Hi, friends! I just finished a full round of Whole 30 and I wanted to share my thoughts and results with all of you today. I will try to make this brief but there really is so much to say and talk about with this program. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask and I’ll try to be as helpful as I can be.
First off, why Whole 30? Well, I did it back in 2015 before my friend’s wedding and did it for about 16 days. I hadn’t intended on doing the full 30 days because I wanted to do it right up to her wedding knowing I would be unable to fulfill my bridesmaid duties and be on a restrictive eating plan. I loved the program even for that short period of time and had plans on starting it again after the wedding. Then I found out I was pregnant at that exact same time so plans got put on hold. Anyways, after having Boden and having a miscarriage last summer I have been on a quest to regulate my hormones and get back into shape. The weight hasn’t been budging at all this time and I have just felt lethargic and not quite like myself. I also strive to live a healthy and active lifestyle and know that food is one area I can always improve on.
So enter in Whole 30.
Unless you have been living under a rock (which is totally okay by the way) then you have likely heard of Whole 30. In a nutshell it is a 30 day program designed to clean your gut, balance hormones, re calibrate your body and get it functioning how it is supposed to function and detox your system of all the junk we cram down our throats. Aside from that, it helps you figure out if you are eating out of hunger or habit, really hones in on your weaknesses and thoughts behind your overeating issues and educates you on food and what really is nutritious and not in order to teach you how to live a healthy lifestyle with all the knowledge you’ll gain in the 30 days. You are eliminating a lot of “problem foods” and sticking to whole based nutrition so that once you re-introduce foods you’ll be able to recognize if you have an intolerance to any of those said foods.
So what do you eliminate?
I know, I know you’re jaw has dropped to the floor and your face has a pained look and you’re totally thinking something like, “Screw that!!! I’d never be able to do that!” or “What can you possibly eat? I’m not munching on lettuce leaves all day. I’d rather just live with how I feel now than do that. No way, Alecia. You’re crazy!!”
Trust me I had the same thoughts…at first. There is a science and method to the madness that is quite fascinating and intriguing enough that most people find motivation just through that to at least give it a try. I mean it’s only 30 days. But if that doesn’t give you pause then maybe the fact that you’re sluggish, in pain, exhausted, have achy joints, overweight, dealing with skin issues like you did in your teens, looking older than you really are, experiencing hair loss or dryness, and barely even functioning (if you’re honest with yourself) maybe that will give you the motivation you need. This program helps with ALL of that! And that’s not a lie.
I give it to you straight, on this blog, and I have no affiliation with Whole 30 so have no reason to lie about this program. So know that when I give my opinion it is truth and not skewed in any way shape or form. So believe me when I say this program is NOT HARD.
It’s not EASY….but it’s definitely NOT HARD.
There is a great quote in the book that states “Giving birth is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black is not hard.”
And that’s the absolute naked truth.
That statement ran through my head every single day on this program because it really does put things into perspective. When I’m whining on the couch because I can’t enjoy the Dominos Pizza, my family is eating, I think….wow I could be sitting in a chair with chemo running through my veins right now…and I probably will be if I don’t get my eating habits under control. Sounds dramatic? Maybe, but honestly that is the reality of what I am doing to my body every time I choose to eat junk over pure healthy foods. Eventually that crap will catch up with me and I’ll wish I had done less whining and more action.
So remember it’s all in your perspective.
I did the full 30 days without A SINGLE CHEAT! That is the hardest and most important aspect to this program. YOU CANNOT CHEAT! Not even once…not even a nibble. It completely messes up the purifying of your body and you will need to start over. I know many people do programs and they have a little slip up and they just say “Well, it’s life…I’m human…and one little slip up won’t hurt.” It’s true…life does happen and you are only human but if you’re dedicated to this program and doing all the work why cheat yourself out of the results by having a nibble. NO way was I going to undo all the hard work I had put in. So if you decide to do this….be fully and completely dedicated. Marry yourself to this program and know divorce isn’t an option. Remember it’s only 30 days.
