As a disclaimer, this is me sharing MY personal experience (word vomit style). I am not saying that you will feel this way if/when you try the Whole 30. Everybody is different and reacts to things differently!
THE GOOD GOOD
I loved eating WHOLESOME, REAL foods. It was nice to cut the processed foods and snacks and focus on eating foods that we grow.
The creativity I gained from this experience was incredible. I felt uninspired with my food prep, Instagram posts, and meals in general, so using ingredients like coconut aminos, watermelon radish, and edible flowers made cooking exciting again.
I noticed that after the Whole 30, my taste was enhanced. Everything tasted so flavorful and so sweet!
I saved SO much money not eating out and not drinking alcohol!
I realized I don’t need alcohol to have fun, even when hanging out with my flight crew on layovers! Also felt REALLY GOOD not having alcohol for 30 days!
I noticed that getting out of bed was easier! I woke up with a good amount of energy in the morning which made me feel really good!
It made me realize how sugar is snuck into so many things – condiments, protein bars, juices, etc. I’ve always checked labels even before doing the Whole 30, but I became more knowledgeable and investigative when it came to unfamiliar ingredients.
THE NOT SO GOOD
I became obsessive. Just as a little back story, I have a little bit of an obsessive personality. Whether it be a hobby or food trends, I get sucked in easily and become.. well.. obsessed. I was obsessed with the food restrictions and became fixated on what I could and couldn’t have. That was awful for my mental state. I never seemed satisfied with what I was having if I was actually craving pizza or a cookie.
I ate SO MUCH SUGAR. I don’t normally have a ton of sugar on an every day basis. My smoothies mostly contain steamed then frozen veggies and starting my day with a high protein/fiber/fat/greens smoothie really keeps me on track with a low sugar diet. Since I didn’t get to start my days this way, I ended up consuming a lot of fruit. I also snacked on dried fruit in between meals and having them for dessert too. I noticed the sugar was breaking me out and made me want more sugar too.
I ate more than I should have. I feel like I was ALWAYS snacking. I don’t know if it’s because I was constantly thinking about food or what, but I noticed that I ate more than I normally do.
Social gatherings were sometimes hard. It got easier and easier to hangout with friends and crews without eating the chips and salsa everyone else was having, but sometimes you just to be included. Hard to admit, but food IS so social.
Eating out was really annoying. Making a million food modifications and asking what was in the salad dressing made me feel really annoying and a hassle to work with. I always ended up tipping extra!
Having to explain what the Whole 30 was to people could sometimes be difficult. “Are you doing it to lose weight?” was one of the most annoying questions I got. It was also hard to explain why I was doing it since I ate Whole 30-esque to begin with.
As a recipe developer, I missed baking and creating recipes with “non Whole 30 compliant” ingredients.
THE IN BETWEEN
My crew cooler staples: Chomp bars, Lara bars (dangerous- tried to have them in moderation/half a bar at a time), Epic bars, baby carrots, an assortment of nuts, GT’s kombucha (the only kombucha I could find without any added sugars), Suja green juice, tea (so much tea), nut butter, apples, collagen peptides packs, cucumber slices, avocado.
I started drinking coffee again in place of my natural pre-workout in the morning (it has stevia in it). I noticed that my body responded well to it! I usually had it with a splash of homemade almond milk or coconut milk, and sometimes a scoop of collagen.
The words “it’s only 30 days” really kept me going!
I’d HIGHLY recommend doing the Whole 30 with someone you are close with/live with! The support is what kept me going but it definitely would have been a lot more fun and easier if I was cooking all of my meals with someone else and had someone to relate with on a daily basis.
FAVORITE MEALS CREATED ON THE WHOLE 30
For recipes and more, visit my Instagram feed at @kaleintheclouds
I hope this gave you a little insight of what being on the Whole 30 could be like! I would encourage it if you are rely heavily on processed foods AND have a relatively healthy relationship with food. I realized that for me, intuitive eating is so important and more my style. All the love!