May 14, 2016

My Experience on the Whole 30

Today I'm doing something a little different on here. If you come by on a regular basis, you might already know that David and I did the Whole 30  in April. Some of you may have heard of this program, but for those of you who haven't, the Whole 30 is a nutritional reset of sorts. Established by Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig, the program is designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system. It has the ability to, as they put it, "change your life in 30 days". You can read all about the program and rules here.

I first heard about the Whole 30 in January and, after doing quite a bit of reading on it, decided it was definitely something I wanted and needed to do. I was feeling bogged down and, even though I take a high-quality probiotic, was having frequent digestive discomfort. I should point out that David and I really enjoy our food and wine and indulge in both quite often. When I told him about the program, he said he wanted to do it with me. We picked a month that was pretty free of social obligations and trips and we started our Whole 30 on Monday, April 4th. Today, I thought I'd share with you a little bit about my personal experience on and since finishing the program.

* For me, the first five days were the hardest. Particularly day 4. I felt so bloated and I was in a really pissy mood! I literally wanted to #KillAllTheThings (a term they refer to in their book). I guess this is your body's way of dealing with and adjusting to a new way of eating. After day 5 though, things started looking up.

* From Day 6 through about day 23,  I was feeling great! My bloating disappeared, I was sleeping like a champ, and I had all this energy! My body had already adapted to the new eating plan and was functioning in an optimal fashion. I was not missing or craving any of the foods that were part of my daily diet prior to the Whole 30.

* Then, on day 24, "IT" hit me in the afternoon as I was getting dressed/putting on makeup. It was a beautiful day and David was getting out of work at 6 pm (doesn't happen very often, except for Fridays), so we decided we would shoot an outfit and go out to dinner to a nearby seafood restaurant where we could easily get a Whole 30 compliant meal of grilled fish and vegetables. As I was applying my blush, I got this sudden (and strong!) craving for a glass of wine. The conversation in my head went something like this, "Oh my goodness, we're going out to dinner and having this yummy fish. It would go so well with a glass of wine! I want a glass of wine. Oh no, I can't have wine! Why can't I have wine?! All I want is one glass. Screw you, Dallas and Melissa! I want to #KillAllTheThings again".

I breathed through it, drank a tall glass of water, called David and told him what was happening to me. He told me he had gone through a similar craving two days before and then talked me off the ledge. We ended up taking the pictures, going to dinner, and ordering sparkling water with lemon with our meal. #CrisisAvoided

* Day 25 through 30 were pretty smooth sailing (although I have to be completely honest here and confess that we actually ended up only doing 29 and a half days out of the 30). On the evening of day 30, we went out to dinner and, while we ate compliant food, we did end up having a drink (or two!).
That said, there was zero guilt involved because we made up for it by being fully compliant for the next two days. I just wanted to share that tidbit because I wanted to be 100% honest with you guys.

I am a firm believer that the food we eat has a direct effect on how we feel, function, act, and look. And for me, eating the Whole 30 way has made a huge positive difference in my quality of life. My digestion has improved greatly, I sleep better, my energy levels are consistent throughout the day, I am more patient, have way less anxiety, my head is clearer, and I am more focused- I am just all around happier and in a better place physically, mentally, and emotionally. Oh, and I should also mention that I lost 8 lbs! Weight loss was not one of the reasons I did the program, but it is a secondary benefit.

Since completing the Whole 30 on May 3rd, we have slowly been reintroducing the foods that were eliminated while on the program, seeing how each one makes us feel. I can tell you with certainty that gluten is NOT my friend. On the other hand, wine and cheese are A-OK! Phew, thank God...

So to wrap up this very long (but hopefully informative and helpful) post, I (we) totally recommend this program to anyone wishing to see improvements in the way they feel, function, act, or look. We are so glad we did it and feel amazing as a result!

I'm including the link to the Whole 30 book below in case you're interested in reading it. It is so cleverly written and, although you can probably get away with not having it while on the program, it did make the whole process easier for us.

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