Top 8 Most FAQ Of My Whole30

Coming at you from Chicago…

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Everything here moves so fast. The people, the cars, heck, even the elevator doors! I may or may not have almost lost a limb going to dinner last night.

When we got into our cab driver’s car from the airport en route to the hotel, we were completely unaware that he would make up his own rules of the road, have several people roll down the window to show him their middle finger, and have countless horns blown directly at him…and us by default. Lance was super impressed and even mouthed, “Our cab driver (an elderly man of Asian decent) is so gangsta.'” I, on the other hand, was gripping Lance’s leg and praying we didn’t die within our first 15 minutes of Chi Town.

It’s all about perception I suppose.

Let’s not waste anytime, mostly, because at this point, I’m scared if I don’t move fast, something or someone is going to cause me bodily harm 🙂

But really though…

Here we go!

Why are you doing the Whole30?

(This will by far be the longest answer, so hang in there!)

This is a loaded question. So many answers, so little time 🙂

Most people would see our daily “diet” and say that we, really, eat very healthy and some have even said, “Don’t you already eat like this?” Well, no, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t ask the same question.

You know the saying, “Out with the old and in with the new?” Well, there were a lot of “healthy” items in our pantry that were sent packing to my mom’s house for the remainder of our Whole30:

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Adios grains, gluten, legumes, sugar, dairy, and soda!

See you in 31…or 40…or 60? That’s still TBD.

{The Pains}

Pre-Whole30, I found myself constantly complaining of stomach pain, extreme fatigue (like, falling asleep while Lance drove us somewhere after waking up from a full night’s sleep only an hour before), reflux, acne, extremely painful menstrual cycles with intense PMS, an INTENSE sweet tooth, and lacking the ability to resist said sweet cravings…like it had some sort of spell over me.

After going through short-lived, unsuccessful, failed bouts of, “I’m going to clean up my diet,” or “I’m cutting out dairy,” “I’m cutting out gluten,” and “I’ll just have a piece of dark chocolate every night to satisfy my sweet tooth,” or Lance’s favorite, “I’ll start Monday,” something clicked and enough was enough.

I don’t control everything much in my life, but I can control what I do and do not put in my body each day. I control what I allow in, even if I lack control of the negative effects it has once inside. I’m a grown adult and I don’t want food and/or cravings to consume me. Frankly, it’s never OK to consume basically an entire pan of baked cookies (out of a package for goodness sake, not even homemade), continuously going back “for just one more,” because of your sweet tooth and be so miserably full afterwards that you tell your husband not to snuggle on the couch to watch a movie…I’ll just sit on this side and you sit over there.

Husband > Sweet Craving. Every. Single. Time.

It’s time to make a change.

I wanted my power back. Or maybe I wanted power over it for the first time.

The straw that broke the camel’s back made it’s lovely appearance in May of this year. I’ve struggled with blemishes previously, for sure. (I’ve tried everything from all natural routines to the most expensive prescription treatments) This was different. I woke up one morning to find all kinds of bumps all over my face. It continued to get worse, so I even went make up free for a few days, you know, to let my skin breath. It got so bad, I thought I was having an allergic reaction. The girls I work with felt so bad for me, they covered for me while I went to see a dermatologist during work hours.

The MD politely informed me, “While it is not an allergic reaction, it is adult onset acne.” UUggghhhhh! REALLY??

(I could show you pictures I have saved on my phone, but I’ll spare you that here.)

So, I did something that I wanted to less than anything else. I started taking prescription oral medication for my face. One that is an antibiotic and one that is to help with the hormonal aspect. It’s a personal decision, but if you’ve ever struggled with acne then you know how physically and emotionally painful it can be. I cried. I cried because I had to leave the house. I cried when Lance would look at me. I cried when I had to look at me. I didn’t want to go to the gym, I didn’t want to go to work. I was 29 and now I had painful, cystic acne. Vain much? Yes, but I’m just being honest.

(Just to clarify, I did leave the house as usual, I did go to work, and I did continue to go to the gym)

Fast forward a few months later, my skin was improving but I’m still getting asked, “Did you hit your head on a door,” or “Were you bitten by something on your face?” True stories. Super confidence boosters right there! 🙂 The meds weren’t cutting it. Luckily, at this point, I was able to laugh off things like this and truly find it funny.

Then, enter the Whole30. It’s funny, because I really don’t remember where I saw it or how it was introduced to me. But I pretty much immediately knew that I was willing to try it. I liked that it was so strict, so black and white with no grey area. No room for, “maybe I’ll just have a taste,” or “I can still make a dessert healthy and satisfy my sweet tooth.” I like the minimum length of 30 days. We can do anything for 30 days, right? Right. 

Even more so, I loved reading the testimonials of Whole30 alumni! These people have such great stories regarding decreasing autoimmune disease symptoms, kids being taken off ADD meds, adults that were able to discontinue type II diabetes meds, and the list goes on and on. If they can do it, well then, by gosh, I can do it too!

Is it hard?

It’s not so much hard as it is an adjustment. I’m telling you, I was ready for a change. It was a natural next move for me. There are times I do have to sacrifice in order to food prep, or late at night I do get a sweet craving (that you’re not supposed to fill with fruit), and moments when the freshly baked desserts and pizzas smell so good. But, that’s OK. I did not do myself any favors by eating those foods in the first place, and if this thing works, it’ll be totally worth a little big huge craving…that atleast will go away when you sleep. (Until you dream about it, that is!) <——-Truth. You will dream about chocolate…or pizza…or biscuits…whatever your thing is.

With all that said, you learn prepping tricks and you come up with plans for a super quick go-to dinner. You learn to stock up and freeze certain items so that you always have them handy. You figure out where to pick up a compliant pre-made rotisserie chicken. You don’t always have to spend an hour in the grocery store examining every. single. label., because, soon enough, you’ll get. You won’t always have to use your hand as blinders while you pick up frozen veggies because some idiot placed the frozen veggies and ice cream on the same frozen aisle. The nerve.

I’m sure it was a man whose hormones never convinced him that gelato could be a life or death situation.

I’m also sure, he should be shot. (nothing major, just a minor flesh wound. 😉 )

And all the horomonal women, together, shouted, “Amen!”

You’ll learn to keep emergency snacks with you so that you don’t get stuck at work or in traffic, become hangry, and fall into the trap that is a gas station or vending machine quick sand!

You will discover what your quicksand traps are, and then you’ll quickly learn to avoid and overcome them.

Do you really drink black coffee?

This statement is true. I wake up every single morning and quite happily pour myself one two cups of beautiful, black coffee. No creamer, no problem. And guess what? I never plan on using creamer again.

I may or may not start walking through the creamer aisle of grocery stores picketing creamer sales. I think my sign would will read, “RIP creamer! RIP you coffee clouder!”

If you see me, join in…or call the cops…whatever feels right.

Are you hungry?

Nope! They don’t want you to be hungry, in fact they discourage it…score! Now, while your body is relearning what fuel it needs and how much fuel it needs, you will have to play around with your food portions. (I suppose, one of the only times it’s acceptable to play with your food.) They discourage snacking and prefer that you eat three meals per day, but this could be different depending on your activity level. Most likely it’s not though, and really, you just need three meals.

(That hour long weight lifting/cardio you do everyday? Yeah, that doesn’t give you license to go crazy with food. Sorry. That’s a lie, I’m not really sorry. You’d be surprised how little food you need to be full and satiated. You just have to eat smart. Learn to listen to your body.)

I didn’t believe this was going to be true, since as long as I can remember, I’ve been a full on grazer. Eating every 2-3 hours was necessity to ward off the effects of hanger.

