Happy Tuesday! It’s been a week since my last post, partly because of traveling for work and laziness, partly because of lack of inspiration, but now I’m ready to jump back in here and, with the benefit of some time to reflect, recap my Whole30.
But before we do jump back in, let’s talk about a couple of exciting things coming up!
1. Kyle comes home tomorrow! Well, it’s only a two-week leave, but I’m so excited to spend the next two weeks together at home. He hasn’t been home since February, so it’s a long overdue reunion and I can’t wait to see him!
2. It’s May! We’re still experiencing some April showers here, but I’m hoping that’s going to turn around soon and we start getting the warm spring weather I’ve been pining for. My new favorite thing to do is sit out on my back patio and read in the afternoons after work, and I’d like to do it every day as opposed to once every other week.
3. I not-so-spontaneously signed Kyle and I up for a 5K today. And it’s on Saturday. And I haven’t run consistently in a while. It’s gonna be slow. But it’s called Cinco de Miles and there’s a mariachi band, so I mean come on.
4. The school year is winding down! For those of us in college sports, that means two months of regular working hours, and hopefully vacations. It’s the most wonderful time of the year... #SIDproblems
OK, now onto my Whole30 experience!
Confession time: The reintroduction phase of my Whole30 did not go to plan. I was aiming for the slow roll they suggest in the book, reintroducing one food group at a time every couple of days to see how it affects your body. That went out the window by 9:30 a.m. on Day 31.
I had every intention of following that plan. And I should have been prepared given my last post about staying healthy while traveling. But I quickly found out there’s a difference between staying healthy while traveling and staying Whole30-compliant while traveling in the rural American South.
Long story short, I had a spinach and egg breakfast souffle from Panera as my first post-Whole30 meal. If you’re unaware, all of the breakfast items at Panera contain bread, dairy, or both. My other options were extremely limited.
Still, even though I did not go through the reintroduction process as I’d hoped, I believe I learned a whole lot from the experience. In fact, I think it was incredibly positive, and I’m excited to put what I learned into practice going forward.
I found out I felt physically better than I have in months.
As I’ve noted before, I never particularly found the Whole30 to be too challenging for me. I think I bypassed almost every stage they warn you about at the beginning of the process, and once I got used to feeding myself differently, it became almost second nature. It helped immensely that I was feeling so fantastic throughout the entirety of the Whole30. I was no longer feeling bloated, my skin problems had subsided and my energy levels were higher. I didn’t notice a whole lot of difference in my sleep, but probably because I already sleep pretty well. Probably too well. I still need about nine hours of sleep to function, but I wasn’t crashing during the day like I had been.
I found out I was extremely anxious about reintroducing the foods I’d cut out.
I like to say that my three favorite food groups are cheese, bread and wine, but once the Whole30 was over, I was extremely trepidatious about putting them back into my diet. Probably because I felt so good. The morning that screwed my reintroduction plans, I drove for a 30 minutes around Rome, Georgia, looking for some place that looked healthier than Panera, but to no avail. I felt so guilty eating that souffle, but I managed to keep the rest of the day fairly compliant.
I found out I really love Lara bars.
Which is a problem for my wallet.
I found out I like kombucha, too.
Same, re: wallet.
I found out I prefer eating clean.
I didn’t eat terribly before I started the Whole30, which probably made the transition easier, but there was still the occasional junk food that made its way into my system. Once all of that had flushed out and I was feeling great, I found that the foods I was making and eating, for the most part, became more appealing to me than a greasy restaurant option or something processed. It helped that I found some really great recipes that were so tasty they didn’t feel like they were restrictive in any way.
I found out I probably have a gluten sensitivity.
I don’t know this for sure because my reintroduction was foiled, but given what I know about what gluten can do to you, I am about 90 percent positive it is the culprit behind the itchy patches of skin I’ve been experiencing for years. Two days after I ate my first gluten-bearing meal, my wrist broke out into its usual itchy, bumpy rash, which had mostly disappeared during Whole30. It also could have been the aloe vera I’d rubbed into my arm because of the sunburn I’d also gotten that day, but I’m not thinking it’s likely. Will I give up gluten completely? Probably (definitely) not, but I do believe I’ll be limiting it now that I know there’s probably a good reason why my skin has been so disagreeable for the past several years.
I found out I’m probably not overly sensitive to much else.
Aside from the skin thing, I’ve maintained a pretty steady physical state since the end of my Whole30. I’ve eaten mostly healthy/whole since Day 30, which I’m sure has helped, but I haven’t experienced any other adverse physical affects when I have eaten non-Whole30-compliant foods. I feel like I will probably be paying more attention to how often I’m eating gluten and dairy, but thankfully I don’t think I need to completely eliminate anything from my diet for good.
I found out I can do hard things.
I may have known this one already, but it’s nice to be reinforced. Even if it felt easy, there’s a lot of effort involved in avoiding all the food groups that Whole30 cuts out and then trying to explain it to people when they ask about it. That part of the process shouldn’t be ignored.
All in all, the Whole30 was an incredible experience for me, and it set the stage for the future. With the end of the Whole30 came the start of the Tone It Up Bikini Series, which is now in its second week, and I’m feeling strong after staying on top of my workouts and nutrition through the first week. Whole30 really helped transition into this nutrition and fitness challenge, so I’m excited to see if I can slay these next seven weeks like I did the 30 days I was on Whole30.
Have you done Whole30? What was your experience?
Do you have food sensitivities?
What are you looking forward to in May?