If you follow us on Instagram, you may have seen that we did our first Whole 30 during the month of August. And we survived! With no major cheats! Which is cause for celebration in itself. If you haven’t heard of the Whole 30 program, it’s essentially a 30 day detox for your body. You don’t eat any sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, or alcohol. For 30 days. Can you even believe we considered this?! It’s basically meat, veggies, and lots and lots of eggs. LOTS of eggs…
The point of the program isn’t to lose weight (though most do) but more to reset your bad habits and nourish your body with only healthy and nutritious food. The book It Starts With Food is a great resource about the science behind “why” we shouldn’t eat the foods listed above for the 30 days. After your 30 days is up, you’re supposed to slowly reintroduce each food group individually and see how you feel, see what foods trigger reactions and use that going forward to make better eating habits. Here’s what we learned:
Stephanie: The main reason I wanted to do the Whole 30 was because of my headaches. I don’t have severe migraines, but more often than not there’s always a slight headache and I know that’s not normal. The number on the scale was “good”, but was still feeling…blah. I wanted to switch things up! And stubbornly I just wanted to prove to myself I actually could do it.
While I won’t say the program was easy, it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought! Things I thought for sure I would miss (aka all-the-carbs) I surprisingly didn’t. Reading the labels on food was a really eye opening experience. There is sugar in literally everything! Why?! What I struggled with the most was just getting bored with food and tired of all the prep. And I really missed my wine…
At the end of the 30 days I definitely felt like I was sleeping better, was significantly less bloated and only had 1 headache for the entire month! While these didn’t feel like big, drastic, life changing experiences like many other Whole30 success stories, they were changes nonetheless. I should have done better about the reintroduction phase to really see how the foods affected me, but I have noticed red wine is a big headache trigger (wah wahhh…) and carbs, especially gluten containing, seem to cause the majority of my digestive/bloating troubles.
Kelly: I needed Whole 30 in my life. I love to exercise and consider myself a pretty active person yet I can eat like I am a 300lb linebacker preparing for the big game. Seriously, I can pack it away. Especially bread. And dessert. And cheese. And, well, everything. I needed a change.
I am constantly tired. When I was “Presented” for my sorority in college, they read a short bio on me. In it, I included that my favorite hobby was napping. My fellow pledge sisters talked about saving the world and feeding the homeless and I put napping… My mom was mortifed but hey, I was honest. It seriously was and is my favorite hobby. It’s also been a huge battle. I’ve gone to the doctor numerous times for exhaustion and there was never anything wrong. After years of semi-modifying my diet, it was time for a giant overhaul. Whole 30 was the answer and it was amazing!!
As Steph said, it wasn’t easy. Sugar is the devil and in literally everything we eat. I was shocked!! Getting through the first two weeks was the hardest but after that, you find your groove and you realize that it really isn’t so bad after all. It’s amazing how food that is good for you actually tastes good! I found that I LOVE sweet potatoes and that fruit is actually really sweet. Plaintain chips became my new addictive snack and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten more carnitas in my life than the month of August. I lost weight, my skin looked better, I slept way better, my energy improved, my period cramps went away and I felt less anxious. More importantly, I’ve learned, at least somewhat, a little more balance. I know that I can go back an recharge with a Whole 5 or a Whole 7 to reset. I can’t recommend Whole 30 enough!
Luckily we’re a few years behind the times and there are tons of amazing recipes out there. These were some of our lifesavers during the program and we are still incorporating them in our meal planning even now! We have a specific Whole30 Pinterest board if you want even more ideas:
Nutpods: Since neither of us drink our coffee black, we relied heavily on these!
Larabars: Not all flavors are compliant, but these were a necessity when you just HAD to have an on the go snack. Apple Pie is our favorite!
Plantain Chips: With salsa, guac, almond butter or just on their own…these are amazing! Just because they’re a compliant snack though doesn’t mean you should eat the whole bag in one sitting, but we’d be lying if we said we hadn’t done that
Crock Pot Beef Fajitas: This was a great make ahead freezer option as well!
While we’ve both fallen back into our frozen yogurt eating, wine drinking habits…we definitely learned a lot! This is a very strict diet and there is a reason they only recommend it for 30 days. Life is short all about balance! It was very interesting though and we would both encourage anyone interested in the program to give it a try! If we can do it…any one can 🙂
~Kelly & Steph