Whole30 is done! Woohoo! You can read more about why I decided to try it again here. Below is a quick take about the entire month followed by a much longer explanation if you’re in a reading mood.
The short version: Now that it’s behind me, I can honestly say I enjoyed Whole30 more than I thought I would. It took just one meal during the reintroduction phase for me to realize some foods leave me feeling so bad that it’s not worth the taste.
Since finishing the program, I have tried to incorporate more veggies and healthier snacking into my diet. However, no plan will ever get me to cut baking out of my life forever. I recommend Whole30 if you’re looking to pinpoint an illness/ ache/ pain. If you want to lose weight or just eat a little healthier, this plan is too strict.
The longer version: Whole30 was hard but (and I can’t believe I’m about to say this) worth it. When I told friends and family I was eliminating dairy, sugar, legumes, alcohol and grains for thirty days, the comparison Whole30 garnered most was Atkin’s. I’ve never tried Atkin’s, but Whole30 is not intended as a longterm diet. Nor is it actually a diet since weight loss is not the main goal.
Thankfully, the last thirty days were some of the most sedentary we have planned for the year so cooking at home and staying inside were both very doable. The time commitment on the other hand was a serious strain. When you’re trying to get out the door in the morning after making dinner and snacks the night before (which alone is a success!) cooking an entire breakfast was sometimes the last thing I wanted to do.
I’m very grateful that I live a lifestyle which allows me to invest in my health and that I tried Whole30 while I only have my own schedule to worry about. It took me a solid three weeks to feel like I finally got into the swing of things and could whip up meals in a reasonable amount of time. I credit this to smarter meal planning and a better understanding of the restrictions.
Real talk: It cannot be said enough how much of a time commitment Whole30 requires. If you try this plan, be prepared to spend a lot of time reading labels and avoiding many pantry staples.
Because I was cooking so much at home, I thought I would save money, but the fresh produce and a myriad of ingredients for homemade sauces and dressings meant I didn’t save much at all. Can you hear my frustration? What I missed most was grabbing a spontaneous drink after work on the way home and spending my weekend mornings baking desserts to share with friends.
I tried Whole30 (sometimes lovingly referred to as Hell30) because I wanted to understand what causes my migraines and to make healthier food choices. During the process, I couldn’t understand how people finish the program and don’t crave foods they once loved. (You mean to tell me there are people out there who don’t like toast?)
Since this reset, I now know that foods which once sounded good don’t sound that great anymore, and I feel stronger for knowing some things (I’m looking at you, lattes) don’t have a hold on me like they used to.
Life post-Whole30: After returning home from vacation, I was incapacitated with the flu. Indulging more than usual and feeling downright awful made me want to stick to Whole30 again. Do I sound like one of those individuals who drinks kale for breakfast and makes imitation parmesan cheese? Hell, if it makes me feel good, I’m beginning to think neither of those things sounds so bad. While I spent so much time wishing I could have a bowl of ice cream or piece of toast, I never thought I would want to be on Whole30 once it was over, and yet here I am.
I’ve reintroduced most foods with the exception of dairy. Making banana bread while we were in Arizona and lemon bars (I’ll share the recipe I used later this week) this past weekend was downright therapeutic, and I have no intention of ever giving up baking again. However, I do plan to incorporate more vegetables on a daily basis and maybe ease up on treating myself so much.
If you’re going to try Whole30: Try to find friends near and far to do it with you and hold you accountable. Swapping everything from complaints to recipes made the plan more doable! I also recommend the cookbook. Planning ahead is the number one key to surviving the full thirty days, and a complete book of recipes helps tremendously!
If you want to learn more: