) since I had never strayed from that mindset, I think I sort of went against that mindset. I was very strict in my thinking that I could be free with my eating habits. I refused to think outside the box. So I read the whole book on Whole 30 and decided to take the plunge.
Why did I need a change? Well, I already told you I wasn't feeling all that great. I have psoriasis and rosacea that tend to get out of control at certain times and I have not been able to pinpoint the triggers. I always wanted to see if food had anything to do with it. There are some theories out there that identify certain trigger foods like gluten and dairy. These two things are eliminated with the Whole 30 plan, so there's that.
Also, I always felt bloated for some reason. Like, I had to suck in my gut every time I got dressed. I was interested in losing a little weight, but my concern was more about feeling better overall. I wasn't feeling healthy. The Whole 30 book has a huge list of things that other people experience during/afterwards that made me think I should give it a try.
OK, enough about my reasons for trying it. Here's what I got out of it.
- Food tastes better- I don't know if it's because I'm so in tune with exactly what goes into the food I'm eating or what, but everything just tastes great. A lot of foods taste SO MUCH SWEETER than they ever have before. I no longer feel the need to add any type of sugar to anything. At all.
- I definitely lost inches- I do not know how many, because I never took any measurements. But when I started, I was wearing size 10 pants and large shirts. Now I'm in a size 8 pants and small/medium shirts.
- My mind feels clearer- As most people in today's world, I'm busy a lot. Most of the time I make my mind busier than it needs to be. But lately, I feel like I don't get as blurry and clustered in my thoughts. I can distinguish between important and not-so-important tasks much easier.
- I feel accomplished- Not to be a Debbie Downer, but as a 41 year-old working parent there isn't much that gives me a personal sense of accomplishment any more. Yes, there are my kids who do wonderful things to be proud of- and I am. But there is not much that I can say I'VE done lately to make myself feel great. Completing Whole30 made me feel like a million bucks.
- I feel energized, not tired- I swear, I feel like I could do anything at any time.
- However, I get great sleep- When it's time for bed, I can fall asleep within minutes. I've never been able to do that before.
- I'm not hungry- I don't find myself wandering around the kitchen just grabbing snacks all the time like I used to. I like taking the time to eat what I want so I will not be hungry.
- Easy to make homemade stuff- I have always cooked, so it was an easy transition to Whole30 cooking. It's just a matter of leaving certain things out. That's all. I have been posting every single thing I eat on Instagram, and would love you to check it out. Anything you want the recipe for, just let me know and I'll post it.
- I love the support- Before I started, I told my family I was doing it. I told them they didn't have to agree with me, but I would appreciate it if they didn't poke fun or try to tempt me with non-compliant foods. Throughout the whole thing, they have been awesome. And to make it even better, they eat everything I make without complaints. In fact, they actually like most of the stuff I've made since I started.
- Hubby calls it Magic30- because WOW do I enjoy him. (Yes, I'm talking about sex.) I mean, he's a hot sketch and I've always enjoyed his company. But hot damn, if Whole30 didn't make it all a million times even better.
I never want to go back. For real. I went through the 30 days and realized how much food affects my life. I went through another 30 days and realized that the way I feel now and the way I was feeling before are not even comparable. Then I went through ANOTHER 30 days just to be sure. Now I know that this is the way I want to live. Yes, I make exceptions and eat some non-compliant things here and there. But those first 30 days of full commitment made me understand what certain foods do to me. I know how eating a cookie is going to make me feel tomorrow. I know what type of booze I need to avoid. I still haven't had any dairy or legumes, but eventually I'll get to them to see how they affect me. But for now, I'm going to live my life after Whole30 pretty much the same way I was living it during Whole30 - happy.
Oh, one thing it did not do, which was a little disappointing, was have any effect on the skin issues I mentioned earlier. I've been doing a little more research and talking with friends about it and apparently there are other foods to eliminate (eggs, nightshade vegetables) in order to reduce the effects of autoimmune disorders like psoriasis. Right now, my skin isn't bothering me too much so I am not going to delve into eliminating anything else. But if I do, I'll also share that experience with you.