What is Whole30? Whole30 is a nutritional program designed to help you redesign your relationship with food. A lot of food items we consume on a daily basis have huge potential to cause major inflammation within our bodies (ex. gluten, legumes, sugar [real and artificial]) This 30 day guide eliminates those foods and teaches you how to eat real food.
I emphasized “real” because I know I personally indulged in too many things that had ingredients lists as long as your arm, and additives I have never even heard of! It is a nice change to consume foods with either very limited ingredients on their label, or no label at all (fruits and vegetables)
A little backstory…Since I gained a lot of weight (probably around 2013) I have been desperately trying to find a routine that could help me create healthier habits and shrink my waistline! In 2014 I found Weight Watchers. Now, this was the start of a whole lot of yo-yoing, unfortunately. Within the first 6 months on being on the program, I lost 30lbs! However, at that point, I had also lost motivation, and overall interest. I felt great and wanted to lose more, but I was tired of being on a “diet”. So, I quit Weight Watchers, and in about 4 months, I gained back 20lbs. Guess what I did next? Went back to Weight Watchers. This ping pong match went on for another 2 1/2 years when my husband finally sat down with me and suggested I give it a rest due to my frustrations and due to spending money on something I wasn’t getting anything out of.
Now I will fast forward through the last 8-9 months of binge eating and weight gaining (partly due to starting new medications) to last month when I finally said, “enough is enough!” My sugar cravings alone were ruling my life! Not to mention the ratio to cooked at home meals, to eating out/delivery/drive-thru meals was becoming unsettling. But thanks to social media, I started learning more about what Whole30 was, and communicating with those who not alone completed multiple rounds, but believed it was a life changer. Within a couple weeks of browsing and watching tons of instastories, I “met” Holly, who is not only a Whole30 coach, but a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who specializes in nutrition for mental health. I felt like I had found my answer. Someone who could guide me with bettering my nutrition, and truly understood the struggles of mental illness and how it relates to your relationship with food.
It has only been a week since officially starting my first round of Whole30, but so far, so good. It hasn’t been all sunshine, and rainbows, trust me! Here is what I felt went well, what I struggled with, and some Whole30 compliant foods that I am loving:
I have to be honest, there wasn’t a whole lot of “sweet” until around day 5. This was when I started to have bursts of energy after being extremely lethargic and cranky during the first few days (this is a normal part of detoxing from the sugars and processed foods) My hope for the program grew as my energy did.
I also figured out, around day 6, that I really needed variety in my meals or I was literally going to lose my mind (I am not ashamed to admit I was about to give up – I was really frustrated) So, day 6 and 7 I cooked three new recipes, and all three were a success. I definitely felt a lot less limited after that.
This first week has been rough! Day 1, of course, felt like a breeze. But day 2, that is when my body realized I wasn’t going to pump it full of sugar and gluten to get through the day and it was pissed! Not only did I spent most of day 2-4 in bed, or on the couch, but I would have totally fought someone for a poptart. I needed my sugar!; I needed my bread (no pun intended – bakers humor)! I spent one night just standing in front of the open refrigerated trying to A) figure out what I could consume that would satisfy these cravings and B) Convince myself that I shouldn’t just open the BBQ sauce and pour it straight into my mouth! I mean, no one would know, right? It was times like these that I grabbed some fruit and nut butter hoping that would calm the sugar dragon (and it did, for the most part)
Whole30 Food Finds
Artisana Organics Cashew Butter
I am so late to the party when it comes to the variety of nut butters. Of course I have had plenty of almond butter but never would I have thought of trying cashew butter. Now that I have, I can truly say I have been missing out! It is so creamy, and has little undertone of natural sweetness from the cashew itself; its literally amazing. This raw cashew butter definitely helped me survive a lot of my sugar cravings within this first week (I paired it with strawberries and/or nectarines…and ate it straight from the jar a few times…whoopsie) Whole30, or not, you have to try this cashew butter asap.
Week 1 down, 3 more to go!