Tag: food plan

My Whole 15 Results

I finished the Whole 15! It wasn’t as drastic a difference as when we did our original Whole 30 in January, but we still experienced some benefits. Did you try a Whole 15 or start a Whole 30? Share your results in the comments!

Whole 15 Results

During the Whole 15

The first week of the Whole 15 went well. I planned out our meals and shopped for most of the items ahead of time. The first day went well and the second day went fairly well, though I was wanting cake and a latte by the end of it. Once again my husband and I did not experience any headaches or extreme irritability, etc. during the detox of the first 2-3 days.

But by Day 4 (and into Day 5), I was extremely tired and decided that it must be related to the Whole 15 plan. That is a common effect around that time, though we did not experience it during our Whole 30. Somewhere around Day 5-7, I definitely felt bloated and like I had actually gained weight. This is also common after a few days, which is why it’s recommended to avoid weighing yourself during the plan. Sometimes your weight will go up before it goes down.

Then I hit Day 8. We were out and about all morning and tea just wasn’t going to cut it (and I don’t do black coffee). I decided to cheat and have a latte. I thoroughly enjoyed it and did not regret my decision. Since our point of doing Whole 15 was just as a reset and not about food issues, we decided that we would be a little easier on ourselves during the second week. So yes, I had a cheat of some sort each day the rest of the time. I would rather have done it without the cheats, but my motivation was lacking in week 2.

We still mostly followed the Whole 30 plan until the end though. If I did it again as a small reset, I think a Whole 10 would work out better. And if you are doing a Whole 30 for the first time – do NOT cheat! You’ll want to get the best results you can, which work out best if you stick to the plan.

Whole 15 Food

Results of the Whole 15

Though it was harder to stay motivated with the restrictions on the Whole 15 compared to our Whole 30, we still had some good results:

  • We ate more fruits and vegetables.
  • We didn’t eat out so saved money (and calories).
  • I decreased my taste for sugar even MORE! I am now able to drink a coffee or latte with 1 teaspoon of sugar (used to be 3 teaspoons of sugar before I ever did a Whole 30)! The sad part is that I don’t feel super well after eating a very rich & sugary dessert. It will take me a few times of experiencing that before I get the hint though – lol.
  • I lost 6 pounds (yes – in 15 days and even with the cheats) and my husband lost 9 pounds!

So obviously it was worth it for us to go through a Whole 15 as we begin Summer! I expected some decent results for 15 days, but this turned out even better than I thought.

What’s Next?

After finishing the Whole 15, I don’t just want to go completely back to what we had slid into before. I plan to make at least one meal a week a Whole 30 meal. We will also be trying to keep sugary things to a minimum and staying away from extra grains. And we plan (but will we succeed??!!) to limit wine or beer to the weekends. I will also be working on incorporating more fruits and veggies into the day.

After Whole 15 - Exercise

I do like having some kind of plan to stick to, so am now working on an exercise plan. I started the 30-Day Shred since it doesn’t involve any big plan other than completing the workout every day. I finished 5 days of working out! I just switched over to Ripped in 30 by Jillian Michaels – it was recommended to me as a much-improved version of the 30-Day Shred and I like it much better so far. Unfortunately, anytime I start a workout program my weight jumps way up. I’m hoping that after my body gets over the shock – maybe next week – that weight will come back down again.


Did you decide to join in and try a Whole 30 or Whole 15? How did it go? What was your biggest challenge and your biggest success with the plan? If you haven’t tried one yet, you can check out my Whole 30 series of posts and my Whole 15 post that includes a super simple 2-day menu to get you started.

It’s Time For a Whole 15

It has been decided. At least it has for our family. It’s time for a Whole 15 to reestablish healthy eating habits for the Summer (and maybe-hopefully lose a couple pounds along the way)!

Whole 15

Is Whole 15 a thing? If it wasn’t already, it is now, because I made it up! Timing would be a little tough to do another full Whole 30, but I think we can work in half, so that’s the plan. And I’ve worked out the timing so it ends just before Father’s Day. That means full fun and indulgence (within reason – let’s not go too crazy) on Father’s Day. If you’re feeling like jumping in on short notice, join me!

