Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Things to Know Before you Start Your FIRST Whole30

Guys, I finished Whole30! I cannot believe that I did it. When I first started I was SURE I was going to want to quit at some point or at the very least cave and sneak a little summin summin in. While I did have a tough weekend after week 3, I pulled myself together and finished.

I have to say, I feel very proud of this accomplishment. If I ever wondered what kind of willpower I have, I certainly found out. A bonus, I feel freaking AWESOME. I haven't felt this good in as long as I can remember.

Now, I don't think I would have been as successful as I did if I didn't do my research. I looked at blogs, I read reviews, found recipes, planned meals, had a game plan, the works.  For those of you starting Whole30 for the first time, here is a (lengthy) list of things that helped me before I started & something things that I wish I knew.

Either way - no matter your age, lifestyle or gender, I really recommend this program if you're looking to get yourself out of a bad eating rut & want to jumpstart your body & eating habits.

Things to Know Before you Start Your FIRST Whole30:
  • BUY THE BOOK - it's only $10 for the eBook or $20 for the hardcover
    • The program creators have an amazing way of explaining WHY certain foods are off the list and HOW these foods can impact your body negatively
  • If you're not going to buy the book - read the whole website
  • Pre-Whole30 PLAN
    • This program takes A LOT of planning - it is not something you can just start the next day 
    • Know what you can & cannot eat, find recipes that sound interesting to you & understand what you're getting into
  • Have a game plan for each week:
    • Know what is coming up (events, long days, dinners out) so that you can plan accordingly
  • Do yourself a favour and buy ALL new spices 
    • If you can't remember when you bought fresh spices last, chances are, they're old. Go get new spices
    • The ones I used the most - Cumin, Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Oregano, Chili Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Sea Salt, Fresh Black Pepper.
  • Don't do this program if you're looking to loose a lot of weight quickly - that is not the spirit of the program
  • Do not do this program if you're going to have a lot of occasions in which you will want to "cheat" (weddings, your birthday etc)
  • The first couple of weeks are expensive - you need to buy some things that you don't have immediately 
  • It's not hard to eat out
    • Just make sure you look at the menu first before you go & decide ahead of time what you're going to have
    • The safest bet is grilled chicken w/ greens & oil/balsamic dressing
  • Figure out your triggers
    • For me, watching TV or a movie at night after a long day - I want to reach for a snack. Now, I do my nails, read a book, drink herbal tea, CLEAN. Just need to keep my hands busy
  • It is HARD sometimes
    • Most days, I loved the program. There were a couple where all I wanted to do was buy a bag of chips and stuff my face 
    • These days SUCKED. I was irritated, emotional and angry. Jon was awesome and told me to keep going & that it was going to be worth it. He was right.
  • Have a support system - it is SO much easier to do this with someone else, especially when you have days like the above.
    • Even if it's your partner who is at least eating the same meals as you - that's what Jon did and it was SUPER amazing
  • For the first week or so, you will be hungry
    • It takes awhile to figure out how much food is enough to fill you up between meals
  • Prepare snacks for when you get hungry so that you're not reaching for junk
    • I had a jar of almonds on my desk at work and a piece of fruit
  • It's a challenge to explain the program to others
    • Most of the time, when I tell people about the program I see a lot of scrunchy noses and a lot of "Ohhh, so like you can't really eat anything?"
    • The best way I've found to describe Whole30 is a "Healthy Lifestyle Challenge"
  • Don't deprive yourself
    • Make sure you eat as much as you need - there is no need to count calories or fat. Just pick good food to eat and the rest will follow 
  • Have an exit strategy - think about what you're going to do at the end. 
    • It's all well and good to do this for 30 days, but the whole purpose is so that you can change your habits for life, have a plan for that
There you have it! It's a lot to take in and a lot of things to consider. If it helps, I enjoyed the experience so much that I think I'll be doing this program once a year, after Christmas & New Years and all that. It's a perfect way to re-set. 

Have you done a Whole30? If so, do you have any tips to add? I'd love to hear from you!

If this is your first time, feel free to reach out, I'd love to talk to you about it!

Good Luck!

- Lisa

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