I did Whole30 | and I have a few things to say...

If I am anything, I am a bandwagon jumper. I will try any new fitness center and food craze you put in front of me (aside from those shakology 21 day fix things...not my jam). For the past 6 months, I've been heading to Alchemy at 6am with a little workout crew #accountability. One day last December, 2 of the girls were all "i'm going to do Whole30 in January" to which the rest of us jumped right up onto the bandwagon.

So, for the whole month of January we did Whole30, and last night we celebrated being done over a compliant avocado pesto zoodle dish (with a side of wine and a cookie skillet, of course). This post is for ALL the things Whole30: why I did it, what I wanted to get out of it, what I DID get out of it, and would I do it AGAIN?! And of course, some delicious recipes at the bottom!

So many words below, go grab a cup of coffee and get cozy...i'll wait.

#notafoodblogger


 Whole30 - the basics
Basically, it's 30 days of cutting out sugar, carbs, and dairy - which really cut into my pre-Whole30 diet of wine and popcorn (also hello holiday cookies!). It's pretty amazing how many items have added sugar (BACON?) without realizing it would. Thankfully, many-a people have jumped on this bandwagon  prior to me so there are some 'Whole30' approved items like salad dressings and BACON (thankfully) on the market making it a little easier. I picked up this book over the holidays to prepare because people, PREPARATION is everything for this (apparently).

So much LeCroix in the past month
(bonus points for adding frozen fruit #mocktail).
Also, twice baked stuffed sweet potatoes...mmmm!
Why I did it
As mentioned above, my diet was popcorn and wine. My next side hustle will be developing a popcorn that has all the nutrients I need in a day, but until that happens I needed a little more veg on the daily. The holidays didn't help either...SO, enter, a beginning of the year re-set of sorts...and I wanted to do it because everyone i'm working out with in the morning is doing it!!!!!!

What I wanted to get out of it
I've done a 10 day detox before - which is basically, eating specific foods (Colon-loving, Liver-loving etc.) for 7 days, a 1 day liquid detox, and 3 days of reintroducing foods...all to clean out your gut. I always finished the 10 days with more energy and overall feeling lighter. In addition, I always walked away with great new recipes to bring into my post-detox diet. I become a little more experimental in the kitchen trying new recipes I don't usually go for. Sometimes for the worse (like the time I turned on the blender and red sauce exploded all over my kitchen), but most times for the better!

What I DID get out of it
The thing I realized about halfway through is that my diet, pre-Whole30, wasn't THAT bad. Yeah, it could have used more veggies and protein, but really not so bad. I started following various Whole30 people on instagram prior to starting the program and read SO many stories of how hard this program was for others. It made me wonder what THEIR diets were pre-W30? Like, Mickey D's and buckets of ice cream? IDK.

Overall, I didn't think it was a hard plan to stick to. I never got headaches or an upset stomach like so many people get, and I was never hungry (I maybe even over ate for fear of getting Whole30 Hangry?). Traveling and going out to eat was difficult ("MA'AM there is sugar in EVERY salad dressing so IDK what you want me to do" -angry waiter storming off back into the kitchen), but not impossible. Overall, the worst part was the plethora of trips to the grocery store and the no wine thing (I mean, wine DOES come from grapes...so?).

I, on principle, RARELY weigh myself IRL, so I have no idea if I lost/gained anything. Yeah I feel good, and maybe it's due to the hike in broccoli consumption and no hangovers for a month. But also, maybe it's just because Christmas cookie season is over? I think the real bummer for me is that I felt the effects of the 10 day detox more than this 30 day thang...so...

Would I do it again?
The whole program? Unlikely, girlfriend needs her popcorn and wine. Portions of the program? Yes! And i'll defiantly be using some of the recipes going forward (i've linked a bunch below!), doing more of a 'whole30ish' during the week thing. I learned some super easy salad dressings, renewed my love for roasted veggies, and chose proteins outside of my go-to chicken! Whaaat!

After doing the program, I don't think Whole30 is for everyone. FitFoodieFinds outlines one of the reasons in her post here. Mainly, people with any sort of previous eating disorder. I also don't think it's for everyone because not everyone NEEDS to be that restrictive. Based on either their allergy to foods, or how practical it is to them. Not allergic to peanuts? Eat dat PB. Beans don't make you feel bloated? Use that as your protein! That reminds me, I miss beans...

I think, personally #notadoctor, that instead of doing 100% Whole30, adjust your CURRENT eating habits to work, versus an abrupt overhaul. For example, after my morning workout, I really enjoy a nice little protein shake (coconut milk, protein powder, banana, spinach, cinnamon, mmmm!). However, my protein powder is pea based, which isn't allowed for Whole30. They also don't want you to 'drink' your calories. Instead, I made huge egg scrambles for brekky (which were good!), but not what i'll be doing going forward...Since I enjoy drinking my calories (WINE!), maybe next time i'd find a more compliant PP, or keep my PP since I have no aversion to peas, instead of choosing something I wouldn't continue post-W30.

Also, I have strong feelings about restrictive diets. EVERYTHING IN MODERATION PEOPLE. Except for popcorn, no need to moderate that :)

Taco soup! When I blended this up, my blender exploded all over our kitchen!!!
Just one of the perks of the Whole30 process, i'm sure. 
___________________________________________________________________________

Like I mentioned before, there was a group of us that did this. SO, I thought it would be fun to see how Whole30 went for them! Check it out:

Erin
Why did you do Whole30?