Why Do a Whole 15

If you’ve been thinking about trying Whole 30, a Whole 15 is a chance to start with a shorter version to see how it goes. I would highly encourage anybody at the end of 15 days to keep on going if you’ve never done the 30 because you’ll already be past the toughest part. If you’ve already done Whole 30, but eating habits are sliding and you want to start Summer off on the right foot, then 15 days should be enough to get you back on track.

This is just 15 days – totally doable! If I can do a full Whole 30, then anybody can, and this is only half. This still gives you enough time to detox from the bad stuff and to start feeling better and having more energy. It also will help get you in the habit of preparing healthier meals for yourself and/or your family. Bring on the Whole 15 – who’s with me?

When I’m Starting the Whole 15

I’m beginning my Whole 15 on Saturday morning, June 4. OK – I know, who in their right mind starts on the weekend, but then it ends Saturday night, June 18, just in time for Father’s Day. Dates can always be reworked to make it work better for you and your family if you decide to try it. You can start on a Monday instead, if you like.

But here’s why a weekend might be easier to start on (unless you already have special functions planned): more time for meal planning/prep and healthy snacks if needed, not in as much of a rush on the weekend as the weekdays so easier to stick to plan at the beginning, and hopefully more time at home rather than at an office where there might be tempting goodies. In fact, my family does have a couple of things happening this weekend, but by planning ahead and bringing along some food that is Whole 30 compliant, we can still go enjoy fellowship and ignore the foods we need to stay away from.

Whole 15

2-Day Meal Plan for Whole 15 or Whole 30

Just in case you decide to join me on my Whole 15 or try it or a Whole 30 out at a later date, here’s a 2-day meal plan to make things easier at the beginning. Simple stuff and no strange ingredients so you can ease in, giving you more time to plan out meals for the rest of the time and shop for extra ingredients that you want on hand.


Day 1 Meal Plan (for 1 person)

Breakfast:

Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausage, sliced and sautéed (1)
Scrambled eggs (2)
Fresh blueberries or strawberries (1/2 cup)
Drink: Black coffee with or without unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened iced tea

Lunch:

Lettuce mixture of any kind (2 cups)
Carrot shreds (1-2 tablespoons)
Red seedless grapes, cut in half (1/2 cup)
Chopped pecans (1/4 cup)
Cut up cooked chicken breast (1/2 – 1 breast)
Dressing: Equal parts Light Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper to taste
Drink: Water or unsweetened decaf iced tea

Dinner:

Salad made with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.(1-2 cups) and same dressing as lunch salad
Beef & Veggie Chili – Low Carb (make double or triple batch, enough for lunch leftovers next day)
Drink: Water

Snack (before or after dinner):

1 apple, sliced
2-3 Tablespoons almond butter, for dipping


Day 2 Meal Plan (for 1 person)

Breakfast:

Fried eggs (2), fried in coconut oil or ghee
Sautéed apples (1)
Drink: Black coffee or unsweetened hot or iced tea

Lunch:

Leftover Beef & Veggie Chili
Baby Carrots (1/2 cup)
Drink: Water or unsweetened decaf iced tea

Dinner:

Salad made with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. (1-2 cups) and same dressing as lunch salad from Day 1
One-Pot Slow Cooker Chicken Dinner (make enough extra for lunch leftovers next day) *Sub ghee for butter
Drink: Water

Snack (before or after dinner):

Cashews or almonds (1/3 cup)
Coconut shreds, unsweetened (1-2 tablespoons)


Whole 15

Get Ready, Get Set…

I’ve got to finish planning out my first few days of the Whole 15 and still shop for ingredients. So as you can see it’s not too late for you to decide to join me on this 15-day adventure! If you do decide to do it, please go back and read my Whole 30 series as well as the Whole 30 rules from the website so you know exactly what you are in for. And check my Whole 30 Food post for ideas as well as my Whole 30 Pinterest board, which I keep adding to. I will post on my Facebook page throughout the 15 days to let you know how it’s going and to encourage you if you decide to join me!

Have you done a Whole 30? Are you going to try the Whole 15? If you decide to join me, comment and let me know or comment on my Facebook posts! Happy healthy eating to you all as we start our Summer fun!

Remember to like my Facebook page and subscribe to receive my blog posts by email so you don’t miss out on any of the fun!

