Whole30: A Review

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You knew this was coming right? I can't do something and not share my thoughts on it with you. I know the first thing people look for when coming here, so I'll share that first.

Weight Loss: 
I did 28 days of the Whole30. The last 2 days were part of a 3 day juice cleanse. On the last day I ate food, I was down 5.7 pounds. After the juice cleanse, I was down another 2.6 pounds.

Weight wise, this really isn't much compared to what most people lose. I've said on here a million times I have a terrible metabolism that refuses to do anything I ask of her, so I think this is part of it.

I did not measure myself before starting, only took my weight, however my stomach feels and looks flatter (I've had a few people, including Tom who sees me every day) comment, so I'm taking their word on it. Since this is the main area I wanted to lose weight, I'm happy about it.

Other Changes:
I did not get any migraines or break outs during the Whole30. This was quite interesting to realize. I really, really hope they aren't caused by dairy because I really would like that in my diet again.

I did not feel the great increase in energy a lot of people talk about either, but I can say that generally for the last month I've had a bit more energy than usual and I've felt like I've been more pleasant. This could be related to other things (summer, mainly) but I'm going to say it has to do with my eating habits.

Going Forward:
Before I started this, my coworker told me about people who live an 80/20 lifestyle where they have two days (typically the weekend) where they eat what they please and then they stick to the stricter paleo lifestyle during the week. I believe I am going this route, but not necessarily that the weekends will be my 2 days off. I'm sure there will be some weeks where it's more of a 70/30 but I figure as long as I don't go below/above that, I can continue to maintain this for the long run.

Reintroducing Foods:

Dairy: I'm still thinking about a soft serve twist cone like my life depends on it. I cannot wait until I can have one. I also really, really want a burger with cheese. I've never been a big cow's milk fan, so I'm going to stick with the almond and coconut milk varieties just out of preference.

Carbs: This is another hard one. I feel like for the most part, bread and pasta can be a take it or leave it aspect of my life, but then I think about pretzels and oatmeal and I know I need to figure out how to control this throughout the week. I've decided I'm sticking to the whole grain and whole wheat varieties whenever possible and I'll still probably opt to have my burgers without buns for the foreseeable future.

Alcohol: I've never been a big drinker so this has by far been the easiest thing to give up. However, I have 4 events this month alone that I'll probably have a drink. It's poor timing on the part of ending this, but I figure if I drink 4 times this month, it's probably more than I'll drink in the next 6 months combined, so it will all even out at the end.

Legumes: Also incredibly easy for me to give up. I rarely eat beans as it is. I prefer to use them for pie weights. Since it's not something we eat commonly, I'll probably still cook with them, especially when making a chili that Tom likes, but when making one specifically for me, I have no interest in adding beans.

Sugar: I think this is equally as hard as dairy. I have a sweet tooth, I can't deny it. I think I'm just going to work on better portion control and making sure to eat as many natural sugars as possible and still limit those. I read that some people try to limit all their sugars to before noon. That I can handle, hopefully. I've decided I'm going to make my own tea and just buy the stuff from the store with fake sugar when absolutely necessary. Coffee creamer is another hard one, I'm going to have to figure something out here because while I don't miss coffee, I know I'm going to want coffee and none of the creamers are good for you.

Soy: This is another take it or leave it for me. I was perfectly fine with using the coconut aminos in stir fry dishes, although I will admit that I wasn't impressed with using it as a marinade. It gave the chicken a gray color which was just really hard to eat. I know we're eventually going to order Chinese food and I'm not going to order from the bland steamed rice, no seasonings menu. So I think this is just something I'm going to keep an eye out on.

The biggest surprise to me was reading labels. Participating in a Whole30 really opens your eyes to what they put in the foods you eat. I typically think of myself as a person who has a decent amount of knowledge of what to eat and what not to eat. I know how to eat healthy, whether I choose to do so for every meal. There are some items where I would not expect a long list of ingredients and I was disturbed to find them. Canned tuna, for example, can have up to 7 ingredients. Tuna, water (or oil) and salt is all I expected. I'm not sure that choosing organic items really fits into our long-term budget, but I am definitely going to be more aware of label reading to see if there aren't better alternatives to what we are currently choosing. 

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