Okay so after this post I promise you won’t hear the words “Whole 30” anymore. Well… let’s be real… I can’t promise that. Before I get into my final thoughts, I want to quickly recap my experience and provide the links to my weekly recaps just in case you are interested.
Week 1 Recap: Groceries, Skin & Tupperware – My grocery bill was pretty expensive; I still snacked a lot as I was figuring out how big my meal portions should be; I ate a bit too much fruit that did not agree with my body; cauliflower also did not agree with my system; my skin began to clear up almost instantly; and I needed to plan and prep a bit more than I was used to.
Week 2 Recap: Budgeting – My groceries were outrageously expensive; I learned that I needed to buy organic chicken when on sale and that fish was a treat; I almost stopped snacking.
Week 3 Recap: Confession, Grocery Success, Eating More & Paleo – I had a “slip-up” and drank alcohol, which hurt my stomach the next day and made me break-out a bit; I overall stopped snacking; I perfected my grocery shopping with my budget.
Week 4 Recap: So Much Yum – I had an evening love affair with coconut butter and shared a collection of my favorite and delicious meals from the past 30 days.
So what now?
Well, not a whooooole lot is really going to change. I thought I would be dyinggggg to dig into the peanut butter jar but I’m not. I feel great so why mess with that? My workouts have felt awesome, my digestion is (dare I say it) nearly perfect, and my clear skin is very important to me. I feel like this lifestyle is making me stronger – both mentally and physically. This is not a diet. Or a challenge. Or a fad. This was a learning experience that taught me that I feel nourished after eating meat for breakfast, love eating awesome fat like avocados and feel more satisfied with sweet potatoes than oatmeal. I think figuring out what types of protein, fat and carbs work for me was the best take-away.
My nutrition philosophy is pretty simple: eat real food that nourishes your body and makes you feel good. So with that in mind, I do plan on eating some of the food that I haven’t eaten in the past 30 days and would like to eat. I don’t have a timeline for this – when I want some peanut butter, I’ll eat it. When I want beans, I’ll eat them. I then want to assess how these foods affect me/make me feel, my body and my overall health. I make my own rules but do not see any harm in following other’s and trying things out.
Grains: I ate a few grains prior to the Whole 30 – mainly oats, quinoa and Ezekiel bread. Other than oatmeal on occasion, I really haven’t missed them at all. A piece of bread just doesn’t really do it for me anymore. A scone from Harrods is a different story. I feel much more energized with sweet potato in the morning but a bowl of oatmeal with eggs, berries, avocado and coconut butter could be a good meal so I will see how it makes me feel. I know conventional wisdom tells us how awesome “whole grains” are for us but the unfortunate reality is that they are still processed.
Beans and legumes: I ate lotsssss of beans and legumes prior to the Whole 30. They were really my main source of protein. Saying this, I do not think they provided me with ample nutrition for my body and activity. Beans, lentils and legumes are an inexpensive source of (incomplete) protein – meaning they do not contain the 9 essential amino acids like animal protein does. Legumes are also high in lectins which many believe irritate the gut lining and promote inflammation in the body. For me, I think I have a good idea on how much my body can handle before… ya know…
Anyways, I do think beans, lentils and legumes are delicious. I plan on bringing them back in moderation, soaking them and eating them with another protein source in order to fully nourish my body with all the wonderful amino acids. Otherwise, I am kinda digging this meat thing. Oh! I can’t forget about my beloved peanut butter! Funny enough, I didn’t miss my peanut butter all that much. Weird. But I definitely plan on bringing peanut butter back into my life and assess how I react to it (I doubt it is a problem).
Dairy: Dairy and I are not friends. As much as I love ice-cream (and eat it in the summer) it hates me. I had an obsession with Greek yogurt so I would eat that all the time. But after my food sensitivity testing in October, I cut out dairy entirely. I don’t miss it. Don’t crave it. I think it is pretty processed (stripped of nutrition) and there are plenty of dairy-free options out there. But what about calcium? Salmon, sardines, beans, kale, sesame seeds – all rich in calcium. Other than a scoop here or there this summer, I will likely keep dairy out.
Alcohol: In moderation. I like to have a little liquid fun but I balance my vodka with my veggies – and I know it doesn’t make me feel great (namely my skin).
Treats: I do like sweet things (although fruit seems very sweet to me now), I will definitely be baking some treats, eating dark chocolate and using honey. And making pancakes!
Snacking: The Whole 30 encourages three meals (plus pre/post workout snacks). I had varying levels of success with this. I don’t snack throughout the day but I like having “dessert” after dinner. I try to base this on my hunger but sometimes I just want a spoonful of coconut butter – jeez that stuff is like crack.
Social life: I didn’t go out to eat once during the Whole 30 – not so much because it would be difficult but I have just been busy. I don’t eat out often (so expensive!) and prefer to cook for my friends (I think they prefer it too), but I do think it is totally do-able. You just need to be a little picky (okay annoying), ask a lot of questions and make smart decisions. So of course I plan on going out to eat!
Overall, I had an amazing experience doing the Whole 30. I loved learning more about food, nutrition, my body and what it needs. I think learning what, and how much, to eat throughout the day in order to nourish my body was a huge learning experience – one that I will continue. I haven’t counted a calorie since 2013. And that feels awesome.
The Whole 30 teaches important and realistic principles that are components of a healthy life. It’s not a diet. I even feel badly calling it a challenge – you don’t need to do this “challenge” to practice better habits. I highly recommend reading the book, learning what it has to offer and then trying a few things out. I neverrrrr would have thought I could go 30 days without peanut butter or start eating red meat again. But I did and I have. Change freaks us out – it freaks me out. But sometimes we need to challenge conventional wisdom and step outside of our comfort zone in order to do what is best for us, our bodies and our health.
My intent is to eat real food that nourishes my body. For me, this means eating food without nutrition labels (or nutrition labels with ingredients I have in my pantry). I want to focus on getting all of the macronutrients, vitamins and minerals that my body needs. I don’t think I am all that crazy and believe in finding your own balance. If I want something Franken, I’ll eat it. But a homemade, paleo (jaw drops!) chocolate chip cookie sounds a lot better than a Twinkie. Haters gonna hate. Let them. Do you.
And that’s a wrap.
Questions of the day…
Are you so happy that these Whole 30 posts are done?
Did you find them helpful? Are the grocery shopping posts helpful? Weekly plans?
Keep in touch:
Twitter –> @thelilhoneybee
Instagram –> thelittlehoneybee
Facebook –> The Little Honey Bee
Pinterest –> thelilhoneybee
Bloglovin –> The Little Honey Bee