Ok, fine, “transformation” might be a little stretch. I can’t give you a crazy before and after picture that will blow your mind; it’s only 30 days. I can tell you this though, Whole30 was a lot easier than I thought it was going be and drastically changed my health. That is not an exaggeration. If you’re like I was, you’re scouring the internet looking for results and transformations, trying to motivate yourself to make a decision, pick a plan and tackle this diet. I get it. I did lose a lot of weight, and I will be honest with you about my experience. But don’t be overwhelmed because the truth is, you can do this.
For those of you that don’t know, Whole30 is an elimination diet that acts as a reset for your body. On Whole30 you eliminate all sugar, fake sugars, grains, dairy, soy, legumes, and alcohol for 30 days in the hopes of a full body reset to reduce toxins and inflammation, discover food intolerances and foster a better relationship with food. I started my second round of Whole30 this week, so I thought I would tell y’all how I got started with this crazy diet in the first place.
I chose Whole30 because I have two autoimmune diseases and after long-term prednisone use, lots of antibiotics and two years of surgeries and procedures, I couldn’t remember the last time I felt like myself. The weight I put on in the last couple of years wouldn’t budge, I was exhausted and bloated all the time, I was having a lot of joint pain and pretty severe brain fog. It was time for a change, so last April I did my first round of Whole30.
I started off with doing a ton of research before I jumped in and took the advice to listen to the book, It Starts With Food, on Audible. Reading that book is the first thing you should do. There’s a lot of medical info in that book that I wanted to know but probably would have fallen asleep trying to read. So on my way to Houston for our spring break adventures last year, I put a DVD on for the kids in the car, plugged in my headphones and listened to the Hartwig’s (the authors of the Whole30 books) talk about why I should try it.
I decided on April because it would be a slow month for our family with only one road trip, one holiday (Easter) and two crawfish boils. Now on a regular Whole30, I could have probably eaten crawfish, but I decided to just bite the bullet and do the Whole30 plus autoimmune protocol. I might as well torture myself all at once, right? The additional restrictions for the autoimmune protocol meant no nightshades, eggs or coffee. Nightshades are a family of vegetables that includes tomatoes, eggplants, white potatoes, and peppers or any seasonings made with them; goodbye spicey food, goodbye tacos, goodby crawfish, cue the tears. And yes, you read that right, I gave up coffee.
Here’s the thing Melissa Hartwig reiterates in the book. It’s only 30 days. You can do anything for 30 days. I like how she talks about what is hard. Birthing a human is hard, eating vegetables is not. Cancer is hard, meal prep is not. It’s only 30 days, y’all. I meal prepped every week, traveled eating out of Tupperware and fed my family completely different foods than I ate. I had to be serious, I had to be disciplined, I had to be intentional, and I had to explain it to everyone… but truly, it was not as hard as I thought it would be.
My dedication and sacrifice of crawfish season paid off because I felt sensational. I lost 15 pounds, which is what I know y’all are really here to find out, but I have to say that the weight was not the best thing that happened in those 30 days. I felt completely different. I was sleeping better than I ever have. I wasn’t waking up in the middle of the night, I slept so soundly it was unreal and woke up feeling refreshed. I felt better, my inflammation and bloat subsided, my brain fog and tummy aches cleared up, and my energy shot through the roof.
Since my first Whole30, I’ve kept off the weight, in fact, I dropped about 5 more pounds after that. Because of my results with Whole30, my doctor and I did food sensitivity testing and determined I could no longer eat gluten. If I do have gluten, I feel terrible, and my joints are almost instantly swollen and painful. There are other foods that I eat more sparingly now because I love them, they just don’t love me back. I took the summer off from Whole30 to travel and relax and not meal prep as intensely as I was in April, but to be honest with you, meal prepping is now just a part of my life. I got pretty addicted to how good all those fruits and veggies make me feel, so I make sure I get them in every day, one way or another. I actually have cabbage soup simmering on the stove as I write this.
My first round of Whole30 was a game changer for my health in that I discovered for the first time in my life what foods truly make me feel mentally and physically at my best. That is probably the biggest take away from Whole30 for me; the absolute proof and confirmation that what we put in our bodies determines how we feel. Everyone knows we should eat better, healthier foods but I think we all underestimate just how much it effects our minds, bodies and overall health. When I am feeding my body lots of fresh, whole foods, my body feels amazing but I am also more patient, less moody, calmer, and clear headed. I am inching closer to 40 every day, so I need all the energy I can get. Turns out, your mama was right, you need to eat your greens!
Whole30 changed the way I think about food, but I still love food so now I just try to eat more balanced. I think everyone should do one round, just to discover what food is supposed to make you feel like. I want to feel my absolute best going into the holidays when making healthy food choices is such a challenge. So I started Whole30 again this week to get myself back in the mindset of eating what makes me feel good. I want to do what is best for my body and my health. I am excited to be doing this round with coffee and eggs and all the spicy foods! If you have been struggling with your health, your weight, mood swings, low energy, brain fog, or your relationship with food, you should strongly consider Whole30.
I know it sounds hard, but it really isn’t. I am not a super strick eater, and I don’t have crazy intense self-discipline. I’m a normal mom who got sick of feeling like crap all of the time and wanted to make my health a priority. I love cheese and coffee, wine and chocolate, just like the rest of you. You know queso is my lifeline. I just got fed up. Get started, read or listen to the first Whole30 book and check back here for tips on how to start and be successful finding your way to health. I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned and what is working for me as I keep myself accountable this month. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support! Although it’s not hard, it’s not always fun but it is always worth it.