Whole 30 Reflections

by lisa | 27 March 2015 09:38

Doing a Whole30 was my introduction into paleo 6 years ago, and I’ve never looked back (so, yes, doing a Whole30 really did change my life). I was hooked the minute I read, ” Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.”Whole30-Version-31

That first time around, I actually did a Whole 90. I just felt so good that I didn’t want to stop. I was also a little afraid I’d fall back into bad habits (or face first into a donut) if I didn’t give it longer than 30 days. I learned that good food makes you feel good and I felt free—no calories or points to count, no boring bland “diet” food, no deprivation.photo (8) (1024x1024)

So, after six years of eating paleo, blogging about paleo and teaching others about real food, would I learn anything new by doing another Whole 30? To be honest, I eat pretty close to Whole 30 a lot of the time anyways.That, however, has been a real process in and of itself. I did the whole “OMG, I can do paleo baking and make awesomeness out of almond flour!”, but I’m way over that phase of my journey.  I realized that this was a very slippery slope for me and did not lead to optimal health, optimal body composition or being the best version of me that I could be. Paleo brownies make me crave more, more, more just like real brownies do. These days, I save my dessert making for special occasions (umm….Saturday is NOT a special occasion 😉 ) and I don’t need “paleo” bread, burger buns or pizza. Those things are on the ‘once or twice a year’ rotation for me.photo (7)

So, why did I decide to do another Whole 30? I have a friend at the gym who works out really hard but she’s unhappy with her body composition and is frustrated that she can’t seem to lose weight. She asked me for some help, so of course I gave her a nudge in the Whole 30 direction. I told her I would do it with her out of solidarity 🙂 Afterall, you should always practice what you preach.

Like I said, I eat pretty clean most of the time. However, I usually eat an 80% dark chocolate bar every weekend, I eat way too many dates and dried figs (in combination with that dark chocolate…total crack!) and I snack a lot on fruit and nuts. We also usually eat chestnut flour pancakes 2-3 times a month. My goals for this Whole 30 were to do it with little to no dried fruit, no nuts or nut butters and no snacking. If I’m honest with myself, I never usually snack because I’m hungry. I snack when I’m bored. I knew I needed to cut the nuts for two reasons (1) I have no self control when it comes to nuts or nut butter and (2) I’m AIP (following the autoimmune protocol)—no nightshades and no eggs–and nuts and coffee were my last hold outs to being totally AIP. I do this for my endometriosis, thyroid and joint inflammation. I considered these small goals/changes to be pretty minor compared to the changes somebody coming from a SAD diet has to make and so I didn’t really expect to see much change in how I look, feel or perform.photo (6) (1024x1024)

But, I was wrong. Even the little changes I made improved how I felt over all. No snacking meant that I was very careful to get full at my meals since I knew I had to stay satisfied until the next meal. I did snack twice, but I reached for half an avocado instead of a piece of fruit. Getting full at meal time meant that I incorporated more vegetables (I was already eating a ton, but it turns out you can always add more) and quite a bit more fat (olives, avocado and lots of coconut milk and oil). I limited my fruit to one grapefruit a day or a bowl of blueberries (or sometimes both 😉 ).

So, here’s what I noticed:

But, I’m sure you want to know if I lost weight. Yes I did, even though I wasn’t expecting to. I lost 3.0 kilos (6.6 pounds).

And, how did my friend do?

I am so proud of her!! She stuck to it for the entire 30 days and plans to continue eating Paleo (YAY!). She lost an amazing 6.1 kilos (13.4 pounds) and get this….she lost 28 cm! Eleven cm (just over 4 inches) came off her waist! She is feeling great and really enjoying the food. I am just so happy for her 🙂

What’s next?

I will continue to eat Whole30 most of the time. I plan to keep being strict about it until I go to Italy in a few weeks. But gelatto is bound to happen. Gelatto in Rome is totally worth it 🙂 I will continue to leave nuts out of my diet and I think I will also leave out the dried dates and figs. I’m sure I’ll have a little dark chocolate from time to time in the future, but it’s not something I’m craving. In fact, I’m not having any sugar cravings at all and I’d like to keep it that way. I’m also going to continue the ‘no snacking’ rule.

The pictures in this post are just a few shots of what I ate during my Whole30. Nobody would look at this food and call it a “diet”!! I posted quite a few (some with recipes) on my instagram feed. I’m posting more and more to instagram (over facebook or the blog) so pop on over and check it out 🙂photo (5) (1024x1024)

photo (4) (1024x1024)


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