Getting started on Whole30, and making drastic changes
I began Day 1 after considering the diet for just three days. I was surprised at the many foods I quickly realized I had to heavily evaluate—like all of the sugar that is found in foods beyond dessert. This was no “just make a ton of salads” diet; added sugar is in a ton of dressings, salsas, dips, and sauces, which I no longer was able to have. When preparing meals, I discovered a whole new world of alternatives for staple items like milk and butter, and I learned pretty fast that I had to figure out what I loved and have those items on-hand at all times. At first, 30 days seemed simple, but it did force me to become creative in my plans.
I now believe avocado and eggs can be added to anything and it’s the perfect meal, and I am officially a coconut milk addict when it comes to all coffee drinks.
So, how did I feel during the 30 days? Well, I was never hungry; I could eat compliant foods when I needed to; I slept better and was energized throughout the day. And I wasn’t stressed about sticking to this new lifestyle either. Did I have to plan ahead when going to restaurants? Of course, which isn’t something most people often have to think about. But I found what worked and stuck to it (i.e. I became a regular at my local Chipotle).
A new outlook on Weight Watchers
Enter Weight Watchers, which was a completely different approach to eating. However, it was another accountability system that I felt was more accessible to my daily life. Technically, you can eat anything you want on the WW diet, but everything is within a checks-and-balance structure.
What is the Whole30?
“What exactly is Whole30?” you may ask? This special 30-day diet reset consists of not eating dairy, gluten/grains, processed foods, sugar, legumes, or alcohol for 30 days in your age . The purpose of this is to rule out any possible food allergies, and also serves as an anti-inflammatory diet. I wanted to use this past summer as a cleanse to my system, and it worked.
Starting the Process
Yep, that’s right. Do not ask me how, but I literally went an entire month without consuming any of these food groups. It sounds easier than it is. However, eating healthy is one thing, but this was to taking healthy eating to an extreme level, so much so that I had to be checking ingredients labels constantly to make sure there were no “forbidden ingredients” in what I was eating. I hate myself for even having to say the words “forbidden ingredients.”
Then, someone blew my mind when, last December, they mentioned our body offhand that the wine and cookies weren’t part of a balanced diet: They were just a mindless habit. I craved those foods every night because I was just used to having them every night, but I didn’t actually want or need them
Sidekicks are key.
I’m really competitive and good at a challenge, so this is hard to admit, but I don’t think I could have completed the whole 30 days without my fiance on the same plan as me. As much as I was doing this for myself, I also really needed to stay strong for him (no pizza on Fridays was rough). Plus, it’s super helpful having someone to stay in with you on nights where everyone else is out having fun and you are feeling the #FOMO. For us, spending money on a plain piece of chicken and some steamed veggies just to leave the house for dinner was not worth it. Instead Diabetes, we made sure to find other ways to have exciting “dates.” We started going to the farmers market together, planning long walks, taking pretty winter hikes, and cooking Whole30-compliant meals together.
Up until this past January, I was still anti-diet. body presarI tried eating more veggies and lean protein during the week, but I never counted calories or vowed to cut dairy from my life completely, for example, as friends did. Yet after writing an article about actress Busy Philipps’ positive experience doing a plan called Whole30, I became intrigued.