The first week is definitely the hardest. I have done “diets” (I hate that word) before so this was kind of like riding a bike for me but it is still hard to get into a routine. This program requires A LOT of preparation and planning. If you don’t plan and prep you will fail. You can’t just go through a drive thru or grab something out of the pantry when you’re crunched for time. However, it’s not as difficult as it sounds either. Prep on Sundays and you can have meals for a week already done and ready to go. Make extra portions at dinner and use the next for lunch the next day. Eat the same type of foods so you always know what you can whip up easily. Get your whole family on board if that is easier for you. Make it work.
After the first week….it is SOOOOOOO much easier. You get into a routine and cooking and prepping and planning and “just saying no” becomes more of a habit. Trust me, I’m not just blowing smoke up your butt. It gets EASIER. Before long you’re a sauteed chicken, ghee loving, egg cracking fool and no one better come in between you and your fruit bowl!
So now you’re thinking, “This all sounds to good to be true. Nobody cuts out all those foods and breezes through 30 days with ease.”
So what is difficult?
Well, eating out for one. Options eating out become extremely limited especially depending on where you live. I live in the midwest and so we don’t exactly cater to anyone with special dietary needs and we certainly aren’t the healthiest of states in the nation. Everything is fried and caked in sugar. So eating out becomes very difficult because of the oils they use, dairy and grain issues. So hitting happy hour with friends is just going to be something you’re probably going to want to avoid because nothing is going to be approved and that’s just torture. However, there are some options, like Chipotle, that you should take advantage of because it’s not always practical not to go out for dinner and it’s a nice break from cooking.
(At Chipotle you can order a salad with carnitas, green salsa, pico de gallo and guac. Holy yumm!!)
It’s also difficult if you live with other people and they are not following Whole 30. I have 4 boys and a husband and the snacks and drinks and desserts and stuff that is in this house is crazy. Basically, I have temptations EVERYWHERE!!! So at first it’s hard to not have ice cream, or the pizza, or the sandwiches and chips and everything else but again….my goals are more important than all of that. I encourage you to slip Whole 30 into your families diet as much as possible. For dinner we typically always have a protein, veggie and carb. So Whole 30 was easy because I would just cook the same things I always do and eliminate the carbs for me (but you can have potatoes so I often did that here). This kept me from having to make 100 different meals which is just exhausting and impractical. Again, where there is will there’s a way. And if you just are having a hard time resisting that ice cream sandwich, literally just leave the room until they’re done. No shame!
Side note: I even did this over my birthday and ate a small watermelon instead of cake. It really can be done….PROMISE.
Other than those two things it’s honestly not that hard. Eating well and having a healthy lifestyle is ALL mental. If you want something bad enough and you understand it’s for your health, than nothing can stand in your way. Without your health… you have nothing… so really that should be extremely motivating to get you through anything.
So what are my results?
I lost 6 pounds but way more inches. I don’t have an inches number because I didn’t take them (dumb me). But I dropped 1.5 pant sizes, dropped 1.5% body fat and gained 1% muscle. I also have zero bloating, loads of energy (mind you I’m still up at night with the baby), my skin is amazing and my hair is back to it’s amazing self.
I worked out sparingly the first 3 weeks and then regularly the last week. I encourage as much physical fitness as you can muster but it’s certainly not necessary for this program.
I do want to note a couple of things before closing. I didn’t see any real results until the last week. I dropped a bit initially but it was water weight so nothing “real.” It was mega discouraging, I’m not going to lie. However, I know consistency pays off and I just had to stick with it. So I did and it finally paid off. Sooooo take that as encouragement to just keep going. DON’T STOP. Secondly, Whole 30 is not advertised as a weight loss plan. There is no counting calories or calorie deficit per say. It is about whole foods, proper portions and learning how to fuel your body. Weight loss just happens to be a side effect for almost everyone because you are drastically changing your health and the way you eat. So just food for thought.
Okay, so to conclude, I seriously recommend this program for EVERYONE!!!! Buy the book, read it, study it, absorb the information and then DO IT. It is only 30 days of your whole entire life and who knows…it might just have a life changing impact on your health and relationship with food. It’s not going to hurt to give it a go. The worst thing that can happen is you’ll feel no different in 30 days and you can go back to pop tarts and cheez its. The best is you might just fall in love with whole foods and the impact they have on your health.
Wanna give it a go but still need help? Feel free to email me for any info. Happy Whole 30ing!!!
**If you would like me to do a post on my favorite recipes, easy meals and tips and tricks let me know and I will.