You know what strikes me as sort of sad? There is a whole program dedicated to eating wholesome food that comes from the earth. It’s a little pitiful that we’ve gotten so used to processed franken-foods that we think of it as difficult to eat vegetables, fruit, and meat. And yet, here I sit, proud of myself that I “survived” 30 full days of eating such horrible things. But I am proud of myself, not just because I completed my third Whole30, but because I got so much out of it this time. I am totally in love how healthy I feel – no more bloating, my skin is clearer, and I sleep like a rock! And feeling better on the inside has really made me take a look at other habits of mine too – I’ve begun to prioritize sleep and have simplified my schedule so I have more time to relax and unwind at the end of the day. I feel like because I do less, my days have become filled with important and enjoyable activities. Honestly, I think this Whole30 came at the right time in my life and I’m reaping the benefits of an all-around healthier lifestyle. So, I thought instead of simply recapping the food I ate for the past 30 days, I’d share my take-aways from this Whole30 and what I plan to continue now that my 30 days are up.Find out how one woman's outlook on food changed during her third #Whole30. Click To Tweet
Before the Whole30 I had puffy cheeks and eyes and I sort of assumed it was from lack of sleep, but a mere 4 days into the Whole30 all of that bloat was gone. I attribute that to eating less sodium and, sadly, removing dairy from my diet. I’m not saying I’m allergic to these foods, I’m just saying that my body doesn’t seem to like them. So, I definitely think I’m going to be more mindful of my salt and dairy intake. Honestly, I’d love to stop eating dairy entirely but that’s just not where I am right now. I really like butter and sometimes a bit of cheese is worth the bloat, but I certainly won’t be seeking them out any time soon.
I’ve known for a really long time that I don’t get enough sleep. I averaged 5-6 hours/night and during my waking hours I was constantly on the move, not just running errands and doing housework but going on vacations and taking care of other people. I really hit a wall right about the week 2 mark where I didn’t feel well and had pretty severe brain fog. Part of me assumed it was detox but just as an experiment I decided to slow down and get more sleep and see what happened. Well, within a few days I was feeling more like myself than I have in months. I knew I was running myself into the ground but I didn’t realize exactly how much until I stopped. My brain fog is completely gone and my attitude has improved and just this morning I was admiring how much smaller the bags under my eyes are. For now, I’m trying to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night but I’d definitely like to push that closer to 8-9 hours each night.
Just Cook Already!
Eating out on the Whole30 was sort of annoying just because I had to ask a million and one questions and there were lots of things I couldn’t eat either because of cheese, butter, or the cooking fat used. As a result, I cooked at home basically every day and it was awesome! I went to grocery stores that I’d never been to, especially stores that sold foods from different countries. There is an Indian grocery less than 2 miles from my house and that was quite possibly the most fun I’ve ever had at a grocery. I walked right up to one of the employees and said I wanted to try fruits and vegetables that I’d never tasted before and he hooked it up! I got a Japanese eggplant which tastes so much better than the regular big eggplants I always see at the grocery. He also recommended jackfruit which was conveniently ready to eat (thank goodness because I’ve heard it’s a pain to peel, or whatever you do to jackfruit). And he gave me some summer squash which looks a lot like patty pan squash but the taste is milder. I also tried different varieties of peppers, both sweet and hot, and the list goes on. I also visited some farmers markets that I’d never been to and got some of the most delicious sausage ever created. I seriously can’t wait to go back and get more. Oh, and best of all, even though I was eating better than I ever have before, I spent LESS money on food because eating out is expensive!
Yes, I know that people care about this so I’ll mention it. Thanks to some compulsive scale behaviors I had to get rid of my scale almost 2 years ago so I have absolutely no idea how much I weigh. But what I do know is that I was a loose size 12/tight size 10 when I started the Whole30 and now I’m a comfortable size 10/tight size 8, so clearly I lost some inches, if not weight.
I could go on about all the awesome things I learned and loved about this Whole30, but really I just want to say that if you are at all considering trying it out, I cannot recommend it enough. I discovered so much about how the food I eat impacts every part of my life, and just by making some relatively small changes to my diet it put me down a path of greater health and self appreciation. It was an awesome 30 days and I’ve made some changes that will hopefully last for the rest of my life.