Whole30 - I did it!

Well, yesterday was day 30 of my first Whole30!  I made it.  And miraculously, I made it without any cheats, minus an accidental teensy taste of honey on a coffee spoon.   Oh, I got really close though.  Like that time I almost downed an entire box of crackers while preparing my daughter's snack.  And when we had our first Sunday of homemade artisan pizza at Urban Acres and I just stared at it longingly while my friends devoured theirs.

But it was worth it.  I'm so glad I completed my first Whole30.  Even more than the physical benefits, I feel more in control of my desires and less controlled by food. 

I finished my Whole30 before we had a big dinner at our house last night and tried some potato salad and a bit of Mexican chocolate cake and fruit cobbler for dessert.  A few bites into the desserts, I couldn't take any more sweetness and didn't even finish it.  

This morning, I had my first coconut milk latté post-program and used only 4 drops of Stevia instead of the usual 12.  So I'd say that's progress!

Here are some other great things I experienced while on Whole30:

  • I definitely lost a few pounds - probably around 5.  {Kinda wish it had been more, but I'm being gracious with myself and remembering I just had a baby 5 months ago.  Baby steps.}
  • I learned to enjoy beverages unsweetened.  {I'll probably continue drinking coffee this way and just lightly sweetening my tea lattés.}
  • As I mentioned before, I feel much less controlled by food, and cravings have greatly diminished.  Eating less fruit and enough healthy fats and proteins really helped with this.
  • It was fun doing this with my husband and our close friend Amber.  I highly recommend doing the program with a close friend or someone who lives with you - makes it a ton easier!
  • It was just a good thing to exercise more discipline.  I don't believe that we should live with our food choices highly restricted all the time, unless of course we have to for medical or health reasons.  God gave us a bounty of things to eat.  And the funny thing is that even though there are restrictions on Whole30, what we have to eat is still abundance.

These were the hardest things about it:

  • No chocolate!  No smoothies!  No ice cream!
  • I got really sick of berries with nut butter and coconut flakes.  But it was a good snack when I needed one.
  • Having friends in town and not being able to drink wine with them or eat pizza.   It was a shift in thinking to realize I didn't have to be eating and drinking what they were eating and drinking to have fun.

Here are the favorite things I ate on Whole30:

First, cilantro mayo.  Wow, I never knew how super easy it is to make your own mayo!    I used it more like a sauce and added it on my eggs or meat just to give it a little zing.  You could also make your own chicken salad.  Having an immersion blender and a wide-mouth mason jar like the recipe says was perfect. If you don't like cilantro, just leave that part out!

Here's the recipe from this @whole30recipes Instagram post:

Cilantro Mayo

  • 1 egg at room temp
  • 1 cup of avocado oil or light olive oil
  • 1 T vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground mustard
  • 1/4 t garlic powder or minced garlic
  • 1/2 c chopped cilantro
  1. Crack egg in a wide mouth mason jar. (Perfect to store the mayo in)
  2. Slowly add oil and let separate.
  3. Add vinegar and seasonings.
  4. Place immersion blender in the jar all the way to the bottom and mix until white and fluffy. Should only take 30 seconds or so.
  5. Add cilantro and blend until roughly chopped.

 ~ ~ ~

This was my favorite snack on the program - apples sliced into rounds topped with homemade almond butter and unsweetened coconut flakes.  How many times have I had apples and nut butter?  But never sliced into rounds!  Something about it made it seem more special, like a chip.

Here are the two best dinners I had on Whole30...

First, Fried Plantains with Chipotle Lime Chicken & Chipotle Lime Slaw - unreal!  It was a little sweet, salty, creamy, so amazing.  Here's where I got the recipe.

The other amazing meal was PaleOMG's Pizza Spaghetti Pie.  Seriously so easy and perfect for right now when spaghetti squash is in season!

whole30-pizza spaghetti pie. jpg

But mostly, we just kept it simple.  Here's my last Whole30 breakfast on day 30 - simply Applegate chicken apple sausages and 2 eggs fried in ghee.

What I'm going to do moving forward:

  • Keep eating Whole30-ish.  I love how I've felt without grains, and I don't miss dairy or legumes in the least bit (except maybe peanut butter, but I can live without it).  So I'm going to move forward with a low glycemic diet concentrated on pastured meats, healthy fats, lots of veggies, and low glycemic fruits. 
  • Definitely feel like I ate a lot of sweet potatoes on Whole30, because I could. I'll probably limit these a bit more.
  • Get a Spiralizer!  I really need one of these.  Healthy, low carb noodles every day!
  • Add back in my Vanilla Creme Stevia, but in smaller amounts.  I'm a little embarrassed to say I was putting about 12 drops in one single coconut milk latté.  But I'm not going to feel badly about using a few drops in my hot beverages if I want, and it doesn't affect my glycemic index.
  • Start drinking Dandy Blend.  I've wanted to try it for awhile but it comes partly from grains, so I couldn't try it on Whole30.  But it's a great non-acidic and low glycemic coffee alternative that tons of people love, plus there are the health benefits of dandelion.
  • Bake a lot less, only when I really want to, rather than being controlled by sweets cravings every single day.  If and when I bake, use dates and coconut palm sugar as much as possible.  I think I'll even try using dates in my coconut milk ice cream recipe next time instead of maple syrup.  Occasional (rather than several-times-weekly) gluten-free pancakes will probably be only lightly sweetened rather than slathered with syrup!
  • Continue doing my weekly yoga - It's been a great complement to the Whole30 program.  And add in some Pilates online with Robin Long.  LOVE her website and perspective. 

So there you have it, folks.  I definitely see myself doing another Whole30 in the near future.  It's just so helpful to have a program to regain perspective and discipline when you need it.  And the community of folks doing Whole30 and sharing recipes makes it even better.  If you're considering doing it, I'd be happy to answer any questions or help in any way!

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