This January I did my second round of Whole30! Back in 2017 I tried this for the first time and learned many things. Things like, I’m gluten and lactose intolerant, I have serious issues with binging and emotional eating, and my caffeine addiction is something fierce.
This round, I pretty much noticed the same things. There you go end of post.
HAHA! Just Kidding.
But I did honestly notice a lot of the same things I had originally noticed in my first round, in the second. This time though I also learned so much more about how food affects my mood, skin, energy levels, and pretty much everything.
So let me start by explaining to you what Whole30 is. Whole30 is a 30 day elimination diet for the purpose of restabilizing your gut health, discovering any food aversions, and redefining your relationship with food. One of the main reasons I was so drawn to this diet was because it really didn’t feel like a diet. And it definitely isn’t some lose weight fast scheme. On my journey to healthy, I have been adamant about wanting to make it a lifestyle change, rather than boomeranging between weight loss and weight gain.
So on the Whole30, you avoid sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, peanuts, dairy, and dessert (yes even paleo). At first glance you might think, how can I possibly do this? I assure you, if you’re motivated enough you can definitely do it for 30 days. But anyway – I already can’t eat gluten or dairy, I have never been a huge alcohol or dessert person, so the trickiest part of this for me was avoiding sugar and peanuts (especially in butter form). But it was really cool to search pinterest and cookbooks for recipes that were whole30 compliant.
I discovered my love for the kitchen
You have to cook A LOT when you’re doing Whole30, so I rediscovered a passion that I have for creating things, and when the food would come out delicious, or my husband liked it, I would feel a sense of satisfaction knowing that 1) I made it and 2) Everyone liked it!
On the days when I was honestly just too tired to cook, we would go to Five Guys. Yes, Five Guys. That place was my go to in a pinch! What can you eat there? Well, you just get the burger with a lettuce wrap instead of the bun, and layer on the veggies. Definitely recommend the lettuce wrap because, though messy, it is so much more satisfying than eating with a knife and fork. Just saying…
My energy levels increased
I have always been super dependant on caffeine to get me through the day. I assume this was because I wasn’t drinking enough water, and I was always crashing from one sugar high to the next. Without all the processed food and added sugar, I noticed my stamina in the gym progressed, and I was able to make it through a 10 hour work day without needing a pick me up mid afternoon.
This was a total game changer for me when it came to my work. During the day I nanny a very energetic 2 year old girl and a very active 5 year old boy. They keep me on my toes that’s for sure. During nap time, which the boy is at school, that is when I either a) would crash, or b) would work on the blog. Needless to say, there were definitely a few months where I would zone out or even fall asleep from time to time during the little one’s nap time. While I was doing this round of Whole30, I had much more energy, and motivation, to work on the blog. I was able to revamp this space, work alongside you, my sweet readers, to design our mantra and new shirt (which will be arriving by the end of the month! I’m so pumped!), pump out some content for you, and spend some time in God’s word, focusing on the mission and direction of this blog. The fact that I now had the energy and focus to dedicate to this was a blessing of a benefit from my change in diet.
Better skin and regularity
Anyone who has done this program has discovered that they become much more regular. I know, I know, TMI. But seriously, how amazing of a blessing it was to not have to run to the bathroom every couple of hours because of what I was eating but to be down to much more regular and less painful movements. Food allergies are something you don’t really want to mess with so if you’re experiencing anything like what I was, I recommend trying to find the root of the cause. It makes a world of difference to feel better in this way.
I noticed a huge difference in the clarity of my skin. I have always struggled with acne and now more recently, eczema and dry skin. While on my whole30, and making sure to be intentional about my water intake, I was noticing much softer, clearer skin and feeling more confident about my looks overall. My swelling and bloating when down and I was much more confident leaving the house.
So this go around, the reintroduction phase was brutal for me. Mostly because I accidentally had real butter pretty early on and being lactose intolerant, I ended up being sick for three days. It was awful. Needless to say, I am definitely still lactose intolerant, I have reintroduced grains back and find that I feel better when I don’t eat a lot of them. If I am going to stick with grains it’s definitely got to be gluten free but I feel much better when I am eating mostly meat and veggies. Beans have been known to cause a lot of bloat and gas for me, which can feel quite unpleasant, so I am not sure I want to make those a regular part of my every day diet. I haven’t really had alcohol except for a couple samples from a datebox my husband and I did, but since I am allergic to gluten and grapes that pretty much rules out wine and most beer anyway. I have never been a huge liquor drinker so I don’t feel the need or desire to drink as it is. I think it’s safe to say I am still addicted to coffee, It was nice to give it up for a bit during the first 2 weeks of my whole30, but toward the end I grew to love black cold brew which is allowed while on the whole30… So the habit is back. I’m not so sure if it’s the caffeine that I am addicted to or the habit, so when I do my next round of whole30, maybe I will just switch to decaf.
March Whole30 Challenge
I am not, and don’t really intend to ever be a whole30 coach, but I do plan on doing another round of Whole30 this coming March. If you’re interested in joining me this March, please request to join this facebook group! I would love to share recipes with you and support you on this journey to food freedom! For more information about Whole30, how to do it, how to get started, or how to find a coach, visit www.whole30.com!