Well, we did it! In the past 30 days we’ve had some amazing results, learned a lot and overall have been inspired to make some major changes to our lifestyle. I’m excited to share our Whole30 results and our thoughts with you today.
How We’re Feeling and Our Results
Ultimately, Whole30 gave me the reset that I was looking for. It was gratifying to feel better but not entirely different which affirmed that overall I was taking care of myself pretty well before. However, I have been sleeping better, have had less blood sugar swings and feel much less bloated. It felt really good to be 100% focused on our health and this carried over to many areas of our life.
In the end, I lost seven pounds and noticed a drastic changes to my body. I had been strength training consistently for over seven months but have seen major changes to my muscle tone. I felt that eating this way “leaned me out” and my clothes fit much better. More importantly, this was absolutely the push I needed to tackle the last few emotional eating struggles that I was having. My eyes were opened to how much I was using food cope with stress, or sooth me when I was tired and it forced me to think of other ways to take care of myself emotionally.
I was a bit disappointed to not see too much of a change when it comes to my skin. I was hoping that my breakouts were related to food, but now after a month of clean eating I have confirmed it’s most likely hormonal. So now I’m focused on finding out what can help in that arena.
For Rich, this past month was absolutely life changing! This has been a huge change for him to focus on health and he is loving it. Physically, he lost a whopping 27 pounds and overall has way more energy. Mentally there have also been huge changes. He’s overall feeling much more positive, more focused and more confident. The focus on his health also led him to focus on self-care and I’ve been really proud of all of the changes he’s made.
How Whole30 Changed the Way We Eat
In the beginning I was focused on finding recipes that we’re Whole30 compliant, but in the end this experience gave me additional confidence in the kitchen so that in the end I did not need to follow recipes. I do still love looking at recipes and trying new things, but overall on a normal day I tend to cook much more simpler meals that let the food shine. I have come to love roasted vegetables and rely on spices to flavor our food. (I feel in love with the Primal Palate mixes!)
I was extremely frustrated with the amount we spent on groceries in the beginning, but by the end of the month I had reduced our weekly expenditure and I’m continuing to work on it. Overall we’re spending less because we’ve been making every single one of our meals at home.
With that said, this experience has inspired us to think about what foods are really “worth it” to us. With the exception of the occasional Chipolte trip and trying out Kitchfix one week (a great break from cooking) and a few social gatherings we made all of our meals at home. We were in the habit of ordering in when we weren’t in the mood to cook and I’m not quite sure we actually enjoyed those meals every time. Now I’m excited to go out occasionally and enjoy it- we have a date night this weekend and I am pumped!
The amount of produce we’re buying these days is absolutely insane. At the grocery store my cart is filled about 70% of the way with produce, 20% of the way with meat and then I’ll go into the aisles for a few things. I’ve always had a goal in the back of my head that I wanted us to shop mainly from the fresh food at the store, but this actually got us there.
Some Surprising Benefits
- The emotional benefit was something I had expected, but I was surprised that this shifted into focusing on self care for both of us.
- This did not affect our social life as much as we had thought, but it did cause us to take a look at what we do to socialize and what we want to do.
- Having a shared goal has been SO GOOD for our marriage and having the goal be health was even better.
- Whole30 made me a better cook! I am seriously impressed with some of the meals I’ve created over the past four weeks and this has been a fun, creatively satisfying experience.
- Not feeling bloated at the end of the day, ever was surprising. I had no idea how poorly I felt prior to this experience.
So What’s Next?
The program suggests a few options when it come the “reintroduction phase” but overall it’s entirely personal. For me, I am extremely self aware when it comes to food and I have a clear idea of what foods affect me. Adding foods back in one at a time seems a bit too regimented to me and some of the foods we have no immediate desire to add back in just to test.
I do like the idea of having this be an experiment, so my goal is to take things day by day. In general, this process has inspired us to eat “cleaner” and center our meals around whole foods. We plan on continuing this lifestyle and adding back in things we’re craving as they come. For me, I have a few social events this week where I plan on enjoying myself and using them as an experiment to see how I feel both physically and mentally after I have a cupcake at the baby shower I’m attending on Tuesday, the hummus I plan on eating with takeout on Thursday and the beer we plan on drinking when we go out for date night on Saturday. I do not plan on going overboard and the overall goal is balance.
For years my goal has been to find a balance and I think that trying out Whole30 was a good experiment on how to get even better at it. I have made a lot of progress when it comes to giving up dieting the past few years but have always had the urge to eat a bit better. This month was an extreme but it was eye opening for me and I’m excited to continue this journey towards finding what makes me feel my best.
What changes did you make in January? What’s your current approach to “balance”?