Monday, 19 January 2015

Whole30 - Week #1

Last week, I started a program called "Whole30" I've read a TON about it online and have been following them on Instagram for about a year now. The basic premise is that for 30 days, in a row, NO CHEATING, you eat a very specific diet. This means no sugar, no dairy, no legumes, no alcohol, no grains & no MSG. While I was interested in the premise I was also very skeptical. At first glance it seemed like a overly restrictive version "The Paleo Diet" and told myself I wasn't ready and moved on.

Then, after the absolute GLUTTONY of Christmas, I was really beating myself up about how much food and drink I'd consumed. Not only that, my snacking and junk intake was out of control. No lie, I could not help myself from eating junk. I was just eating, eating and eating.

After our cruise, I decided to take a closer look at this program. 

Here are some things I learned:

1. While losing weight is a pleasant side effect, it's not the ultimate goal - the goal is to eat healthfully for 30 WHOLE days (no cheating!) and help your body to come away from it's dependance on junk.
2. Another goal of the program is to help you appreciate and love good food again - vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, nuts - all wonderful things that don't really taste like much after eating junk
3. While this program IS restrictive, there are very good reasons. Something that I a found on a couple blogs was that is was very important to read the book "It Starts with Food" before beginning the program (I'm glad I did, more on that later).
4. I found a heap of bloggers (no associate with Whole30 at all) that had amazing results from doing this program (like more energy, clearer mind, more focus, enjoyed exercise more).
5. There are SO many amazing resources available to help see you through the program.

After learning all that, I decided "what the hell?" - I bought the book on my Kindle and gave it a read.

First VERY important fact - do not start this program right away. It takes a lot of planning before you'll be ready to begin. Understanding exactly what you can and cannot eat is a steep learning curve and you'll soon realize - sugar and gluten is in EVERYTHING.

In any case, the week before I started, I planned out meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner), created my grocery list and set out.

I'm now one week into the program - here is where I stand right now...
  1. I’ve tried a lot of foods that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Further to that, I've learned some new ways to prepare food. 
  2.  I eat breakfast every morning (the program requires that you do) and I have more energy when I get to work. I drink less coffee (because black coffee is gross) and have switched to herbal teas (or Green Tea). 
  3. I am tired still, but I read that it is common to experience that in the first week. Plus, I’ve heard that the cold I had leaves tiredness behind even after it’s gone. 
  4. Instead of snacking at night, I’ve been doing my nails, reading or meal planning (which I actually really enjoy). 
  5. I haven’t had any MASSIVE cravings...yesterday I saw a President's Choice Truck with the Decadent Cookies on it, and for a moment I really wanted cookies, but then it passed. I’m getting enough salt in my diet, so I haven’t been craving chips (yet)
  6. I’ve been spending most of my time in the kitchen. A lot of dishes, a lot of “pre-prep” for the next day, a lot of making sure we have enough food for the next meals. 
  7. Eating this healthfully is expensive, especially the first week when you turn over your kitchen and stock your pantry with the right ingredients. I didn't have most of what is recommended to have in your kitchen
  8. Further to that - when you find a favourite sauce (like Frank's Hot Sauce) that is compliant with the program, it pretty much makes your life
  9. Explaining this program to people is difficult. It's hard to tell them for 30 days you can't eat sugar, dairy, legumes, grains or alcohol without them thinking you're only eating salads for 30 day. The truth is, I've eat better this last week than I have in 4 years. The food tastes better, you feel more satisfied, it's actually kind of awesome.
  10. Overall, I just feel better. While I’ve been sleeping more soundly, I haven’t felt the “jump out of bed in the morning” energy, but I suspect I’ll start to feel that at the end of next week. 
  11. I have the most amazing husband who has been eating all of the meals I prepare WITHOUT complaining. 
At the end of the 30 days, I'll post & share all my favourite recipes. This week I loved:

  • Favourite Snack - Apples & Almond Butter

I'd LOVE to know - have you tried Whole30? What did you think? Any amazing meals you would suggest?

Until next week!

- Lisa

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