Like most people, when I heard about the Whole30 diet I rushed to order it, only to place it on the bookshelf for a year. Eventually it made it’s way to the coffee table and hung out there for a few months. Finally, I picked it up and skimmed it while eating pizza. Then just decided to do it.
The day before I started, I ate pizza, Chinese food, brunch, chocolate, Bloody Mary’s, beer and yes, I even flagged down an ice cream truck all within a 24 hour period. True story.
My first week I failed EPICALLY with THREE martinis… had to start over. I did it for 10 days and failed again (two Manhattans)… had to start over. Third time was the charm. Mostly because I was sick of starting over.
I can honestly say that my “30 Days of Vegan” experiment, which I failed after only six days, is one of the big reasons I was able to succeed at Whole30. Because nothing will ever be as hard as being a vegan. How is every vegan I know so fucking cheerful?!
It’s important that you understand the main Whole30 rules which are, in a nutshell:
- No added sugar or artificial sweeteners (Sugar MUST be “0” on all labels)
- No alcohol
- No grains
- No legumes
- No dairy (butter, cheese, milk, cream, etc.)
- No peanuts
- Yes veggies
- Yes fruit
- Yes all other nuts and oils
- Yes coffee
- Yes eggs
- Yes meat
Also, everyone has different goals when attempting Whole30. Mine was to slowly add foods back after my 30 days and see how my body reacts.
Anyway here’s what I did and didn’t do:
I did not read the whole book. This says nothing about the book and everything about me. I don’t like reading instruction manuals either. I skimmed, got the gist of it and then Googled CONSTANTLY before eating.
I did not exercise. I wanted to see how eating habits alone would affect my weight. Also… ISN’T DOING THIS DIET ENOUGH?! YOU WANT ME TO RUN, TOO?!
I did not follow the rules to the letter. I cheated once with can of Diet Coke. One time they put cheese in my salad and I accidentally ate a bite. Another time they told me my drink was sugar free but it wasn’t so I threw it out. Finally, I’m sure they used butter when I went out to eat which is a no-no, but c’mon! I feel like Chunk from Goonies right now 🙂 In my eyes, I still succeeded. But the authors of Whole30 would say I failed because I didn’t start over after each of these instances.
I did not touch alcohol. You can’t even have bitters. You can have black coffee or soda water. That’s about it. SNOOZEFEST!
I did not miss cheese. This is a big deal. I’ve eaten cheese almost everyday for the past 15 years. People say that Whole30 reveals what your body truly craves and what it doesn’t care about. That’s not to say that I’ll never eat cheese again. It just means that I know I can take it or leave it.
I did miss sugar. I don’t think being addicted to sugar is that much different than being addicted to nicotine. Because your body craves that next fix. And just a little sugar is what triggers you to want even more sugar. The fact is, whether it’s in a drink or a donut, that sweetness causes your blood sugar to spike.
I did love cooking again. You have to cook more meals and snacks than you’re probably used to on Whole30. I’ve hated my tiny kitchen for 2 years, but I was forced to work within it’s confines and I’m better off for it. Tip: Hard boil a dozen eggs and have them on hand at all times.
I did pick a dish on the menu before going restaurants. This was key for me. I don’t want to be the one holding up the table trying to figure out what I can and can’t have. Usually you can find at least one thing on any menu.
I did eat before parties or brought my own snacks/drinks. There are just too many unknowns when it come to party food and drinks and I don’t feel it’s the host/hostesses job to cater to my diet so I just showed up with fruit and club soda for me and wine for them.
I did get a little irritable. There were two times where I almost lost my shit for no real reason. Both involved someone (a waiter and then a friend) that didn’t get what I asked for, food-wise. And, for whatever reason, it just put a fine point on the fact that I can’t have what everyone else is having. That I don’t have a fast metabolism. That I can’t eat like I could when I was 20. And that life isn’t fucking fair. Know what I mean?
I did get sick. I threw up twice in week two and I never throw up. No clue as to why. It came on suddenly and left quickly.
I did lose weight. I really only lost like 5 pounds whereas I heard you could lose 10. But to be fair I didn’t follow the diet to the letter. Also, I think I ate too much fruit.
I did save some money. Not drinking saves you money period. BUT you don’t get to have a food/drink treat anymore like you’re used to having. So I found myself shopping more than usual. It’s almost like I was looking to give myself a reward in some form. “Congrats for not stuffing your pie hole with actual pie! You deserve a throw pillow 🙂 XO”
I did feel better. I didn’t see any night and day difference. Skin, hair, sleep patterns, moods, etc. All of those stayed about the same. But it was SO nice not to have the guilt that follows the kinds of meals I’ve been eating this past year. To know, in black and white, “YES you can have that” or “NO you can’t.” It made eating simpler in some ways, which is weird because it also made it harder at the same time.
I’d totally do it again. Next time I’ll be stricter with the fruit. Regardless, I plan to adapt pieces of this diet into my everyday life moving forward. And if I can do it. You can do it.