What we learned from the Whole30

Both Will and I were not entirely sure what we wanted going into the Whole30. We for sure wanted to get on track with our eating, and I really wanted to feel better and have more energy throughout the day. We were also both looking forward to probably shedding a few unwanted pounds.

The first week was brutal! About four days into it I felt awful, I could not drink enough water and had a stomachache. I did not have many food cravings aside from wanting milk in my coffee. Thankfully I found some delicious meals to get us through! The first night we had a Tomato Basil Turkey Meatloaf by Little Bits Of with roasted vegetables and it was yum-mazing! The next night I tried my hand at cauliflower rice paired with chicken fajitas and it did not disappoint. For breakfasts we had eggs paired with either bacon, avocado, or homemade salsa and lunches were leftovers from the night before.

The second week was better! We had delicious hamburgers with sweet potato buns and homemade ketchup. I also made zucchini noodles for the first time and my hubby was impressed! Those instantly became a staple that we knew would make a regular appearance in my meal planning. I felt better physically but still has an angry sugar dragon that desperately wanted something sweet. My craving for milk in my coffee stayed around but my coffee began to taste better black. I also found myself drinking less coffee, probably because I enjoyed the taste less without the milk.

Week 3 presented a snag: I ran out of money in my grocery budget! I was so embarrassed that I didn’t tell my husband until two days later. Right now we are working hard to pay off our student loan/car debt so we live on a strict budget. My husband was gracious with me and added some extra money into the June grocery budget so I could buy some more groceries to complete the week. I vowed that next month I would figure out a way to avoid that snare. The Whole30 can be pricy! Thankfully, there is countless information online to help complete a successful Whole30 on a budget. I also find myself spending more money in certain areas, such as meat, because I am not willing to compromise my convictions about the importance of the quality of food I buy. No, I don’t buy everything organic, but I try to stick to the “dirty dozen” (vegetables and fruits that are more important to buy organic, see article for more information) and mostly grass-fed and hormone-free meats.

Week 4 was spent in North Carolina visiting my husband’s family, it was a wonderful week filled with relaxing by the beach, reading an entire book and spending less time in the kitchen. Keeping up with our Whole30 was a challenge and we unfortunately got some traces of sugar (who knew so many spices contained sugar?!), but in the end we were so thankful to have the restrictions since spending money on food while traveling adds up!! This week of the Whole30 was truly only possible with the support of my husband! I know it would have been so much harder to complete without support.

Following our Whole30, I felt a lot better! I was not hitting that afternoon slump at work and I had slimmed down quite a bit! I lost 7 pounds and that wasn’t even my goal! Moving forward, we are striving to eat Whole30-ish every day. During the 30 days we often talked about our plan for after, my husband feared slipping back into old habits. After the 30 days, some of our habits from before honestly didn’t sound appealing, I really didn’t want to include cheese back into our diet (crazy, I know) and I wanted to use much fewer grains, especially gluten-containing pastas and breads. My husband wanted to cut out sweets, he really didn’t want to eat things that just weren’t worth it. This is a personal choice, food freedom is about listening to your body and making your own decisions, what works for someone else may not work for you.

Moving forward, I have been trying to continue cooking primarily Whole30-compliant meals. I love searching Pinterest for ideas and have found some delicious and exciting recipes. My husband loves eating healthy and will literally eat anything I make so that makes the cooking and experimenting fun. I honestly loved doing the Whole30 and will definitely prioritize completing another one within the next year.