I am at the end of day seven on my Whole 30, so I want to take some time to recap how it’s been going so far! I’ll divide this up into a simple pro/con list:
I’m not hungry between meals. I really thought that I was going to be starving. I mean, I’m eating basically just meat and vegetables for every meal. NO pasta, NO rice, NO yummy dessert. And while the portions on my plate are looking much different than usual (instead of one tiny scoop of vegetables from the pan, it’s more like three or four hearty scoops/half a plate), eating this way is much more filling than I ever thought it could be. And I feel like as the week has progressed, I’ve started getting full before I’m finished eating all of the food on my plate, so maybe my stomach (or my appetite?) is shrinking. Or maybe I’ve been overeating for a LONG time not because I was still hungry, but just because I wanted to taste more __________ (insert unhealthy food here).
I didn’t get the “carb” flu. I’ve read horror stories online from people who, on day two or three of their Whole 30, were in full flu mode, vomiting or having diarrhea because their body was having such a hard time adjusting to the new healthy diet. I’ve also read that the extent of their sickness was directly related to how hard they were carbing before their Whole 30. Rest assured, I was carbing HARD before my Whole 30. I was doing double duty, trying to savor my “final days” and clean out the fridge/pantry by eating ALL OF THE THINGS. And I never got sick. I might have felt a little tired this week. But it’s hard to say if that was due to Whole 30, because I have two young children so I pretty much always feel tired. 😉
In general, I’m feeling healthier this week. It could just be that I am hyper aware of any changes in my body and I’m reading too deeply into things, but I haven’t been having any digestive issues or stomachaches or bloating this week, which I think has been pretty common for me in the past (probably because I tend to eat so much junk). Over time, I’ve somehow just taken it for granted that when I eat a meal, particularly a big meal, I’m going to want to lay around a feel like a beached whale afterwards. But I haven’t been feeling that way after eating Whole 30 food, so it’s a nice change! I also feel like I’ve been peeing more (I apologize if that’s TMI) since I started this diet. I think it’s due to so many vegetables being made largely of water, so I’m getting water from my food in addition to drinking water. But in any case, I think going to the bathroom more often, while annoying at times, is probably good for me.
Whole 30 is expensive. While it’s not required, the authors really recommend that you go organic/grass-fed/cage-free/all natural on whatever you can. I’ve made meats a priority in that area, but I’ve been buying “normal” vegetables for the most part. Even so, with SO MUCH fresh produce on the list (on top of my other weeklies, like diapers and formula), my grocery bill has been around $200 per week (I just did my shopping for next week, so I’m counting that most recent trip as well). I have avoided Whole Foods, because I know that’s going to be the most expensive place to shop. I’ve been trying to stick with cheaper options, like Walmart (did you know that Walmart carries super healthy products like chia seeds? And ghee?) and I visited Aldi a few days ago for meat and produce. Even so, it’s a little daunting to think that we’ll be out of $800-$900 by the time this Whole 30 is through. It’s a shame that it’s much cheaper to buy a bag of chips than a carton of organic blueberries, but it’s probably a big reason why our country as a whole is so unhealthy.
Whole 30 requires a LOT of time in the kitchen. I started off my first week by using the Hartwig’s seven day sample meal plan from their book, and they specifically detail what you’ll need to do the night before to prep, or what you’ll need to do in the morning to prep for dinner later, etc. And there is a lot of prep. I have never prepped so many meals in my life. I feel like it has become my second full time job (with the first job being the mom thing). To top it off, I’ve made some bad mistakes. On day one, I made a TRIPLE batch of homemade mayonnaise because I realized that mayo was the base for many of the other sauces that I would be making, so I knew that I would need a lot. I didn’t read the instructions carefully enough, though, and I used extra virgin olive oil (three cups, so pretty much my entire jar) instead of light olive oil. The EVOO has a very strong, rich flavor, which is why they don’t recommend using that in the mayonnaise. I’ve been trying to power through it and just eat it, but I definitely think I’m going to need to dump it out and start over. And at around $8 a jar for EVOO, that is going to be a costly mistake to fix.
I’ve also sliced myself a few times with all of the chopping. I really hate chopping. I’ve tried to remedy that by purchasing frozen veggies that have already been diced (which are fine for Whole 30 as long as no other ingredients have been added) and using those whenever possible. I have been keeping a couple of bags of frozen diced onions in my freezer at all times, because I hate chopping onions and crying!
While I’m proud of myself for making it through the first week (my first week in a long time without ANY sweet treats like cookies or ice cream), I’m still craving sweets. I knew that it wouldn’t just magically disappear, but it’s been hard on a couple of occasions this week. On Wednesday night we had our Bible study group and someone brought homemade banana pudding, one of my favorites, and I honestly tried to not even really look at it. I knew it was there, because everyone around me had spoons in their mouths and kept saying, “This is SOOOOO good!” But I tried to occupy myself with feeding Teddy instead, and I tried to avoid staring directly at the pudding (though I may have taken a sidelong glance).
It’s also been tricky because I am still feeding Jake his “normal” food, which means I am stocking Pop Tarts and Eggo waffles and Goldfish crackers in my pantry (even though the Whole 30 authors recommended removing any tempting items from the premises). The way that I’ve dealt with this so far is by buying Jake snacks that are really unappealing to me. I bought him some veggie straws instead of chips (which I’ve never wanted to try, and which don’t look remotely like they’ve been made from vegetables), and Goldfish crackers that come in wild colors (like blue and green–gross). We’ve also been using Dum Dums to help motivate Jake for potty training, but I don’t usually find those appealing either. I hope it stays that way! But I have a feeling that it’s going to get more and more difficult in the coming weeks to feed Jake waffles for breakfast while I’m eating eggs and spinach…