Whole30, Flirty and Thriving
As you probably have heard by now, I have been doing the Whole30.
Well my gluten consuming friends, TODAY IS DAY 31 and I’m here to share with you ALL my experiences!
Continue below if you're thirsty for some Whole30 living!
Days 1 and 2 were pretty simple. I was super stoked to get started and riding on the inspirational high. I made myself some really delicious meals and had some awesome meals prepared by my boyfriend. For me, things were really easy. People were constantly asking me how I was doing and cheering me on. Surprisingly I didn’t really miss desserts or baked goods. I did miss sweetened coffee or lattes but it wasn’t that extreme. I took my first ever Tone House class on Day 1 which was HARD but I was able to do it. Day 2 I felt like I was a lot more hungry than usual and had to eat way more snacks. I also did a second day of Tone House, which might have been a bit too much on my body, but I’m extreme like that.
There also was some unpleasant gas. I told you I'd share everything!
Day 3 and 4 I woke up with a massive headache. I felt incredibly dehydrated and very angry. I felt like I had consumed a massive amount of tequila the night before. It hurt to look at bright lights and even keep my eyes open. Walking to work, the anger set in. I saw two guys ogling a woman and then as I passed I could feel their eyes on me. I whipped my head around and gave them the Death Star to end all Death Stars.
Whoops. Did I say Death Star? I meant death stare, but same difference, both were equally deadly.
Five minutes later the my Death Star was shooting beams out again.
It was one of those “try me and see what happens days”.
Luckily, I was able to keep my cool at work, despite not being able to look out our front windows because I couldn’t handle looking at the building across the street that was lit up with sun.
Day 5 and 6 could best be described as “kill me now”.
I was so tired and exhausted and still had a headache. I was so fatigued and all I wanted to do was just sit down and take a nap!
Classic dumb Alex emerged and I took a Tone House class on Day 6. I then proceeded to drag myself around for the rest of the day.
Day 7: I had an espresso and my headache was mostly gone. I’m not as famished anymore but my teeth weirdly hurt.
Day 8: The bloating is REAL! I looked like I may be pregnant, but were energy levels are up. THats the picture at the top of this post... Also farting a lot… great. This is obviously the glamorous side of the Whole30…
Day 18 I woke up the morning of Day 18 angry and upset with myself. I had consumed mass quantities of pizza and ice cream the night before and was so upset ad depressed with myself that I was going to have to start over. Then I realized that it was all just a really frickin’ vivid dream.
Day 19: Fast forward to me, after a ballet class, sitting in Union Square Park eating a whole rotisserie chicken. #TrueStory.
But hey, it’s Whole30 approved and I’m going to be working until 9pm.
Day 21 was when Tiger Blood really hit. I was working 2:30-10:30pm and I noticed that I had been feeling really awake all day. I had had a grande coffee at the beginning of my shift that I was still nursing, but never ended up finishing, so I wasn’t overly caffeinated. I remember it being about 7:30pm and I was galluping around the store. I had boundless energy and felt so good!
Day 23: I took a Tone House class and felt like an actual superhuman. I have never felt more strong or powerful before in my life! I was able to row at around a 2:15 pace for about seven and a half minutes and even though the pace number would rise up towards the end, I always got it back down. This feeling I’m experiencing is like nothing I’ve ever felt!
I also had another victory on the night of the 23rd, I fell asleep without melatonin.
If you know me well you know that sleep is super important to me, I know how my body functions with improper sleep, and I HATE it. Granted, I’ve been getting better about it living in the city and being so busy all the time. What I also have difficulty with is falling asleep. Since I can remember I’ve spent sometimes hours in bed trying to fall asleep. I’d have a special soothing wave/Pachebel soundtrack I’d listen to, I’d always read, my room would be pitch black and cold and I’d take melatonin.
Now starting this Whole30, I didn’t want to give up my melatonin. Everything I read said to make sure you get enough sleep and I didn’t want to mess my progress up. But then last night, I ran out of melatonin before bed and started panicking. I had one bottle left of another brand, but it wasn’t Whole30 compliant. I ALMOST took it. Like openened it up, and stared at the pills. But then I looked at the ingredients and saw how many non-compliant ones were in those pills, and put it back!
