I Ate No Sugars, Cheese or Alcohol For 30 Whole Days! Here's Why.
Well, I'll start by saying that Whole30 lives up to the hype. Never has a detox made me feel…well…detoxed and consistently energized. I slept (and continue to sleep) better than a well-fed newborn baby. Whole30 eased and shortened my menstrual cycle, gave me focus, reduced my bloating, and helped me rediscover my joy for cooking (you can catch me whipping up meals on my IG stories on my personal account @taimsawyer).
I decided to do the Whole30 program while looking for a way to detox my body. I didn’t want to do “those teas” because I honestly don’t trust them. People take one good dump and now tea that “flattens” your tummy is all the rage. I wasn’t falling for the trap of drinking a cup of hot tea twice a day, waking up to run to the bathroom to “release myself,” feel great for 24 hours and then go back to being bloated and feeling like crap.
I chose to experience a more challenging yet productive route and thank God that I did. It has completely changed my view on being healthy.
The Whole30 program inspired the #ForVanityReasons health and fitness series. I had always considered myself a fit woman and I eat healthy but I’m no gym rat and therefore didn’t think I needed to devote a whole series to health and fitness. That was until I tried Whole30 because I could not stop talking about it and I don’t want to!
But before I go into details about my 30-day experience on the Whole30 program, I want to give you an overview of what it is. According to the program itself, it is NOT a diet. They don’t even want you to weigh yourself before, during or after the program. It has been designed to change your relationship with food while detoxifying your body. Ultimately, while on the program you can’t have sugar, dairy, alcohol, grains or legumes. You also can’t have any processed foods or ingredients you can’t pronounce. You can find all the rules HERE if you want to give it a whirl although I'll be adding it to my #CinchedWaistSummer17 plan (we'll talk more on that later).
Anyhow, here’s how my days went:
Day 1 (Monday, June 5th): I felt great and accomplished (even though I had started 4 days later than I had planned). I had created a beautiful spinach frittata for breakfast, packed my lunch and already had dinner waiting on me when I got home. This feeling of accomplishment went well for the next 4-5 days.
Day 5 (Friday, June 9th): Things got rough. On any other Friday, my evening routines usually go like this: Zumba class, ice cream with toffee, glass(es) of wine, and Netflix. I couldn’t have my favorite 2 of the 4 (and you can guess which 2 they were). Immediately, I realized my relationship to wine and desserts; Whole30 encourages the recognition of this kind of behavior. I use both to help me relax after a long day or week. Unfortunately, I can also end up binging on them. One glass of wine turns into the whole bottle and one bowl of ice cream turns into the whole tub while watching at least 5 episodes of House of Cards (more binging) until I fall asleep on my comfy couch. Anyway, this realization didn’t make things easier for me.
Day 8 (Monday, June 12th): Although the weekend was rough, I feel empowered and accountable because I begin sharing this journey on my Insta-stories. Friends begin encouraging me, sharing what they ate, and asking me to share my recipes. It’s all good until…
Day 11 (Thursday, June 15th): I attend a networking social event (where wine and appetizers are being served). I could only use my drink ticket for a bottle of water and I could only partake in the veggies and hummus. I was not amused.
Day 14 (Sunday, June 18th): I’m going to be honest, the weekends and holidays were the roughest times. We made a grand meal for Father’s Day. There was chicken, turkey, brisket, green beans, macaroni and cheese, bread rolls, potato salad, deviled eggs and more. I could only have chicken, turkey and green beans. Considering the size of my sweet tooth, I don’t even want to discuss the desserts I missed out on.
Day 18 (Thursday, June 22nd): Things start to look up. I’m noticing the effects clean eating is having on my body. I mostly noticed when, one morning, in the shower I realized that I wasn’t still sluggish. I had awakened energized (and before my alarm clock had gone off). I had also had a great night’s sleep and would continue to sleep well for the days to come. That energy lasted throughout the entire day. I didn’t need my 3pm cup of green tea to keep me awake and even my co-worker noticed that I hadn’t recently snuck to close my office door for a power nap.
Day 23 (Tuesday, June 27th): ALERT: I must warn you that we’re headed into TMI territory. On this day, I had a baseball game scheduled with a few buddies but my stomach started hating on me so much so that I had to google “diarrhea normal on whole30?” and apparently it is as instantiated by this article. I thought I was going to have to miss the game. What was happening was that my gut was cleaning house…completely. It was cleaning house like when your mom makes you clean BEFORE the cleaning lady gets there to clean and then she cleans well too. Luckily, the toilet runs subsided before it was time for me to meet up with friends. I had successfully dodged a “PoopGate.”
Days 27-29 (July 1st through July 3rd): I thought I would falter on the holiday weekend but I was a pro by then. I could easily answer questions on why I wasn’t eating or drinking EVERYTHING present. I could give a pleasant yet assertive “no” when someone tried to replace my cup of water with a glass of liquor. Interestingly, I felt like I really enjoyed my holiday weekend even while being completely sober. I could wake up (without a groggy hangover) and write or work out on my off-days.
Day 30 (July 4th): By the last day, I was making plans on all the bad stuff I would eat after this day was over. I planned on having an almond milkshake, toffee and ice cream, and champagne. But mostly, I felt proud that I was almost done and that I had survived it.
Day 31 (July 5th): CHEERS! I woke up feeling accomplished (and admittedly, free). I also received texts of congrats from friends who had been cheering me on. I still ate healthy. For breakfast, I had a breakfast burrito bowl from Qdoba with only eggs, potatoes, pico de gallo, and guacamole. For lunch, I ate a Harvest salad from Cosi with no gorgonzola although I did eat half of the bread. Then, I made it to Mikkey’s in Hyde Park for a caramel Oreo almond milkshake. It was so good! But it tasted too sweet to me and I realized that my Sweet Tooth had finally been tamed. Maybe. Only time will tell.
Ultimately, I would recommend the Whole30 program to everyone. I’m including it in my #CinchedWaistSummer17 workout and meal plan where I’ll share 30 days of various workouts you can do and suggest meals you can have (I'll even throw in a weekly grocery list). If you want to join (it’s free!), sign up by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org and letting me know to add you to the list. It starts August 14th. I’ll be sharing before and after pictures of my bloating with subscribers so they know it's real.
We're talking #MajorGoals all month long here at The Experience Collector and health and fitness always rank high on the list. Would you consider doing the Whole30?
picture from www.whole30.com