Saturday, February 23, 2013

Whole 30: Wrap-up



Last month I finished the fabulous Whole30. If you don’t know what the Whole30 is about check out my introductory post here. I finally had the type to create a nice wrap up to the fabulous program.
Additionally some great resources during my time was the actual Whole9 website. They had an awesome community aimed to help you through your Whole 30 experience.
Here were some of my initial thoughts to this program. I read lots of success stories on the Whole 9 website, but I was fortunate to not have any major medical conditions to start with. I didn’t struggle with diabetes, hypertension, arthirits or lyme disease. As I was reading these success stories, I thought- maybe this program only works for people with pre-existing medical conditions. What could it truly do for me?
I had already cleaned up my diet in the last year and lost a significant amount of weight and was feeling better every day. But in the last couple months, I had significantly plateaued.  No matter what I did that darn scale never went down. Or it would go down one day and then go up by 1.5 the next and then down by 0.8…I was so frustrated.
So I figured, what the heck? What could it hurt? I’m gonna be totally honest here, I was a little worried about gaining weight on the program. Why? Because I had stayed completely away from fruits, dried fruits and sweet potato for the last year and a half. To add those things back in, I feared I would start gaining what I had worked so hard to lose. Also, there was no “counting” or “portion control” on this program…I was sure to gain weight.  Then on top of it all, the program prohibits the use of a scale for 30 days. I was convinced this was to make sure you didn’t quit it in the middle because you say you were actually gaining weight.
Nevertheless, I did my homework, bought the book It Starts With Food and set out on my first Whole30 journey on January 7, 2013. I followed the program to a T. I did the “before” measurements and put the scale under my bed for 30 days. I tossed out all non-Whole30 compliant foods/snacks. Well I didn’t actually “throw them out” I didn’t want to waste food, so I gave some snacks to my friends, and put the rest on the top shelf to be used in baked goods (not for me, of course!).
The beginning
Everywhere I read people were saying that “planning” is key to success in this program — they are right. But this doesn’t necessarily mean, write down every single meal you are going to cook for the next 30 days. No, that is insane. If you are that organize, hats of to you! But as a college student, this was a daunting task I did not want to take on. So instead I decided “planning” meant making sure I was always stocked with Whole30 compliant food to deter any thoughts of cheating.
Some of my favorite Whole 30 foods I ALWAYS had on hand were:
-       Sweet Potatoes
-       Butternut squash
-       Coconut Milk (Whole365 from Whole Foods)
-       Eggs
-       Frozen Bananas
-    Pasta Sauce (Whole365 "fat-free" from Whole Foods)
-       Coconut everything… (literally.)
Okay, now that you have all my tips on what to make sure you have in your kitchen… how about some results?
The results
After 30 days, I decided to finally bring out that scale. It was nice to not worry about weighing myself for 30 days. The scale isn’t everything, actually- it doesn’t measure ANYTHING! Its helpful every so often, to “keep you on track” but at the same time, it has this sick and twisted way of making you feel either really good about your self that day, or really bad. To think, a hung of glass/ceramic that has THAT much of an impact on you? The Whole 9 people have something to say about this awful device as well: http://whole9life.com/2012/03/5-reasons-to-break-up-with-your-scale/
Okay, anyway enough of my rant about this scale. So after 30 days- I lost…drum roll please… 7 lbs! Woah! 30 days, 7 pounds.. these ANNOYING 7 lbs that I could not shake for almost 3 months were BOOM, gone —30 days of magic.
Additionally, I had set some new bests at the gym and that was super exciting. I now had the endurance of a lion (haha). I was able to lift 20-30lbs more on all fronts.  Additionally, my timing for all my runs decreased. (It took me less time… so exciting!) Okay, then for the inches… I lost:
            -arms: -0.5”
            -thighs: -1.5”
            -waist: -2” (YESSSS)
            -bust: -0.5”
Now this is just quantitative results.  I don’t remember exactly where I read this on the Whole30 page, it may have even been in the book. But there was a line somewhere that said something like, sometimes we don’t know we have “issues” like low energy, lack of good sleep, complexion issues, etc. until we suddenly feel so much better one day. This is so true. Like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t have any huge health issues, and I was completely oblivious to the minor problems I faced every day. So although I didn’t have any pre-existing conditions that needed major fixing, I can honestly say the Whole 30 changed my life. Made me appreciate food and look at food, calories, carbohydrates and healthy fats in a brand new light. After about 12 days, I was sleeping so much better, had amazing amounts of energy that was consistent.
Oh, and here’s the big kicker… I was caffeine-free ALL 30 days. Now, on that note, the Whole 30 does not say “don’t drink coffee for 30 days”. This was a personal choice. Since, I was already killing all my other addictions might as well throw in coffee too. Also, I don’t drink soda already so the only other “caffeinated” thing I had was black tea. So for 30 days I just drank yummy green tea.
I had a hard time trying to find teas that were Whole30 approved because lots of teas have “soy lechitin” in them. Here are a list of my favorites:
            -Allegro: Jasmine Green
            - Yogi: Green Super Antioxidant
            - Numi: Roobios Chai (or any Numi)
            - Yogi: Stress Relief
            -Traditional Medicinal: Throat Coat
I also frequently visited a local coffee shop that has many loose leaf green teas. 
Well there you have it everybody, a wrap-up of my Whole 30. You should know, I haven’t stopped my Whole30 adventure. I’ve continued eating the exact same way, the only difference is I’ve been trying to make some Whole30 approved “desserts” that will be up on the blog soon I’m sure!
If you need some help with meal planning, or have no idea how to kick start you first couple of days I have linked all my “What I ate” posts for the entire Whole30 experience. I sadly, missed a few days due to being super busy at school! I apologize, but you'll get the gist.   All my posts are linked here: "What I put on my plate" Whole 30 Experience


Enjoy feeling so much better and eating REAL unprocessed food! Yum!

Some of my favorite recipes:
Garlic Swiss Chard
Fried egg with Sweet Potato Mash

Tuna Salad with Paleo mayo, avocado, red peppers and celery

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