I accomplished something that on day one seemed quite daunting. I committed to Whole30 (well almost…my bridal shower was on day 27 so I committed to Whole27).
For those of you that don’t know, Whole30 is a 30 day detox which takes out grains, gluten, dairy, alcohol, and legumes. AKA everything except protein, vegetables, and fruit (with some exceptions like almond butter & almond/coconut milk).
In committing to this detox, your gut gets cleansed and it almost “restarts” without all the additives and processed food that you are used to eating on a daily basis. And then, the idea is that you slowly introduce different foods back into your diet to see where your sensitivities lay.
So how did I come out the other end?
To be honest, completely changed. I look at food so differently now. I check ingredients and cringe at all the excess chemicals that are in so much of our food at the grocery store. I even picked up a box of “Just Chicken” at Trader Joes, only to look at the ingredients and find out that it definitely was not just chicken.
In addition to being more aware of the food I put in my body, I also managed and basically lost all my cravings. Around two and a half weeks in, I was happily declining pizza or dessert or cheese. I just didn’t want those foods anymore. I started craving carrots (this is not a joke) and protein. All of the other excess foods I used to crave and eat on a daily basis vanished; they shed off me like my water weight.
Did I lose weight? Yes. And while I am happy to have lost a few extra pounds, I am more focused on how Whole30 made me feel. On most days, I felt light, strong, and in control of my stomach. Some days were harder – I would bloat for no reason or be tired or have cravings. I found that it is very difficult for me to digest steak/red meat so that is something I quickly cut out. Will I never eat red meat again? No. But when I do eat red meat, I can expect that my stomach will be a little upset afterwards and to not wear that skintight dress.
In that sense, I gained control over my body.
I started Whole30 because I felt as if my stomach was completely unmanageable. With major daily bloating problems and digestive issues, I was feeling extremely down on myself. I felt out of control – afraid to wear certain clothing out of fear that I would randomly boat to an extreme and would then not fit into my outfit. It isn’t a fun feeling when you can’t find your true body amidst all the digestive chaos. As much as I wish it didn’t, it eats up your self confidence.
Whole30 helped bring back that confidence. I remember after week one not feeling any signs of bloating or digestive discomfort. I saw my body! I felt aligned with my body! I felt in control and I felt good about myself. This wasn’t a weight loss scenario. Just one week in, I am sure all I lost was water weight. This was feeling in touch with my body in a positive way and not feeling as if outside influencers were straining my insides.
I found the food regimen that works for me. I can choose whether or not I want to follow that regimen strictly, loosely, or on a week by week basis. And that is the power of Whole30: the choice you have over your body.
Here is what Post Whole30 looks like for me:
I am much more mindful of what I put into my body. I find myself dissecting menus and understanding which ingredients are meaningful and which are harmful. It is a difficult balance to strike – Whole30 as a daily diet is highly impractical. If I stayed in my house at all times, it is completely doable. But I move, I go out, I meet friends, I leave the house for the entire day and that is where keeping Whole30 gets difficult: when I am on the go.
I now attempt to eat within the limitations of Whole30 as much as I can but if I am not home and everyone is ordering Thai food, then I’ll just get some chicken skewers and brown rice versus the pad thai.
In summary, Whole30 puts the control over my body back into my hands. I feel as if I understand my body so much more (it is hard to digest red meat, for example) and I can make educated and mindful decisions about what I put into my body.
For example, if I am wearing a tight dress to dinner, I won’t order steak. If I am wearing a loose top and would like to indulge and am prepared for my stomach to hurt a bit, I’ll order the steak.
Finally, the choice is mine. No more random pain or bloating. I decide if I want to feel discomfort at the mercy of food indulgence or if I want to feel super clean and together.
That is the power of Whole30: the return of your educated choice.
Some of my lifesavers while doing the Whole30 detox was the Vital Proteins smoothies I made each morning**.
My Morning Smoothie:
2 scoops of Vital Proteins collagen peptide (mixed berry or vanilla)
1 spoonful of chia seeds
1 spoonful of almond butter
1 handful of kale
2 sprinkles of cinnamon
2 ice cubes
I also relied on bags of carrots for snacks, salmon for dinner, and chicken and potatoes when I needed something heartier.
Overall, I recommend Whole30 tremendously. It is a detox that will change your relationship with food and with your body. After one week of not being on it, my body is craving to get back with the detox
It is astonishing to see how well my digestive system works without additives, chemicals, man-made items – when my ingredients are simple and pure, like: chicken, salmon, asparagus, cantaloupe.
If you are interested in trying Whole30, commit, commit, commit.
It was the best thing I could do for my body.
**Smoothies are not recommended during Whole30. I chose to follow all rules and pick which recommendations worked best for me. All ingredients in that smoothie are Whole30 approved.