Little over a month ago my #TeamSkyFit teammate, Jenna, suggested that a bunch of us try the Whole30 challenge and after reading it over (though probably not as much as I should have) I decided to take the plunge. Since Ironman Muskoka I have beenn sitting on my butt for 2 months with a diet consisting mainly of peanut M&Ms and Coke Zero, so I thought that this was the perfect thing to kick start my eating habits, and The Husband was kind enough to join me in this challenge, mainly because I refused to make two dinners. I wasn’t looking to lose any weight, but more looking to ingrain some healthier habits that would stick with me afterwards.
If you’ve never heard of Whole30, there are a lot of rules but in sum the main 3 things that you aren’t allowed to eat are:
- Added Sugar (natural sugars like fruit are fine)
Which sounds like a lot of things you can’t eat, but scrolling through Instagram makes you realize all the things you can and ‘get’ to eat. Delicious meals! You just have to think ahead.
On a whole, my eating habits have been very mediocre over the past 5 years. My meals are fine, but I’m a snacker and its my snack choices that aren’t usually the best. Cutting out sugar for a month seemed like a challenge that I was willing to give a shot. Turns out, sugar wasn’t the hard part.
Dairy. Dairy is my weakness. On Day 5, I made the comment that I would be the happiest person alive if I could just put milk in my tea. I made some delicious burgers and really wanted to put cheese on it. Mornings without Greek yogurt were HARD despite the Whole30 people insisting that is wasn’t hard. Hard is relative.
Overall Week 1 Thoughts by The Husband and I (Day 1-7)
“Screw You, Millennium Falcon.”
We have a giant chocolate Millennium Falcon – about the size of my face – sitting on a shelf. We bought this at Fan Expo and we are saving as our Star Wars movie snack in December. Now it is just mocking us.
“I have no problem eating healthy. I just don’t like being told I can’t eat something”
Being told that I can’t eat something just makes me want it more, even if I don’t like it. There is a no pancake rule, even banana pancakes even though they have no banned items. I don’t like banana pancakes, but being told that I can’t have them just makes me want them anyway. The Husband said numerous times “are you sure I can’t put this on a bun/bread/tortilla?”
“So. Many. Dishes”
Cooking every meal creates WAY more dishes than we are used to. At the same time, we are using less garbage by having less prepackaged stuff. So… win?
Sugar is in EVERYTHING. And you get super excited when you find something compliant
Reading labels made me hyper aware of how much sugar is used as a filler in EVERYTHING. I found compliant pickles on my first grocery shop and I did a little dance in Sobey’s out of excitement.
“This fruit is a-mah-zing”
On Day 6 I had a bowl of fruit with blackberries, pomegranate and gold kiwi. Fruit has never tasted this good. So flavourful. Why would I eat chocolate when I could eat this?
Overall Week 2 Thoughts by The Husband and I (Day 8-14)
“This spiral slicer is the best thing ever.”
After eating zucchini one night and thinking that it was my favourite vegetable, I went out and bought a spiral slicer to make zucchini noodles. Great idea. Worth the $30.
“I only lost X pounds today”
The Husband was ‘cheating’ through Whole 30, because you aren’t supposed to weigh yourself until the end of the 30 days, but he weighed himself regularly as a little motivation to show that it was working. And it was.
“This is good food, but I want it to be over so I can have X”
No matter what you do or say, burgers are better on a bun.
“I am sleeping like a rock”
I like sleep a lot, but I get woken up easily. Not since Whole30 started. I get fantastic sleep now.
Overall Week 3 Thoughts by The Husband and I (Day 15-21)
“I don’t want chocolate. But I’d like some.”
Going to the movies and not having peanut M&M’s is the hardest thing I came across in this challenge. Having a cookie with my evening tea would be just swell.
“I love my team.”
Doing this with others is way easier than doing it by yourself. Support, even sending gifs of pizza back and forth to each other, is awesome.
Overall Week 4 Thoughts by The Husband and I (Day 16-30)
“Oh crap. What do I eat while I’m away?”
The Husband had to go away a good chuck of the last week and it turns out that it is super hard to stay compliant when you are living in a hotel and eating with clients at restaurants. He did it though! So much steak…
Are we done yet? Now? How about now?
“Can we keep doing this?”
We like eating like this, and are planning on continuing, just not so hardcore strict. I’m going to have milk in tea. The Husband is going to eat his hot dogs with a bun. I might have a cookie.
We didn’t take measurements, but we did weigh in. I lost 4 pounds and The Husband lost a whopping 33 pounds in 30 days. Lots of non scale victories – sleep improvements, more energy, no afternoon sluggish feeling being the main ones.
This was an interesting challenge. It involves a lot of planning, but the food was good, and for the most part I really didn’t feel like I was missing anything. I was reminded of foods that I didn’t remember that I liked (I must have been the only kid who liked brussel sprouts) and as long as I had a plan, cooking all the time wasn’t that bad.