Happy Monday everyone! It’s been a while since we’ve last caught up. As expected, school got real crazy real fast. I don’t know what it is about spring semester that makes it so much more hectic than the fall, but I feel like everyone I know is being pulled in so many directions at once. That said, I had to take a little time off from the blog. Lately when I’ve been cooking, the goal is to get everything made as quickly as possible. That means all of my meals have been pretty simple and boring. Now that Whole30 is over, I’ll hopefully start working on some new recipes and getting creative in the kitchen again, so stay tuned.
Speaking of Whole30 – I’m done! 30 days of no sugar, soy, grains, legumes, dairy, or alcohol went by surprisingly fast. This was my second round ever and here are some thoughts:
Positives/What Went Well
- Better Digestion – I mentioned earlier that around days 9-15, my digestion was all sorts of wonky, which is upsetting because you would expect the opposite when eating so healthy. I am happy to report that after starting a probiotic supplement and drinking Kombucha like it was my job, all digestion issues cleared up and I ended up feeling amazing by the end of the program.
- Clearer Skin – This is probably one of my favorite takeaways of Whole30. Just like my last round, I noticed that my skin was so much clearer by the end and that I had a overall healthy “glow” about me. I attribute this to all the veggies, no dairy, and my daily use of Vital Proteins collagen peptides.
- Less Food-Related Anxiety – This one might seem counter-intuitive, but restricting the types of food I eat actually reduces my anxiety around food and helps me to stop over-analyzing what I have eaten and what I am going to eat next. This is huge for me, as I feel like it is easy for thoughts about food to consume me, especially having battled an eating disorder in the past (if you haven’t check out my transformation on Instagram). Having a black and white distinction between what was allowed or not made my job pretty easy, and all of a sudden the abundant choices in the dining hall didn’t seem so scary anymore.
- Feeling Healthy – Physically, this is the best I’ve felt in a long time. It’s been almost 2 months since the last time I got sick, which is a record since starting college. My workouts have been amazing lately – I’ve started training for the Raleigh Rock n’ Roll Half-Marathon in April and have been upping the strength/cross-training. And lastly, my sleep and headaches have been improving. While I’m still not sleeping perfectly, I’ve only had 2 incidences of insomnia this semester (this number was 10+ last semester). As for headaches, I still get them, but haven’t had a migraine since Christmas. This was one of my biggest motivations for this round, so I am happy that things imrpoved.
What didn’t go so well…
- Okay, I kind of cheated – My last Whole30 was very strict – I had no slip ups and followed the guidelines (even the recommendations) almost 100%. However, I feel like having done a near perfect Whole30 already made me much more lenient in my second round. I had grains in the form of communion 3 times during this round (although I checked on the Whole30 Forum and this is technically allowed). I “accidentally” at maple-butter carrots in the dining hall, but kept on eating them after I realized my mistake. I said “screw it” one night when I was craving carbs and ate a bunch of fried yucca (hey, at least they were gluten-free). And I’m not so sure Melissa Hartwig would approve of my nightly “dessert” of carrots and nut butter. All of this being said, doing a Whole30 in college is hard enough, and I don’t think I could have finished this round and kept my sanity without these little cheats. I did what was best for me and feel no guilt for not living up to the strict and slightly unrealistic expectations set by the program.
- Social Situations – Going out with friends is hard on a Whole30, especially in college. It just doesn’t make sense to most people why I would do this, so I receive lots of questions and concern when I try and explain. The closest I came to quitting was when I went out to a Mexican restaurant for a date function and was very hungry, but could only eat meat and lettuce (really, there couldn’t have even been guac??), which was frustrating. However, when I remind myself why I was doing this is the first place, it made me want to stick with the plan even if it meant feeling left out for just a moment.
My plan moving forward is to eat mostly Whole30, but be more flexible overall. So far I’ve had peanut butter almost every day since finishing. I’ve found that my stomach doesn’t particularly love it, so I’m going to finish the jars I have and then stick to other nut butters. I’ve also been having added sugars. I definitely don’t like sweet things very much any more and I can tell when something has added sugars, so this is something I want to be aware of and try to limit for the most part. As for grains, other legumes, and dairy, I will add those back in when I feel like I really want to. I haven’t been craving them, so for now I’ll stick to my paleo game plan (+ peanut butter of course). Finally, I’ll end my post with some pics of what I ate for the last few days of Whole30. If you have any thoughts or questions, please comment below!