My Whole 30 Experience [Part 5]: Afterward

Finally we come to the last post in my Whole 30 series (or is it – haha)! I do anticipate a followup post to this series at some point, so subscribe to my blog now and you won’t miss out! Here’s the recap of the different parts to my Whole 30 experience series:

whole 30 experience

I’ve shared all about the actual Whole 30 experience, but I think the other part people wonder about is what happens after it’s all over? I’m approaching 3 months since we finished our Whole 30 and will share honestly about our eating habits now and whether we have maintained the good results that we achieved.

Eating Habits After Our Whole 30 Experience

After we finished our 30 days, we didn’t want to go crazy eating all the things we couldn’t before, so we did try to gradually bring them back. We did it faster than the recommended Whole 30 reintroduction, but still took about 4-5 days to reintroduce everything. We did not experience any food issues as we reintroduced, so that was nice to know. If you think there is any chance that you might have some physical issues with certain food groups, it really is best to reintroduce one thing at a time and give it 2 days to see if you have any reactions. On Day 1 we added dairy and sugar because I HAD to have my latte! We added Grains a day or so later. About 3 days later, we had some alcohol. And the various other items were sprinkled throughout the 4-5 days. As we added food groups back, we kept most of our meals as close to Whole 30 meals as possible and continued that for over a week.

sweetened latte after whole 30

The biggest difference we noticed as we got back to “normal” eating was the change in our taste for sugar. I need far far less now than ever in my entire life. Some things now are simply too sweet for me. If you go on a sugar fast, but you still have honey and maple syrup or stevia or other sweeteners, I don’t think you will have the same experience. Whole 30 eliminates *all* sweet tastes except for fruit and we tried not to go overboard with that either. That’s what made the difference – learning to do without the sweet taste all the time.

We also noticed the taste of fast food wasn’t as good as before the Whole 30 experience. When you get used to not having processed food, you can really tell the difference. I’m not saying we don’t still enjoy eating out, but we definitely have less craving for the worst of the fast foods. Real and whole foods have great flavor and we are working to have more of them than before we did Whole 30.

Did We Maintain Results?

Yes, and no. I have held to having less sugar, though sweets creep into our diet here and there as we make more and more exceptions the further out from Whole 30 we get. But my taste hasn’t changed yet and I’m trying to keep it that way. We’re still eating less pasta and bread in general and we were keeping alcohol to weekends only, but have fallen off of that as of late. I still don’t have the 3pm energy slump most days and before Whole 30, I had it every single day.

One change that has stuck is my putting a stop to drinking soda, mainly diet soda (Coke Zero with Splenda). I used the Whole 30 experience to finally be my time to go completely without the diet soda and get rid of the craving for that flavor. I knew it wasn’t good for me, and kept drinking it on a regular basis before that. So even after Whole 30 ended, I refused to have any soda and especially not a taste of Coke Zero as I was afraid that I might start craving that flavor again. Almost 3 months since last drinking it, I finally took a taste of some. I was curious to see if I would still like it. Happy to say, I did NOT like it! It had such an overwhelming artificial flavor and I have no desire to have any more. I’m trying to drink more water, though I struggle with that, and my main cold drink has become iced tea.

whole 30 fruit

As a few of our bad eating habits creep back in, there has been a bit of weight gain. Just a couple of pounds, but that’s not the direction we want to go! I really need to keep the weight coming off and that will only happen by continuing to eat in a healthy way and adding in the right kinds of exercise. I have been eating less fruit than during Whole 30, and need to get back in that habit to keep energy levels higher.

Where to go From Here

As we have come out of some busy times with more eating out than usual, I feel like focusing on Whole 30 meals again would be very beneficial for our family. I don’t think it’s realistic right now for us to do another full Whole 30, but I do think we could work in a Whole 15. Or plan out 2 weeks of all meals and snacks that are mostly Whole 30 compliant and not stray from them at all during that time. It would get us back to the better eating habits as well as help us get rid of the couple of pounds that have crept back, I’m sure.

whole 30 dinner

My plan right now is for our family to do a Whole 30 once a year. January makes the most sense to me, right after the holidays. And then I want to do a couple weeks of Whole 30 meals once a quarter to help keep us on track with healthier eating. I also want to find a simple 30-day fitness/exercise challenge that we could follow to get us in the habit of being active on a daily basis.

So overall, even though some of our bad eating habits have started coming back a little, there have been some permanent changes for the better in our eating habits. Anything worthwhile takes effort and I know that it will take more focus and planning to continue toward healthy eating for our family. We’re still very satisfied with the results of Whole 30 and highly recommend it!

Whether you are in the middle of a Whole 30 experience, or considering starting one, I hope that this series has been helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, pleas leave a comment! Thanks for joining me!

My Whole 30 Experience [Part 3] – The Food

Welcome back to my Whole 30 Experience series! In Part 1, I told you about the program and how it works. In Part 2, I shared my experience and the results. Now I’m sharing the part you’re really curious about – the Whole 30 food! I’ve still got a couple more posts in this series and they will be helpful for you if you’re considering doing a Whole 30 yourself. Do yourself a favor and subscribe to my blog here so you don’t miss those posts when they’re published!

Whole 30 Food

Though I searched for new recipes to use during the 30 days, I wanted to keep things as simple as I could and also repeat recipes that we liked. It was hard enough for me to stick with the plan and the food prep 3 meals a day, so anything I could do to make it a little easier helped. I don’t have a bunch of fancy gourmet Whole 30 dishes to share with you – just good real foods and recipes that even my son enjoyed. Most of the recipes I used were either my own or new ones I found on Pinterest or by searching. And I used some recipes from the Whole 30 book I purchased. So again, having the recipes from the book is nice, but you can totally do a successful Whole 30 just by searching online for what you need.

Whole 30 Food – Breakfast

I did keep it simple most of the time with eggs, sugar-free bacon, and fruit. But I’m not a fan of eggs.for.all.of.the.days. So I needed some egg-free ideas. Here are some additional breakfast recipes for you:

Easy and Delicious Whole 30 Breakfast: This is a type of egg casserole, with sausage and veggies. I really wanted to like it, but did not, mainly because I have issues with texture. My husband did like it and son thought it was okay. But it’s easy and makes a lot, so adjust the recipe and it might be a family fave for you!

whole 30 food - egg casserole

Breakfast Pumpkin Custard: This was really a nice change for breakfast. Now I’m not a big fan of bananas sadly, so I liked this better when I made it with bananas that weren’t super ripe, but if you like bananas then use ripe ones. We all liked this one and it’s surprisingly filling. I always added some extra chopped pecans and a few plain coconut chips to my serving and I preferred to eat it cold.

whole 30 food - pumpkin custard

Paleo Cinnamon Apple Bake: This is not approved as a Whole 30 meal on its own, but enjoy it as a side to some bacon, sausage, and even eggs. It’s so yummy – we consider this one a keeper even when not trying to eat Whole 30 food.

Berry “Muesli”: After looking at some ideas online, I realized I could create my own Whole 30 breakfast and I loved it! You can adjust the ingredients to your liking, but I used: sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, fresh raspberries and blueberries, chopped pecans, and coconut chips, topped with unsweetened almond milk. This was one was so satisfying for somebody who really likes yogurt, granola, and berries for breakfast.

Whole 30 Experience breakfast

Whole 30 Food – Lunch/Dinner

I don’t have a lot of new lunch ideas. I tried to keep it easier by making enough dinner so there would be leftovers available for lunch. So my lunches were mainly leftovers or salads. I recommend keeping some cooked chicken on hand (you can find a couple of brands of precooked chicken chunks with only approved ingredients) and making a variety of salads. One of my fave combinations was lettuce, spinach, red grapes, and pecans with a homemade vinaigrette.

Whole 30 Experience salad

Dinners were easier because meat with no added ingredients and vegetables makes a great dinner. We enjoyed grilled steaks and ribs with a sugar-free rub, in addition to pork loin roast, chicken breasts, and salmon fillets. And the fact that potatoes are allowed is fabulous! Here are some of our fave dinner sides and main dishes:

Colorful Roasted Vegetables

whole 30 food - roasted vegetable

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

Mexican Chicken Soup

whole 30 food - Mexican Chicken Soup

Crustless Chicken Pot Pie

whole 30 food - crustless chicken pot pie

Pork Loin Roast: This is one of our fave dinners and it’s so very simple! Just mix up the rub, put it on the roast and bake. Just as delicious as the marinated pork loins you can buy, but you have control over the ingredients.

Pork Loin Rub
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Rub on pork loin roast (up to 2 1/2 pounds) and bake for 350 degrees for about 1 hour or follow baking directions included with the roast.

