Sunday, February 3, 2013

Whole 30 challenge

On December 31st, I was browsing around on facebook and noticed that my cousin Sarah, (yes the same cousin from this post!) and my aunt Katy, were talking about their prep for the whole30 challenge. I was intrigued, and asked some questions and was given the shopping list for the challenge.  I thought about it and talked to Noell and we decided to take on the challenge.  We decided to start on Jan 2nd so that we could prepare by shopping and prepping food on the 1st (plus we were on our way out the door to a NYE party and couldn't be bothered with small details like being prepared for this challenge).  

So for those of you who are curious, here's the gist...eat whole foods for 30 days.  So really what does that mean you ask?  Let me use this picture to describe:



Quite a challenge for most people I would think, especially for me.  I love desserts, cheese, yogurt, bread, and my beloved diet soda.  All would be banished for this month.  I was really unsure of how this would work...

So Jan 1st we cleaned out our cupboards, fridge, and freezer of off-limit items.  We gave some things away, moved off-limit items to our garage freezer and moved allowed items to our regular refrigerator/freezer in the kitchen.  I went to Sprouts and bought a gigantic amount of fruits, veggies, and organic meats.  And we were off, diving into the whole30 challenge!

For me, it went really well.  I didn't really feel too many cravings, nor did I feel hungry throughout the month.  It was hard to give up the diet soda.  Whole30 allows for plain black coffee or tea without sweetener, so I basically substituted tea for soda.  After a couple of weeks people at work began to comment that I looked thinner.  That was nice to hear but I didn't really feel thinner (i.e. my clothes did really fit any differently).  But during the second 2 weeks, I noticed the change myself.  I felt that my clothes were fitting much better and some were becoming too big! 

Luckily for me, I am married to a great cook and she came up with some great meals that didn't feel like "diet" meals.  I took pictures of my dinners each night and posted them on instagram (I'm kainpunk if you want to follow me).  Here are a few of the dinners over the month:


Top row: Greek salad with grilled chicken, no feta, no pita; fried eggs and sausage.
2nd row: Cobb salad and chicken wings with whole30 buffalo sauce; left overs thrown into a bowl (chicken, beef, veggies, spaghetti squash), apple and almond butter; spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and turkey meatballs, salad.
3rd row: Curry soup and salad; tacos with lettuce as shell; artichokes, lettuce wraps, salad.
4th row: Grilled chicken, salad, and artichokes.


Noell made the whole30 mayo from the recipe in the book, and we used that as a base for sauces and dressings as needed.  I also used a lot of olive oil and lemon for dressings to my salads.  

So Jan 31st was the last day of the challenge, In total I lost 8 pounds!  That was surprising to me because it didn't really feel like I had lost that much weight.  I was expecting a few pounds at most.  

Noell has felt AMAZING throughout the month and plans to continue to eat like this indefinitely.  I felt good, but not amazing like she has experienced.  I did get better sleep, on some days I had more energy than average, but not everyday.  

I plan to keep the amount of "whole30 off limit" items to a low minimum but I do not plan to be so strict that I can never have cheese or dessert.  What I really liked about this challenge was that my awareness has increased significantly surrounding what ingredients are in food and therefore I am paying much more attention to what I am putting into my body.  

That's my whole30 story.