Whole30: The First Half

I’m officially on Day 15 of my Whole30 journey and I can honestly say that I’m still loving it! I’m starting to learn a lot more about my eating habits and have begun to notice several patterns that I’m working to break in terms of cravings. My energy is also still high and I feel great save for some occasional bloating which I’ll get into later. Read on for my thoughts (and favorite meals!) from the first half of this program.

Remember, I went into Whole30 two weeks ago as a way to reset and start fresh with my nutrition, to see if a more Paleo way of eating would work for me and to move away from the restrictions of counting and tracking and instead find real freedom with food. And y’all, I really feel like I’m on that path! Some of the biggest non-scale victories I’ve noticed so far:

  • My taste buds are completely resetting: Fruit has never tasted sweeter. And instead of drinking my morning coffee with two sweet n’ lows AND french vanilla creamer, I drink it with a splash of unsweetened Nutpods and that’s it!

  • I stay full for MUCH longer: Instead of grazing all day long like I used to, I’m eating three meals a day full of protein with veggies and healthy fat as well as carbs (sweet potatoes, beets, etc) and the sheer nutritional content of my food keeps me from even wanting to snack.

  • Energy: I had a VERY busy week last week and normally would be dragging and needing a nap in between classes. But instead, I woke up energized and stayed energized throughout the day from 4:30 AM to sometimes 9:00 PM.

  • No food boredom: One thing is for sure, I have NOT become bored of any of the foods I’ve been eating! And that’s because I’m really taking the time to find new recipes each week and cook different proteins each day.

But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Although I think I missed a lot of the terrible side effects that people talk about in Whole30 (huge sugar crash, awful cravings, etc), this program has forced me to confront some patterns in my nutrition:

  • Bloating: I normally stay fairly bloated. Like, it’s so commonplace for me to be bloated by the end of the day, that I don’t even think about it anymore. That still hasn’t gone away. At first I was annoyed, but then I read some resources online that it’s perfectly normal to be bloated and even MORE than you usually are while your hormones and digestion is becoming regulated. So I’m going to keep on trucking and hope it all evens out.

  • Sugar cravings: When I first began Whole30 I didn’t think I had any real sugar cravings. I didn’t have a headache and I wasn’t super irritable without sugar. But using the Whole30 Day by Day journal has showed me that I’m still feeding into my sugar cravings when I reach for an RxBar or dates. Although these are Whole30 compliant, they’re naturally very sweet, which just leads to craving more of them… and that’s how we got started on this thing in the first place! So I’ve stopped buying these items and am working hard to pin point other things that have the same effect (looking at you almond butter).

  • Avoiding social situations: OK, not avoiding them all together, but avoiding eating at them. Namely, we went to lunch for Mother’s Day this Sunday and I just ate beforehand and ordered tea while we were at the restaurant. I thought I was doing a good job, but the Day by Day journal actually talked about this the next day… you have to learn to be IN social situations and say no thank you or ask the questions necessary about food preparation to succeed with Whole30 or Paleo long term. I just ate prior because I didn’t want to be “that girl” that asked how everything was cooked… but I’m learning that it’s my health, and it’s OK to be that girl!

While these things can prove to be difficult to overcome, overall my first half of Whole30 has been wonderful! I have zero intentions of throwing in the towel before day thirty and honestly haven’t even thought about it a single time. Which is crazy, because normally with a nutrition program of counting and tracking, I would have already given up… so that’s how I know this way of eating is sustainable!

Here are some of my favorite meals, snacks and drinks from the past week: