On January 8th I started my very first Whole 30 challenge! My friend Meg started it on the first with her husband and inspired the rest of our little tribe of friends’ to join in. So now a few of us are either doing the whole 30 challenge, or just eating better in general.
If you haven’t heard of Whole 30, here’s the low down, straight from the Whole 30 website:
“Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.”
So what can’t you eat? Added sugars, both natural and artificial. Even honey. No alcohol, not even cooking alcohol. No grains. No legumes. No dairy.
But I swear it’s a lot easier than it sounds!
What I’ve Learned
- I can actually do it! Seriously, I never, ever thought I could give up cheese or rice or popcorn – but it’s been going REALLY well. I am totally impressed with myself.
- It takes a lot of planning. Meal planning and grocery planning. Research. General preparedness. There is a lot to it, but as long as you’ve read everything and made your lists, you’ll be good to go.
- There is added sugar in EVERYTHING. Sandwich meat, a ham, hot sauce. You name it, sugar is added to it. No wonder we’re all so addicted.
- Making your own mayo is awesome.
- I feel awesome. I haven’t had a headache all week and I used to get them every day.
- I’m LOVING creating new recipes and tweaking favourites so I can eat them.
- I do really miss popcorn, chips, and soda.
What I’ve Eaten
For breakfast I ate 2 eggs, every day, but shook it up with the sides. Eggs with hashbrowns, eggs with bacon, eggs with veggies. Sugar-free bacon is very hard to find, but worth it. And how gorgeous is that blood orange? I’m loving fruit more than ever lately. Breakfast is for sure my favourite meal each day.
I made a couple soups, of course, since soup is my favourite. Made my first mistake and realized too late that my turkey soup had peas and peas are a big NO. Thankfully I had only had one bowl, and moving forward picked the peas out. I had a salad on day one in a restaurant, which took a while to order but ended up being exquisite and definitely not something I’d usually order. I am becoming more adventurous with foods as opposed to sticking to the tried, tested, and true. Perfect example being the lobster tail. I had a lobster tail on New Year’s Eve, and thought to myself that I could, and SHOULD, do it at home. So I did. And it was wonderful. Another favourite is mashed cauliflower, you can eat as much as you want really and not feel guilty, which is splendid. But even so, with all of these whole foods, I felt full but not sick. It feels good to eat REAL food.
I’m pretty boring and not a huge dessert fan all that often. I’m not even a big snacker. Fruit is a quick and easy go-to when you crave something sweet. I’ve learned that bananas with an almond butter drizzle and some cinnamon are really delicious. And even more delicious is ice cream made from blended bananas. I blend it with almond butter and add some chia seed “sprinkles”, but you can add pretty much anything you wish with the banana and it’s going to be delicious. And THAT is coming from someone who is not a fan of bananas!
Look how colourful all my food was. Look how full my plates were. I am so happy so far, and I am so eager to see how this will all affect my body when the 30 days are over. Will I learn I am intolerant of anything? Dairy maybe? Will I lose weight? Will I ever have a headache again? Only time will tell..
If you’ve thought about giving Whole 30 a try I highly recommend it. It’s been an incredible experience for me already, dare I say life changing? We will see!