Sunday, July 13, 2014
My First Whole 30 Experience
During the month of June, I decided to embark on my first Whole 30. For those who are unfamiliar with the plan, you can read more here. It was not for weight loss (after all, I was six months pregnant), but for overall health and to see how my body responded to specific dietary changes. My husband and a few other friends were on board and followed the plan with me, which I’m certain increased my ability to successfully complete it. This is a recap of my overall experience.
One of my main reasons for starting this was to get control of my sugar habit. I love all things sweet and sugary. I’m certain it’s become somewhat of an addiction. The Whole 30 claims to help with the cravings. I will say that I was somewhat disappointed that I continued to still have great desires for my sweets throughout the 30 days. With that said, the authors of the plan mention that some people may truly have to have a longer time frame without the sugars before their body adjusts. After all, correcting a lifetime of bad habits in just 30 days probably isn’t going to happen. Two days after my Whole 30 was completed, I totally binged on a ton of sugary sweets and paid the price with stomach upset and headaches. Not cool. Then several days later, I apparently forgot what that earned me and did it again. This time, it was followed with stomach issues, heartburn and an inability to fall asleep until nearly midnight (which is INSANELY uncommon for me). I’m hoping I learned my lesson after that last episode. This is a very tough issue for me. Overall, I’m hoping to curb my sweet tooth with healthier options (fruits and such) and then indulge only occasionally on the other goodies.
Two or three days into my Whole 30, I noticed that a continual pain I have in my thighs completely disappeared. No joke. There are two spots on the outsides of both of my thighs that generally just feel tender to the touch, non-stop. Well, I’m happy to report that pain stopped and has NOT come back. I don’t know what it was… the sugars, grains, etc but something triggered that pain. This was the only big “miracle” change the diet gave me but one worth noting.
About two weeks into my 30 days, I started feeling extremely fatigued physically. It was kind of odd because most people that go through the program feel fatigue and issues at the beginning of their Whole 30, when I didn’t. It wasn’t a sleepy fatigue but a physical one: as if I’d ran several miles and my legs were really tired. I tried adding calories/fat/approved carbs to help. I felt like I noticed a difference for about two days and then it started again. All that said, now that I’m not doing the Whole 30, my fatigue hasn’t changed greatly. I’m pretty sure that it was more so caused by the fact that I’m towards the end of my pregnancy and not a result of my diet after all.
One thing that was lovely about the Whole 30 is that I experienced zero stomach issues. There were a few days of adjustment like pains as I think my body transitioned to much more fat. Since then, I felt no uncomfortable bloating, rumbling, gas, etc. When I came off the plan and added back dairy, my stomach almost instantly showed it’s disapproval. Now I’m trying to figure out if I’m lactose-intolerant or what exactly my issue with dairy is and what I can and can’t have.
I've discovered SO many veggies and healthy meals (mostly from http://theclothesmakethegirl.com and Well Fed 2). The family (almost everyone) has fallen in love with many of these recipes. I generally consider myself a terrible cook so I feel this is HUGE. My husband has even told me that my cooking has improved dramatically and he’s not one to complain. Score!
I check the ingredients on everything and realize how much crud we have gotten used to eating without even thinking about it. We’ve just grown up in a culture that typically doesn’t pay attention to these things (I was right there too) and mindlessly eat whatever is in front of us. This has been eye opening to me!
Overall, it was a difficult but great experience for me. I’m a very “black and white” type person and having a specific list of do’s and don’ts versus eat a percentage of this or that was very helpful. Now I’m learning how to incorporate some of those other foods in my diet in a healthy way. I’m having to truly learn self-control in the area of sweets but it’s easier to pass on some of the other things. I’m still figuring out how some of the no-no foods affect me personally. But for now, this is my story!