Today is the 31st, and that means my Whole30 experience is officially over.
Where on earth did those 30 days go? I swear the 1st half of Whole30 seemed to drag, the 2nd half seemed to have flown by.
Let me tell you about my Whole30 experience because I know you are dying to know how it all went down.
My Life Prior to Whole30
First up let me briefly talk about what my life was like prior to Whole30. I’m not going to use the excuse of I’m a busy mum and I don’t have time to look after myself because that would be a lie. Prior to Whole30, I led a life of being a mum of 2 kids, keeping myself busy with freelance work whenever it came in and just running the household.
I was working out getting good results from my running, and life was what I thought was great.
The diet I thought was pretty good. I wasn’t eating a huge amount of grains, but I was still moody, constipated, had uncontrollable cravings at times, tired all the time even after a good night’s sleep, and generally just felt flat. I had no idea (then) that the foods I was consuming would and could be affecting me in more ways than one.
How I found Whole30
I have been a listener of The Smarter Science of Slim podcast for a long time now (about 11 months), and the more I listened to their podcast the more things they were talking about made sense.
So I read more about wheat, gluten, and sugar, and slowly started to eliminate those items from my diet. So for the past year, I had very few grains. This is why I said previously that I thought that my diet was pretty good.
The more I read and the more I listened (to various podcasts) the more I realized that Paleo really has a lot of benefits.
Then I read It starts with food.
Let me just say, I could not put that book down. Not only was it easy to read, but it was very informative.
Literally, within a few days of finishing that book, I had decided to dive in and go Paleo/Whole30 for August. I signed up for the daily emails. You don’t have to do that, but I chose to because I figured it would keep me accountable, and guess what, it did.
During Whole30 I Experienced
If you haven’t already read my previous posts on how Whole30 was going you can do so here. But to give you the run down it went something like this.
- The first few days I did feel lost. My go-to comfort foods were out. Things like cheese and milk and sugar. I had no idea I had such an addiction to sugar.
- My thirst during those first few days was insane, no amount of water I felt could quench my thirst. But by day 6 I was feeling better.
- By day 4 my constipation was GONE!
- My hair felt better, not dry or frizzy or out of control.
- No more dry skin.
- I got more adventurous in the cooking department. Trying out new recipes, new flavors and new tastes. The kids also discovered new things too. Bonus!
- I went through a lot of eggs!
- By day 10 I found that a lot of clothes no longer fitted. My intention wasn’t to lose weight, I was happy with how I weighed, but the weight loss came either way.
- I got stronger. I found that I was able to lift heavier weights. I know this because I was comparing my weights to the last time I did Chalean Extreme (at the start of the year).
- My endurance in running was improving too. I got a new 5km personal best at 22:43 minutes.
- There was no need for me to snack in-between meals. My appetite was satisfied.
- I was sleeping solid. When I awoke, I didn’t feel like I was in a haze and need a coffee.
- I didn’t have a need to take paracetamol once (even after I had food poisoning and had a killer headache).
- I could tell my hormones were balanced, I wasn’t snapping at the kids, and those uncontrollable food cravings – GONE!
- I discovered that I do have a food intolerance to either wheat or dairy (re-introduction happening, will keep you posted).
- My energy levels were up!
What Went Well
- Reading the book “it starts with food” prior to starting
- Reading “Practical Paleo” in the first week of starting
- Listening to paleo podcasts like “Balance Bites“, “The Paleo View” and “The Smarter Science of Slim”
- Investing in a few Paleo cookbooks like “The Paleo Recipe Book“
- Reading blog posts from others who are Paleo.
- Blogging about my experience
- Not going on the scales
What Could Have Gone Better
- Making more condiments. I only made mayo, and you do get sick of it after a while.
- Stress eating. Yes it still happened. And even though I still ate Paleo I could have dealt with it better.
- Never leave the house without a snack. A few times I was caught out, and I was starving by the time I got home, that I could have eaten everything in sight.
What I’ll Do in the Future, to Keep Doing Better
- Meal Plan
- Try a new recipe each week
- Get the kids onto Paleo
- Arm myself with as much paleo knowledge as I can
- Keep blogging about the experience.
Now That I’ve Finished Whole30
I’ve discovered that I can eat Paleo! I thought it was going to be tough, and those first few days were hard, but you know what, just like the saying goes,
And those changes definitely came in more ways than I expected.
So although I can now eat whatever I want, I’m going to choose not to, otherwise, I haven’t learned anything, and what was the point of the challenge….exactly?
Re-Introductions of foods are going to be slow, but I’m ok with that. There is no point in undoing everything I’ve just done. Dairy is up first (which is what I really think I’m intolerant to), then gluten grains, nongluten grains, and finally legumes. This is all in the next 10 days. I will keep you posted on how that all goes.
Will the future hold another Whole30 I hear you ask? My short answer is yes. I’m also sure there will be a few Whole9, 15’s maybe 45’s in there too.
One thing is for sure, food is a lot more powerful than you can imagine. It really can change your life.
1 – Melissa was featured on the Smarter Science of Slim Podcast on 26th March 2013. You can listen to the featured podcast here).
2 – Signing up for the daily emails does cost you. It’s approx $15, but it’s a once-off fee, and in my opinion, it’s totally worth it because the emails are loaded with information. They give you the tools you need to get through each day.
3 – Ok so I did go on the scales, as you would have known via one of my previous posts, but I did not look at the number.
The reason why I went on the scales, was because the scales I have at home (which I haven’t used), aren’t accurate. Tom’s scales at his house are better, but because I’m not going to be at his house for a while I decided to use them while was I there on the weekend. So even though I did technically go on the scale, I didn’t look at the number. And that to me is what matters.
4 – The more I read about paleo the more I realise how important it is for my kids to be paleo. They suffer from allergies. Kayla is anaphylactic to peanuts. Miles has eczema and asthma. So the food they eat can seriously affect them. I will transition them to paleo it will just be a long process (like a year).