Beef and Veggie Chili: Another one of our faves that came out of a protein diet book many years ago. Adjust ingredient amounts as much or as little as you like.

whole 30 food - Beef & Veggie Chili

Beef and Veggie Chili – Low Carb
1 pound ground beef
Chopped onions
Chopped green pepper
Chopped mushrooms
I can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 1/2+ tablespoons chili powder
Salt to taste
Water

Sauté chopped onions and green pepper. When soft, add chopped mushrooms and continue to sauté until soft. Set aside. Brown ground beef. Drain fat and add to vegetable mixture. Add in tomatoes, spices, and enough water until chili is the consistency you prefer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. I always make a double batch.

Whole 30 Food – More Tips

Notice that there’s no dessert section? Sorry, dessert isn’t allowed on Whole 30! If you MUST have something, we enjoyed some apple slices with almond butter in the beginning days, but eventually tried to stop doing that so we could retrain ourselves to know that we didn’t have to eat something sweet every evening. Here are a few more random food tips to get you through:

Pay very close attention to labels! We could only find 1 brand of sugar-free bacon that we could eat. Not really worth it unless bacon helps you through. It was yummy but you could tell that the flavor was different. So yes, almost all bacon uses sugar in the curing process – news to us!

whole 30 food - sugar free bacon

Watch out for condiments. The difference between ingredients in different brands is amazing. I ended up making my own mayonnaise from the Whole 30 book. It’s best to make your own salad dressing as well, which can be as simple as equal parts oil and vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Whole 30 Food - Homemade Mayo

You can have fruit juice! 100% fruit juice is allowed on the plan, though not recommended as it’s high in natural sugar content. But you can have some in moderation, so what this means is that sparkling apple juice is allowed (Martinelli’s brand is just pure apple juice)! We enjoyed it a couple of times to make our dinner feel extra special. It also helps a little if you are really missing wine.

Find a new “fast food” to make if plans fall through. I needed something that was quick and easy to make in case I wasn’t feeling up to making the full meal I had planned or didn’t have things ready in time. Come up with this backup plan and stock up. Our favorite was Aidell’s chicken apple sausages (they are so yummy), sliced or not, sauteed in a pan and sliced potatoes (baked a bit first) fried in a pan with a little oil and salt/pepper. Add some fruit for a quick additional side.

Find a favorite snack. In the beginning of the 30 days, you’re going to be desperate for a few snacks and maybe even an emergency “dessert”, which will taper off a bit as you go. But you want to have a good Whole 30-approved snack option. Our very favorite snack was slicing up an apple and dipping the slices in almond butter – yum! And I discovered coconut cream concentrate (coconut butter), so I mixed a little of that with my almond butter for a slightly different flavor. I also used approved Lara Bars sparingly and kept one in my purse for emergencies. My faves were Coconut Cream Pie and Pecan Pie.

Whole 30 Food – Dislikes

There were a few things that I didn’t care for during the Whole 30 food plan. Here are a few:

Black Coffee. You are allowed to drink black coffee on the plan. I do not like black coffee. I only drink sweetened, creamy coffee. I decided to go without coffee rather than attempt it black or with unsweetened milk of some sort. That was crazy of me! But I survived by drinking high-caf tea every morning. I do like my tea unsweetened, thank goodness, and happened across this brand of high-caf tea at Whole Foods. One cup has more caffeine than a standard cup of coffee. One cup in the morning was just enough to keep me from having any caffeine withdrawals, but not so much that I felt over-caffeinated at all. And the rest of the day I used regular tea.

Whole 30 Experience tea

Ghee. So I did use ghee regularly through my 30 days because it is the closest to butter, but I really did not care for the flavor and have not had it since. My feeling is that it’s like they took butter…and then ruined it! But when you can’t have butter, it doesn’t seem quite so bad.

Egg casseroles. I have an issue with textures and eggy casseroles turned out not to be my thing, which is a bummer because they are handy for breakfast and even dinner sometimes. Try some out and see what you think.

Bananas. Oh how I wish I liked bananas. It would make sugar-free life much much easier. I can handle them if they’re not very ripe, but once they’re ripe, they need to be in banana bread or cake for me to eat them! If you do like bananas, you will be able to create yourself some Whole 30 smoothies or combine them with cashews and coconut for breakfast.

