Friday, January 04, 2013

My Whole30 Experience

Several months ago, I knew I wanted to make some positive changes for myself. I wanted to feel and be more healthy. Just because one runs all the time, that doesn't always correlate to excellent eating. I fall into the category of one who puts herself last, to which most moms can probably relate. 

I was very, very inspired by my friend Ron who had just completed a Whole30 and said he felt, and slept, better than he had in years. I thought "That just might be the ticket!" So I read about it, and learned that a Whole30 is basically "a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation, and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food." [quoted from the Whole9 website] Just for 30 days, people!

Even though the holiday season was upon us, I knew I couldn't wait one more day. So I began December 5th. Yes, arguably the most difficult time of the year for food consumption. I was on a mission! The program works this way: You focus on eating quality proteins, vegetables and some fruit (the carbs!), and healthy fats. That's it! All of that is absolutely delicious and satisfying, I'm telling you. I was absolutely satiated after every meal and very rarely felt the need to snack. Yes, me, not snacking! I can't speak highly enough of it!

Yesterday I got to fly this flag high - and I'm so proud!

Here is the official book of the Whole9 lifestyle, which I borrowed from the library.

It wouldn't be fair if I left out what you CAN'T eat for the 30 days: dairy, grains, legumes, sugar, alcohol. It might sound tough, but IT.REALLY.WAS.NOT. I'm telling you -- if a sugar addict like me can do it, anyone can. 

I shopped mostly at Costco, because the price on bulk vegetables, fruits, and meat can't be beat. I had to go only about every ten days. My family still ate from most of the other food categories, and that was fine by me. I can cook it, but I don't have to eat it. However, I have to say that they began to lean towards the Whole9 life a lot over the 30 days!

Here is an example of a loaded cart from Costco. It's beautiful!

Some breakfasts: (I didn't always eat omelets, BTW.)

Mushroom omelet, asparagus, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado (healthy fat).
Mushroom omelet, green beans, broccoli, carrots, olives (healthy fat).

Some lunches:

Pork chop, green beans, cantaloupe, blueberries, olives (healthy fat).

Grilled chicken, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, olives (healthy fat).

Tuna, eggs, spinach, tomatoes, avocado (healthy fat).

CHRISTMAS LUNCH: turkey, green beans, baked sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, homemade Ranch dressing.

Some dinners:

Pot roast, green beans, sweet potatoes, avocado.

Hamburger, red pepper "bun," butternut squash, strawberries, avocado.

Mexican chicken, okra, tomatoes, carrots, avocado.

  Meat/marinara with lots of vegetables, spinach, olives.

I also made my own Whole9 mayo and dressings:

Ranch dressing - two thumbs up from my husband!

Creamy avocado dressing - also two thumbs up!

I am so happy that I learned about this fantastic lifestyle. I really love it. As I said, I hardly ever felt the need to snack. I was so full and content. I saw that I was losing inches just a few days into this program. That was great motivation to continue (in December!). And I slept like a rock. I'd even wake up sometimes with a sore back, like you only get after being in bed too long. As an unexpected bonus, I discovered that my face/skin somehow looked more healthy and youthful. SCORE!

For my homebody, stay-at-home-mom lifestyle, I found this way of eating to be rather easy. Having prepared vegetables and protein at most times made it even easier.

So what happens AFTER the Whole30? They recommend reintroducing each restricted food category one at a time, so as to really be able to evaluate how each makes you feel. I think that's very wise. Once I do that, I plan to stay the course 85% of the time, at this point. This has really made an impact on me!

As for my physical results, I lost 9.4 pounds IN 30 DAYS! I lost 4" from my waist and 4" from my hips. I lost 1.5" from my thigh, 1" from my arm, and 1" from my bust. I am awaiting a call from my doctor's office with the results of my bloodwork. I expect my cholesterol to be the the "normal" range for once. Fingers crossed!


Dawn said...

I am so impressed with your stick to it approach to everything. I think I could do this - if someone else would give me a meal plan and tell me what to eat every day. If not, I end up eating the same things over and over again. I get bored with it, and dive right off the wagon.
Good luck on your run tomorrow!!! My question is this: will you carb load tonight?

Dan said...

Way to go! And those are spectacular results. I haven't done the Whole30 -- it seems challenging, but I guess if you prepare lots of protein and vegetables in advance that makes it easier. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

That's really super impressive Susan - and the food DOES look gorgeous! Do you feel your lack of (wholegrain) carbs affected your running / energy at all?