Whole 30 Challenge AcceptedAfter this New Year's I was feeling rundown, fat, sluggish, and just ughhh.... I also was completey uninspired with cooking and recipes. I decided I needed to make a change. I was on Pinterest searching for Paleo recipes to see if it was a diet I could do, when I came across the Whole30 plan.
It seemed interesting and doable! For 30 days you follow the plan and stay away from the food groups below and try to eat healthy, non-processed foods (whole foods).
Getting Started with Whole30
On Whole30 you stay away from:
- Legumes (peanuts, beans, etc...)
- Processed Foods
When I started I thought it was going to be so hard! I mean no peanut butter or frozen meals for lunches? But I found some recipes and started thinking about new foods I could eat that would be quick and simple.
Recipes - Making it Work
For breakfast I was already eating according to the plan, but I added veggies to help me stay fuller longer and keep me from snacking.
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- Fruit (usually berries or a banana)
- Chopped veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
For lunches, I mainly ate salads. I bought lots of premade ones from Trader Joes of King Soopers. Usually the ones with kale and brussels sprouts! Then I added veggies, protein, and dressing. I did cheat on dressing as I didn't make my own; but I found some vinegarettes with no sugar added and natural ingredients so I felt pretty good.
- Pre-washed salad greens
- Other veggies (tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, etc...)
- Protein (smoked salmon, rotisserie chicken, deli meat)
Finally, for dinners, I tried a few recipes from Pinterest but they were pretty complicated and I just don't have time for that. I did find one recipe for Paleo nachos that I pretty much lived off of. Or I just had protein and veggies.
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees
- Slice 1 sweet potato thinly into chips, slice 1 jalepeno into rounds, and chop a handful of mushrooms
- Lay sweet potatoes out flat in 1 layer, and on second try lay out 1 layer of mushrooms and jalepenos. Coat all with olive oil and salt
- Roast for 10 minutes, flip and roast for 10 more
- Either make or purchase guacamole (Whole Foods' version is by far the best)
- Heat up and shred 2-3oz. of rotisserie chicken
- Chop onion and tomato
- Build your nachos, yum!
Other Paleo Meals
- Protein: rotisserie chicken, grass-fed beef burgers, smoked salmon. sausages (natural and without sugar)
- Vegetables: Roasted squash, brussel sprouts or okra, frozen veggies, or salad
Now to the good stuff after a month of this, how did it turn out!? Well I'd say it was a success, as you can see by the pictures and measurements below. I ended up losing a total of 7 pounds and about 2 inches around my middle.
Oh and don't mind the crazy yoga bun, I took these pictures each day before a yoga workout! :)
I lost the most inches around my mid-section (awesome, that was my problem area!), but the funny thing is I didn't lose around my arms and I actually gained a half an inch around my thighs! This is because I also started a more intense yoga routine, so I'm gaining muscles. I'm so excited, I love when I can see my muscles!
What I Learned
I went into this diet really skeptical. I've never dieted before and I wasn't sure I would be able to do it. But after a few days I got into the swing of things and really started to pay attention to when I was hungry and why and how I was feeling.
Overall I learned:
- I didn't really miss a lot of the food I thought I would (i.e. bread, dairy, or sugar)
- I really missed some foods I wouldn't have thought of (i.e. beans, alcohol, peanut butter)
- There is sugar in everything! It's in sausage, canned foods, frozen foods, dressing, etc...
- Which leads me to label reading - very important!!
- I love veggies, which somehow I forgot
Now that it's over I plan on eating Whole30 for most breakfasts and lunches. Then for dinner I can be more lenient and also I can enjoy going out to eat again. I don't, however, plan on returning to my old eating habits!
I would say Whole30 has been a success for me and I'm excited for the future and continuing my journey to healthiness!