Cauliflower. Another veggie that I wish I liked. My husband and son asked me not to bother making anything with cauliflower as well (even though they actually like it – they just didn’t want to have much of it). If you and your family like it, you’ll be able to try new things like mashed cauliflower and cauliflower rice.

Whole 30 approved mocha. I tried a recipe, but modified it according to what I like and don’t like. It was the worst-tasting thing EVER. There was no substitute that was going to work for me, so I decided it was better to go without for a while than try drinking poor substitutes. Don’t be afraid to try a couple of crazy recipes though for your fave foods and drinks that you’re missing – you never know!

Whole 30 Experience - The Food

Whole 30 Food – Resources

I hope you found a few more helpful Whole 30 food ideas in this post! You can find many more recipes and ideas from a few places: either of the Whole 30 books, the Whole 30 website, searching for Whole 30 recipes online (there are forums and groups that share ideas as well), and Pinterest, to name a few. In fact, I do have a Whole 30 Ideas Pinterest board that you can check out. I’ll be continuing to add to it as I run into new ideas.

I’ve tried to include as much info as I could about the food. Have you found a new recipe to try? Are you going to try Whole 30? What other questions do you have about the Whole 30 food? Comment and I’d be happy to answer you!

Don’t forget – there are still a couple more posts to go in this series. Up next will be a post with some helpful tips for those of you attempting a Whole 30! Thanks for following along!

 

My Whole 30 Experience and Results [Part 2]

In Part 1, I gave you an Intro to my Whole 30 experience and what was involved, but now in Part 2 I’ll tell you more about what I experienced during the 30 days and some of the results at the end. Be sure to subscribe to receive posts by email so you don’t miss the rest of the series:

whole 30 experience and results

 

My Whole 30 Experience

We did the Whole 30 plan in January, which was a great time to do it – we had just come through the holidays with lots of sugary foods as well as a lot of eating out or eating the wrong things. We were feeling ready for a “cleaner” diet. And January wasn’t filled with birthdays or other celebrations for us, meaning that we wouldn’t be unnecessarily tempted to cheat. I recommend that you plan your 30 days during quieter times if at all possible.

Neither my husband nor I experienced the symptoms that many people do, such as headaches, fatigue, and extreme irritability during the first few days as your system detoxes from some of the foods and ingredients you’ve been having. Not sure why we didn’t experience that because we certainly were eating our share of “bad” foods before the diet, but I think it probably depends on each person. If you are prone to headaches and sensitive to food changes, then you may experience these things. It’s good to read about it and be prepared just in case so that if it happens, you’ll know it’s all perfectly normal and won’t last! That’s the beauty of having all this great info online – you know what to expect!

Day 1 went great for us – no issues and we felt good. By Day 3, we were definitely missing some of our favorite things. By the end of the first week, I was really missing not having eating out to fall back on in case I didn’t have the time and energy for the food prep. Because of that, I tried a few new recipes, but tried to keep things fairly simple so I didn’t get overwhelmed. And my husband and son helped with some of the cooking, which was a big plus! The more family members you can get involved in your Whole 30, the better!

I’ll share a few of my Facebook statuses through the Whole 30 experience, so you get an idea of my thoughts:

  • I’m hungry. And I want a latte real bad. ‪#‎onlyonday2ofwhole30‬
  • It’s the perfect morning for a sweet creamy latte. But I’m having unsweetened tea. ‪#‎whole30‬ ‪#‎day10‬ ‪#‎butitsurewouldbenicetohavealatte‬
  • Day 20 of Whole30. So 11 days til cake. Kidding…sort of. :)
  • Day 21 of Whole30. Drove by Dunkin Donuts and was all (in my mind), “I don’t need YOU, donuts!!” Not that I ever ate many donuts, but now they don’t really seem worth the calories. Cake. Cake is worth it. And chocolate truffles.
  • Last day of Whole 30. Tomorrow is National Day of Lattes for Lisa.

Whole 30 experience no lattes

All of my other statuses were food and recipe-related. So there really wasn’t anything earth-shattering to report or complain about on my end. Obviously I missed lattes! You can have coffee during Whole 30, but I take my coffee with half ‘n half and sugar, or drink a sweetened latte, which aren’t allowed, and I wasn’t willing to drink black coffee. I chose to drink tea instead for the 30 days, since I like it unsweetened. I’m sure that you will find you terribly miss one or two fave foods or drinks. But it’s ONLY 30 days! You can do it!!

