REJOICE! As of Saturday, I finished my first whole 30! And y'all...I have nothing but positive things to say about it. Those 30 days weren't always pretty, but boy am I glad I persevered. The goal of this experiment was self control, and I am fairly certain I succeeded. There were big health changes (like clear skin, increased energy, ZERO anxiety, and efficient work outs) but the biggest result is that I'm no longer ruled over my desire for sugar. 30 days later, I don't think about brownies all day long. I don't have to have something sweet after every meal. I don't need to bake to make myself feel better after a hard day.
I have power over my food choices again. I am strong enough to say no to birthday cake, or chocolate milkshakes, or homemade cookies. I can drink my coffee without my beloved cream and sugar and live another day.
I realized that I must make these choices not only for myself, but for my family. I don't particularly want Pier to expect dessert after every meal, so I have to set the example. Don't get me wrong, I would be lying if I said that I will cut sugar out of my life completely. I still love baking, and I do miss it terribly! But I think we are going to be more prudent about how we incorporate treats into our diet in the future.
Moving forward, I plan to stay on a whole 30ish diet Monday-Friday and not stress about it on the weekends. My baking will be a weekly thing on Sundays, rather than a every other day type of thing. I now can ask myself, "Why do I want to eat this treat? Do I really need a piece of chocolate or can I make a healthier choice?" The Whole 30 definitely gave me the tools that I need so that I can make healthy decisions a constant part of my lifestyle, and not feel guilty about eating my favorite foods every now and then.
If you are interested in doing this, all I can say just JUMP ON IN! I was faithful to the program and I have never felt better. Regardless if the Whole 30 works for you, you will have a great sense of accomplishment after the month is over and you will discover things about yourself you didn't know before the program.
Now, the fun part -- what I ate this week!
Sorry for the lack of photos...Pier has been teething so my days have been pretty crazy with our thrown-off schedule. I ate breakfast before the sun came up each morning, so there are no breakfast pictures! I just ate the same ol thing -- eggs with bell peppers, paleo bacon, sweet potato, avocado, and fruit.
For lunch, it's been either leftovers or turkey lettuce wraps with veggies and sauerkraut. You can make your own sauerkraut, but I just randomly bought this one at Whole Foods and it's delicious! Also love to support local business when I can :).
week 4 dinner menu
Greek Chicken Salad - simply roasted chicken, lettuce, olives, red onion, potatoes, and tomatoes with Primal Kitchen Greek Dressing
Whole 30 Burgers (whole 30 cookbook) - with avocado, lettuce, sweet potatoes, and apples
Pork Chops (Whole 30 cookbook) - with salad and sweet potato
Asian Meatballs - over cauliflower rice. I heated one bag of Trader Joes cauliflower rice over the stove with a little olive oil, ginger, green onions, cilantro, and garlic powder. Nom Nom Paleo is one of my go-to food blogs...she has yet to let me down! I like that she already doubled the recipe so this made for great leftovers.
I was getting a bit bored in the snack dept until I took a spur of the moment trip to Target and found these gems!! Flavored olives, toasted coconut chips, and mini Lara bars (perfect when you want a little something extra but don't want to eat a whole bar).
Here's another random discovery: I forgot to eat before our walk a few days ago, so I stopped at a local health food store that is on our route to see what I could eat for a little snack before dinner. I'm still nursing constantly and I do cardio every day, so it's really important for me to keep eating so that my milk supply doesn't drop. I found these bars, bought the whole 30 compliant coconut almond flavor, and was blown away at how good they tasted! It is a delicious option when you need something quick.
- Don't Go it Alone -- my Indy bestie Valerie completed this challenge with me and I'm so glad we did it together!!! It helps to have someone you can text a million wine emojis to when you're baby is crazy and you wanna just give up and they just GET IT. It was great to have some encouragement and to have someone I could whine to whenever those cravings were getting outta control. She also has some great Whole 30 tips on her blog so check it out!
- Buy this and this -- These books are excellent resources and they really help you to fully understand what you're getting yourself into. Every recipe I tried was a hit, and I learned so much about the science of FOOD.
- Chop, chop, chop -- this may seem like a silly tip, but keep a cutting board out at all times. This helped me a lot with food prep, or if I needed to quickly chop veggies for a snack. Half the work is done if your board and knife are out ready for you to use!
It's been a good month, friends. Thank you for allowing me to share my Whole 30 journey with you. I am grateful for this blog because I think it really kept me accountable -- if I didn't put it out there to the public I may have given up on this completely. Be on the look out for one more Whole 30 post where I list out my must-haves and where to buy them!