I left you guys with a little homework assignment last week. Did you complete it?! If you didn't get around to it, here it is again...read this WHOLE 30 RULES .
WHAT WAS THE BEST ADVICE YOU WERE GIVEN? Be simple. There are many recipes out there that you are going to be excited about tasting (there's even a whole cookbook you can purchase), but if you want to make it, and you are busy like the rest of us, simple is key.
WHAT WAS THE MOST REALISTIC THING YOU HEARD? Right when we started, we received this from a friend, "Day 1-10, you think to yourself, this sucks. But then...by days 14 & 15, it really sucks, man." James and I laughed for a couple of days after hearing this. There was no, "It gets better, it wasn't that bad."
What did we get ourselves into!?
We made the first couple of weeks harder than it needed to be. Don't make the mistake of reading, "NO SUGAR," and flip to the nutrition facts, then toss it aside. No sugar, just means no ADDED sugar. Ingredients is where you want to scan first. If there is no added sugar, than you are good to go in that department.
Find a good routine and stick to it!
+BREAKFAST: I ate a banana + Larabar + coffee. On the weekends we would go a little more elaborate/heavy with eggs, avocado, peppers, & onions. There are compliant & non compliant Larabars, so do your research! Actually, I'll do it for you because I love you for reading this.
COMPLIANT LARABARS: Cashew Cookie, Carrot Cake, Apple Pie, Cherry Pie, Pecan Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, Banana Bread, Lemon Bar, Chocolate Coconut Chew, Key Lime Pie
*Larabars can be purchased almost anywhere, but the most variety I have seen is at Kroger.
HALF way through this thing, I researched on how to make my coffee, creamy without adding the sugar or dairy. Enter, Nutpods.
This is the face of someone who had a new outlook on completing this challenge. GAME CHANGER! This same week, James was struggling with what he could snack on (although, they do encourage minimal snacking), he was referred to several items at Trader Joes. I also want to add, I have found a new love, Trader Joes. That is all.
Almond Butter + green apples was and still is my favorite snack!! Make sure you check your almond butter's ingredients, there are many mischievous brands out there!!
+LUNCH: we got in the habit of cooking chicken strips on Sundays for the week ahead. Dip those babies in dijon mustard and it's like you don't even have to try to eat healthy! We would complete our lunches with Trader Joes' plantain chips (minimal), chopped fruit, & almonds.
+DINNER: This was easier for us because James is a phenomenal cook and usually cooks "clean" anyways. Remember, simple is key. We ate A LOT of meat & veggies, but we switched up the presentation of it which made it feel not so monotonous. Lettuce wraps, burgers w/ lettuce buns, porkchops w/ homemade applesauce...YUM! Another favorite side were homemade sweet potato chips!
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? For me, it was keeping from non-compliant snacks between lunch & dinner. OR when your Firsties are participating in an ABC countdown to Summer and it's D for Donut Day, and they are the sweetest and say they saved the last ones for me...and you have to say no and give them away.
HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU STARTED EATING "OTHER" FOODS AGAIN?
Melissa Hartwig, creator of Whole 30, shares that Whole 30 isn't over when you complete day 30. You start Day 1 of reintroducing food groups. I didn't follow this entirely, but I did reintroduce foods a little at a time, and it was AMAZING how my body would react/not react to certain foods. I am more aware of how my body works than ever and there are definitely foods I will continue not eating.
HOW DO YOUR EATING HABITS LOOK NOW THAT IT IS OVER?
James and I agreed that we will continue to grocery shop with a Whole 30 mindset. With the exception of popcorn, ice cream, tortillas, and beer...I think we've done pretty well for ourselves. Our eating out habits have varied slightly, but we also agreed we weren't going to be too hard on ourselves outside of the house.
I am PROUD of myself. It was HARD. I would have given anything to have a bite of buttery popcorn or an ice cream cone for dessert. I LOVE to eat out and we hardly did because there weren't many that were compliant with their cooking oils. But you know what?! I had ZERO stomach pains/cramps/aches during the entire 30 days. I had ZERO digestive issues during the entire 30 days. My body didn't feel sluggish or heavy. It was so worth it.