If you haven’t read my first two Whole30 posts, you might want to go here first to catch up: Getting Started with Whole30 in a Month without Travel and Whole30 Update: Day 10.
I’m going to start with the good stuff (aka my NSV, non-scale-victories, after 20 days of Whole30 eating):
- Just in the past few days, I feel leaner, especially in my upper torso. (No weighing on the scale allowed on this program, so no weight loss to report.)
- I am alert and raring to go in the mornings. I don’t feel that mid-afternoon energy slump.
- In fact, my afternoon and post-dinner sugar cravings might be gone. I was actually excited to eat cold sweet potato the other day when I wanted a little snack before working out. I have totally ignored warm, homemade bread sitting on my kitchen counter, as well as the chocolate chips that I know are in the back of my pantry. (Side note: Fighting the cravings only works when I get enough in my belly at meals; if I don’t eat a sufficient amount of protein and veggies at lunch, I’m screwed by 4pm.)
However, after 20 days of eating a lot of eggs, meat, fruit and vegetables — and no grains, gluten, legumes, sugar, dairy, or alcohol — I’m convinced I need whole grains and beans to keep my digestive system working properly.
Now, Whole30 purists and Paleo fanatics might argue otherwise; they’d say that the body doesn’t need gluten or wheat, and it may even be less-than-ideal to consume it. But I think these are the folks who have significant reactions when they eat gluten. I don’t; I’ve never had stomach upset after eating wheat. I think my body likes it as fuel for exercise. And, on the contrary, when I don’t eat wheat (or legumes) my body reacts. I’m going to spare you all the details, but I’ve drunk a ton of water, introduced Kombucha and digestive enzymes, and upped the magnesium intake, and still I’m not, er, regular.
That’s not fun. Not fun at all.
That said, I still have 10 days go to. Maybe some miraculous changes will evolve by day 30, my digestive system will right itself again, and I’ll swear off gluten. We’ll see. I’m sticking to this program, especially now that I’m on the backside. Just 10 more days of no wine. I can do this. I will admit, some nights are easier than others to resist the pull of the good bottles of vino that I know are stacked in my cool basement. But I’m very (very) proud of myself that I haven’t slipped up at all on drinking — or eating — yet. Not one little bite of my kids’ sandwiches, cheesey eggs, tortilla chips or sweet treats.
Although my entire family has not gone Paleo, they are happily eating the Whole30 dinners I cook, and they are absolutely more educated about the amount of sugar that goes into staples in our house — products like ketchup, syrup, mayonnaise, ranch dressing and barbecue sauce. (Tip: Watch Fed Up and That Sugar Film with your kids; it will change the way you feed your family, if you aren’t already a low-sugar house.) Once the kids use up some of the bottles and jars that are currently in our pantry and fridge, I’m going to experiment with some sugar-free recipes, like the no-sugar mayonnaise I made as a base for some yummy tartar sauce that accompanied the delectable Whole30 Cookbook oven-baked salmon cakes I made the other night for dinner. (My 13-year-old son ate six of the cakes! I consider that a win.) Other favorite recipes lately have included Coconut Shrimp with Pina Colada Dressing (that coconut-cream-and-crushed-pineapple sauce is like crack — so good) and Paleo Egg Muffins.
It’s been so fun to read the suggested timeline of what might happen to you and when while doing a Whole30 challenge. In the past 10 days, my reactions have been similar to the predictions. That is, between days 12 and 15 I did have junk-food dreams! One involved my biting into a slice of Pizza Hut pizza (and I woke thinking I was going to have to start my Whole30 regime all over). In the other I was standing in line at a Dunkin’ Donuts. Funny.
And on day 16, when Tiger Blood is supposed to kick in, I indeed woke up on a Sunday morning FIRED UP to get things done. That is, resolved to make some changes in my work life. Eager to make a bunch of new-to-me Paleo recipes. Determined to finish some lingering stories I need to write. And wouldn’t you have it, my computer was running so slow (eventually alerting me to the fact that my hard drive needed to be rebuilt). I was so frustrated that my keyboard and computer screen weren’t working as fast as my Tiger Blood-fueled brain!
I wonder if that Tiger Blood remains sustained through Whole30. According to the timeline, some folks just want to throw in the towel at day 28 with an, “Enough, already!” frame of mind. We’ll see where my head is at!
Catch up with these posts: Getting Started with Whole30 in a Month without Travel and Whole30 Update: Day 10
Go Tiger Blood! Sounds amazing. It’s fun watching the transitions you’ve made. Your dreams are hilarious!
I’ve only ever done Paleo and am about to give Whole 30 a go, so you picked a good time to do these posts. Yay, thanks =)
Sorry, didn’t meant to comment twice on one post. Thought I wrote this on your first Whole 30 installment!
OK, so I agree. I have done three month-long Paleo stints in the past, and with as much as I (and you) work out I do feel like it doesn’t give me nearly enough energy for the amount of exercise I do. But my big thing is sugar, so I want to be like you are and rid myself of the late afternoon/post-dinner sugar cravings as that’s exactly when mine hit!
Tomorrow’s day 28! Hope you’re still going strong! I’m 10 days behind you, hoping to feel leaner in a week or so too. Right now I have my energy back (after that first 5 days of getting absolutely nothing done) but feel like a bloated mess.