It took me a bit longer to go to sleep and I had to use my meditation track, but I was out!
The best part was, when I woke up this morning, I did it before my alarm and had this amazing refreshed feeling. No-melatonin hangover like I sometimes get, just good, clean energy.
This is a victory I can get behind.
Day 24-Day 30: MY energy levels have been at an all time high. I feel like I am a powerhouse who can go non-stop! I feel light on my feet and not bogged down. Is it just me or does everything seem a little bit brighter…
My top tips for people wanting to do Whole30.
Pick a time where you either don’t have any big special occasions or are fine being Whole30 compliant during them.
I knew that I didn’t have any big special events coming up, and I planned it so it would end several days before my friends Jen's’ bachelorette weekend so I would have time to reintroduce properly but enjoy the festivities. I spent 30 fricking days on this, I don’t want to throw it all to the wind!
Tell EVERYONE you meet.
So I know to some people that might seem very obnoxious, and they were probably sick of hearing me talk about my Whole30 experiences, but it was my new teammates that inspired me to do the Whole30 and kept me going. A few of them had done the Whole30 before and told me it was life-changing and encouraged me to take it on. Everyone else was constantly cheering me on, asking me what day I was one, telling me I was almost done (this started around day 5, so a little bit of an over exaggeration, but still helpful) and listening to my plights. I’m not being dramatic when I say that THEY were the ones who got me through this. I couldn’t fail because I wasn’t set up to fail. I refused to let these people down.
So if you’re reading this and you were one of the many people inspiring me to keep going, THANK YOU. I couldn’t have done it without you.
Eating out is stressful.
During my Whole30, I met with a friend for lunch under Rockefeller Center. We were both pressed for time so we decided on Just Salad for a quick and healthy meal. I was already a little stressed trying to find a place to eat, and then as I made my way down the salad filler line, it got worse.
I asked the employee what certain things were cooked in and he didn’t know at all. I inquired about the small pieces of steak, first of all he had no idea what they were cooked in and then informed me that they arrived pre-cooked.
For a salad restaurant, that made me awfully queasy.
It also bothered me that he didn’t even act like he’d try to find out for me. Granted, I’m just doing a self-prescribed diet, but what of I had a serious intolerance or allergy? This definitely lead me to be extra vigilant when eating out.
Especially when Day 29 I got an iced coffee that I KNOW Starbucks sweetened without my wanting.
You’re more powerful than you think.
This is probably the main lesson I learned over these 30 days. Like the majority of America, I use food as a coping mechanism.
Had a bad day?
Here’s a bar of chocolate and some wine.
Order out to treat yourself!
We rely so heavily on what we eat to control our emotions and build connections to one another. I know I’m not the only person who’s an emotional eater or who uses food as a connection source. Most parties and social events are connected to alcohol and tasty (but usually not so healthy) foods. When was the last time you met with friends and food and/or alcohol wasn’t involved?
You probably work for lululemon then and are going on a “sweat date”.
During the Whole30, I had to face my emotions head on. There wasn’t a cheesy meal or a sweet dessert to bring me comfort at the end of a hard day, my dependence to food was slowly broken. I now know that A. my will power is incredible and B. Food isn’t going to bring me the feelings that I’m seeking.
About halfway through my Whole30, I was invited to a house party filled with booze and non-compliant food. Not wanting to mess up my progress, I drank water all night and ate carnitas with guacamole. No cheese toppings, chips, dessert or alcohol. It was HARD. All I wanted was to be part of the group and eat like everyone else, but then I realized, that wasn't stopping me from having a good time. No one was judging me or giving me a hard time, in fact it was quite the opposite, and by the end of the night I had just as much fun as if I had been trashed and gorging myself on all the food. As the night went on I felt more and more empowered to stick with the Whole30 and actually walked away from that party knowing that I’m not a slave to food.
Food doesn’t control me or dictate my life experiences!
Either do it or don’t. Don’t bullshit it.
So the Whole30 has a few purposes:
- Clear up health issues you have, stomach, digestive, sleep, acne, joint pain, energy levels to name a VERY few.
