Going into Whole30 I was really nervous. I am an oat loving, beer drinking, sweet treat kinda girl. And all of those things had to go during Whole30. How would I survive? Turns out, it’s a lot easier than you think.
What really helped me was having a group of people going through the challenge at the same time. I could turn to them when I completely DONE with kale and eggs for some motivation and recipe inspiration. It was also really helpful to know what cravings and symptoms were normal. For example, I had headaches the first two weeks. My body was saying, “GIVE ME SUGAR” in temple-throbbing fashion. Knowing that other people in the group were having the same experiences really helped me.
I also mixed things up halfway through by roasting vegetables that I don’t typically buy. Beets and parsnips became my best friend. Week two was also a turning point for me. I was starting to accept the new foods and the need for oats in the morning was fading away. Trying new recipes, mixing up flavor profiles, and allowing myself to get creative in the kitchen saved me.
Ultimately, my creativity and willingness to mix random foods together is how I found success with this challenge.
If you ever decide to give Whole30 a try, make Pinterest your best friend. I have a whole board filled with recipe ideas now, and even though the challenge is over, I still plan to make them. In fact, I’m still pretty much sticking to the guidelines going forward.
Why? Because I feel great! I have more energy, my stomach doesn’t hurt, and I’m not getting afternoon headaches anymore. Don’t believe me? Give Whole30 a try and see for yourself.
No lie, halfway through the challenge I started knocking out kipping pull ups ((with a band, but still this was huge)), I increased my slam ball weight, and my stamina in workouts skyrocketed. Knowing how awesome this feels, I don’t want to go back. I took before and after pictures, but I didn’t step on a scale. But for me this challenge is about how I feel, not how I look. I also did a fitness test before and after. My second time through, I added one extra round! The test was as many rounds as possible of 15 narrow mountain climbers, 10 air squats, and 5 burpees, in 6 minutes. Talk about lungs bursting out of your chest. But I came out stronger and faster, and I attribute that to Whole30 nutrition.
I can’t let you go without being real about the mental difficulties of this challenge. Yes, I love whole foods, vegetables, and am so happy to have cut back on sugar. But, I also almost let my mind get the best of me during this challenge. I’ve struggled with disordered eating in the past, which I’ll share in the future, so I had to make sure I stayed mindful and true to myself during this reset. The majority of my spirals come up when I focus too much on being “perfect”. To combat this I didn’t follow any strict day-by-day meal plan. Instead, I focused on having approved food prepped and ready, and then just threw meals together based on what I was craving. This creative freedom with my meals allowed my main to relax and feel like I was doing it “right” without overthinking anything.
If any of you have ever struggled with this perfection mindset, know that I am always here to talk and guide you through. I know how hard it can be to want to reach your goals and do everything “right.” The reality is, what’s right for you is probably not how anyone else does it. Find your own mix of perfection and ease and stick to that. In the long run you’ll reach many more goals, and avoid the roller coaster that strict diet plans and guidelines can lead to.
Have you tried Whole30? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments below! I’ll definitely be doing it again and am always looking for tips and tricks!