My Whole30 Journey

I know that I’ve missed the boat by about two years here, but I’ve finally decided to take on the Whole30 in May! If you’re not familiar with Whole30, it’s essentially an elimination diet meant to give your body a “total reset” from foods that are known to be inflammatory and disruptive to the hormone balance in your body (if you haven’t read It Starts with Food I highly recommend it). For thirty days you focus on eating REAL food, nothing processed m, as well as no sugar, alcohol, grains/legumes, and dairy. After the thirty days, you slowly begin to reintroduce these foods back into your diet, determining if/what your body tolerates to find a sustainable food pattern that works for you.

I’d been hearing about Whole30 for a while. A lot of my friends and family have done the program and absolutely loved it. But I always thought I had a good plan when it came to nutrition… until my days shifted from sitting at a desk all day, to being on my feet teaching over twenty classes a week as a full time instructor.

I’ve gone from only having to fuel my body for an hour of daily exercise, to having to be energized and ready to teach all day long, and that has been a tough transition for me. I've noticed a lot of patterns in my eating that simply aren’t working to allow me to feel my best (too much sugar, a LOT of on-the-go processed foods, and binging way too much at night when I get home and am hungry from the day). Another reason I’m interested in this program is that, while I THINK I feel fine with all foods… you don’t really know what you don’t really know! We can become so used to feeling crappy that it just becomes our norm, and once you feel REALLY good, you realize how terrible you felt before.

So that’s what I’m going to do! I’m going to dedicate thirty days to this program, do it REALLY right and just see how it goes! One of my friends who’s completed it before told me a little tip that I loved… think of it as a thirty day experiment. I’m not looking to lose weight (although I’m excited to hopefully feel less bloated, which I’m sure comes from processed foods), I’m just looking to find out what makes me feel my absolute BEST so that I can tailor my nutrition to that, rather than what someone else tells me SHOULD make me feel good.

Things I’m looking forward to:

  • No counting: I did Beachbody programs for several years and while I loved them at the time, now that I’m super active, those little containers just don’t work for me. I’m happy to be able to eat when I’m hungry without having to portion out grams of food.

  • Lots and lots of protein and healthy fats: Several years ago I actually went Paleo in my diet… and really loved it! I felt like I had a ton of energy and the protein and healthy fat uptake was great for my active lifestyle. However, I didn’t stick with it, mainly because I convinced myself that I needed grains for marathon training. So I’m excited to try again!

  • All of the amazing recipes: Flipping through the Whole30 book as well as Practical Paleo and Pinterest makes me SO excited for all of the amazing recipes! I’ve heard that it’s easy to get bored on Whole30 but with all of these recipes I want to try… I’m not sure if thirty days is long enough!

  • Becoming more conscious of how I fuel: Going from sitting at a desk all day to being active and on my feet from sun up to sun down has made me completely rethink the way I eat. It used to be no problem for me to use little portion containers, count calories or use a point system, but now I NEED energy throughout the day to keep me going, and oftentimes that energy is coming from some not so great sources. So I’m excited to learn what works and what doesn’t!

Things I’m a little nervous about:

  • No sugar: It’s not so much that I’m addicted to sweets, but artificial sweeteners are my weakness. I know, I know, they’re terrible for me… but I can’t imagine coffee without my little pink packets. I also am a sucker for craving sweets when I’m bored (fruit snacks, chocolate, ice cream, etc), so this will be a change!

  • No alcohol: If you follow me on Instagram then you’re probably aware that I love beer and wine! I enjoy my Friday night beers, Wednesday night glasses of wine, and Sunday morning mimosas! I also just enjoy being out with friends and my boyfriend when I have time, so it’ll be VERY different to not drink when I’m out. BUT, I’m accepting it as a challenge, because if I can’t go to a bar or restaurant and just order a water with lime, then there’s a bigger issue!

  • Having to confront my “mindless snacking” habit: I already alluded to this, but my snacking has become pretty terrible. Mainly because my schedule doesn’t always allow me to eat a full meal three times a day. So for these thirty days I’m really focusing on eating mindfully and scheduling my meals so that I’m not getting home at 8:30 at night starving from a long day without food!

So here we go! Monday kicks off day one of my Whole30 journey, and while I’m a little apprehensive, I’m mostly just really excited! I’ll be posting updates throughout this journey and would love for you to follow along! And also, any tips, tricks, or words of encouragement, feel free to leave in the comments below!