I was sitting in my local coffee shop yesterday waiting for my 3pm to show up when I had this idea–to create “Whole Thoughts Thursday” which highlighted my favorite tips of the week since my blog is called “Whole Thoughts”.
The fun thing about “Whole Thoughts Thursday”, or WTT, is that I am able to share with you some great recipes, ideas, local finds, etc. that will help you LOOK and/or FEEL amazing!
And, since it is the first Thursday of the year, I am excited to share with you my recent endeavor–Whole30.
What is Whole30?
It is 30 days of clean eating–no sugar, grains, wheat, alcohol, dairy, legumes–that is designed to leave you with cleaner eating habits when the 30 days are up.
This is my 3rd year participating in the program, and I choose to do it in January because I feel it is a great way to start off the year, it sort of “undoes” my holiday eating, and January is a pretty low-key month so I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything since really nothing is going on.
The first year I thought it was going to be relatively easy since I am already gluten, and 90% dairy free, but I was sorely mistaken. I never realized how heavily I relied on the gluten free version of pasta and breads, and how much my body craved sweets once I was told I couldn’t eat them (as everyone does).
So, for all of you who are debating about starting the Whole30 program, or who would like to know what it’s really like, below are my top 5 takeaways from doing Whole30.
can drinkenjoy my coffee black.
Yes, I know I said “no dairy” and almond milk is not dairy, however, it is considered “processed” unless you make it yourself (and I am not about to do all of that) so I decided that rather than skipping my morning cup of Joe altogether, I would drink it black. And 3 years later, I am still drinking it black every single day.
2. Rice is my best friend.
I never noticed how heavily I relied on brown rice as a staple in my diet until I couldn’t eat it on Whole30. Yes, it was challenging at first, but after eating stir fry without it, and subbing cauliflower rice for most regular-rice dishes, I was missing it less and less (but got right back into it on February 2nd!).
3. The first week is the worst.
Subbing in veggies for what is typically carbs or grains means serious bloating. Apparently, the worse you eat before starting the program, the worse you feel in the first 7 days (their website calls it the “Hangover” phase) which includes fatigue, bloating, headaches–but once you get past that, you are golden.
4. It is possible for my stomach to be the same size when I got to bed as it is when I wake up.
Typically, I wake up with a flat stomach but by the end of the day, I have a nice little pouch that could benefit from some Spanx. I always attributed this to the fact that I ate throughout the day but on Whole30, my stomach is just as flat at the end of the day as it is when I wake up–magic!!
This is because I am cutting out inflammatory foods–legumes, dairy, sugar–and only putting in whole, clean foods. How about that?!
5. Potatoes are my savior.
Luckily, you can eat potatoes on Whole30, as long as they aren’t prepared with butter, cream, etc. I love roasted potatoes (dice them up; toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning; and bake on 400°F for 20 minutes–YUM!) and sweet potatoes thrown in a pan with olive oil and sliced onions are incredible for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I learned to get pretty creative with my tots (perhaps that can be the next Whole Thoughts Thursday post??) and they are the perfect way to satisfy my “carbs” craving while providing nutritious and fibrous fuel.
So there you have it–my quick recap of Whole30. I suggest you head over to their website to get a more in-depth look of the program, but I can honestly say, if you are looking to clean up your diet and incorporate healthier eating habits but don’t want to commit longer than a month, this is for you.
I always take at least one new healthy habit that I gather over the 30 days and continue it throughout the rest of the year. It is worth a try to see if changing your diet makes you feel better inside and out (which it will!) and to challenge yourself to get outside your comfort zone by eating different meals with only clean ingredients.