I finished my Whole30 over three weeks ago but never sat down to write the final recap post! It feels longer than that!
Overall, I AM glad I chose to do a second Whole30 and am SUPER glad I had a group of women doing it with me for support! When I decided to embark on this challenge, I posted about it on Facebook and asked if anyone else was interested in joining me and it turns out, they were! It was so amazing having that support and accountability, especially during the (surprisingly rare) times where I thought, I don't know if I can keep going.
The Whole30 is an experience like none other and I highly recommend it for anyone who is wanting a dietary re-set, looking to feel better physically, or hone in on possible food intolerances. It eliminates grains, dairy, added sugars and unhealthy fats but lets you eat your FILL of meats, fish, veggies, fruits, and healthy fats. There are soooo many resources out there now to help you meal plan and find new ways to mix and match meals within the confines of the program rules. Since I was already eating a mostly whole foods diet, it was not a hard adjustment for me in some regards. In others, I struggled.
Let's talk about some of that!
1) I got tired of sweet potatoes. Though it's possible to vary your SP intake between whole, mashed, roasted, shredded, etc. it's still a sweet potato. The Whole30 rules do allow you to eat white potatoes now but I found that they were causing symptoms for me personally. More on this later and it's tie-in with autoimmunity.
2) I struggled with carb intake. I've always felt I do better with a slightly higher carb intake than some might call for on a paleo diet which is why although I never eat gluten, I have eaten rice, beans, corn tortillas, etc. at my meals for variety and extra CARBS. On Whole30 though, those things are out. It was hard for me to feel like I was getting enough carbohydrate all the time through sweet potato, bananas and other fruits and squashes. Now that Whole30 is over, I find myself in that same place due to the fact that my body isn't responding well to the carbs I used to add in. I'm still trying to wade through that process.
3) My sleep wasn't great. A lot of people report better sleep at some point during their Whole30 and again, I've found that carbs help me sleep! I have quite a few different health issues going on right now so it's hard to pinpoint exactly one thing on the sleep. Hormones, a possible autoimmune diagnosis, and getting glutened once on Whole30 (In my own house! How does that happen?) can all lead to poor sleep.
It wasn't ALL gloom + doom though! There were some good things!
1) I tried new foods! I made plantain chips, turmeric roasted carrot and parsnip FRIES, and fell in love with GOLDEN MILK at night - which did help me sleep some! (Almond milk, dates, ginger, and turmeric.) I made my own MAYO! And was introduced to Tessemae's dressings!
2) I felt my blood sugar regulate. Instead of waking up starving or feeling like I constantly needed to munch all day or snack between meals, I easily began to make it from b-fast to lunch and lunch to dinner with little eating in-between. I felt satisfied by my meals and didn't feel lethargic afterwards with sugar cravings on top.
3) I took pretty pictures. I created a #katiswhole30 hashtag on Instagram where I can look back for inspiration at some of my Whole30 meals.
During the final week and a half of my Whole30 I had to fight off some PMS and cravings for sweets which I did with some almond-coconut-date cookies (recipe on Insta!) I probably ate too many but hey - I made it through without chocolate or going off-plan. I did have one super hard HORMOTIONAL day in there where I didn't know if I was going to pull through but I did. Now that super dark chocolate is back in my life - it's alllll goooood. :>
Whole30 re-set my body and cravings which is what it is designed to do! Along with the testing I'm currently undergoing with my functional medicine doctor, it helped show me what I can and cannot bring back into my diet without consequence. I have brought sugar back in by way of some honey, maple syrup and dark chocolate. But I'm OK with that for now. This timeline is such an accurate depiction of what you might experience while on Whole30 and I found it to be so true for me at points along the way. There is definitely a 21 day interlude!! But oh the satisfaction when you hit DAY 30! And you know that you've done it!! #allthepraisehands
Have you ever done a Whole30 before? Would you consider it?
Let's Be Friends!