Motivation Monday: My Whole 30 experience

February 19, 2018

A Whole 30 brunch meal from Slimak (minus the bread, which wasn't Whole 30 compliant)

Happy Monday, friends and Happy President's Day to those of you that are lucky enough to have today enough! I'm grateful to have today off to relax and share with you today's post. One of my goals for the year that was to get healthy, and I mean really strive to be in the best shape of my life. Now or never right?!  Well, I wanted to do this for a couple reasons and I learned that not only does it happen by working out but by also maintaining a healthy diet and if I'm being honest I certainly didn't have one. I've always been petite and never had an issue with my weight. I was skinny my entire life, but I also had a limited diet because I had many food allergies. As I entered my early 20's I outgrew some allergies and the main one being dairy. My life turned upside down. Dairy which is almost in EVERYTHING, went from being an ingredient I avoided at all costs turned into an ingredient I consumed daily. Fast forward a few years and my body started to catch up with me and became overwhelmed with how much dairy I was consuming, among other things. I started to gain weight, and didn't realize how much. Now it wasn't a significant amount but for someone who's 4'10 it doesn't take a lot to really become noticeable. And another thing, getting in a relationship definitely changed how, when and what I was eating. I gained some "love fluff" as my friend put it. This was weight I gained from the many times my boyfriend and I ate out, stayed in and ordered food, cooked together, went out for drinks or had pints of ice cream in bed. On top of that I wasn't exercising regularly. I went from the girl who never had to worry about her weight to the girl who definitely had to.

I had done research on diets, and tried weight watchers. I'd tried to give up dairy for a week or sugar and then give up after the 3rd day. At the beginning of the year I decided I really have to do something about this. My mom also had been concerned about her weight, so we decided to encourage each other to eat better. We decided we would do Whole30. A healthier eating lifestyle that we were going to take on for the next 30 days. We said let's do it for a week, with the goal of doing it for the full 30 days, and see how we feel. We agreed to wouldn't have alcohol, dairy, grains, legumes or any food with added sugars or preservatives for the next month.

Week 1: The first week was brutal for me. The first couple days felt like a bad hangover. I was irritable, and annoyed about the change in diet.  Now I wasn't a big consumer of sweets, I'm not a big candy person, but I do love baked goods, and of course it was 3 co-workers birthdays that week and everyone was celebrating with snacks I couldn't eat. My mom said the hardest thing for her that week was getting used to coffee without milk or sugar. The highlight of that first week was that I lost 4 pounds! You're not supposed to weight yourself over the 30 days but I had a doctor's appointment and she told me I was 4 pounds down. I didn't weight myself again until the 30 days were over.

Week 2: My mom and I began to meal plan, and that helped A LOT. Tremendously actually. Once we started to meal plan, it got easier and meals were tastier. I didn't crave sugar as much and I noticed my body just felt lighter. Some of our favorites dishes were Curry Chicken with Cauliflower Rice, Sweet Potato boats with Ground Turkey and Avocado and Steak Bowls with Cauliflower Rice and Salsa. I also made these dishes that I saved from my Pinterest board.

Coconut Curry Chicken

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Bowl with Salsa

Week 3:
I noticed a significant difference in how my clothes were fitting and it was so exciting. At this point eating healthy foods felt like second nature and fruits became my favorite snack. By this point I was also exercising regularly using Alexia Clark's workout plan and running regularly because I was training for my 5k. My workouts felt great too. My joints didn't hurt, I wasn't fatigued ever. That was a game changer for me. I always felt tired or lethargic but after consuming only whole foods for 3 weeks, my body no longer felt that way. My skin and hair also looked amazing. My skin was clear and my hair was the shiniest it's ever been. Zero split ends, so smooth and so easy to blow dry.

Week 4: I felt changed forever. I know that's dramatic to say but that's how I felt! I survived Superbowl Sunday without Pizza, Chips, Dips or drinks. I had some baked chicken and seltzer and was just fine. By this time I had forgotten what it felt like to be bloated or have any stomach/digestive issues. My daily meals consisted of veggie omelets, salmon or other proteins with veggies for lunch and proteins, vegetables and cauliflower rice for dinner, with fruits in between. My mom's favorite snacks were RX Bars and nuts but since I'm allergic to all nuts I just stuck to apples and clementines as my go-to fruit snacks between meals.

It's been a week since I finished the Whole30 plan and I honestly don't want to go back to how I ate before. I realized added sugar is in everything, literally everything. Since I've finished I have tried Oreos, corn tortillas, teriyaki chicken and I've gotten stomachaches from all 3. I'm most heartbroken by the oreos because they were my favorite cookie but even after having them they tasted so sweet and even salty and it was just too weird, haha! I still crave fruits all the time and I'm going to stick to those as snacks. The best news of all was that I lost 10lbs! I went down a full pant size, full dress size and bra size.

Zucchini Noodles with homemade sauce and Ground Turkey Meatballs
Before Whole 30
After Whole 30

Final thoughts:
 I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. It's honestly changed my life. If you're looking for a detox, or just new lifestyle then go for it! I won't be going back to the way I was eating before, I just can't after realizing how good my body can feel on the inside. It's not that I felt badly before either, but I had gotten used to bad indigestion and stomachaches and this helped me realize there's a better way to eat.

Thanks for reading today's post.


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