It’s been a week since I started the trendy Whole30 diet. So far it’s been an interesting experience! Here are some of the things I’ve learned as I near the 1/3 mark of the diet:
1. Meal prep is your friend
I’ve never been someone to prepare meals ahead of time, which is why I sometimes tend towards unhealthy options. However, this week I realized that needed to change if I was going to succeed at the Whole30.
I chopped up:
- bacon bits
as a way to throw together an easy salad for lunches.
- Brussels sprouts
- butternut squash
- hard boiled eggs
partly to throw in salads and also just to have on the side for different meals.
- Spaghetti squash
- Tomato/ground chicken sauce
- AND MUCH MORE…
in order to have meals on hand when I didn’t feel like cooking.
It was A LOT of work, a lot more than I’m used to for sure. Normally I just whip something up and it usually isn’t that satisfying but I found a lot of satisfaction in eating meals I had prepared and worked hard to shop for, look up recipes, purchase, and cook.
2. Replacement foods are bae
Spaghetti squash in place of pasta, chia seed pudding instead of my usual morning oatmeal, this AMAZING paleo cereal to replace my granola… The great thing about the internet is that there are so many cool recipes that people much more creative than me have come up with that are nutritious, whole30 compliant, and taste great! In fact, I really haven’t had any cravings since I started and haven’t been super hungry all the time like I thought I would be.
3. It’s not cheap…
I’ve basically spent all my income on food this week. Which I am definitely not used to. I normally subsist off of Trader Joe’s brown rice pasta, oatmeal, and then scrounge up whatever I can for dinner, which has more often than I’d like lately been eating out. Honestly, other than the eating out, it’s a poor man’s way of life, but it’s not bad. I think what I will learn from Whole30 is that it’s ok to spend a little more on food than I’m used to because it’s going into my body and my body is a temple and all that jazz. I also just got a brand spanking new job so hopefully that will ease my guilt a bit…
I also think that there are certain recipes I’ve splurged more on than others, some that will last longer than others, and that it’s all ok. I’ll continue to figure out a better system of what works for me that will hopefully carry over into post-whole30 life.
4. I’ve lost weight
I haven’t actually weighed myself, but my jeans don’t fit as tightly anymore. I have been looking to shed a few extra pounds lately since gaining about 20 pounds in the past two years, but that wasn’t the purpose of trying out the whole30. The purpose was to see how my body feels, and on that note…
5. I definitely have a lot more energy already
Not sure if it’s a placebo effect of due to the change in diet, but I have noticed that I have more energy. I don’t feel the need to sleep in as late and my ability to lie in bed for hours on end has declined. A couple of days ago I found myself jittery because I hadn’t worked out that day, which isn’t usual for me. That usually doesn’t happen for at least a few days. So this is very promising for both my physical and mental health!
6. I’m more mindful of my hunger
This morning before breakfast I drove by the Dollar Tree near my old apartment where I used to buy candy and lo and behold… I had a sudden urge to buy candy. Being on this diet has really allowed me to become more mindful of 1. preventing hunger by eating regular meals and 2. noticing that when I’m hungry I tend to crave sugary sweets. I can definitely use this knowledge post whole30 to know when I should treat myself and when I should just feed myself.
7. I’m not really sure how it has affected my mood
My anxiety fluctuates on a week by week basis but I did notice I was feeling somewhat irritable at the beginning of the diet, which I attributed to withdrawing from sugar. However, there are also other outside factors that might have been at play. So this one is kind of up in the air. I did notice that I felt very happy towards the end of the week, but again, outside factors. I will provide more updates as time goes on, but I am wary to suggest trying any drastic changes in diet in the midst of severe anxiety or depression.
So far I really like the progress I’ve made! I have been tempted a few times this week to cheat… One night I went out to a bar and all the beer people around me were drinking looked so good… D: Two nights ago we had lasagna at our house and it looked so delicious but I could only eat the salad so that was a sad time… And then last night I hadn’t eaten in several hours and was super hungry and the image of a California burrito popped up in my mind… I texted my family asking them if I should get the burrito and give up, and my youngest sister, not really knowing that I was doing the whole30, told me it was National Burrito Day and that I should totally do it! But luckily with the amazing support of my family and boyfriend I was able to abstain and we ended up making a nice wholesome dinner of chicken and veggies that made me forget about the existence of burritos… for now…
Today is apparently National Beer Day, and while I wish I could participate, I will have to pass. Maybe I should have thought this over more when deciding to do the Whole30 this month… But supposedly the first week or so is the hardest, and by week 2 I should totally have it down! We will see, but for now it really isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.