Though our cravings for bad foods were gone, which made it so much easier to stay on track as we got toward the end of the 30 days, we did mentally know that the end was coming and started thinking about foods that we wanted. That made the last couple of days tough – I kind of wanted to just stop a couple days early, knowing that it probably wouldn’t hurt. But since we committed to 30 days, we stuck it out for exactly 30 days!

The Results

So we made it through the 30 days and never cheated even once (most of my group cheated slightly sometime before the end). We were determined to give it our all for the entire time. After you are done, it is recommended that you follow a gradual reintroduction of food groups so that you can determine if you have issues with any certain ingredients or types of foods. We didn’t do it as slowly as recommended but didn’t go crazy eating all the things we had eliminated either. Neither of us experienced any issue with food reintroduction. The main thing we noticed is that our tastes had changed. For me, it was mainly sweet tastes. I was able to use far less sugar as everything tastes sweeter and I have realized that now some things I ate before are too sweet/too rich for my system to handle so I even have to be careful about overdoing it. Yay for that! I also enjoy the taste of real food more than before. I was surprised to have such a difference in just 30 days.

whole 30 soup

Another thing we experienced during this time was a change in our mental connection with food. We really tried to follow all the Whole 30 rules, which include trying to get away from eating for psychological reasons or just out of habit. We did our best to move away from unnecessary snacking and evening desserts. That turned out to be difficult as I realized how much those things have become automatic and doing without made me feel like I was really missing out at the beginning. But since we forced ourselves to reduce eating out of habit, it made a bigger difference afterward. I no longer feel that I “must” have something sweet each evening and I don’t snack as much either.

One thing to note is that this plan’s focus is not on losing weight! In fact, they do not want you to weigh yourself during the 30 days because your weight will fluctuate and even increase at one point so they don’t want you to get discouraged. Some of my group did not lose weight, though most did. It can depend on what foods you are choosing and the quantity you are eating as well.

Our weight loss results: My husband lost 15 pounds (wow!) and I lost 11 pounds. That’s a nice loss in 30 days!

My husband was very careful of his food choices during that time and also tracked his calories – he stayed on plan but also within a certain daily calorie range and he believes that’s why he experienced a good amount of weight loss. I did not track calories, but stayed away from having too much of the higher calorie, “sweet” foods like too much fruit, fruit juice, fake desserts, Lara bars, etc. that are technically approved on the plan.

Overall, though it is not an easy plan, it was easier than I anticipated. And the results made it all very worthwhile. My Whole 30 experience resulted in:

  • Feeling good
  • Eating healthier
  • Losing weight
  • Having less of a taste for sugar
  • Experiencing less emotional/psychological eating

Totally worth it, in my opinion! In fact, you should know that my family didn’t even have any Easter candy or desserts. Whaaat? Not that I am opposed to any of it, but I just have less of a need or desire for all of it.

Stay tuned for Part 3 (in about a week). It will be all about the food – what kinds of things we ate, what we didn’t like, and some links to our fave Whole 30 recipes. If you’re thinking about doing a Whole 30, I know you’ll want to hear about the food! Are you almost ready to give it a try for 30 days? Have you done a Whole 30 before? What other questions do you have about what I experienced? Comment and ask – I’d be happy to answer!

Intro to My Whole 30 Experience

Who would have thought that a diet plan would make me feel inspired to write? Why? Well not only was my Whole 30 experience a good one, but I so appreciated all the blog posts I could find on the subject as I was working my way through the diet that I wanted to add to that collection of helpful posts in the online world. And because I seem to have an issue with being “wordy,” this has turned into a 5-part series (Yes, FIVE – who does that?) instead of the 2 posts I thought I would write originally! P.S. This post is not sponsored in any way by the Whole 30 program.

My Whole 30 Experience Intro | FromLisaMarie.com

What is the Whole 30?

If you haven’t heard of Whole 30 before, it’s a diet plan that’s basically an elimination diet with the main purpose of discovering issues with food as well as resetting your tastes and helping you learn to choose better foods for you. It also helps you work on discovering your psychological reasons for eating. So yes, Whole 30 is eating whole foods for 30 days. It’s obvious which of your friends are on the plan – you’ll see #whole30 on Instagram & Facebook with many pictures of food (I did the same!) just to show that you do actually get to eat delicious food while you’re doing it. And when you’re doing it, you want to see everybody else’s pics for more inspiration to keep on going.

