I’ve always been slightly skeptical of Whole 30. I knew it started as an elimination diet, and since I’d never needed to eliminate anything, it didn’t make much sense to me. Plus, the things it eliminated, like black beans, didn’t seem like the villains Whole 30 was making them out to be. When it hit peak popularity, I was pregnant with Nolan, and was not about to try it. Then, I was nursing and trying to figure out life with two and it just didn’t seem doable.
When I was nursing Nolan, I had to cut dairy. It was really hard at first, but once I got the hang of it, I noticed I wasn’t missing dairy nearly as much as I thought I would. I was also training for a half marathon at the time and I lost a good amount of baby weight and felt pretty good. Once he was weaned, I went back to dairy and the weight came back.
Working out doesn’t happen as often or as consistently as I’d like, which lead me to the conclusion I was going to have to control what was going in my mouth. After Brittany tried the Whole 30 in January, I decided to give it a go. I didn’t think much would change because on the whole (get it?) we eat fairly healthy…healthfully? Whatever. Most of our groceries are fresh produce, I cook the majority of our meals and other than the kid staples (Goldfish, applesauce, the occasional chip type snack) we weren’t consuming mass quantities of processed foods. Sure, I had the occasional treat, but who doesn’t?
Despite our typical lifestyle, I knew something was working against me since the baby weight wasn’t budging.
I do have to admit that I didn’t do the whole 30 days. It was more like Whole 22. I ended early for a couple of reasons
- The amount of time and effort that is required for that level of meal planning is just not something I’m capable of right now. If you weren’t thinking about what to have for dinner while eating breakfast, you are pretty much already behind the eight ball, and my hanger cannot withstand that. Two needy toddlers who still very much have a witching hour that I am solo parenting through, combined with hangry, sugar deprived mom was a scary scene.
- Budget. Our grocery budget is already pretty sizable (about $900). Our kids are major fruititarians and we eat a good amount of vegetables and meat. We buy local and organic if and when we can, so it’s already a good portion of our monthly spending. At 22 days in, we were already $150 over budget.
- Wasting the kids’ food was killllliiiinnnnnggggg me. Not being able to eat that extra slice of quesadilla in order to not throw it away hurt my soul.
- My husband’s job was a big limitation for him. He doesn’t always have access to a microwave, which eliminated a lot. If he got hungry after eating everything he brought, he was out of luck since eating out is basically impossible.
Modifications I Made:
- After spending most of week 1 feeling faint, I decided to add peanut butter back into my diet. I was having trouble getting enough fat to stay full (even with eating an entire avocado a day and meat). I eat dinner really early with my kids, so I was waking up starving. When I added an apple with about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter as second dinner, I was feeling much better.
- So. Much. Salt. I’m not usually one to add salt to things, but my body gets really weird when my salt/electrolyte levels are out of whack, which was part of the reason I was feeling faint. Once I started adding extra salt, I noticed a dramatic improvement.
- I have a true sugar addiction. I know you aren’t supposed to treat fruit as a replacement for sugar, but it’s pretty much how I survived. Sue me.
- I was snacking wayyyy more than I thought I was. I didn’t realize how many times I’d reach for a snack until I couldn’t.
- Carbs really are the devil. I had a serious wheat belly going, which was making me look 5 months pregnant.
- All those extras from the kids’ plates apparently add up.
- Sweet potatoes are a saving grace.
- I didn’t have any huge scale victory (maybe 5 pounds), but I feel way less bloated and my clothes fit better overall, so I’m happy with that.
Thing I’ll Keep:
- Incorporating veggies into breakfast in place of carbs/toast.
- Cut out snacking, or reach for a whole food first before a carb-y snack.
- A lot of the recipes! Like I said, it wasn’t a humungous deviation from our normal diet and I’m always looking for new things to incorporate.
- Excluding most carbs and dairy. I really do feel better after removing these things from my diet. I won’t be super strict with this (see below), but I’m definitely more conscious of how bloated the wheat made me feel.
- Smarter choices when eating out. Usually when we eat out, I have the mindset that it’s already basically a cheat, so I may as well go all out. But now, after all the cooking all the time, I’m realizing a huge perk of eating out is not prepping your own meal, or cleaning up after it. So, my mindset in that respect has definitely shifted. You can make smarter choices when eating out and you aren’t sacrificing everything.
Things I’ll Toss:
- The strictness. I know, that’s what gets you the most success. But there are just some nights that I am not able to make dinner and I need to get take out. Whether it’s time, energy or just motivation, for my sanity, I need an out. Brittany and I concluded 80/20 is a good middle ground. Ya gotta live yo life.
- Alcohol ban. Because #momlife. But, I will definitely be more mindful of how much I’m drinking because there is a ton of sugar in wine.
Here is a round up of our favorite recipes: