Patrick and I are about to finish our second Whole30 on the 12th. I seriously love this program and to be honest, it is way better the second time around. Here are 30 things I've learned on the Whole30--
1. Black coffee is really not that bad. And this is coming from someone who usually takes her coffee white.
2. It's all in the planning. If you don't plan out your meals and snack options, if you don't do any meal prep, if you don't investigate Whole30 products, you will fail. Guaranteed.
3. Eating healthy is EXPENSIVE. Especially on the onset. When you start out with a bunch of crap in your cupboards that you need to replace, it's gonna cost money. It will seriously enrage you how economically easy it is to eat junk.
4. Sugar is in EVERYTHING. Seriously--everything from salad dressings to soups. Reading labels will end up grossing you out.
5. Making your own stuff is really not that hard. I didn't ever realize how simple it was to make ketchup or BBQ sauce or ranch dressing. It really doesn't take many ingredients or time.
6. If you are hungry on the Whole30, you're doing it wrong. The point of this program is not to starve yourself--but rather to fill yourself with really good food. And when in doubt, raw cashews or almonds will do you real good.
7. It will freak you out how scrumptiously sweet fruit is when it is the only dessert you have.
8. The psychological aspect of food is crazy. Rewarding yourself with a creamy latte, a doughnut or an ice cream cone is done almost subconsciously.
9. On that same note, sugar detox is also REAL. During my Whole30 I had my first girl's night in, well, years. And I allowed myself a few glasses of wine (you are not permitted to drink alcohol on the Whole30). I don't usually drink so the next day when I felt like shit I thought it was from the alcohol. But in reality, it was more so from the sugar from the wine. And it was the worst feeling. You also feel it when you first start the program.10. You really can make any meal Whole30. It isn't really hard. Substitutions are glorious and plentiful. Zoodles for noodles, coconut flakes for bread crumbs. It's all about research.
11. Your kids . . . might not be the biggest fans. At least mine are not. Conner will eat anything and he and Brielle are all about the fruits and even they were not fans. It just goes to show how acclimated our culture is to having sugar and starches in our diets. But there are ways to make your Whole30 meals more friendly. For example, sometimes we would have our normal meals, like burgers and fries, but with a few tweaks--no bun and sweet potato fries with homemade ketchup.
12. There are a LOT of products now available that are Whole30 approved including salad dressings, condiments and snacks. The book lends you to believe that you will need to make everything yourself from scratch--Amish-style--but with the popularity of the program and eating healthy in general, more and more products are coming out of the woodworks.
13. More than likely, you will have to give up bacon. Unless you want to spend an arm and a leg on a few slices. Nearly every package of bacon has sugar in it.
14. You will drink A LOT more water.
15. You WILL lose weight. It's not supposed to be the goal, but it is a glorious and inevitable side-effect.
16. EVERYONE will have a comment. And everyone will call it a diet. And everyone will act super annoyed. It's one of the most annoying things.
17. On that same note, get prepared to be asked this question A LOT: "So . . . . what can you eat?"
18. You will get super snobby. When I Whole30, I have to admit I get super judgy in the grocery store. When I pass a cart full of frozen waffles and pizzas with kids running along side it bouncing off the walls, you better believe I am judging. Sorry not sorry.
19. You will feel GREAT. Seriously. Energy out the wazoo.
20. Be sure to schedule your Whole30. I do not recommend doing a Whole30 when you will be around a lot of sweets or family dinners (i.e. the holidays, over BBQs like Labor Day or Memorial Day, around birthdays, etc.).
21. Make your Whole30 work for you. On the first Whole30, we were super strict and stuck entirely to the program. This time around, we pretty much did too, but we allowed a couple of small exceptions. As I said earlier, I did allow myself a couple of glasses of wine with my girlfriends. Patrick let himself have a salad dressing with stevia in it at a business lunch. And we let ourselves have a birthday treat with Conner on his birthday. Also, the mayo I used was completely organic, but it contained less than 2% organic sugar because trying to make my own mayo always ended up in a total emotional meltdown.
22. You will get sick of eggs. For real.
23. Prepare for a LOT more dishes. I swear we ran the dishwasher like twice a day. Making everything from scratch is bananas yo.
24. Coconut oil is boss of everything.
25. It will feel a lot longer than it actually is.
26. Cauliflower rice is 110% better than real rice.
27. You will realize and miss your reliance on the cheap and easy. The possibility of just ordering in and picking up a pizza is really underrated and overused. We don't even do this but maybe once a week or even every other week. But boy on those nights when we were just having a late night with a lot of chores, I missed Dominos.
28. Once you get past the halfway point, it is way easier. But you will still miss certain things. For me--cheese was the hardest.
29. You know what else is in everything? Besides sugar--corn and soy. Everything. Read. Your. Labels.
30. If you do it right, you will love the way you feel on day 30. And you will probably want to do another round. It works.
Camel Suede Trouser-thrifted
Denim Jacket-Old Navy, thrifted
Earrings-DIY and gifted