I have a few close friends who are workout fanatics and health food junkies. I don’t pretend to fit into either lifestyle choice, but when one friend did the Whole30 Challenge right after one of my co-workers completed the same challenge, I had to see what the hype was about!
At their suggestion, I ordered the book “It Starts With Food” and read through it in about 2 days. After I had a basic understanding of the “rules” – no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no alcohol, and no added sugar for 30 days – I set out to see just how long I could survive this impossible feat. I mean, what else is there to eat?!
I planned to start on a Monday, so I spent the weekend inhaling anything and everything that I was about to give up. I ended the day with a milkshake, whipped cream, and a cherry on top.
Monday came. I decided I couldn’t do coffee black, so I gave it up for good. I’ve never really liked eggs, but they became my breakfast staple. I’ve never eaten so much chicken in my life. I cannot stand fish but I ate salmon. Twice. The first two weeks were toooooough. Once week 3 hit, it was kind of old-hat. I had lost 6 pounds. Better than that, I was enjoying what I was eating and my body was thanking me for kicking the bad stuff. Without this challenge, I wouldn’t have discovered my love for some of my *new* favorite foods: avocados, kale, sweet potatoes, and olive oil.
The hardest part of this challenge wasn’t necessarily giving up my go-to foods (although I’m not saying that part was easy). It was learning what was in the foods I WAS eating. I don’t want to scare you with the details, but if you don’t know what’s IN your food, I wouldn’t put it IN your mouth.
I made it through the entire 30 days without cheating ONCE. I’ve got to say, I surprised myself with that one and was pretty proud of my accomplishment. I lost a total of 8 pounds (bringing me back to my pre-pregnancy weight) and I was feeling energized and strong.
It’s been about 2 months since I completed my first Whole30 and I’ve been able to keep the weight off while re-introducing a few of my favorite foods. I try to stick with a 70% paleo, 30% non-paleo diet, but I don’t feel guilty on Friday pizza nights of the occasional oatmeal for breakfast. I am much more aware of what is in the foods I’m eating and try to avoid the packaged/processed foods. Even Blake has jumped on board and has been throwing more Organic and All-Natural products into the cart! I’m excited for our family to be eating REAL food!