whole30: the nit and grit

03 December 2014

Oh, you thought I was going to let you get away with not hearing about the 30 days in excruciating detail?!

You don't know me at all.

Cackle.

No, I won't be throwing our three daily squares at you because ninety meals is a lot of typing and tis the season of busy and you have (slightly!) better things to do.


Not to toot my own horn but I did do a pretty phenomenal job of documenting the month.

Ahem.

The Gist: to go 30 days without consuming any added sugar, baked goods or treats, dairy, grains, alcohol, or legumes ... aka anything that tastes good. Focus on eating good natural fats and protein (meat, seafood, eggs) and vegetables and two servings of fruit per day.

Why?! I'm sure everyone has different reasons for embarking on the treacherous journey but I have always battled (battled, Grace?! FINE - that might be a little much ... but it isn't fun, okay?) severe insomnia and stumbled upon Whole30 in the middle of an especially bad night and read how well people slept and so the next day I started with zero planning under my belt. Simon listened to my plan in horror and then decided to join me because he's the nicer spouse.

How bad was it? It wasn't that bad!


Ever since college I've been relatively mindful about not consuming a ton of starch BUT I do love the dairy food group and me and refined sugar have a very on and off relationship. Mostly on. Simon admits he was in a nasty mood the first several days because he never ever has to worry about what he eats and will always probably fit into his suit from high school. No, I don't hate him. At all. But he came out of the funk after about a week and kept remarking how good he felt. I found the second half to be much more difficult than the first half because the newness and excitement had kind of worn off and I started sort of unhealthily obsessing about eating a block of sharp cheddar cheese like a banana. Sugar? Not a temptation at all but cheese ... I missed it. A lot. Simon said he missed pizza and soft drinks (pop, Coke, whatever your region calls it!) the most.

What did you eat? Lots and lots and lots of eggs which was great because I love eggs. Aidells chicken apple sausage was a staple for us sautéed with vegetables, Whole30 compliant chili (with sweet potatoes), salmon with avocado, spanish tortillas, more sausage, more eggs, burgers with sweet potato buns, burgers with lettuce buns, quiche with sweet potato crust, almost any and all fruit, the occasional salad with oil and vinegar, and maybe I should've kept a food log because I am blanking on the rest.

The Cons? This is definitely my issue but I found myself getting a little worked up every afternoon about having to make dinner. Grace Domestica Patton. Not that I don't ever make dinner but these meals required a bit more thought and chopping and prep than I'm accustomed to. I got into a serious sweet potato rut and I'm not sure when I'll be able to eat them again (I overdo it with things I love -- especially music -- then hate the thing for months and months following the binge). I usually catch up on housework and enjoy the quiet and hang out with Julia while the three little kids nap but now that time was spent getting dinner sorted out and I kind of hated that. Again, my issue and I can feel your warranted eye rolls through the screen. Also, it was definitely pricier than our usual grocery bill and I found myself going to the store almost every other day because I'm incapable of not forgetting a few things on my list. I'm sure most humans would simply make a meal plan, buy the supplies, do some prep, and follow through but I have to complicate everything.

The Pros? I'm going to forget some but I'll list what I remember right this second. I slept better almost instantly. I stopped waking up in a fog and had immediate energy whenever the child du jour (usually Theo) start cock-a-doodle-doing at their usual ungodly hour of the late night/early morning. I stopped getting caffeine headaches (I still drank coffee with canned coconut milk on occasion but not that often). Since I've been off the Whole30 I've had ~5 cups of coffee but my caffeine headaches have yet to return if I don't have coffee in the morning. I'm making the slow switch to morning tea. My skin was super clear. I stopped having that afternoon slump where the couch purrs my name and invites me to just "take a break! you deserve it!!" and then 49 minutes later .... I've accomplished nada. I stopped craving dessert after dinner. I was no stranger to a handful or three of semi-sweets but those cravings disappeared within the first 3-4 days. Simon and I sometimes split a grapefruit after dinner but we never needed it. I was always pleasantly surprised that after dinner I was good and full for the night. I never woke up hungry or in some awful sugar hangover. I also realized that I really enjoy things with yellow mustard and don't need to douse everything in ketchup which was a nice (albeit silly and minor) revelation.

did you lose weight? the program stresses time and time again that this is NOT a weight loss program. Many people lose weight but that's not the point and you'll be disappointed if you do the Whole30 TO lose weight. Would I have liked to kick the final few Phoebe pregnancy pounds to the curb? Of course - but I wasn't stressing about it especially because I exercised zero times. And so with that said! I lost 1 (one) pound which I attribute to the fact that I was already a super healthy eater. Laugh. No, not at all. However, my clothes fit better and I noticed my arms lost a lot of jiggle. Simon lost 12 pounds. And he wasn't even that strict. He did the best he could at the hospital but sometimes 24 hour shifts + the hospital cafeteria at 1am aren't the best combo but he did a phenomenal job and could happily declare that he was down to, "wedding weight, b*tches!!!" so, there's that.

