The Whole30 was an amazing experience for me. I was nervous to start, I was afraid I would feel extremely restricted in what I was able to eat. For those of you who don’t know, the Whole 30 is a lifestyle reset, it’s not a diet, the main focus of the Whole 30 is to change bad habits and build a better relationship with food. For 30 days you consume only whole foods (no added sugar not even honey or stevia). Fruit is allowed and best of all potatoes are allowed! Basically your meals consist of meat, veggie, and healthy fats. It’s so simple that it boggles my mind that more people aren’t doing it and did I mention that you can eat potatoes?! One of the other restrictions which throws people off is that you aren’t allowed to make healthier versions of junk foods, no paleo pop tarts or banana pancakes, or health cookies. The whole philosophy behind this is that your body doesn’t know the difference between the healthy and the junk version, which goes in line with building a better relationship with food. As a person who was once a prisoner to bulimia and binge eating disorder this was just the program I needed to stop feeling bad about eating and start focusing on what feels best for my body.
I’m not going to lie I’ve tried many “diets” in my life and they usually ended in tears and self loathing. I knew the Whole 30 was the real deal when I didn’t cry and give up during the first week. In the first week I felt my energy increase, my bloating decreased drastically, and I was feeling satisfied after each meal. My biggest down fall before the Whole 30 was snacking late at night and I still had the same urge to run to the kitchen and grab something to stuff my face with. I soon realized that it was my brain that was making me think I was hungry because my body was still feeling satisfied from my last meal of the day.
During the Whole 30 I never experienced any headaches or intense cravings, I think this is because I slowly eased myself into it. At the beginning of January I set a start date of February 17, I cut things out one at a time so I wouldn’t get the sugar withdrawal most people experience while doing the Whole 30. I don’t know if the creators of the Whole 30 would recommend this but I do. I don’t believe in doing anything cold turkey because I personally usually always fail.
I made it through all 30 days without yelling at anyone, crying, cheating or passing out so all in all it was a damn good experience. Although the Whole 30 isn’t a weight loss program, most people do experience weight loss, personally I lost 14 lbs. I ate potatoes almost everyday and I still lost weight, someone pinch me, I must be dreaming.
The biggest take away from this journey are the non-scale victories you experience. There is a list of non-scale victories on the whole 30 site. Here are just a few of the non scale victories I noticed:
- Clothes fitting better
- Whiter teeth (Seriously!)
- Leaner appearance
- Less PMS symptoms
- Became more creative in the kitchen
- Improved memory
- Improved attention span
- Energy, So. Much. Energy.
- Actually being able to sleep through the night
- Flatter stomach
- Fewer blemishes
- Eczema started improving!
- My face got thinner
- Food tasted better, I never like raspberries and now they’re my favourite.
I could literally go on and on about all the other non-scale victories I experienced but I think you get the point. The non scale victories are way more important to me then the weight on the scale. This is why the whole 30 encourages people not to weigh in during the 30 days. The program is designed to make you feel good, and see what works with your body. I recommend giving this a try, it’s seriously life changing!
Here are some of my tips for a successful Whole 30:
- Meal Prep – I cooked up big batches of protein, potatoes, veggies. I had easy to grab veggies, fruit and spring mix. I’m all about quick and convenient.
- Do the Research – Read Food Freedom Forever, print out the shopping lists from the whole 30 site. Research brands that are whole 30 friendly, like Wholly Guacamole (a staple in my whole 30) and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce!
- Clean – Clean out any foods in your house that may tempt you during the 30 days.
- Look up Recipes – Pinterest, the Whole 30 cookbook, food bloggers etc. Find recipes that you know you’ll enjoy making.
- Slowly Ease into it- if you are a sugar fiend, maybe try slowly cutting it out before starting, same with grains or any other food that might be a staple in your current diet.
- Follow Melissa Hartwig (co-creator of the Whole 30) on Social Media – I was inspired by how she lives and eats and I also have a small girl crush on her.
- Grab a Friend – have someone close to you join you for the 30 days, it makes it easier when you have a support system!
- Set a Date- Pick a time that you know you won’t be travelling a lot or pick a time that is less stressful for you.
- Make Whole 30 Ranch – It’s amazing, such a game changer.
Start Fueling your body with whole foods, it will thank you!