Lola Finished a Whole30!

This will be short and quick, but I wanted to make sure I wrote something about my Whole30 challenge.

Not sure what a Whole30 is?  Click on the Whole30 Program and read what is and isn’t eaten.

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Here is an introductory section taken directly from their website.  (By the way… this is not a membership or program that costs money to participate.  It’s just an idea and a guideline that works if you so choose to try it!)

What is the Whole30®?

Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat – even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?

Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health. The most important reason to keep reading?

This will change your life.

We cannot possibly put enough emphasis on this simple fact – the next 30 days will change your life. It will change the way you think about food, it will change your tastes, it will change your habits and your cravings. It could, quite possibly, change the emotional relationship you have with food, and with your body. It has the potential to change the way you eat for the rest of your life. We know this because we did it, and tens of thousands of people have done it since, and it changed our lives (and their lives) in a very permanent fashion. (Need convincing? Just read some of our stunning testimonials.)

I hope that I’ve hooked you by posting those several paragraphs.  Please go visit their site for the rest.

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Today is Day 30, meaning I made it all the way through!  I’ve eaten paleo for a while, but never like this.  I have never buckled down and been so strict for 30 days.  I wish I’d done this a long time ago, but like most everybody, I have had a long list of excuses.  Some of them went like this….

  • I’m pregnant, I deserve to eat what I want occasionally and not be so healthy/strict for 30 days.
  • I just had a baby, I deserve to drive to Sonic for a M&M Blast if I want to because I eat so healthy at home.
  • I am so busy at work and barely have time to prepare meals anymore now that I have a baby and a full time job, it’s just simply not feasible for me to do a Whole30.
  • I have a special event in the middle of the month and I don’t want to have to pass up the celebration food, so I just simply don’t want to do a Whole30 right now.
  • I don’t need to do a Whole30 anyway, I’m plenty healthy and I already eat better than I ever have in my life.

Well, I honestly don’t know what triggered me to jump in and do one.  I just woke up one morning and a friend of mine (who’d never eaten paleo at all) told me that she was going to start a Whole30 challenge.  I was really impressed and somehow it just got me motivated.  I said, “Hey I’ll do one with you” before I could really think it through.  It was an impulse decision, but I’m so glad I did!

Here were my goals:

  • Kill my sweet tooth.  I have had a lifelong battle with the “sugar dragon” stemming from the days where almost every meal absolutely had to consist of something sweet.  Sweet cereal, sweet yogurt, sweet tea, sweet coffee, you name it.  Almost every meal had something sweet in it, to the point that if I did not eat something sweet with or after each meal, I went out of my way to satisfy that craving.
  • Tone up. I wanted to see if any excess body fat or flab would go away.
  • Optimize my health for my kid.  Junk in = junk out, and I’m still nursing a little one.  That Starbucks latte I was having every day probably wasn’t good for either of us.  Plus, I wanted to be eating optimally for a potential pregnancy.  Oatmeal and I could end up pregnant again very soon, and I want to start off any pregnancy as strong as I can!  (Especially since I got so sick in the early weeks of being pregnant with Poppyseed, making eating healthy even more challenging.  I’m not joking when I tell you that I hid a box of rice chex under my bed when I was about 10 weeks along with her.)

I’m so happy, because I managed to do all three!  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still love me some chocolate.  But after stripping a lot of my sweets out of my diet for 30 days, I am shocked to say I don’t miss them!  I don’t WANT a caramel latte right now.  And I even went to the grocery store to buy myself my beloved dark chocolate almonds (of which I used to eat constantly throughout the day) and decided not to buy them.  I stared at the package for a little bit while standing in the aisle of the store and thought, “Eh, maybe I’ll get some next weekend or something.  I’m not really in the mood for them right now.”  Um, who am I??  Not in the mood for chocolate?  I used to eat a whole bag IN THE STORE!

I also toned up a bit.  I stuck to going to Crossfit twice a week, and even though I always lift the least amount of weight and finish last, I have actually developed some teeny muscles.  There’s a first for everything!  I’ve never had muscles before!  And from just 2 workouts a week?  C’mon, you can’t beat that.

I have some before and after pictures, but honestly I’m just a tad too modest to put those on the blog.  Even though I feel like I’m a pretty confident person, I can’t get it out of my head that someone may look at me and say, “Ummmm, she needs to do another 30 days before she can really talk.”  I’ll never be the thinnest and most toned, but let’s just put it this way.  When I wake up and walk into Poppyseed’s nursery to check on her in the mornings and Oatmeal sees me in my underwear, he calls me “Cute Mommy” and smiles at me like I’m the hottest wife ever.  Girls…. wives…. tell me that wouldn’t make you feel good about yourself!   My husband is not exactly a man of many compliments, so silly nicknames like “Cute Mommy” make me feel soooo good.

What I love about the Whole30 is that it reminds you that you DON’T have to show up to the gym every day.  You DON’T have to wake up at dawn and kill yourself at the track, at bootcamp, or whatever.   Now… if you got a good night’s sleep the night before and you are so inclined to wake up and take part in these activities, then it is encouraged.   But your second most important priority (after eating REAL food) is to respect your body.  Get enough SLEEP.  Do things you enjoy.  I honestly didn’t feel run down and tired, at all, when doing this program.  I didn’t feel hungry, at all, when doing this program.

It was a lot of work.  It took a lot of willpower.  I had to do a lot of planning and cooking and grocery shopping.  There were times (my brother’s wedding, for example) where I was just plain aggravated that I couldn’t have a glass of wine.

But, hey.  It was just 30 days.

Which, if I live to be 70, will make up only .001% of my days on this earth.

One healthy and happy mama!

One healthy and happy mama!

And the feeling of accomplishment is WAY better than that wine would have tasted.

If you’d like to consider doing a Whole30, I would definitely start by checking out their website and/or buying their book.  I love paleo books, but theirs is by far my favorite one! 

I’ll also post some cookbooks that helped me get through the Whole30.   I used at least several recipes from each of these cookbooks recently and it absolutely helped me stay creative in the kitchen.

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