Friday, September 2, 2016
Starting Another Round of Whole30!
Last year, on September 27, 2015, I started my very first Whole30. I had NO idea how much it would affect my life - and for the better. So, to celebrate, I am starting another round of Whole30 on Monday, September 5, 2016. (If you want to join in the fun, you can sign up at their web site, which of course is optional.)
What is Whole30?
Well, first of all, let me tell you what it is not. It is not something I am trying to sell you. ;) There is a book you can buy, but honestly you can do the challenge with just the FREE PDF information on their web site. (I will talk more about the book, and why I bought it, later.)
With that out of the way, let me tell you what it is. Whole30 is a challenge where you only eat things that are healthy for you for 30 days, so you can see how unhealthy foods might be affecting your health in adverse ways.
When I started my Whole30, I was not sure if I would be able to do it. I was drinking Coke every day, and I was definitely addicted to sugar. I had actually been wanting to give up sugar for a few years but had NO idea how to do it. I had a strong suspicion that I was lactose intolerant, but I honestly didn't think I had any other food allergies. I had been tested for allergies in 2014, and they said I was allergic to dairy and soy, but I was in serious denial. I honestly did not believe I could possibly be allergic to soy.
I am not going to lie - the first 10 days of the challenge were hard. BUT not as hard as I expected! Before I started, I thought I would DIE from not eating sugar. Turns out that is not true. Haha! I didn't even FEEL like I was going to die. I had a headache for a few days, but that was it! (I also was not as crabby as I expected to be.)
After the 30 days, I weighed myself, and I had lost 12 pounds just from eating only healthy foods! I didn't even work out at all during the 30 days, because I really wanted a true test of how the challenge would affect me.
When I reintroduced foods according to plan, I found out I am allergic to:
Soy (digestive issues)
Dairy (digestive issues and chronic headaches)
Corn (makes me feel funny)
Beans of any kind (digestive issues)
I decided not to reintroduce sugar or any artificial sweeteners. I never want to go through sugar withdrawals again! The best part about that is, even now, almost a year later, I have consistent, steady energy all day. I don't have the tiger blood like they talk about, but I also don't EVER crash in the afternoon. That is worth it, right there!
It's been almost a year, and I have lost, and most importantly kept off, 35 pounds! I started at 174, and I currently weigh 139. I used to wear a size large, and now I wear mostly medium with some small items fitting me. That is crazy! My stomach is almost completely flat, too, which I love. I donated almost all of my old clothes, because they were too big, and I have been buying clothes again (mostly at Goodwill).
So, I am doing another round of Whole30 starting on Monday, September 5, 2016. Why? I mean, I rarely eat anything that is not healthy for me anymore. I haven't eaten sweets (other than fruit) in all this time. I don't drink sodas ever. Why do this again?
1. I am curious to see if I do a strict Whole 30 again if I will notice any changes. I really don't expect to, but you never know.
2. To celebrate being one year sugar free (and artificial sweetener free)!
If you are considering doing this challenge, here is my advice:
1. If you know how to cook, you don't need to buy the book. I bought it because I HATE cooking and really needed the guidance and recipes in the book. But, if you already know how to cook, there are plenty of other resources for recipes for free. I really recommend the Whole30Recipes Instagram account. They post recipes almost every day, for free!
2. Buy an egg cooker. If you like eggs, you will be eating a lot of them. I purchased a Dash Go egg cooker at WalMart, and I love it. It makes poached eggs; soft, medium, and hard boiled eggs; and it makes omelettes, too!
3. If you don't like eggs, don't make yourself eat them. There is no sense in being miserable. You can eat so many different things for breakfast. You can eat soup for breakfast if you want to!
4. If you are giving up soda, carbonated water is your friend. LaCroix is Whole30 approved. However, after a few months, I noticed that I felt "funny" after drinking it, so I stopped. But it definitely helped me on days when I was missing the fun carbonation of Coke. These days, I rarely drink carbonated water, but when I do, I like Zephyrhills water, and it doesn't make me feel funny.
5. Pack your own snacks. I go to a lot of theme parks, since I live in central Florida. When I go, I take snacks with me, because finding sugar-free snacks at theme parks is pretty difficult. I take things like hard boiled eggs, apples, almond butter, olives, sugar-free apple sauce, and sugar-free raisins. Yes, the bag-o-snacks is a little heavy, but it gets lighter as the day goes on and I eat the snacks. ;) Also, I take a Tervis tumbler so I can drink free water all day and not have to buy bottled water. (Theme parks will give you free ice water at any kiosk where they have a soda fountain.) Some people like Lara Bars for portable protein, but I find them disgustingly sweet. (I tried many of the flavors.)
6. Take "before and after" pictures. I didn't, and I wish I had.
7. Read the timeline that lets you know what to expect on which days of the challenge. It's a good guideline for what to expect.
8. You might get temporarily discouraged. When you start getting crazy around day 10 and thinking you are going to give up, read this blog post about how your brain is a toddler throwing a tantrum. It really helped me!
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my Whole 30 experience. I will post again and let you know how things went with the challenge this time.