Whole30 Challenge Complete!

Today is one very big day for myself and my friends Mary and Lora because we have officially finished our Whole30 challenge!

Finished the w30 IG 300x300

Whole30 Self Evaluation

For 30 days, we ate real food: sustainably raised meat, seafood, eggs, loads of veggies, fruit, and good fats from fruits {like avocado}, oils, nuts and seeds. We didn’t eat anything processed that I’m aware of. If I did, it was because I had to dine out a couple of times and you can’t ever be 100% sure what goes into food at restaurants. Oh, and on Day 26 I had a PMS attack and grabbed a Kind bar…

What didn’t we eat? Lots of stuff. However, I didn’t approach it as some crazy restrictive diet for a few reasons.

1. It only lasts 30 days.

2. I read the book “It Starts With Food” and knew that omitting certain foods and beverages would help me regain my “healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help me discover how these foods are truly impacting my health, fitness and quality of life.”

3. I love meat, seafood, eggs, fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds and oils.

4. I do better with less choices.

Off limits for 30 days:

  • added sugars of any kind — real or artificial
  • alcohol in any form, not even for cooking
  • grains — including “gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa”
  • legumes — beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts and all forms of soy
  • dairy  — no milk or milk products like cream, cheese, yogurt {even Greek}, sour cream
  • carrageen, MSG, or sulfites — ingredients found in processed foods and beverages {like almond milk}
  • re-created baked goods, junk foods or treats with “approved” ingredients
    • This was probably the hardest, yet most beneficial limit for me. The thought behind this rule is that those “treats” are not psychologically healthy for the Whole30 process, and the reason I decided to do Whole30 in the first place was to change my eating habits and break sugar cravings.
  • stepping on a scale or taking body measurements

Yesterday was Day 30 and I have to say I really enjoyed the whole process, even the more challenging days. Although tough, my favorite piece was the almost forced meal planning and good mealtime habits.I encourage you to read more about the meal planning even if you never do a Whole30 challenge because it is truly changing the way I approach food and eating in general. I appreciate meals so much more than I did before and I’m not “always hungry” and snacking throughout the day to keep my blood sugar levels stable. It works for me, so I am going to keep on keeping on!

I also learned a lot about my eating habits and what my body truly needs to perform physically, mentally and emotionally. Most notably, I learned to tell the difference between real hunger and what I’ll call “just a little munch.” I realized that I’m a slightly emotional eater and any emotion can trigger a craving for something to eat. For example, I became aware that anytime I felt any emotion — happy, sad, overwhelmed, worried, excited, proud, stressed — thoughts of munchies entered my head. Although the desire is still there, it has subsided a TON since I stopped feeding it with actual food. I still have to make a conscious effort to reach a peaceful state when I get the urge to be just a little munchie, I just chose to do other things. Now that I’m aware these feelings even exist, when I feel them coming on I’ll do jumping jacks, get some fresh air, close my eyes and say a quick prayer, write down my thoughts, call someone, etc. Anything to change my thinking and get my mind off snacking.

It put me much more in tune with where my food comes from, too. I have deep appreciation for the farmers that take the time and effort to raise their plants and animals with care — for them and the end consumer. Whole30 — and a great series on Young Farmers currently in our local paper  —  has sparked a great interest for learning even more about where we get our grub.

I can also tell you that I have steady energy throughout the day and feel strong before, during, and after tough workouts. My skin is visibly clearer and less puffy, my mind is sharper, and I even lost a whopping 2 pounds! Even though I didn’t lose much weight, I do feel a little more toned. An added bonus to all of the other benefits, that’s for sure.

Now that the 30 days are up, its time to gear up for The Reintroduction Plan!

Over the next 10 days, I’ll “slowly, carefully, systematically reintroduce some of the off-plan foods I’ve been missing, and evaluate how they make me feel in the context of a healthier relationship with food, metabolism, digestive tract, and immune system.” You can read how this is supposed to work on their website.

I’m choosing to do dairy first, but the only semi-dairy thing I’ve reintroduced into my diet today is whey protein powder in a recovery smoothie. I haven’t felt anything dramatic, so hopefully this is something I know I can continue to incorporate into my diet. I’m trying a little bit of cheese tonight, and then its back to Whole30 for the next 2 days until its time to try non-gluten grains.

I’ll keep you guys posted on what I learn during the reintroduction phase!

Weekend

As for my weekend, I’ll just share some Whole30 approved food I enjoyed while John was away. He had a fun guys trip, and I ate, got my hair cut, organized my closet and visited a great old friend.

Breakfasts

whipped coconut milk with cinnamon, blueberries and macadamia nuts

whipped coconut milk

 

chicken, brussels, broccoli and egg scramble

chicken scramble

chicken, asparagus, yellow squash and tomato egg scramble

scramble

Lunches and Dinners

Chipotle salad with barbacoa, grilled veggies, mild and hot salsa, and my own avocado because I’m cheap like that

chipotle

 

pan seared cod seasoned with garam marsala, roasted broccoli, brussels and tomatoes

cod

 

roast salmon seasoned with za’tar and a side of cauliflower and butternut squash

salmon

I hope you guys have great weeks! I hope to have a new recipe for you this weekend.

Tootles,

Lindsay