Jim and I completed Whole30 within a few days of my mom. I thought it would be fun to have us all answer a few questions about our Whole30 experience.
My Whole30 Experience
Before we get into the Q&A, I wanted to share a bit more about my Whole30 experience. I started on a Monday to allow time to meal prep over the weekend. I’d do it the same way again. This may be TMI, but I started Whole30 the same day I started my period. Like both my pregnancies, this was unplanned. I wouldn’t recommend it (starting Whole30, not the pregnancies). I was a cranky, emotional, stressed mess.
However, it did have one benefit in that I was able to notice any changes after eating clean for a month. For the first time in forever, I didn’t have any PMS cramps and very little bloating. I did get my usual migraine and was more emotional than normal. Not sure if that’s related or not.
- The first two weeks meal planning was overwhelming, but after that it became more routine.
- My biggest mistake with week 1 was not buying enough food. I underestimated how much we’d need.
- I did all of our grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. TJs adds sugar to a lot of their products. I’ll be checking ingredient labels from here on out. I don’t need sugar added to my kalamata olives!
- Cashew milk is better than almond milk (at least in my opinion). Both are really easy to make at home!
- I’ve turned into a fan of salads.
- I am a big emotional eater. Tough day with Lawson and Sybil = a treat for me. I had to constantly remind myself those foods were off-limits.
How my body has felt post-Whole30 as I’ve reintroduced food groups has been more shocking than anything else. I didn’t finish Whole30 and immediately dive back into all the stuff I ate beforehand. I introduced foods slowly starting with gluten-free pancakes, waited a few days and then indulged in sushi, an iced almond milk tea and finally a burger and fries. My stomach was in so much pain. It almost felt like PMS cramps on top of I ate too much cramps. Terrible! Since I now know the impact the food I eat has on the way I feel, I’m trying to stick to 90% Whole30 foods.
Now to the Q&A. A little about each of us… my mom is 66 years old. This was her second time doing Whole30. Jim is 34 years old and I am 41. It was our first round of Whole30.
What was the biggest challenge for you?
Joan: Eating out. I could have a bun-less burger with no problem, but side salad dressing was not Whole30 compliant and fries were also non-compliant
Jim: After dinner/late night snacks while studying
Erica: At the beginning, the meal planning was overwhelming and stressful. Making almost 90 meals for 2 adults and 2 kids over 30 days was daunting and sometimes tiring.
How did you feel at the beginning?
Joan: Bloated and blah with no willpower
Erica: Tired, frumpy
How did you feel at the end?
Joan: Lost about 3 pounds, jeans fit better, committed to eating cleaner
Jim: More energy, I was impressed with my energy level throughout the 30 days
Erica: Light. Not necessarily weight loss light (I only lost 2 pounds), but overall I felt like a lighter, better version of myself.
Any withdrawal symptoms?
Erica: Dull headache for first 10 days
Favorite new recipe?
Joan: A tie between garlic chicken and potatoes and greek-marinated salmon
Jim: Different salads for lunch
Erica: Same as my mom plus chicken tenders (I’ll be sharing our favorite breakfast, lunch and dinners as well as our full 30-day menu next week)
Did you cheat at all?
Joan: French fries eating out and creamer in my coffee once
Jim: Donut hole on day 2 (I forgot), beer at a social event, pizza and cake after a stressful final
Erica: We had a dinner event with Jim’s class for Chinese New Year. I stuck to meat and veggies, but I’m sure they weren’t Whole30 compliant
What did you miss most?
Jim: Bread (and the 10 pounds I lost)
What was your first meal post-Whole30?
Joan: Cheese on my burger
Jim: Whatever Erica made
Erica: Gluten-free pancakes (and they were delightful!)
What, if anything, will you continue to incorporate?
Joan: Try to limit bread to once a while treat and only really good bread
Jim: Hopefully salads for lunch
Erica: I plan to keep eating salads for lunch and aim for 90% Whole30 snacks and dinners. I’ll add oatmeal and gluten-free pancakes into our breakfast rotation once a week.
Would you ever try Whole30? If you’ve completed it, what was your Whole30 experience?