Paleo, primal, whole 30, coconut oil?
These little words in the form of Instagram and Pinterest hash tags had been popping up more frequently than not in my social media world prior to my own whole 30 journey. I kept seeing friends post healthy meals and then photos of themselves shrinking at a rapid rate.
You can tell me all day long that this diet works and that exercise is the best, but I’m the kind of person that has to see to believe. The proof was in the skinny girl pics in my newsfeed, and when I saw the challenge in the whole 30 I researched-up and set a date to become part of this new lifestyle trend.
The Whole 30 is a 30 day nutrition challenge that focuses on eating a paleo based diet.
On this program you eat meat, fish, eggs, TONS and TONS of veggies, very small amounts of fruit and lots of good fats.
Here are the rules:
Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels (and your Success Guide FAQ), because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. Yes, we said corn… for the purposes of this program, corn is a grain! This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold and fingerling potatoes off your plate.
In addition, no Paleo-ifying dessert or junk food choices! We call this “Sex With Your Pants On” (SWYPO), and it will ruin your Whole30 faster than you can say, “Paleo pizza.” Do not try to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold. This means no “Paleo-fying” desserts or junk food – no Paleo pancakes, pizza, brownies or ice cream. Trying to replicate junk food with “technically approved” ingredients misses the point of the Whole30 entirely.
So how did I fair? Well I accidently ate peas and corn for dinner one night-sometimes your vegetable lines get blurred in this program and if you don’t have the above fact sheet handy the next thing you know you’ve got a pile of peas on your plate and a Whole 30 Nazi barking on your Instagram;)
I found myself getting bored and wanting to mix it up at time in which I would surf Google for other Whole 30 crazies like myself to see what they were doing to spice it up in the kitchen. Being a vegetarian and being on a protein based diet was a HUGE challenge. I craved protein in ways I never had. Dreaming about chicken, bacon and ham was becoming a nightmare and a trap I ALMOST fell into when my dinners became bland and boring-but fear not I did not falter!
I considerably felt lighter, happier, healthier and SKINNIER! I had so much more energy than normal and I found that is I talked about all the naughty food I missed it was enough to get me through the next week. To keep mind off the possibility of cheating I began hiking more and more. With all of this new energy I tested my will by climbing mountains-literally!
I measured in at 163 pounds on day one and 150 pounds on day 30.
I went from a size 10 to a size 4/6 and a 36 DD to a 32 C in the chest.
The worst part about Whole 30 is just like anything else, if you don’t “use it” you “lose it.” It’s been two weeks and I’m definitely not as light as air as I was during the diet which is expected but sad. I’m glad I choose an effective and healthy way to kick-start better eating habits (my personal goal was to start eliminating carbs) and my first trip to the grocery store post whole 30 was no different than my grocery trip pre whole 30, yay me!….now if I could just get my boss to stop buying pizza at work I’d be in skinny gal heaven!
I hope the photos from my journey inspire YOU to challenge yourself with whole 30!
You won’t regret it!
For more from Erri, click HERE.