Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Whole 30: I Survived!

Last Tuesday, I finished the Whole 30 challenge! If you are not familiar with Whole 30, it is an elimination diet where you remove all alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, added sugar and sulfites from your diet for 30 days. You can read more about it here.

WHY would I do this to myself?
Basically I needed a big time detox after we got back from Las Vegas. I was in Vegas drinking mojitos from sunup to sundown (I promise I'm not an alcoholic!). I also got into some bad, bad habits when I was pregnant and nursing, where I would eat TONS of carbs and sugar (I'm talking 4 packs of stevia per cup of coffee, bowls of Cocoa Krispies after lunch and dinner, huge plates of pasta with no meat/protein...). I definitely needed a reset and I was hoping this would help me get back to healthier eating. I was also hoping Whole 30 would help my knees and hips ache less (from running) and improve my energy levels.

What happened:
I did lose about 6 pounds over the 30 days, which I was really surprised about when I weighed myself last week! (You're not supposed to weigh yourself during the 30 days, so that's why I really had no clue.) Other than that though, I really didn't notice any drastic changes. I didn't feel less bloated, I didn't feel like my energy levels increased (in fact, I feel like they decreased because I was drinking less coffee....whoever thinks you can get used to drinking your coffee black is lying!), my skin broke out more than ever and my hips and knees still hurt from running. I also was majorly grumpy the majority of the 30 days, and still had an occasional upset stomach (I have a very sensitive stomach and get IBS-type pains a lot).

So, I'm going to go out on a limb and say Whole 30 is not for me. I honestly don't think I will do it again. If you're into Whole 30, that's awesome! I'm just not a fan of it for myself. Life's too short for me to be drinking black coffee and avoiding foods that are everywhere!

If you are curious, though, here's a look at what I ate for 30 days:


For breakfast, I thought maybe a Larabar would cut it (I don't normally eat big breakfasts), but I was starving by like 10 AM. So I made these egg muffins and they did a great job of holding me over till lunchtime.

I made big batches of salads to last me a few days.


Jalapeno Turkey Burgers
Trav ended up grilling these for us and they were delish!

Firecracker Pineapple Chicken
This is where the recipes started to fall apart on me. This was disappointing dish #1. 

Baked Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
These were also really gross.

Week 1 was definitely the hardest. I was constantly hungry, peeing all the time, exhausted, nauseous, bloated, SUPER moody (my poor family!), had frequent headaches and running was the hardest thing in the world. Basically, I felt like I was 6 weeks pregnant (I promise I'm not...I can't imagine doing Whole 30 pregnant)! 



Cauliflower Rice Tabouleh
I became obsessed with this! I will probably make it again, not on Whole 30.


All of the dinners this week were just ehhh. Nothing great, nothing terrible.



I also repeated the Asian Chicken Chopped Salad and Cauliflower Rice Tabouleh from the last 2 weeks. 


This week's dinners were flat out AWFUL!

This was decent...but it was basically like a baked potato that you would get from Wendy's, so not entirely sure how healthy this is?!

Thai Chicken Sweet Potato Flatbread
This tasted like crap.

Orange Chicken
This was so bad, I ended up crying after eating it! I was totally over Whole 30 the day we had this; I was so sick of eating crappy food! 

Egg Roll in a Bowl (different recipe than last week's)
This was by far the best thing we had all week. 

Lemon Chicken with Asparagus
This was ok...I finally figured out that the almond/coconut/tapioca flours was making all of these previous dishes taste like the meat was rolled around in dirt. So, I skipped coating the chicken in the tapioca flour this time and it definitely made it more edible!



Thai Cucumber Noodle Salad

And then I ate that Cauliflower Rice Tabouleh for the rest of the week because I got lazy and didn't want to try another salad.


Now that I had finally figured out that all of the "fake" flours were messing up some otherwise delicious meals, I avoided them at all costs. I also stopped searching Whole 30 specific meals, and ended up finding some really good things that were still compatible!
All of the dinners we had this last week were actually really good!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Tuscan Pork Loin

Chicken Puttanesca

Korean Beef Bowls

Roasted Chicken Legs with Potatoes and Kale

So there you have it. An interesting 30 days of eating super clean and healthy. But as I sit here eating my turkey sandwich and drinking my coffee (with creamer!), I can honestly say I am much happier eating whatever I want in moderation. I think those last 2 words are the key!
To reward myself for surviving the Whole 30, I got an Instant Pot (thanks to my in-laws for the Amazon gift card for my birthday!). If you have any good (not Whole 30!) instant pot recipes, please share!!!

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