When I first posted about the Whole 30, I promised to follow up on how the Whole 30 ended up going for me so here we are! I finished up the Whole 30 program a few weeks ago and after the program was over I reintroduced the foods that I didn’t eat during the 30 days back into my diet one at a time, paying attention to how my body felt after I ate each food group. The “reintroduction” period looked something like this:
Day 1: Legumes (nuts, beans, hummus)
Day 4: Non-gluten grains (quinoa, rice)
Day 7: Dairy (milk, cheese, butter)
Day 10: Gluten-containing grains (bread, pasta)
After reintroducing each food group back into my diet, I returned back to the Whole 30 for 2 days. The purpose of going back to the Whole 30 in between days of reintroduction was to give my body some time to digest, process, and react to each particular food group.
To learn more about the Whole 30 program and why I choose to do it you can read here, but to quickly recap, I chose to start the program in an effort to eat healthier and see if I would experience any noticeable negative effects from eating these Whole 30 “unapproved” foods. Throughout the 30 days when doing the Whole 30, my body felt a lot better overall. I noticed that I had more energy throughout the day, was able to sleep better throughout the night, and even lost a few pounds. Since I wasn’t doing this program with the intention of losing weight, I didn’t expect to see any noticeable physical changes. However, towards the end of the program someone who didn’t know that I was doing the program mentioned that my skin had been looking much clearer recently (yay another benefit!).
Overall, there were a lot of benefits that came out of the Whole 30 for me and I can’t say enough good things about it! However, after the program was over, I took a brief hiatus from eating Whole 30/Paleo for about a week. Since I was out of town, I found it pretty difficult to eat Whole 30 approved/Paleo so I decided to do my best to eat healthy but not be too strict with myself.
At home I can cook my own meals and control what types of foods I am eating. However, while being away, I had to rely almost exclusively on restaurant food. Although I didn’t find myself eating what I would consider to be unhealthy foods, I felt very different when I stopped eating Paleo, even for just a few days.
Before continuing, I’ll briefly clarify what the Paleo eating style is and how it is different from the Whole 30. The Whole 30 program is essentially the same as the Paleo style, except that it is a bit more “strict”. Mostly everything that is Whole 30-approved is also considered Paleo, but not the other way around. For example, in Paleo cooking and baking, pure white cane sugar is typically avoided, but coconut palm sugar, honey, or dark maple syrup can be used as alternatives to sugar. However, since the Whole 30 program focuses on eating healthy, wholesome foods AND avoiding sugars, alternatives to cane sugar are not Whole 30-approved.
So even after eating seemingly healthy sandwiches, soups, and salads for a week, I found myself having random stomachaches and feeling lethargic or bloated throughout the day. After a month of focusing on eating wholesome foods, I realized that I didn’t miss most of the foods that I thought I would miss (like pasta and cheese and hummus, to name a few) nearly as much as I thought I would. Since eating some of these certain foods often left me feeling not 100% physically, I realized that after I returned home, I would be going back to eating Paleo, except for special occasions and when traveling.
Are you interesting in giving the Whole 30 program a try or trying out eating Paleo? Do you have any fears or worries that you will have trouble finding foods to eat? Feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts! I had similar hesitations at first but I have found many, many good recipes online and several cookbooks with great Paleo recipes! 🙂
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