I finished my Whole30 as of yesterday! So today I broke the rules and had the following:
– A bag of goldfish (after getting my blood drawn, more on that later!)
– A sample of a piece of cookie
– Beer (Ommegang Three Philosophers. Yum, yum, and more yum)
Other than that? I had a Paleo breakfast and lunch! Dinner, notsomuch, my roommates are making me a dairy starchy dinner in celebration, but after that? I think I’ m going to keep eating like this! Just, y’know, less strictly.
A lot of people have asked me “How do you feel?!” “What’s it like?!” so I’m going to answer that, right here, right now!
I feel pretty damn good and the last week or so of Whole30? Not hard. At all. Habits were established. Routines were built. Just became a part of life. In fact I had a harder time breaking the rules that had been established today! I thought “Do I REALLY want these goldfish?” Do I REALLY want a piece of cookie?” (I did not have that thought about the beer. I wanted that beer hell or highwater). It’s hard to quantify the effects it’s had on me. Mostly I just feel…well…better in general. Waking up earlier is easier. I feel crappy and groggy a lot less. My skin is clear! Hallelujah! I NEVER got sick this month! January in New England? Not getting sick? Yeah, THAT’s a miracle in and of itself. For me at least!
Practically speaking I saved a ton of money. Everybody says going paleo is expensive (disclaimer: I did not go the grass-fed route with my meats, that I couldn’t afford). Maybe for people who already cook for themselves all of the time! For me it was incredible. I ate out maybe twice? The money I saved on not buying coffee everyday, eating lunch out, getting drinks at night, etc. was astronomical. This time of year I’m broke anyway because my main source of income disappears (being a tour guide), but I felt the financial strain a LOT less because of the Whole30! Yay!
Getting into the habit of cooking all of my meals has also been great. I’ve said it a million times. I ain’t no cook. Whole30 changed that. I’m not a pro by any means, but I’ve gotten a lot better at being flexible in the kitchen and coming up with ways to use the food we have. Three cheers for that!
As far as running goes I don’t think the lack of grains had any negative effects on me. I actually stopped fueling during my runs, just drank water, and I was fine. Granted I didn’t do any runs more than 12 miles during the Whole30, but I think I would have been fine if I fueled with something like sweet potatoes! I did have a banana half way through a 10 mile run and that seemed to do the trick. I think weaning myself off of GUs and really sugary sports fuel is a good thing. I’m going to mess around with different types of fuel for my 15+ mile runs in the coming months and see if being a paleo runner can work for me! I honestly think I’ll be able to make the transition.
Anywho. It just felt nice to do something kind for my body. I’ve been abusing this sucker for years with terrible food, booze, lack of sleep, etc. It was gratifying to know that I gave it a break from all that.
This isn’t a very good Whole30 recap and for that, I apologize, but honestly? If you are thinking about doing it, go for it! No matter what happens you will gain a new insight on your relationship with food. And I promise, it’s not as hard as you think. I know that sounds crazy, but this is coming from somebody who has eaten crap for years and years and years. Seriously. The worst eating habits. Ever. If I can do it ANYBODY can. The first week is definitely an adjustment. You’ll want the grains! The carbs! The sugar! But you’ll also be surprised how quickly you kick the intense cravings. I was also surprised by how much I started wanting the things in our paleo diet! I looked forward to all of our meals because we were either a) trying something new and exciting or b) having something we’d already made and knew was goddamn delicious.
I’ve never gone on a “diet” before or tried to restrict what I eat in any way. Whole30 is certainly a kind of diet, but one of the reasons I loved it is because you never had to restrict quantity of food. Just quality. Eat the good stuff and eat as much as you want. Boom. Done. Sold.
I’m really, really happy I did this for myself. It showed me that I CAN cook for myself. I CAN eat healthy. It’s not as hard as I thought, and that alone made this experience invaluable to me.