Now, on days I work at the pediatric office, I eat breakfast around 8:30 AM and can wait until our 1 PM lunch time to eat. Crazy, right? Before, I’d start eyeing the clock at 9:30 AM and counting down the minutes until 11 AM, which was my self appointed snack time, and I blamed it on a fast metabolism.

Is it like Paleo? 

Similar.

The authors in fact, I think were mentored by Loren Cordain, an esteemed paleo expert and author of paleo books.

The catch is that, now paleo itself can be a little confusing. Is honey allowed? Is agave syrup allowed? How about beer? Bacon? Depending on what site you are looking at you’re likely to get a different answer.

Whole30 simply says, no. No added sugars or sweeteners, no alcohol (you can’t even have vanilla extract because of the sugar alcohol. Same concept with chewing gum), and (approved) bacon as a garnish only. They also disapprove making non compliant foods with compliant foods. For example, making a “paleo pancake” using egg whites and a banana is a Whole30 no-no. Using frozen bananas to blend into “paleo ice-cream?”  Not gonna happen.

This link says it best:

“The goal of the Whole30 is to eliminate all foods that may be having a negative psychological or physiological effect on how you look, feel and live.”

Are you miserable?

This couldn’t be more untrue. I feel great and best of all (even Lance says this), there’s no sense of guilt at any point in regards to eating. We love to eat, and love to eat together, and a lot of times this would result in too much gelato, one two three handfuls too many of french fries, and one five pieces too many of pizza. Somewhere in me, it’s like I felt the need to keep up with him, and that was a losing battle!

I haven’t once placed my hand over my stomach post-meal and said, “Ugh, I ate too much.”

Do you feel any different?

Indeed, I do! I do have more energy, I don’t think I’d die without my cup of joe in the mornings (Clarification: I am not giving it up, and you can’t make me, hah!),  I can see a difference in my skin (more on this later),  I didn’t even know when my menstrual cycle would occur because the usual pre-three-day pain and irritability were MIA, and I do think the food freedom has given us more drive in day to day life.

What happens after Whole30?

With their recommendations, we will reintroduce food groups one at a time. Think of it like a newborn, they are introduced new foods individually so that if there is a negative reaction, the parent knows exactly which food to eliminate in order to avoid that reaction.

{Reintroduction Schedule}

Legumes

Non-gluten grains

Dairy

Non-gluten containing grains

Essentially you’ll eat a serving of each at each meal during it’s allowed day, then you’ll return eating Whole30 compliant for around 48 hours and take notice of effects, feelings, and just anything related to it.

Does dairy effect you in a way that you’re willing to have ice cream every week? Or are you OK skipping it because you’d rather not have those stomach pains or blemishes as a result?

You get the idea.

{Do I have to reintroduce?}

Nope. For example, Lance is simply not missing legumes in his diet, not even peanut butter. So, I’m not going to force him to reintroduce right now.

For me, I completed my Whole30 on Wednesday, but I’ll finish up with Lance who is six days behind me. Am I going to start reintroducing?

I’m not sure.

There are still goals (mostly related to skin problems) that I haven’t reached, and I’m not dying to have anything off Whole30, so I’ll likely play it by ear and see if I keep going. And I’d loooooove to get even more control over my sugar dragon. I’m not 100% convinced if you placed a pint of sea salt caramel gelato in front of me on Day 31 that I wouldn’t eat the entire thing. I’d like to think I wouldn’t (I’d probably just have to remove it), but we’ll see.

I hope that was helpful and made sense! I’m always happy to talk about it and answer questions even if they’re personal. I’m pretty much an open book and an avid over sharer 🙂 Let me know if there are other questions or anything you’ve been wondering.

A lot of people have approached me and said, “I’d like to do this, but it’s just too time consuming.” I don’t think that’s the case. So, I’m considering doing a post on what a week of Whole30 could/would look like for someone who needs it to be super fast and/or inexpensive.

Anyhow, TGIF!

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