Monthly Archives: March 2016

Whole30 Review

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I completed my first Whole30 this past Monday.  I started on Valentine’s Day and made the decision to absolutely not cheat on this program.  I timed it so I would finish this 30 day food experiment the day after my Les Mills AIM 2 training.  Yes, the AIM 2 was amazing and I need to write about it soon!

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I had bought the first Whole30 book: It Starts With Food about a year ago.  I read it, but thought there was no way I could completely commit to this for 30 days.  After reading that Jen @ Peanut Butter Runner was doing this, I got interested.  She has great reviews on her blog about her experience.  I bought the Whole30 book and got my friend Jill to join me on the challenge.

So what is Whole30? “Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it.” – See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/

You basically eliminate these foods from your diet completely.  Here’s the official rules from their website:

Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.

Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)

Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.

Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).

Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)

Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.

Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients.

So what did I eat? A lot of food!  How did I feel?  Pretty great!  The book has an outline of what you can expect during the 30 days and it was pretty accurate.  I started by reducing my sugar intake the week before my Whole30.  I think that really helped.  I felt great the first 4 days or so, but then had a headache around days 8-10.  I became aware of certain habits I had – eating White Chocolate Wonderful PB&Co peanut butter out of the jar, mindlessly eating chocolate, etc.  I actually found it difficult to give up peanut butter.  It took a week for almond butter to grow on me, but now I like it and I don’t inhale it like peanut butter!  Workouts felt rough the first week, but after that I felt strong!

So what did I eat?? For the first 20 days, I felt like I ate about twice as much as normal.  I was VERY hungry!  Around day 20, my appetite died down and I didn’t feel as ravenous.

Breakfast foods: Eggs, sweet potatoes, bananas, almond butter, chia pudding with berries and coconut flakes.  I also started making my own almond milk, using Jen’s recipe.  I should have made more egg scrambles with green veggies, but I was hooked on sweet potatoes and runny eggs.  I drank 1 cup of coffee most days.  I added almond milk or coconut oil.

 

Lunch foods: Dinner leftovers or salad.  I got on a major salad kick.  Friends at work would laugh as I brought my salad in a huge ziplock and a mixing bowl.  Mixed springs with broccoli slaw mix saved me tons of time.  Walnuts, blueberries, egg, avocado and chicken too.  Larabars were my “just in case I’m starving” snack.  I always kept one in my purse.  I also made my own “energy bites” by mixing dates, nuts and coconut flakes in my food processor.  I usually ate an apple at lunch and kept carrots, pistachios and hard boiled eggs around if I was still hungry.

Dinner: Check my Whole30 Pinterest board for some of the recipes I used.  The Whole30 Recipes Instagram is awesome.  I got some great ideas, especially this curried potato noodle and kale recipe.  I’ve made it multiple times and it is amazing.

I usually had a protein (chicken/fish) and roasted vegetables for dinner. I tried to eat protein, greens and fats in every meal.  Lots of fruits and vegetables.  If I was short on time, baking a big batch of chicken at one time helped me prep for the next meal.  I also used my Spiralizer for potatoes and zucchini.  Since it is hard to know what is in restaurant food, we didn’t go out to eat.  The only time I went out to dinner was to a Mexican restaurant and I ordered shrimp fajitas with no beans/rice/tortillas and extra guac/salad.

If I was hungry from heavy workouts, I ate another meal.  Usually right after school I would eat something, especially if I was teaching a class at the gym that night.  I never thought about how much I was eating.  If I was hungry, I ate.  It was refreshing to not worry about calories or measuring.  Like I said, I was starving for the first 20 days, so I just ate a ton!  Lots and lots of veggies!

I love that the Whole30 has reminded me to go simple with meals.  It has saved me time to try to cook ahead and go back to basics.  After the 30 days, the book outlines how to reintroduce foods into your diet to see how your body reacts.  I am trying to stay on it as much as possible.  When something great comes along, I’ll treat myself but it doesn’t need to be every day.  I just feel too good to go off of this.  More energy, better workouts, no stomach aches/bloating.

So far, I had a Larabar that had peanuts in it on my day 32.  Day 34 I really treated myself to a sushi dinner.  I’ve been waiting for sushi and it was worth the wait!  I stayed away from tempura and tried to go with healthier options.  I also had gluten free oatmeal for breakfast this past week on day 33 and it was fine.  I expected to love eating oatmeal again, but I kinda missed my sweet potatoes!  I’m trying to completely stay away from dairy, because I’ve always known it is an issue for me.  It has made me feel so good to eliminate it completely from my diet.  I also like the idea of indulging every once in a while when something good comes along, and then going back on the Whole30 for a few days to get back on track.  I expected to finish the 30 days and miss chocolate, bread, cereal, etc. but I really don’t.  I missed peanut butter, but I know that I can have it every once in a while without eating straight out of the jar.  I probably won’t buy it to keep in the house because I always overdo it!

Sugar is seriously in everything, so check your labels and you will be amazed!  Even if you don’t want to commit to this program for 30 days, I would highly recommend the books or even following their Instagram for great recipe ideas.  More fruits and vegetables are always a good thing!

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