It’s day 18 for me, and I’m surviving and even kind of thriving. I wish I could say the pounds are dropping off left and right (hip) but I can tell they aren’t. But I do feel de-puffed so to speak. As I said, and as the program insists, the Whole30 is not intended to be a weight loss diet. It’s a get healthier diet, feel better diet, establish good habits program. Here’s my take so far:
The Good News:
It’s not really that hard to follow and stay true to the plan, with just a few exceptions. It is MUCH easier if you love to cook, or at least if you don’t hate to cook. And it’s not something I could religiously follow in perpetuity ’cause, restaurants.
You will sleep much, much better. More soundly, and longer without waking up. And deep, restful sleep is probably one of the best things you can do for your long term health. [however, having given up all alcohol every January for the last 10+ years, I can tell you, that’s the ticket. It’s amazing what 10 days with no wine or alcohol of any kind will do for your sleep].
Your skin may be brighter and you may have more energy. I haven’t noticed this, but that’s what everyone else seems to experience. Sadly, no one is stopping me on the street to tell me how alive and happy I look. I have noticed that my chronically chapped lips have improved substantially in the last week, so that’s a real plus. Of course, we’ll see when the arctic temps return and the heat kicks on again.
You may see some of your minor aches and pains go away. Not me, at least not so far, but maybe you. Again, I can’t tell if people are just parroting what the book says or if it’s really happening, just not for me.
Your relationship with food changes. Here’s what IS happening to me, all of which is great and reason enough to figure out how to continue much of this past the 30 days:
- I am almost never “hangry”. I might be ready for Lunch or Dinner when the time rolls around, but I am not physically or mentally foraging for food around my house – ever – since starting this.
- I am also never “stuffed”. Even though I’ve eaten more food than I often do at a meal, I don’t have that stuffed feeling. [I do kind of miss that, but I know it cannot be a good thing].
- I am overcoming my grazing and snacking habit. The no snacks allowed part is very hard for me, but I persevere. Even though my snacks were healthy, they were constant after 3 pm, and I was a huge 9 pm snacker. Obviously I knew this wasn’t great for my weight, but until I read It Starts With Food, I didn’t realize the damage to my hormone levels and calorie / fat processing.
- I have cut back on my am black coffee intake considerably. Drinking coffee AFTER eating breakfast has just changed the game for me. I am now at about 3/4 of a cup, and feeling fine.
The Bad News
As I’ve said, Breakfast. I’ve already shared with you my biggest struggle with doing the Whole30, and the fight goes on. I just really find it hard to transition from my happy am Tera’s Whey protein shake into vegetables and meat for breakfast. Even just typing it grosses me out 🙂
So it’s eggs with spinach or an apple with fresh almond butter. That’s it so far, and I know, I know, I am supposed to have a vegetable with that apple + nuts.
Going to a restaurant. I hate to cook and I love to eat out. Ordering on the Whole30 makes me feel like an annoying Gwyneth Paltrow wannabe, asking for explicit ingredient detail for every dish. This is not just “dressing on the side” stuff. Yes, you can order plain grilled fish and veggies, or sauteed, but only in olive oil, with no soy, no butter, no sauces, no marinades, no preservatives, no vanilla or other extracts, no alcohol, no sugar or cane syrup or maple syrup or agave. sigh. Mostly I find myself spending way too much time dissecting the menu instead of enjoying the company and the atmosphere. And you can forget going to your favorite asian fusion or sushi spot unless you are a plain sashimi fan.
If you hate to cook, you will be food-bored in no time. This will probably be what derails my After30 routine. I really don’t like to cook (wait, have I already mentioned that?) and clearly the key to making this program work long term is to create beautiful and delicious recipes to enjoy and savor. Like as if you are the chef at Living Kitchen, every day. Mallory, a CLT blogger who publishes the popular StyleYourSenses is my Whole30 hero so far. Her food is gorgeous and sounds delish plus I know she is an actual real person with a busy life to lead. Maybe Mallory will cook some extra for me ~ she does mention leftovers a few times and she has a very small family.
What Do I Miss the Most So Far?
Grande skinny vanilla latte, two pumps, no foam. No doubt. Every time I drive down Providence Road, my heart breaks a little.