I had always thought it sounded like a good plan, but too crazy for me with all the eliminations. I didn’t actually set out to do it in January, but my boss and some coworkers decided to do it and I (and my husband) jumped on board. The best part was that we knew we were all doing it at the same time and set up group Pinterest boards to share ideas as well as a private Facebook group to help encourage or vent or share recipes. And one coworker had done it a couple of times before, so she was able to share a lot of helpful info with us.

In a nutshell, on Whole 30, you have NO…

  • Dairy
  • Sugar
  • Sweeteners of any kind (not even natural other than fruit or pure fruit juice)
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Alcohol
  • Soy
  • Trace amounts of any of these in the list of ingredients!

There are a handful of other ingredients you can’t have as well – the website gives you all the rules to follow. What can you have? Basically meat, veggies, and fruit. Coffee & tea are still OK, but without sweetener or dairy. And water, of course!

Whole 30 Experience tea

Getting Ready for a Whole 30 Experience

Once we decided that we would participate, I knew that I had a lot of planning and prep to do. I did buy The Whole 30 Book, which is nice to have but honestly you can find everything you need online for free in order to successfully make it through the 30 days. I had to figure out what we would eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. I planned out a week at a time and then we shopped and shopped. And then I had to be ready to prep for every meal, which some of you are like, “So what, Lisa? I do that every. day. Everyday.” But I have been working full time and had fallen completely off the wagon of meal planning and prep. So this was system shock for me.

Let me tell you, you won’t make it through if you don’t plan ahead and prep. You can’t fall back on fast food, or even most pre-made packaged food from the store. Everything seems to contain a trace of something you can’t have! It’s one of the good/bad parts of the plan.

You have to read EVERY label of every kind of food, and then you discover that sugar has been added to basically everything that exists and if not, then they’ve put in a trace amount of something else you can’t have so you decide if it has a label at all, you probably can’t even eat it.

That’s extremely annoying, but it’s so so good to start knowing what you’ve really been eating so you can make better decisions in the future. Not that you need to give up everything with trace amounts of sugar, but to be aware is to choose less of those items and go for more of the real/whole foods.

Whole 30 Experience salad

It seems like following a plan like this would make you completely miserable in about 2 days, and yes, the first few days are difficult. It’s mostly mental, or at least it was in our case. I gave up my morning lattes, so that was rough. I didn’t necessarily physically crave them, but psychologically I really really wanted one. After you tough out the first few days, I’ll be very honest – it’s just not as hard as you expect it to be (other than the extra food planning & prep and almost NO eating out).

It sounds worse than it really is and if you use the opportunity to make some new and exciting recipes, you’ll find the experience somewhat enjoyable. And oh my – the real taste of food! You start to realize that you’ve been missing it all this time and how is it possible that plain fruit is that sweet? By following the plan properly, your physical cravings for certain foods disappear and you (mostly) won’t be getting those extreme carb cravings or hitting the 3 pm slump.

Whole 30 Experience breakfast

Overall, I know it sounds like a crazy plan, but it’s just for 30 days! I highly recommend it, first as a way to see if you do have any food issues, but mainly as a way to force yourself to really look at your food labels, to get back into cooking and finding new recipes to try, to reduce your taste for sugar/sweetness, and to reset your diet. If there’s weight loss, that’s a bonus.

Is it easy? No. There’s a lot of work and planning and you will mentally really miss some foods and get a little cranky about it, but remind yourself that it’s only 30 days and then you can have that item again. I do think it’s very much worth the effort. Remember that this isn’t some miracle diet that will change your ways forever. You could very easily go back to eating the way you did before and your tastes will go back to what they were and you may gain weight back. This is a chance to start fresh and do better and go cold turkey off the stuff you’ve been trying to do with less of.

Are you intrigued enough to look into trying the Whole 30 Experience? I say go for it! But plan ahead and try to go for a 30 day stretch when there aren’t a bunch of celebrations. Don’t set yourself up like that. Try and make it as easy as possible. Stay tuned for Part 2 (in about a week) and I’ll tell you about my Whole 30 experience throughout the 30 days and what some of the results were. Hint: All good.