After the holidays I needed a restart and to get back on track with eating right. I also would like to lose weight before Katie's wedding and thought it would be a good way to re-kick off that process after the holidays.

What did you get out of it?
It is a lot easier to say no to bad food than I thought it would be and its something I feel like I can continue to do. When normally I would feel sick after eating, I didn't throughout whole30. There were somethings I realized that upset my stomach that are included in whole30 but as long as I avoided those I was all good! 

Would you do it again?
I wouldn't be apposed to doing it again but I would consistently do a modified version every few months (girl needs her wine and popcorn). 

First meal post - Whole30?!
Going between a popcorn and wine night or a pizza and wine night!

Favorite recipe?
I have two because they were both SOOO GOOOD!
Steak and Sweet Potato Bowls with Avocado Cilantro

Hailey
Why did you do Whole30? 
I chose to do W30 for several reasons. I felt like basically between Thanksgiving and New Years was a bender of baked goods and happy hours (holler for working with middle aged women who make treats for every team meeting and fun friends who like to get turnt on the weekends!!!). So mostly I felt nasty and had no energy, and I also think I was addicting to sugar. Like I don't even like pumpkin pie BUT WHY DID I EAT PUMPKIN PIE WHEN IT WAS BROUGHT TO THE OFFICE?!?!? No joke I think I had some form of sugar every day in December. My body needed a good ole reset and detox from sugar, booze and happiness. 

What did you get out of it?
The biggest thing I got out of it was truthfully (read: annoying) how simple it was. Read yo labels, meal prep, and only talk about W30 at social events. This comment is totally in hindsight, because I am now remembering how miserable I was week 1 with headaches/being exhausted. Whatever. It passed. But really I learned how easy it was to say no. Hey Judy- thanks but no thanks for the candied nuts that you brought in for our 8am huddle!!!!! Oh you brought in your world famous caramel rolls, Karen? SRY NOT SRY FOR SAYING NO (jk that one killed me a bit). But I didn't die or suddenly get majorly hungry when I said no to things, so I feel like that is a win. Why was I convinced that if I said no to a cookie I would feel like I was starving? Was I underfed as a child? Need to chat with Theresa about that one. 

Would you do it again?
Yes- I would do it again in a heart beat. I think I am going to stay on the dairy free gluten free train for a while and work hard to keep my veggie intake up, because I have felt way better digestively/energy wise this month and when I eat now I feel satisfied/full but not sick/bloated/in need of tummy time full. I will, however, have wine and popcorn on the reg again. Because I don't hate myself. 

First meal post - Whole30?!
TBH I am a little worried about the reintroduction phase, so I intend on having wine, popcorn, and this amazing cookie skillet that is dairy/gluten free for my first "meal" post W30. And about this cookie skillet, it's no joke. Make it. It changes lives. Don't get me wrong, I want pizza and all of the "noncompliant" foods but I'm like hey if I said no for a month may as well keep going? Am I ill? Difficult to say. Anyway, back to what matters - the cookie skillet recipe!!
Favorite recipe?
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Sweet Potato Chili (add peppers, top with avo/green onion/cilantro and whatever else floats your boat)

Beth
Why did you do Whole30? 
Lose weight and shake off the sugar dragon

What did you get out of it?
While I did have some dairy on the weekends, I drastically reduced my dependence on cheese. I found I was putting cheese on everything just for "flavor" and I didn't need to do that. My sinuses feel better with not so much dairy.

Would you do it again?
No. But I will incorporate it into my lifestyle and do periods that I follow Whole 30. I really strive for 80/20 rule, and eat real foods and cook more, but I don't think so many foods should be off limits (beans are good for you!), it gives you a weird relationship with food. I am someone who has had an eating disorder and have had to eliminate food due to food intolerances it is hard to be so extreme, it makes me go a bit crazy.

First meal post - Whole30?!
Pizza

Favorite recipe?
Melissas Chicken Hash (in the Whole30 book) and Sweet Potato Toast with Avocado topping

Thanks for your input ladies! And with that, i'll mention this whole thing is SO much better when you do it with other people and can have a constant text thread of good recipes and motivation (or just people to commiserate with)!

Snacks!! Also, a great option to bring while traveling. Airport Hanger issues RESOLVED. 

What were MY favi recipes?
Crispy Buffalo Wings
         Making a huge batch of these for the super bowl - SO GOOD.
Avocado Pesto Zoodles 
        The avocado pesto sauce is EVERYTHING 
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes 
         So much flavor in this - great for reheating for lunches too! 

So, have YOU done Whole30? What did you think? Would you do it again? Want to band together and develop a compliant popcorn so we can all be happy???

Link Love!

A few good things from the internet lately:
- This jean guide, ordered two pairs from Nordstroms thanks to her and OMG THEY ARE AMAZING.
- Anyone else obsessed with v random Trivia? Check this out!
- MN is hosting the SuperbOwl! Check out this hilarious guide by Surly Brewery
- Anyone else follow Emily Henderson? Love her style - shes working on a fixer upper in the mountains, and omg I can't wait to see how it all turns out!

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