After 30 days of no sugar, no dairy, no wheat, no soy, no processed foods, no alcohol…I woke up my first morning off the Whole 30 and drank my wonderful cup of coffee with my wonderful creamer in it.
I’m not gonna lie. It was good. Really good. I kinda wish that I could say that a month of clean eating had left me without any cravings for bad food, but it’s not true. I love my sugar just as much as I did before.
So here’s what thirty days of clean eating did do for me:
- I lost 13 pounds-I know that weight loss is not the focus here, but since I am trying to lose weight anyway, this was a great side effect!
- I felt better midday, less afternoon slump.
- My kids, who stuck to the plan about 90% of the time, seemed to have better attention spans and more willing to play rather than asking to watch TV.
- In general, I felt awesome about myself! It was great to know that I was eating well and feeding my family good food.
- I discovered new recipes and new foods-leeks anyone?
- Eating a good solid breakfast kept me full throughout the day, much more so than the coffee/cereal combo I used to have.
What DIDN’T happen:
- I heard a lot of stories about Whole 30 devotees who experienced extra energy, clear skin, and shiny hair. Unfortunately, none of those happened to me! I felt like my skin and hair remained the same. As for energy, I didn’t feel like I had a lot more than usual. I did notice that the afternoon slump was lessened, and I’m attributing that to my breakfast/lunch containing more protein.
- Better sleep was suppose to be a side effect, and I didn’t really see that-however, I still have a nursing baby who wakes up several times a night. The same nursing baby might also be blamed for the lack of extra energy!
- The withdrawal symptoms were easier than I thought they would be! The first few days were pretty rough-I craved sugar and just wanted some candy. Going into Target on the first day was torture and is not recommended. Supposedly, days 5-6 are the worst, but in my experience once I was past day three I felt decent.
What I learned:
- My local grocery store stocks vegetables that, although previously ignored, taste pretty good. (Again, leeks!)
- Fruit saved me in the evening when I was craving something sweet. Especially frozen mango!
- Your taste buds really do adjust. Before this I would never have eaten any veggies without a coating of butter or cheese, and by the time I was a couple weeks in I happily ate them completely plain.
- On the flip side, as soon as I started eating sugar again, fruit that previously seemed sweet and satisfying was suddenly bland.
- Black coffee is acceptable, but I never really learned to love it.
- I was eating WAY more sugar than I thought. I’m happy that I did this if only to discover how much snacking on sweets I did before.
There were days when I thought that we could eat like this forever and days when I missed cheese like you would not believe. In the end, we decided to incorporate as many good habits as possible into our everyday life.
- Instead of one vegetable, include 2-3 in each meal. When serving a casserole that doesn’t have a lot of veggies inside, make sure to serve a side of veggies as well.
- Make more hot breakfasts and less cold cereal.
- Cut down on the amount of sugar and processed food we have in the house.
- Plan ahead for days when we are going to be out of the house.
All in all, this was an amazing experience. I feel like I have a fresh viewpoint on a lot of things, and I really want to take a harder look at what we put into our bodies every day. And although I won’t be sticking to the plan all the time, I do feel like keeping many of the habits will contribute to our overall well-being.
Have you done a Whole 30? What did you think?