so, now what? Simon kept saying throughout the 30 days that if he learned anything it would be how mindlessly he ate calories and how good it was to be mindful about every single thing we ate. And I agreed. I don't foresee us going Paleo full force but moving forward I'm trying to leave sugar and grains out of dinner completely. We haven't started back on yogurt but I should probably be more mindful of the cheese consumption situation. I'm always trying to eat more vegetables and looking at Paleo + whole30 boards on Pinterest is a great source of inspiration to try to fit more into our meals.

would you do it again? Probably! I read that the founder (Melissa) occasionally does whole5's or whole7's to get back on track (but I think she predominantly eats Paleo otherwise) and I can see myself going that route but I'm definitely not opposed to doing another one in 2015.

do you recommend it to the general public? YES! If only for the great exercise in discipline. Of course it's about food but it was rewarding to look back on the month knowing that we did something that wasn't always easy or convenient (my vice) together and we didn't kill each other. Wink. Half laugh.

This is definitely helpful to no one but ..... nothing. I just wanted to give a little month in review and give anyone that's even sort of considering it a big push in the YES direction. If I can do it ... you can too. 100000%.






40 comments:

  1. What are spanish tortillas? are they different from flour or corn? I wish I had your discipline to do this. Well done. I am glad your back. i was getting really bored during my kids naptime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they are kind of like a frittata? Made with potatoes and eggs - SO GOOD!!!

      http://www.finecooking.com/articles/how-to/spanish-tortilla.aspx

      Delete
  2. Husband and I did this back in April/May sometime... I had a lot of the same feelings you did. I cook a lot, but cooking three meals a day was not so fun after day 2. I want to do it again soonish, but I'm dreading the food prep and cooking and grocery bill increase. Congratulations on finishing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oof, forgot. What'd you do for the kids? My oldest bought lunch at school everyday as a "treat" but mostly ate what we did for dinner.

      Delete
  3. I absolutely love whole30. I did my first round in September and lost 17 lbs, but that wasn't even the best part. It changed my whole relationship with food, myself, everything. I actually enjoy cooking now (a shock to my husband!) and I look forward to my veggies. Who would've thought? I plan on doing it again in January. Congrats on finishing, Grace! It might not be super hard, but it's definitely not super easy!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've never done the official Whole30, but I've done similary things. I agree, it is neat how much it shows how mindlessly I eat. IN.SANE.

    Where did you buy the chicken and apple sausage? That sounds SO yummy. I use a lot of turkey sausage, but have never tried chicken!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just the regular grocery store!! Pricey but worth it!

      Delete
    2. Our Costco carries them too! Was a great find when we did whole30 :)

      Delete
    3. Costco carries them here, too - so yummy!

      Delete
  5. tell me more about all the things you did with sweet potatoes (my favorite thing in the world). crusts? buns?

    ReplyDelete
  6. so glad you did this recap because my friend is trying to get me do it (she did it with you all!) and i'm currently doing a 7 day trial of it. i do want to snort cookies but i do feel better already, which sort of sucks because i don't want to give up my dairy and sugar love. i think i'll give it a go in februrary after hearing more of your thoughts! thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Firstly, I am so glad you are back! My daily blog perusals were feeling a little incomplete :)

    I bought the book forever ago and read about half of it. I was amazed at all the stories people shared about having no more allergy symptoms, being relieved of all kinds of bodily aches, better sleep, more energy etc. I suppose I should give it a go! Thanks for the recap!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I second the question about how your kids ate and did they like it?? I really want to try this but doubt I can get all four of us on board (2 and 4 year old). Bribery? That's about all I can think of!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No ha. They definitely didn't :) they just ate their usual stuff

      Delete
  9. Way to go! What is that in the pot in the bottom left picture?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I understand no sugar and grains, but why no dairy? Sorry, I know I should just ask the google, but you explained everything so well, Grace. :) This is the first Whole 30 post I've read and thought "Hey, maybe I'll try it" at the end. Except for the no dairy part.

    ReplyDelete
  11. My hat goes off to you! And Simon. I would love to try this, I just think I would last about 3 days. Chris eats a semi-paleo diet on a regular basis so I am used to cooking like that. But I have a stash of junk food that rivals Halloween. And the creamer....I need to just stop drinking coffee to cut that crap out of my life! Maybe after baby I will try this :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. You did it!! Chris and I just started round 2 on Monday!! Chris is doing it this time and he has been so good! We are not doing it full force...allowing one cheat day a week and not stressing about little bites of stuff here and there. Chris was eating 1/2 gallon of ice cream in three days and drinking at least one coke a day plus 6+ cups of coffee. Text me some recipes you found to be winners. I need to send you some bomb crockpot meals we've done this week that are making this round way easier!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will you send the recipes my way too? :)

      Delete
  13. Awesome - glad you made it through! My husband and I just did a modified version in September and we've largely stuck with it. We've definitely eliminated a ton of things and largely eat Paleo for the majority of meals. There are some really yummy recipes out there, so it's not too hard.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Eggs would be my saving grace, but I highly doubt I'll ever be able to pull one off although I do need a kick in the behind in the food discipline department. Great job, guys!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Go you! I don't predict I'll ever have the self-discipline to do it myself but I greatly admire those who do ha!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Siggggghhhhhh. I feel like all the awesomesauce bloggers I follow had great success with this diet. After a few weeks, I was so weak, that I almost fell backwards down the stairs while carrying kiddo #3.

    Ketosis for the #fail.

    I'm a large bit jelz of Simon's weight loss, btw!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow! Sounds amazing - but I won't lie, it sounds hectic! I am quite a fussy eater and I eat good grains and dairy almost every day so that would be super tricky for me! Well done you x

    ReplyDelete
  18. So I'm not even going to lie, I was eating a slice of vanilla cake while I was reading this hahaha. I will say that my husband and I have spent the last 4 years or so (him more) heading into the healthy to the max type of lifestyle, I did Paleo for a while and also felt great but didn't feel comfortable taking certain foods out of my diet. We have now landed firmly in the well balanced, min carb lots of fruit and veg and healthy fats and protein spot and I love it. That being said, we are cake and chocolate people forever:) Also please tell me you tried Cauliflower pizza, I mean I know it has cheese but it has zero carbs!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Also do you guys get Ostrich meat there- makes the leanest mince and its a really nice heart healthy option:) Its also cheaper than most meat here but not sure what it would be like there.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm toying with it, i went on a diabetic course a few weeks ago which encourages you to eat everything, but i do feel better eating less refined sugar (duh!) and carby products. Well done though, my willpower and hatred of faffing is high and I dont have 4 little monkies!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Suck, my comment deleted. To sum up: You inspired me to go Whole 30, we did it, except at my grandparents (sad miserable meals there), ate too much fruit, but my husband now gets why we shouldn't eat certain stuff. WIN!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh, also, food prep was miserable. I work full time and still had to do all the cooking (he is positively hopeful in the kitchen - but hope only goes so far). We had a lot of eggs and sausage as a result!

    ReplyDelete
  23. good for you! one question...what were your kids eating during this month? did you try to get them to eat what you were or were you preparing separate meals? just curious. i don't know as though i have the willpower, but i'm toying with the idea of working towards it.

    ReplyDelete
  24. ok, nevermind...just read the other comments and saw your reply. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. So lad you shared this. i have been thinking about embarking on the Whole 30, but giving up cheese and cream in my coffee seem very overwhelming to this mama of 9!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I was so excited to read this! I am 40 weeks pregnant w/ #3 (GET OUT, BABY!) and was just asked to be a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding in August. So I'm going to have to go hard-core with the diet and exercise as soon as baby vacates to look any kind of good in that dress. Whole30 sounds like it could be a good way for me to go to jump start the healthy eating plan.

    ReplyDelete
  27. interesting! i have heard that the prep is the biggest con from a few people.
    this does interest me, because i have a serious sugar problem, but i don't particularly like meat so i eat a lot of beans, and because of a disease i already have, i rely on rice and quinoa instead of bread and pasta. i wonder if i could do a modified version.
    sweet potato bun? interesting...

    ReplyDelete
  28. Personal question... are you still nursing Pheobe? If so, did you find the whole 30 challenge affected milk production at all? I'd love to do this, but I am always scared to change my diet while I'm nursing for fear of throwing a cog in the wheel if ya know what I mean. Any insight?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, I'm in the same place. Do tell, Grace!

      Delete
  29. Thanks for this! I've wanted to try this for a while, but since we're already four days into December, I guess I'm going to just HAVE TO wait until the New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Love this! I discovered I like mustard, too, ha! Did you have any reactions when you reintroduced?

    ReplyDelete
  31. I HIGHLY recommend Mountain Rose Herbs for their amazing tea. I switched to black tea in the morning 7 years ago and their tea is the best out there! I love the Assam for every day and sometimes I throw a vanilla bean in the brew. I also love the Earl Grey. I add lavender petals and a vanilla bean to that along with honey and cream to make a latte. My husband does raspberry leaf in the morning for his energizing Bulletproof tea.

    ReplyDelete
  32. My mom and I were planning to do this for the first time starting January 2nd. She can't now because she has to focus on getting her cholesterol down and is taking a different diet route...but I'm still considering it, and my husband claims he's on board. The thing I'm most scared of is being without my coffee! I pour a decent amount of creamer into my coffee, and I've heard of the coconut milk thing...but I have my doubts about that being good enough. Haha! Loved reading this! Thanks so much for typing it all out!

    ReplyDelete

 

Camp Patton © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger