I welcomed two major wins on the first of February: 1) I finished my first ever Whole30 and 2) THE PATRIOTS WON THE SUPER BOWL! Brady got that trophy BACK after ten long years. Words can’t describe my happiness regarding the New England Patriots and their last minute epic win. Way too thrilled.
My anxiety turned excitement turned stress turned pure joy over the game overshadowed the big accomplishment I had an active role in achieving- I did Whole30! It’s done- it’s over- I made it through 30 days without chocolate (that’s sort of how I was viewing it in my brain… I love/missed you chocolate). It was weird waking up on February 1 and realizing that I didn’t necessarily need to check every single food label for sugar. I didn’t know how I’d feel on the first day off the thirty program- different? relieved? happy? nervous? I guess I was a little bit of all of those things- but for the most part… life was the same.
I didn’t feel the need to all of a sudden go buck wild with foods I had been trying not to eat for a month- I didn’t question what I was going to eat for the next thirty days- and I didn’t feel a huge weight of pressure lift off my shoulders. For me, Whole30 wasn’t like that. It wasn’t stressful and weighty and something that mentally screwed with me. It was just a great opportunity to zero in on some eating habits and do a double check on how I was fueling myself.
Although, last night I did have a celebratory broiled grapefruit with coconut milk ice cream and toasted coconut. “Ice cream” was a close second to chocolate in the things I missed category.And yes, there are some things I missed (read: chocolate, margs on the weekend, and sushi with rice), but for the most part, Whole30 left me not craving anything. I ate real food and no sugar or alcohol for 30 days and felt better because of it.
I mean… any meal plan where you can eat THIS is alright with me. Ginger scallion pork meatballs, broccoli + shiitake mushrooms, and coconut cauliflower rice.Here are some of my basic thoughts/observations/feelings about my time with Whole30:
- The first couple of days were the hardest. I had gotten so used to eating sweets after dinner that when I was done eating my last meal of the day- I found myself wanting sugar. I found myself standing in the kitchen- angry- that I couldn’t have “dessert.” There may or may not have been tears. And I was so frustrated that I didn’t sleep well. Blech. I was definitely thinking, should I be doing this? Can I really do this?
- Toward the middle of the month, my stomach issues went from being better- to all of a sudden being worse. I’ve read that can happen to people from the adjustment to how you’re eating, but luckily it went away after the second week and things were uphill from there.
- I was eating the closest to intuitive that I ever have. The Whole30 program really focuses on eating 3 square meals a day (plus necessary snacks based on your schedule/lifestyle/whatever) and I tried to stick to that as much as possible. I had gotten into a rut of eating the same way day in and day out (I haven’t changed my routine for… two years?) and this program helped me break out of that and re-evaluate how I was eating throughout the day. I’m no longer in recovery mode from disordered eating- I’m no longer trying to lose weight- I’m a active person- the way I eat today, now… is different than whatever I was doing years ago.
- I liked the regimented-ness of the program because it eliminated the option of choice for me. We all make a million plus choices a day- and a LOT of them have to do with food. Whole30 gave me the excuse to just say no to drinks- dessert- and other things that I don’t eat all the time and aren’t the best for my health. I’m not saying I have no willpower, but it was nice to have the decision out of my hands and to just say, oh I’m doing Whole30 right now, I can’t do that.
- There is sugar in way too many things. Condiments especially. So annoying. There are so few ketchups and sauces out there made real food sources of sweetness.
- ENERGY. I had more energy this month than I did for all of the end of the year last year. Even on nights where I didn’t get as much sleep as I would’ve liked- I didn’t feel as knocked out during the day. My workouts in the morning felt more productive and I even got the gusto back for running (on a treadmill no less). I felt good this month.
- Toward the end I was sort of like, alright alright I get it. Can I be done now? I don’t feel like I need to be done- but I also feel like Whole25 is just fine by me. BUT I had made it that far so obviously I kept it going till the end.
- I’m really glad I knew about restaurants and places to eat outside of my home that would work for the program ahead of time. I only ate out 4-5 times (at fast casual places like sweetgreen and chipotle and panera), but those times were hard- even with good options at those places! Luckily I’ve had years of practice super sleuthing around ingredients.
- I’m also really glad I already eat relatively close to Whole30 all the time. I can’t imagine starting this program from a processed food + very unhealthy diet place. I already had tons and tons of recipes and foods I love to fall back on- thus making it easier.
- I said this before- but it made me appreciate the freedom I have to do special things like have a really nice dessert out with Will or split a bottle of wine with Will. I don;t need to do those things every single day- but it’s really nice to be able to do them when I really want to.
- Many days of doing something definitely are habit forming. Even though I’m on the third day of being done with the program, my mindset is still sort of in double checking what I’m eating and being more mindful. It’s a good thing.
So what now? As the program says, this isn’t Whole365. That way of eating isn’t forever. But it was a valuable learning tool for me. It felt good to eat only real foods for a month and to lessen my sugar intake (no matter how cranky it made me at the beginning). It made me more appreciative of the lifestyle I have and the food that is available to me. It made me realize that things don’t need to be so complicated. Keeping it simple is where its at. I didn’t really stress about food all this month- I planned it- ate it- and if I needed to eat more- I ate more. That was pretty much that.
I didn’t go too crazy with food on the Sunday. I ate a little bit of feta and some bread (SHOCKWAVES!!!) and blueberry cobbler and drank some dranks- but I was fine- I felt okay on Monday. But moving forward, I’m definitely going to take what I learned from Whole30 and embrace the philosophy, you can have it all- just not all at once.I will say… Will and I have a sushi date on Friday planned and I’ve never been more excited to eat rice. It’s the little things.
YEAH PATS, BABY!
Keep it wicked healthy xoxo