- Learn your intolerances to different foods.
- Break your bad habits and your dependence on food.
- Lose weight.
I started Whole30 because of the first line in the book that tells you that child birth and fighting cancer are hard, not cutting out cheese. I was immediately challenged and was hoping to do something to break my intense sugar intake and start sleeping better.
The whole point of Whole30 is to do it all or nothing.
If you break one of those rules even slightly, one of those 4 bullet points will be sacrificed. You either will think you can’t be independent from food cravings or your body will continue to be plagued by one of your ailments or intolerances because you didn’t get time to detox from something causing your issues.
Whole30 is not saying that rice or cheese or beans are bad at all. They are just simply foods that one might have an intolerance to, or over time they have made you develop some sort of ailment.
Whole30 uses the tree metaphor.
If you have a large tree outside your house that you’re allergic to, you might not realize it. You spend every day walking past that tree but never notice anything different. Maybe you feel slightly fuzzy and stuffy, but nothing major.
Then you go on vacation and the whole time you’re away, there isn’t a single tree near you like the one outside your house. You return home after your vacation and all of a sudden your allergies kick in big time. They were always there, it was just a different normal. Now with this new normal, you realize how stuffy and icky you feel. You were so clear and fresh before!
This is basically what Whole30 does, it wipes the slate clear for you.
When I start my reintroduction, I’ll really learn how foods affect my body personally. It doesn’t mean I won’t ever have cheese again, but I know if I eat it and it makes me feel really stuffy, I can be prepared for it and not eat it around a special event where I need to feel my best.
Sweetener (real or fake) in your coffee, cheese on your eggs and quinoa with your veggies are all keeping you from wiping your slate clean and helping you get in touch with your body.
IT’S ONLY 30 DAYS! THIS IS NOT A LIFE COMMITMENT!
What were my benefits of doing the Whole30?
I wanted to do Whole30 for the #nonscalevictories. As you’ve read on my blog before, weight and I have a rough history, and I actually haven’t weighed myself in probably 6 months.
Why should I?
The scale doesn’t tell me how much muscle I have on my body vs. fat, how much food or water I consumed the other day, how bloated I might be from salt consumption or my menstrual cycle, nor how much life experiences I’ve lived.
So, I can’t testify to you if I lost weight or how much weight I lost, but what I can tell you is…
I FEEL AMAZING!
My energy levels are consistent and sustained. I have no waves or crashes and I always feel like I’m in a good mood. The biggest drop in energy I have is when it’s getting to be bedtime or around my next meal. When I’m working out, I feel like I could go for ever, the only thing stopping me is that my body isn’t conditioned enough to go that hard or long. Case in point: when I ran 8 miles the other day and my leg started hurting around mile 7 but cardiovascularly I felt great and kept pushing. I then f-ed up me knee for two days…
I’m also sleeping SO WELL. I don’t need my melatonin and I wake up without a sleep hangover.
My morning routine consists of getting up to make coffee, and then during that point, running to the bathroom because my digestive track is a well oiled machine!
Most of my acne has cleared up and my skin feels nicer as well.
Just all around I feel spectacular!
Is there anything I would do differently?
- Make sure to cook every meal, sometimes I would submit on RX bars because I wasn’t able to prepare enough food.
- Towards the end of Whole30, I discovered dried mango and might have eaten that a little more than I should have. Dried fruits and nuts were my quick go to energy sources and I’d like to see how I’d fair with less of them, even though they are recommended for active people.
- SLEEP MORE. I feel like I didn’t get quite enough sleep, so next time I’m going to make sure to prioritize that.
- Try only eating 3 meals a day and no snacks.I snacked a lot because I was always hungry. Next time, i’m going to try to just eat 3 meals a day and maybe one snack and see if any of my results are better! Maybe even deeper sleep?
- Take better before and after pictures, I did terribly at the before pictures and now I'm really curious to see how my body has changed, even slightly.
Would I recommend it?
I’ll be doing it again one day, most likely after Christmas.
Maybe we can do it together!? Power in numbers!?
P.S. I’ll keep you updated how my life is post Whole30 in about a month or so!