Monday, May 23, 2016

The Whole30 It's NOT hard

So- we finished our whole30 last week.  We went 33 days though, because, as Aaron said, "We are people who go 110%."

You can check out this website to get the specifics of the program, but basically, it's eating fruits, veggies, and meat/seafood, but not eating dairy, processed food, or grains.  There's a lot of 'no' on the program.   But a lot of yes too, because ALL fruits, and ALL veggies, and ALL seafood sure does gives you a lot of options.

I wrote about this before, but 2016 is our year of health and weight loss.  We will be married six years in a couple of weeks, and honestly, it's been a little crazy- what with the four children and such.  This year, we've decided to make personal health a priority, and the whole30 was a piece of that puzzle.

There were four main reasons I wanted to do it.

1.  I hate vegetables and needed a better relationship with them.
2.  The discipline of saying, 'no' to certain foods intrigued me.
3.  I wanted to do something with Aaron in regards to health.
4.  To view food as fuel.

I didn't like a lot about the website's explanation about their program. Actually, the whole 'tone' annoyed me.  I didn't love things like the program saying banana pancakes aren't compliant because they aren't in the 'spirit' of the whole30, even though they use all compliant ingredients.  Maybe I am just rebellious by nature, but um, that seemed a little much?

However, one thing I really liked is within the explanation, they talk about how it's not hard.
 “It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your ‘struggles’.”

I like that.  For me, it was a good reminder.  One of my main motivations for doing the whole30 was something an alumni of my youth ministry program said to me a few years ago.  He said that for him, it was helpful to think of food as fuel. It has a purpose, and it's purpose is to fuel our bodies.  If we frame eating that way, we want to eat the food that fuels us the most.  Every time I started to think of how 'hard' the whole30 was.... I remembered it actually wasn't that hard.

Some things made it a bit easier for us...
We had stopped drinking anything but water, pretty much at the start of the year. Also, I can eat a very monotonous diet. I am an extremely picky eater, so for me to eat the same things day in and day out is not challenging at all. We were doing it together, so it was fun in a way.  Finally, we didn't do it with our kids. I can't imagine a world where that would have worked.

Every morning started with 2 eggs, 3 pieces of bacon and an apple.  The other two meals, pretty much consisted of a protein and vegetables.  A banana for energy when I felt hungry, and pistachios as my 'treat' at the end of the day... eh, voila, I had my whole30.

I did realize some things were missing.  Not drinking alcohol and not putting creamer in my coffee was a challenge.  Making every meal and food prepping took a little extra time.  Though, because we were doing it together, I didn't hate it.  Going to weddings, barbecues, and other events was tricky. Aaron was out of town for a week, he had to eat conference food, and had to be really creative.  It sucked for him not to eat the treats, or the garlic bread.

So, now that it's done.  Here are my thoughts.

First, I didn't see a crazy increase in energy or anything like that.  I'm not great about knowing how my body responds to things, so perhaps that's why.  Even though I didn't notice feeling better, at the end of our whole thirty (on Friday of last week), we ate all the non-compliant stuff again.  And, Saturday, I definitely felt that.  I didn't feel good. My stomach didn't feel good.  Now, that could have SOMETHING to do with the four cocktails I consumed at my birthday dinner- we will never quite be sure :)

Veggies.  I like them now.  Well, that's not true. I like cucumbers, broccoli, tomato, and carrots. And I liked them before as well.  But we did make a good curried cauliflower I liked (and by 'we', I mean Aaron).  And I simply survived on crispy roasted broccoli.

The discipline of saying 'no' was awesome.  That's the habit part of the 30 days I will take with me.

Doing it together was super cool. We shopped together, we prepped as a team, Aaron grilled and we both committed to eating a particular way for 33 days.  I liked it.

Seeing food as fuel was awesome as well.  Food is a gift, eating a huge variety is a privilege.  Our food choices are a daily blessing we shouldn't be taking for granted.  I did a lot of thinking about that these last 33 days.

Going forward...
It's not suppose to be a lifestyle of eating, but I think Aaron and I decided, in our home, we are pretty much going to continue eating like this.  When we go to other people's houses, out to dinner, special occasions, we won't be strict at all, but eating like this is working for our lives.

Cool Stuff...
I lost about 12-14 lbs give or take.  That was nice. I am now closer to my 60 lb end of year goal.
This morning, I am drinking my coffee without creamer in it.  Creamer is in the fridge.  Turns out, I don't hate black coffee ;)

And that my friends, was our experience with the Whole 30.


  1. Good job, Mary!!! I'm so glad that you two had a good experience with the Whole 30. I think it's neat that you seem to take a very balanced approach to it, and how you and Aaron did it together. I don't adhere to any particularly special diet (aside from "I'm pregnant, so let's get in lots of protein, fruits, and veggies!"), but I totally agree with you on the discipline of saying "no." Pregnancy has been teaching me that a lot, because I've had to learn to say "no" to things like another piece of chocolate, because I know it'll make me nauseous, or a second cup of coffee, because it would be too much caffeine for me. And I really, really like not being controlled by food-it's so liberating to be able to decline eating certain quantities or types of food!!! (also, I read the book "French Women Don't Get Fat" last summer, and it really helped my mentality about food as it discussed the importance of not eating on auto-pilot; while there were some elements of the book I didn't like, I did like that point the author made)

    1. Oh my gosh, in pregnancy, all bets are off for me. Everything I can keep down is all stuff I am suppose to stay away from (Bread, soda, ice cream) :)

  2. I'm in awe...Whole30 seriously sounds like I would just not want to keep living if I had to eat that way. Good for you, for reals!!!

    1. lol. 30 days was do-able. :) But it did take a second of adjustment for sure.