Monday, July 6, 2015

Lessons from Whole30

I'll be honest, I haven't been a very good Whole30 graduate. At midnight on the last day I had a glass of wine and I wasn't even sorry. I've had wine since then, and not just a little bit. I was at a wedding after all, followed by Fourth of July weekend...

However, everything I heard from friends and Pinterest is true. Here are a few things I learned during 30 days of what I thought were going to be hell.

First things first: get the cookbook. It's easy to reference and has great tips and motivation to keep you going.
1. Cravings subside -- The Whole30 people say this a lot, but the program really is not that hard! It's 30 days, a tiny little smudge of the year that you will not regret. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, my cravings were more for diet dr. peppers and chicken salad sandwiches with a side of fries from United. They say that cravings subside in 3-5 minutes so for the first few weeks, I downed a glass of water or ate a handful of cashews if I was really feeling it. I just tried to think of how good I'd feel after.

2. I feel better without dairy and bread -- This is different for everyone. You may decide that alcohol doesn't need to come back in to your diet, or legumes or all grains. For me, I didn't really even miss dairy or a ton of bread. I think I will continue to keep these things to a minimum. I do love vanilla creamer in my coffee, but not enough to make me feel bloated and gross all day. I'm not saying I'm going to swear off cheese boards, because #letsbereal that's never going to happen, but I don't think I need it at every single meal.

3. I can survive without alcohol for 30 days -- Especially during summer, when all I want to do is sit on a porch drinking margaritas, I thought this part of the plan was going to be brutal. It's really not fun to drink water at the new Mexican food place, or the great wine bar, when all your friends have drinks and seem to be celebrating the passing of another work day. BUT, psyching myself up for this month made it easier and I was able to tell myself "just a few more weeks; just another week; just a few more days" until it was time to crack open a bottle of wine and really celebrate. Though I do love wine, I was so happy with this aspect of Whole30. I learned the benefits of not drinking every night, and how much more I enjoy those yummy glasses of wine when they are fewer in between.

4. I look at food differently now -- Sometime in the third week something clicked. I was no longer seeing all the things I couldn't eat; I was able to look at a salad and think about the energy that I'd have for the rest of the day, or the hot water with lemon that I drank at night to help digest and detox, and know how good I'd feel the next morning. I'm not saying I will be a saint of healthy eating from this day forth. I'm positive there will be slip-ups occasionally, but this gave me confidence and a new attitude about food and eating. Now I know exactly how to get back on track when I do derail.

5. A 30-day commitment is just good for the soul -- The thing I love about this is that it isn't a diet. It's a fundamental reevaluation of how you look at food and how it makes you feel. There's a section in the cookbook that talks about whether or not 28 days is just as good as 30. They argue that it isn't. They say that 30 days is the commitment you make, and breaking it is the same as saying that you are not worth keeping promises to yourself. It is nice to reaffirm that I have the discipline and will-power to commit to something and follow through. Yes I lost weight, and yes I'm happy to be in clothes that haven't fit quite right for a while, but the emotional and mental benefits of this experiment far outweigh the physical.

I really couldn't recommend this enough, it's a great way to jumpstart healthy eating and focusing on the foods that really make you feel good.

PS. What Lanie learned on Whole30, and a favorite recipe from the girls at Donuts and Denim.

1 comment:

  1. I'm on Day 8 of my second Whole30 and really needed to hear all of this! Even though it's "not hard" and I really do feel better, some days are a struggle ... and Fourth of July was a big one! Thanks for sharing what you learned and for sharing my post from the last round! xoxo