In the vein of being more intentional in 2018, I decided to embark on another round of Whole30 this January. For those new to Whole30, it’s a 30 day stint of clean eating – no processed food, no dairy, no gluten, no added sugar, no alcohol. The goal is to focus on healthy, whole foods in an effort to curb a sweet tooth, reevaluate food relationships, and/or overall, be more mindful of what and how you’re consuming food.
I tried the Whole30 once before and I stopped after 19 days. At the time, I was working from home so found that the focus on not eating out and no drinking was too challenging on my (limited) social life so I prioritized my mental and emotional well being over completing an arbitrary 30 day goal and called it quits early.
This time, though, in a better frame of mind. I (mostly) did it!
I went into this exercise to focus on making healthier decisions vs. curbing sweets or wanting to break bad food habits. My workdays generally consist of me running around most days so I often opt for quick, on-the-go foods or a carry out lunch because I didn’t plan ahead. I know I can – and I want to – make healthier choices with a bit of forethought which Whole30 forced me to do.
In the first 2 weeks, I groaned about meal planning and packing my lunch every night, constantly cleaning tupperware and dishes, but it soon became the norm. I’ve also chosen to majorly slow down in my personal life which made it easier to feel less stressed about the additional prep/cleanup I was doing since I’m not running to/from various activities all the time.
I researched dinners I liked that Alex could modify for himself (add cheese, pasta, hamburger bun, etc) and learned to make enough at dinner to bring for several weekday lunches. I had a hot/cold/warm relationship with eggs (so many eggggggs!) and am still obsessed with my go-to salad (chopped romaine, shredded cabbage, chopped veggies, avocado, protein). Sometimes I add O/V for dressing but mostly, I eat a dressing-less salad these days. What?!
I found that making a sheet-tray or two of veggies makes a great carby addition to a meal (sometimes I add to my above salad) and that I really didn’t miss much. Okay, I missed the taste of wine and I certainly missed the convenience of grabbing a quick snack when I came home from work and we hadn’t yet gone to the store but found workarounds. I stuck to my no-alcohol rule at my company holiday party – and no one gave me a hard time! – which felt awesome.
Overall thoughts? (Wrap it up, Petre!) During the month, I slept better, felt extremely hydrated, had efficient and strong workouts, got a complement on my glowing skin (literally, first time ever – my skin is generally unremarkable) and overall felt more pep in my step. I lost ~8lbs of water weight? bloat? Who knows but my clothes fit better and I just feel *good*.
I 100% see the value and encourage you to look into it if you’re curious about making more intentional choices in your diet, too. I won’t be adhering super strictly to whole30 forever but do plan to keep an 80/20 effort – 80% of the time minimizing/eliminating dairy and gluten from my diet and 20% of the time enjoying a glass of wine, pizza with friends, a Christmas cookie (thanks Dad! Finally broke into ’em this week).
(Closing out as I finish the last sip of a tasty glass of wine. Cheers to you!)