30 days ago I started whole30. Whole30 is basically a way of eating for 30 days that consists of eating “whole” foods…No sugar, no additives, or to put it simply – you can eat meat, veggies and fruits. It’s not really a diet, but a way to eliminate foods from your diet to get back to the basics of food. They say to, “Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, 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.”
Because I like to make lists and a lot of people have asked about my experience here are 21 things I thought or experienced while doing whole30.
21 Things About Whole30
1. You can’t do it without accountability. I have to give credit where credit’s due…Jenn did all the research and was the motivating force behind whole30. She got us started on it because everyone knows there’s no way I would have stuck to this by myself…teamwork makes the whole30 dream work.
2. It makes you realize how dependent you are on food. It was just as much of a psychological struggle to break habits of eating not great foods and sugar as it is a physical struggle. You also realize how often you mindlessly eat something or eat just because you’re bored.
4. Just what you need. This became my mantra. I really was only eating just what my body needed, but it also applied to other areas of my life. I was able to take a step back to determine only what I needed and that served me well these 30 days.
5. Going to kickboxing on day 3 is a bad idea. Trust me, just don’t do it.
6. Food is fuel. Another mantra I had. Realizing food’s purpose should be to give us the energy and fuel we need…it shouldn’t be a reward, a way to appease boredom, or to make us feel good. Also, sugar definitely doesn’t fuel our bodies. I’ve had way more energy without it than I ever had with it.
7. It’s a privilege. Whole30 takes a lot of time and resources. I realize that it’s definitely a privilege to even be able to choose to do it in the first place. I know that being annoyed that I have to make my lunch again or spend time meal planning for the week is not an option everyone has. I’m very thankful I had the opportunity to do this.
8. So many things revolve around food! I didn’t think about how many social gatherings and activities revolve around food and how I wouldn’t be able to do as much. This just made me get more creative about how to see people and also take the 30 days to slow down and focus on that mantra of just what I needed. But it also made me feel like a little bit of a hermit.
9. Sugar is toxic and everywhere. Seriously…I never realized how sugar is in EVERYTHING. Think the chicken from Panera is safe? Think again. It is cooked IN SUGAR! And how good I’ve felt without consuming sugar the last 30 days makes me realize just how bad it is for us.
11. I really didn’t have cravings for too many foods. This surprised me the most, but I was also really glad about it. I craved the act of going out to eat, meeting up with friends for meals and not having to be so prepared all the time more than I craved any specific food.
12. It confirmed that I’m really not a huge fan of meat. On whole30 you eat A LOT of meat, like all the meat. And I just can’t do it. Also, did you know canned salmon can come with all the bones in it…well I didn’t and then I learned. It was disgusting and I just can’t.
13. People are nice about it. I didn’t go around broadcasting that I was doing this because who likes people that go on and on about all of their dietary restrictions (especially when they’re self-imposed), but when I had to let people know because it affected a meeting or plans people were very understanding and nice.
14. I had crazy dreams. I already have pretty weird and vivid dreams on the regular, but this took it to a different level. I also had dreams that I would eat something I wasn’t supposed to and wake up feeling nervous or guilty. Most of my dreams revolved around french fries. Weird.
15. Realizing you can have something you didn’t think you could have is so exciting. And so is finding whole30 approved items at the grocery store. Including, but not limited to almond butter, unsweetened applesauce and bacon.
16. You become part of “the group”. If I told someone I was doing whole30 and they have done it too all they had to ask was, “what day are you on” and we had an instant connection. Solidarity.
17. It takes a lot of self-control. I mean this is obvious, but you don’t know how much it’s tested until you’re at a video shoot and there’s cookies, donuts and candy on a table that you walk past every five minutes. You either avoid eye contact or stare them down while chanting no, no, no in your head.
18. On day 5…I love that I can eat so many potatoes and eggs! On day 20…I am so sick of eating potatoes and eggs. You do get food boredom and have to get creative in what you eat, but it’s basically the same variation of the same foods over and over again.
19. You get tired of chewing. It’s possible to stop eating not because you’re full, but just because you’re tired of chewing. Eating all whole foods often times means more chewing and eating more food to get full and sometimes you just get tired.
20. I feel great. I can’t believe how good I feel and how much more energy I have. My brain isn’t fuzzy, I can focus and my body just feels good. There’s lots of crazy stories about how eating this way has eliminated health problems and other cool stuff, but I think everyone should at least give it a try if they can. I’m glad I did!