I can put my mind to just about anything, if I want to move across country or get a certain job, write a book, learn how to be a master tennis player, lose 10 lbs- whatever. If I really want to do something I can do it, but I have to genuinely want to do it. Going into whole30 I thought I might shed a couple lbs from all of the holiday wine I drank and cleanse my body for a fresh new start, but I’m a generally a healthy eater so I wasn’t too concerned, and I wanted to do it. If you are going into whole30 blindly wanting to change your diet or lose weight I would do your research and realize that it is more of a tool that teaches you how to shop for food, appreciate what you put into your body, and be conscious of what you put into your body than it is a quick fix for losing weight.
So, what can you eat on whole30? Well, nothing. (ha I’m joking- sort of)
The long and short of it is that you are cleansing your body eating only pure foods, you want to slowly reintroduce “regular” foods after you are done with whole30 to see how your body reacts. The great thing is, this actually works. I’ve learned that when I eat things with wheat in them I get a scratchy throat and my belly bloats. I have also learned that I crave chocolate way too often lol and that almond butter is more filling than peanut butter even though I like peanut butter better. I mean, nothing life changing but learning’s nonetheless.
So, what CAN you eat? I’ll start by telling you what you can not eat: no processed foods, no junk, no canola oil, no peanut butter, nothing with preservatives (so if you’re buying meat, organic preservative free), no grains, no bread, no sugars, no sweets, no salad dressings and/or sauces. Basically everything must come from the earth and be preservative and sugar/grain free.
I wrote down what I ate for a day so you can better understand how I survived/thrived:
Coffee w/ organic non preservative canned coconut cream
2 eggs, 3 pieces of keto friendly turkey bacon and a avocado
A shit ton of roasted veggies w/ olive oil/salt/pepper: sweet potatoes, cauliflower, fennel, brussel sprouts etc. with 2 hard boiled eggs.
Large piece of salmon cooked in herbs w/ a roasted sweet potato, roasted veggies and side salad.
Giant apple with Almond Butter
That day was a little light but that’s basically how I ate for about a month. I won’t lie I did crack a couple times, once when I was traveling and I had no choice- thought I was going to lose it in the DC airport. And another time when I ate peanut butter out of sheer desperation. lol
What surprised me the most is how easy and actually fun it was to plan and cook every day, finding new recipes that taught me how to make healthy and preservative/sugar free sauces and challenged my food intake day to day. The difficulty here is that after a couple weeks that became a mundane task. Aka I hate meal prep. I started to do more of a massive cook and prep on Sundays so I didn’t have to do anything at all on Monday and then I would have leftovers all day Tuesday. Something I loved about this was that I always knew I was eating healthy fresh food, but I did often find myself at wholefoods on a Wednesday asking for a giant piece of fish. If you know me, you know I hate the grocery store and usually order my groceries online. (no one’s perfect)
Tips, tricks and where to find recipes.
My top tip is to buy your veggies in bulk and make a night of roasting a bunch of veggies all at once to have for the week. This way your veggies don’t go bad, you maximize your time, and you always have food ready to snack on! You can also do this with chicken or fish but I like to make those things 100% fresh as much as I can.
My biggest “trick” is to utilize recipes that can use the same home made sauce/s within the same week so you only have to make the sauce one.
I found some great recipes on skinnytaste, paleorunningmomma (lol), & brit + co.
The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that while I am still a pretty healthy eater as I was before, I now have better tools to cooking healthy even when I am tired or only have a few things in my fridge. I am also very aware of how many preservatives, how much sugar and just general crap is in food in America, even more so than I was before. I am definitely more careful about what I put into my body. And don’t get me wrong I love a cookie more than the next gal but I won’t willingly put 12 kind of preservatives in my stomach just to eat a Starbucks breakfast sandwich; because of whole30 I found out that the only thing I can order from Starbucks is the fruit and egg plate, (sigh) due to all the crap they put into everything, even an egg white spinach wrap! Not just eggs! lol
I hope this lengthy descriptive of my experience on whole30 has enlightened you and brought some insight to the time and effort it takes to partake in this healthy experiment for 30 days. I would say overall my experience was positive, I slept better, got up earlier, have more energy over all, I lost 5 lbs, and have gained some insight I will forever use in my diet and life go forward.
Happy Eating, x Oni~