Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Whole30 recap

My Whole30 adventure wrapped itself up on Sunday, and I've got lots to share! Thanks so much for all the support, well-wishes, and love during this journey. It means so much to me!

After navigating through the first few "give me carbs before I kill you" days, I really felt the best I have in a long time. I had more energy, and I felt stronger, lighter, and bloat-free. You know how you sometimes feel like you're stuffed to the gills when you eat a carb-heavy meal? I never, ever felt like that when I stuck to meat and veggies. It was much easier to stop eating right before I was completely full. That was a nice surprise! I also noticed that I was better able to concentrate, I felt more productive, and I slept really well. The purpose of this challenge is not to lose weight, but it was a welcome side effect for me :) Over the course of 30 days, I lost 14 pounds...without anything but walking for exercise. This has also completely changed the way I look at food, eating, and preparing meals. I really, really don't miss many of the foods I used to eat, and I'm actually still eating mostly Whole30-approved foods.

I highly recommend the Whole30. I also recommend jumping in absolutely head-first cold turkey. There's no way you'll be successful on this plan if you "ease yourself in" or allow cheats. No way at all. It's only 30 days. Suck it up, buttercup!

Helpful hints:
  • Have a blender handy. Mine got a near-daily workout.
  • You'll be washing lots of dishes. Ready yourself...or your dishwasher.
  • Eat plenty of protein and good fats (avocados, olive oil, nuts). This will keep you from being hungry an hour after you eat.
  • Use lots of spices to jazz up your veggies. My faves were cinnamon, onion powder, salt, and red pepper flakes.
  • Try the Cinnamon Steak. And the Avocado Chicken Salad. And the Ropa Vieja. You won't be sorry.
  • Find and make lots of new recipes. It'll keep you from getting bored.
  • Eat way more veggies than fruit. Fruit is really good for you, but it's gots the sugar. And sugar is sugar, no matter where it comes from.
  • Figure out a way to enjoy the large amount of food prep that goes along with this. You'll be spending a lot of time in the kitchen, so you might as well get a kick out of it!
  • Do your homework before going out to eat. Chipotle was my go-to place during my adventure. I honestly think it's just easier to not eat out while you're eating this way. It may not be fun, but at least you know exactly what you're eating if you prepare it at home!
  • Plan your meals ahead of time. I literally planned out all of my breakfasts, lunches, suppers, and snacks for a week. It made me feel more confident to know exactly what I was going to eat and when, and it took away the fear of that "Oh no, it's time to eat and I'm ravenous and the only thing available is deep-fried mac and cheese with donuts on top!" moment. Not that that moment ever happened, mind you, but it could. Gotta use your noggin. 
  • Keep a journal detailing what you ate and how you felt. That's what I did through my blog. It was interesting to see what I had eaten on the days I didn't feel great. That helped me to make quick and easy changes.
I'm planning to not stray too far from this way of eating in the future.  I have eaten a few non-Whole30 foods this week, and while I haven't gotten sick, I don't feel as light and bouncy as I did during my challenge. I need to get back on track! If you have any questions, PLEASE let me know. I'd love to talk you through all of this. And if you decide to dive in, I'll be there to talk you off the ledge when the fried rice cravings push you to the brink :)


  1. Great post, my friend. Congratulations on your accomplishments. I am getting closer to making that commitment and jump in head first...or is it feet first?
    So proud of you.

  2. I enjoyed following your whole 30 journey! It's amazing how you can train your body to crave certain foods, good or bad.

  3. Girl. You are so impressive! Love all of this and great job!

  4. It took me about 18 days in to realize the importance of planning. It just takes so much of the stress and anxiety out of figuring out what to eat. Whole 30 has been difficult but not impossible, great tips!

  5. Sorry, but fruit isnt sugar... Fruit is fructose that is actually totally degraded (if it comes from fruit) by some little bugs called bacteria also fruit is a very good source of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and so on and so on... Veggies are good but fruit is fruit and fruit isnt a cheesecake!

  6. Thanks for your post! My (13 yo) daughter and I are gearing up for our first Whole30. Your thoughts were inspiring.

  7. Hi Julie,
    I am just checking in with you. I know that school is starting and you must be crazy busy getting your classroom ready for your new group of kids.
    I wanted to share with you that you have inspired me to do a Whole30! Yes, I started last Monday!! I'm not as good at journaling everyday as you were but you can check out my journal/blog here
    praying for you this week,


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