Today Chelsea and I are nine days into Whole30! For those who’ve never heard of Whole30, it’s a 30-day program during which you eliminate things like sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes from your diet completely. At the end of the 30 days, you add things back in one at a time and evaluate their effect on your body. I listened to a podcast by the Whole30 creator, Melissa Hartwig, and she calls the program a reset button on your eating habits.
I was really feeling like I needed a reset, especially after evaluating my diet from a day in December – a bagel for breakfast, Chick-fil-a for lunch, and pizza for dinner. I mean where are the veggies? Or fruit?
So, now that we’re one week in, I’m excited to share my thoughts so far!
First of all, our days are easier with pre-planning. It’s not as easy to just grab and go without some meal prep. Our old habits were to just run to the grocery store quickly when we needed something. Now we think out our meals in advance and plan out a few days at a time.
One of the critiques of the program is all. the. dishes, and I have to agree. Because we’re trying a lot of new things, it seems like we’re dirtying up a lot of dishes. To help avoid that, we usually make enough for a couple meals. We’re mostly eating those leftovers for lunch, and that’s been great for something I can take to work.
I have really enjoyed our well-balanced, healthy meals and it’s been a great opportunity to rediscover the taste of food when it isn’t buried under cheese. Now don’t get me wrong, I miss cheese, but I appreciate the reset on my taste buds.
One thing we were missing initially (I mean, besides cheese) was sauces to add some flavor to our meats and/or dressing for salads. We did some research on the Whole30 website, and found Primal Kitchen! The sauces are delicious and give us additional flavor options for our meals.
Our Sodastream has also been a lifesaver! I eliminated Diet Coke three weeks before Whole30 because I knew it’d be harder to eliminate that along with everything else. Once I started using the Sodastream, I realized that while I thought I liked the flavor of Diet Coke, it was really the bubbles I craved. So now, with a Sodastream, I can have sparkling water on hand all day!
One of my biggest worries was could I still host and go to parties?! Would I want to? This one worried me right away, because, hello, I love parties! I blog about parties! So how could I take a whole month off? Well in just one week I realized I don’t have to. I spent last weekend with my sorority sisters at Kamp KD and I realized that changing the focus off the food allowed me to focus more on activities and decor. It was also a fun challenge to come up with healthy snacks rather than relying on just junk food. And, I think having healthy snack options helped the energy level of the group!
We also went to a football-watching party, and Chelsea’s mom made some great Whole30 options for us, and we brought Whole30-compliant chili. So, we still had fun and we were still able to eat! And the Seahawks won! So it was an all-around great night 🙂
If you’re interested in Whole30, I encourage you to research in advance. You’ll be most successful if you pick a start date a few weeks out and research, plan, and shop before it even starts. Pick a time of year that makes sense with everything else going on. For instance, vacations and holidays are tougher – not impossible, but it would require even more planning.
Knowing your own eating habits, make a plan that matches those in a Whole30-compliant way – if you like to eat out, check menus in advance and choose a place that offers options that are compliant. Or if you like to snack, have veggies on hand for snack time.
I also found this timeline helpful, and so far it’s incredibly accurate! It breaks down the 30 days telling you what you might feel each day. We’ve still got 20 days to go and I know there will be some times where we just feel like quitting. Pre-planning meals, making prep as easy as possible, and knowing we can still have fun will hopefully set us up for success the rest of the month.
So, even on Whole30, I’m able to Party on!