Hey y’all! Today I want to share all about my Whole30 experience. If you have never heard of Whole30, click here to read more about it.
This is not something to take lightly. I don’t care what they say in the book…IT IS HARD!!! It’s hard when you’re the only one in your family who’s doing it. It’s hard when you have kiddos. It’s hard when you’re pregnant and for 21 weeks have eaten whatever you want and given into every craving.
So let’s get down to it. For 30 days I ate whole foods. I didn’t eat any junk. Honestly as I’m typing this, I still can’t believe that I completed this. 🙂 Here’s how it goes.
No sugar – y’all, this includes what we think of as natural sugar too! I used honey and agave A LOT before this. Not anymore! It obviously also included artificial sweeteners. This should be no surprise though because artificial sweeteners are BAD FOR YOU! This was really hard because you have to check labels for everything you buy that is off the shelf. Look at the ingredient list. If it has sugar in it, you can’t have it. Things like salsa and spaghetti sauce almost always have added sugar. So again, check your labels!
No alcohol – Well, this one was pretty easy for me! Since I’m pregnant and can’t have it anyway, alcohol didn’t even come into play for me.
No grains – You read it right. Pretty obvious what grains are, I think. This also includes gluten-free grains. So for all of you in love with quinoa, shelf it for 30 days.
No legumes – Beans, beans, the musical fruit….you know how it goes. No beans, no peanuts, no soy, just to name a few.
No dairy – None, nada, zilch. Not even greek yogurt. My favorite exception in this category is ghee. I very quickly fell in love with ghee. Ghee is basically butter with the milk proteins cooked out of it. I happen to think it’s way more delicious than butter. My oldest daughter strongly disagrees. 🙂 I use this recipe to make ghee. It doesn’t take long at all and again, delicious!
No carrageenan, MSG, or added sulfites – Simply check your labels on these, folks. Companies sneak so much in on food so just be careful.
A couple other guidelines they give are not to make treats, even if all of the ingredients are compliant, it can still ruin helping to heal your relationship with food. Also, don’t weigh or measure yourself during the 30 days. Also, even though fruit is totally acceptable, you’re not supposed to overdo it. Eat more meat and veggies than you do fruit. It’s ok to snack…a little…but don’t graze all day.
So I’m pregnant. While I remained completely compliant on WHAT to eat, I will say that I bent a couple of the rules. I wasn’t ever sick from pregnancy, but if you’ve even been pregnant, you know that sometimes you just need something to eat. I did snack in between meals, but I will say, by the middle to end of the 30 days, I remained full from my meals that I didn’t need to snack as much. I also weighed myself every couple of days. I just wanted to make sure nothing crazy was going on with the numbers that the docs would give me a hard time about at my next appointment. I ate a lot of fruit. I just did. It’s summer and it’s fresh fruit season. It just got me through. There were days that meat didn’t sound good or I made delicious plate of vegetable and just couldn’t do it. So to get me through the day, I ate fruit. This is definitely something I would try to NOT do when doing the program after my pregnancy is over.
One of the biggest things that Whole30 raves about, and rightly so in my opinion, is the Non-Scale Victories (NSV). I can tell you that I had several. When I started this I was about 21 weeks pregnant. I had already been experiencing heartburn to the point when I had to try to sleep elevated. This happened with my second pregnancy as well and I ended up taking 2 Zantac every day from about 18 weeks on. That was not something I was interested in this time around. When pregnant with my first daughter (the exact same time of year as this baby), I started swelling around 24 weeks and couldn’t wear my wedding rings anymore. I was so worried about this again, especially since this is my third pregnancy. I was also just starting to hurt more and get way more tired more easily.
So what did Whole30 do for me?
Here’s a list of some of my NSV that I experience during my 30 days.
Excessive oil on my face and scalp was totally under control. I’m the kinda girl who had to blot my fave with a tissue 2-3 times a day in the summer especially. I was just wowed by this. It wasn’t even something that I thought would happen and I was totally surprised.
Blackheads on my nose that I’ve tried to get rid of for 15+ years are almost completely gone.
Reduced cellulite in legs, mostly thighs and butt. Many of you may think I’m crazy, but pretty all women have cellulite and I was stoked to see this reduce a little.
Overall swelling and inflammation hugely reduced. I had people tell me my face (which is a place I have a history of carrying a little bit extra weight…even if it’s not much) looked thinner.
My heartburn disappeared after just 2 days of starting Whole30.
I felt less bloated.
Sinus drainage = gone. This was something that I didn’t even notice until after the 30 days was over and I started reintroducing foods and I instantly had post-nasal drainage issues again.
Daily morning headaches disappeared. It think this was part of slaying the sugar dragon.
Cravings became very manageable.
I slept better than I had in YEARS. On morning I woke up and realized I hadn’t moved all night. I didn’t even have to wake up to pee or anything. That part was AMAZING!!!
My energy levels hit a peak around the middle of the 30 days. This is hard for me to say whether they are better or not simply because I don’t know if the pregnancy is making me more tired or if this NSV was just not gonna happen for me.
I learned to cook a lot of new things. Most of them I LOVED and would never have tried if I hadn’t have done this. I will eat most of these things still now that I’m done. 🙂
I hope this has answered some of your questions about Whole30 if you had them. I think everyone would benefit from doing this, but I know it’s not for everyone. I didn’t have any health issues that I was concerned about, but it can help with so many things especially if you have tried other “diets” and haven’t gotten the results you wanted. I can’t even begin to go into how helpful this can be for people with certain inflammatory issues or gastrointestinal issues, but please if you’re interested, READ THE BOOKS!!! These are the two that I read and they were so helpful in explaining what these food groups do in your body and why that might affect you! I got these two and highly recommend reading them both!
Stay tuned for some of the recipes I fixed and what my meal planning looked like!