My Whole30 Challenge: Part Two
30 days later...Wahoo!
I can proudly say that I have completed my first Whole30 challenge and I feel great! I went 30 days without eating grains, legumes, added sugar, and dairy and it shows.A few non-scale victories I have noticed:
- An abundance of energy- I have been waking up feeling refreshed and earlier than usual, around 6:30. Previously, I was struggling to get up by 7:30. I am also feeling more motivated to work out which is amazing
- Very regular digestion...
- No bloating!- I no longer have to secretly unbutton my pants after lunch, thank goodness
- Clearer skin- My skin is generally acne free, (thanks Mom!) but after my reset, it is less red and blotchy
- Saved money- My bank account has definitely benefited from the reset as well! Cooking my own meals is way cheaper than going out to eat
- So many new recipes- I have tried so many recipes during my reset, some of which I will post on the blog
- Motivation to keep going- I feel so great after my reset that I want to continue eating wholesome nutritious and delicious foods
Another exciting and great thing about this Whole30 challenge is that I lost a total of (drum roll please!) 8.4 lbs! I started my Whole30at 170.2 lbs and I am currently 161.8 lbs.
Some of my favorite meals
One of my favorite things about my Whole30 was that I ate like a queen. I never felt restricted because the food I ate was so dang good! Here are a few of my favorite meals.
If you are looking for a super indulgent, creamy meal, this dish is for you! This adaptation of Pasta Carbonara is delicious. This dish is super rich and creamy with the scrumptious bacon and egg yolk. Definitely a special meal, perfect for a date night in! Keep your eye out for this recipe!
Kale Pesto Chicken and Zoodles
Okay, so not all of my recipes include zoodles, but they are such a great side, why not zoodle it up! This is another one of my recipes that I really enjoyed during my Whole30. It was easy to whip up the kale pesto and throw it all together! With my fave sun-dried tomatoes on top, this dish was definitely a winner. Once I tweak the recipe a little, I will be putting it up on the blog, so look out for that!
Tuna Cold Lunch
This cold lunch was the bomb.com. I made tuna with homemade ranch, topped it with some pickled onions and beets. On the side, I had an arugula salad with ranch and carrots. It was so simple to put together and so amazing! Shout out to Justin for making the ranch.
Bone Broth Chicken and Kabocha Squash Curry Soup
I am so happy with how this soup turned out! I used my homemade bone broth (details to come in another post), frozen kabocha squash from Trader Joe's, left over chicken from my first ever whole roasted chicken, and some roasted brussel sprouts on top! It was so delish and a super cozy soup! I'm doing more recipe testing on this one, so once I nail it down, I will be putting this up on the blog for sure!
During my Whole30, I was eating every 3-4 hours so having snacks on hand was key. Here is a list of my favorite go to snacks.
- apple and almond butter
- carrots and Tessemae's Creamy Ranch Dressing
- bag of mixed nuts
- coconut chips
- unsweetened apple sauce
I also tried some awesome snacks to go that can be found at Trader Joe's and Kroger.
- Rx Bars-Coconut Chocolate was my favorite
- Lara Bars-Cashew Cookie
- Trader Joe'sApplesauce packs
During the first few weeks of my Whole30, I didn't have many cravings, which felt awesome! During the last week, however, the sugar dragon awoke within me. I was craving things like banana bread, ice cream, chocolate, and the like. I think I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and got a little excited!
Bumps in the road
During my Whole30 challenge, I did my best to stay compliant. However, I did have one "cheat" day.As I mentioned in My Journey to the Wholey Land, my mom unexpectedly passed away on Valentines Day. Though it has been a difficult adjustment, (still adjusting) I began my Whole30 soon after, so to avoid any emotional eating that might have come my way.On March 11, the day of her memorial service, I stayed compliant, food-wise. However, I did allow myself to have two glasses of red wine. Not because I wanted to drink my sorrows away, but because this day was a celebration of my mother's life, and celebrating with a glass of wine or two is what she would have wanted.Do I feel guilty for drinking that wine? Absolutely not. Do I feel like it threw a wrench into my Whole30 challenge? Absolutely not. I feel like my Whole30 challenge was 100% successful.
Though I did veer from the black and white rules, I feel like I dominated this Whole30 challenge. I have gained a new insight and passion for eating and living more wholesome and healthily.During my Whole30, I never felt restricted or starving. I became more confident in the kitchen, using new spices and trying out my own recipes--that were amazing. I learned so much about the effects that food has on our body and how eating whole food is so important to your overall health and wellness.I have so much respect for people who decide to give the Whole30 a try because, depending on current eating habits, it can be such a huge adjustment that you commit yourself to. To some, that may be an exciting and welcome change. Others might be apprehensive and scared to make that change. One this I have learned from my weight loss journey is that you can't grow into a better version of yourself if you don't step out of your comfort zone.To become a better you, you have to make changes that might be scary or even a little risky. But let me tell you, it is so worth it. Making those changes and overcoming those fears will make you a stronger, more confident you. A better you!
Wanna give Whole30 a try?
For those that might want to give the Whole30 challenge a try, I have a couple of suggestions:
Do your research.
Whole30.com is an amazing, free resource for all who are curious about the Whole30 program. The Whole30 website has the program guide, forums, blog posts, books, meal plans, and much, much more. The resource has all of the information you need to get started.The co-creator of the Whole30, Melissa Harwig, also has some amazing books that are super informative and great for anyone who wants to know how the Whole30 works and how to successfully complete the Whole30.I recommend Melissa's Food Freedom Forever, in which she explains Food Freedom; an awesome plan that allows you to eat the foods you love, guilt free, and still maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
If you hopped over to Whole30.com and decided that you want to give the Whole30 a try, its now time to get planning!Because the Whole30 program is 30 days with no cheat days, sit down (or stand up) with your calendar and find the best time to complete your Whole30. Avoid vacation time, holidays, or other times that non-compliant food might find its way in your mouth. Don't set yourself up for failure!Find some Whole30 compliant recipes that you want to try and make a grocery list. Go grocery shopping before you start your Whole30. If meal prep works for you, make some meals to last you a few days, so you don't feel overwhelmed by all of the cooking.
To hold yourself accountable, tell someone about your Whole30 challenge. I suggest telling a like-minded person that will be there to support you.You can also reach out to the Whole30 community through Facebook, Instagram, and Whole30.com. This is an awesome group of individuals that are all in the same boat as you, so it is a great community to get involved in.
Believe in Yourself.
I know that's so cliche but it is so important to believe in yourself. If you don't believe that you can follow the plan for 30 days, you probably won't succeed. But if you set your mind to it and believe it, you will succeed and become a stronger, smarter, better you.If my experience of the Whole30 resonated with you and you want to give it a try, don't be afraid to reach out to me for support!
DISCLAIMER: My recommendations for this post are not sponsored and stem from my own opinion. The information that is provided on my blog is for entertainment purposes only.