So, I have several thoughts and opinions post my Whole 30 Experience, both good and bad.
- I Stopped Taking My Allergy Medications: After a year and a half of taking allergy medicines (flonase & claritin) every single morning, I have finally been able to stop. This benefit is huge for me. It can’t be that healthy to take anti histamines so often so I feel great that I could finally (hopefully) put an end to this. (even if it ends up being a temporary break)
- My Skin was SO clear: I don’t deal with bad acne, but I typically get redness around my nose, cheeks, and rims of my nostril, especially during the wintertime. After one week of Whole 30, my fiance told me I looked like I was “glowing” and my skin was so perfectly clear. I admit, I dont know that I have seen my skin look like this since I was maybe 10, so it was pretty awesome. I wish I could pinpoint exactly what was causing it to break out, but that’s been tough since the reintroduction phase.
- Significantly Less Bloated: Throughout Whole 30 I experienced significantly less bloat. I’d wake up in the AM looking better than I have in so long. It was definitely encouraging, uplifting, and motivating for me to keep going.
- Increased Energy Levels: I definitely loved being able to go through my work day without the 2 -3 pm slump. There were also many mornings I could have easily gone without coffee, but like the morning ritual of having a cup of coffee at my desk as I catch up on e-mails.
- Lost Pounds and Inches: I ended up losing a total of 7 pounds, an inch on my waist, and body fat % during whole 30. I think most of the changes occurred around my mid section and face, because not many people noticed a big difference. I also think the lbs. lost were a little exaggerated since my initial weigh in was after a spin class and a lot of water, and my last weigh in occurred first thing in the am.
- Cooking More & Enjoying It: I was never much of a cook before Whole 30. I know that my meals weren’t exquisite, but I finally got myself to enjoy cooking in the kitchen and make filling and healthy meals. I will carry this trait on after Whole 30.
- Having More Food Awareness: Whole 30 really forces you to pay attention to what is in the foods you’re eating. This was annoying the first few days, but after a few grocery store runs, I got in the routine of buying good quality, wholesome foods. This habit is definitely going to continue, as I don’t want to reintroduce unhealthy ingredients such as vegetable oils, hidden trans fats, added sugars, etc. in areas where I can avoid them.
I referenced the “bad” experiences I had during Whole 30 here, so for this post I’ll focus on the problems I have had post Whole 30:
- Feeling Anxious When Eating Non-Compliant Foods: The first few weeks after Whole 30 I had major anxiety when re-introducing different food groups. It probably didn’t help that after being a 1/3 of the way into a caramel sea salt kind bar (contains milk product & soy) I broke out in mild hives on my face. In the past I would eat these just fine, but I was also on my allergy meds which probably masked these mild reactions. Luckily other foods groups like gluten and grains haven’t seemed to bother me physically, but I did notice with gluten, my stomach would bloat. For the most part, I do plan on keeping dairy and soy out of my diet.
- Sugar Headaches: My first weekend off of Whole 30, My fiance and I attended a wedding in Louisville KY. I ate as well as I could have, but did help myself to 1/3 of a piece of wedding cake and ate a delicious slice of rum cake the following day. The Monday after (and I did not drink any alcohol on Sunday), I woke up with the biggest headache that felt just as bad as any hangover I’ve endured. This has happened a few times after eating more sugar.
- Instant Alcohol Bloat: The weekend spent in Kentucky, I drank wine and some vodka drinks. Sadly the Sunday after drinking I definitely had instant alcohol bloat. This has always happened in the past, and if you step on a scale you can be tricked into thinking you’ve gained 3+ pounds, but this will go away after 3 days or so of clean eating and exercise.
Overall, Whole 30 was a worth it experience, but I do not know that I will do another Whole 30 again. I definitely plan on continuing to eat Whole 30 meals for the most part, with the exception of chickpeas and some wine (duh), and then have a more relaxed approach to food on the weekends. The worst part about it was the feeling of being confined to your home for cooking, and not being able to socialize in ways you’re used to doing so. If any of you suffer from joint pain, inflammation, skin rashes, or allergies, I highly recommend this diet. Again, it’s not whole – forever, just 30 days, and seriously can change your life.