I’m usually very conscious of what I eat, trying to get in lots of leafy veggies and consuming as few processed foods as I can. However, everyone knows I also love to bake, and the holidays are every baker’s dream. Cooking up whatever you want in the name of holidays and family get-togethers is something I always take full advantage 😀 Then before you know it, New Years rolls around and it’s time to jump back on the healthy bandwagon.
This year,Chris and I decided to try the Whole30 (get the book on sale here) to kickstart the year on an uber-healthy note. My sister-in-law and my cousin-in-law (that’s a thing, right?) have both told me great things about the program, and I was so excited to get started. After the event-filled Christmas and New Years we had (read: lots of yummy carbs, sweets, and wine) we were definitely ready to detox.
We actually bought the book, which is filled with tons of great recipes, a meal plan if your feeling overwhelmed on how to start, and most importantly- a day by day guide of all the stages you will go through during your 30 day diet. I loved this, because when Chris and I were tired, or had headaches, or felt any of the craving withdrawals, we probably would have given up at that point. But reading that those symptoms were expected to happen at the exact time we were experiencing it was reassuring. It explains how our bodies were actually just detoxing, going through sugar withdrawals (basically a drug!), and trying to re-learn how to get energy from real food instead of carbs and sugars.
After the first two weeks were over, we started to turn the corner and feel fantastic. By the end of the program, I actually don’t want this feeling of healthy living to end!
My results on Whole 30:
This is a huge one. You don’t really realize how low your energy level is until you experience life with high energy levels. I’m not talking about the small burst of chaotic energy you get when you eat five cupcakes and are bouncing off the walls kind of thing. No one wants that. The energy we have now is focused, clear-headed, and awake. Perfect for my multi-tasking life of blogging, wifery (making up words again), homemaking, working, etc. There’s just no way that I’m going to voluntarily go back to the old low energy way of life. No sir!
This is an all around win. I didn’t even really think I needed help in this area- I would have categorized myself as a pretty happy person. Now, I’ve noticed that little things don’t annoy me or frustrate me like they used to before Whole 30. That LA traffic, the daily work grind, and countless other small struggles either are no longer a struggle or they don’t determine the outlook for the rest of my day. Chris and I are more in sync than ever, both coming home from work smiling, and ready to start cooking together. My favorite part about our marriage is we aren’t afraid to be goofy in front of the other person, and I can honestly say we haven’t laughed this hard in a while, day after day, just having fun together.
This could be my favorite result on this program. For years I’ve fought with being able to fall asleep at night, stay asleep at night, and always longed to wake up feeling refreshed and rested, which I rarely did. I envied people who could take naps. I now can fall right asleep at night, and when I wake up in the morning I don’t have that dragging feeling. Once I’m up, I’m up! Bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to take on the day!
Loss of Cravings
I have such a sweet tooth, so I assumed that when day 30 came along, I would want to dive headfirst into a tub of ice-cream with a side of dark chocolate and a dozen chocolate chip cookies on top. Shockingly, I’m almost nervous to eat sweets again. After all the hard work I put into cleaning out my system, I feel like I might have a major sugar crash. The image of putting a wrench into a well oiled machine comes to mind. What’s even more wonderful is I actually crave the foods that are whole 30 approved! Like Stuffed Acorn Squash, Butternut Squash soup, and anything and everything involving sweet potatoes.
No More Headaches
I used to get headaches here and there, which I blamed on lack of sleep or missing a cup of coffee in the morning. At the end of Whole30, these were totally gone. I’m thinking these were mini sugar crashes that triggered headaches. Basically my body signaling to me-stop sabotaging itself!
Last but not least, the question everyone wants to know on a diet: ‘Sure, that’s great that you feel better Kels, but did you lose any weight?’ The short answer is yes (9 pounds in fact!). To be honest, I didn’t need to drop major pounds, but I did manage to thin back out to my ‘in-shape’ weight. This happened without calorie counting, without stepping on the treadmill once, and without any effort at all really. Both my husband and myself were amazed at the weight melting off, as we stuffed our faces with bacon and potatoes. It’s really eye-opening how much sugar and processed foods can damage your digestive system. I feel like Whole 30 brings you back to ‘ground 0’. Whatever your natural weight should be, it gets you there. Once I start working out again, I fully expect to gain a few pounds back as I build more muscle, but I’m never really too focused on that number on the scale. It’s more about how you feel and how you look. I prefer the lean and fit look to the skinny look for myself.
We really want to continue this way of eating…..turning it from a 30 day diet into our normal routine- which is what it kind of already feels like! Tonight is the big night where we get to enjoy our first glass of wine in 30 days. Am I excited? Abso-frickin-lutely. Will we also be eating cupcakes on my hubby’s birthday this Saturday? You bet. But our normal diet- the non holiday/birthday/party normal weekdays will be back to Whole 30. It’s safe to say we are addicted to this new way of life, and we will not be giving it up anytime soon. You can expect to see some recipes on the blog in the coming weeks of some of my favorite new ‘must-have’ meals!
For more tips and recipe ideas right away, you can check out @WholeLifeHolls. It’s my sister-in-laws Insta and it’s full of yummy veggies and ideas for homemade nutritious meals.
What about you, are you sticking with the usual diet and/or work-out resolution or trying something new?? I wanna hear about it!