About a week ago, Mike emailed me about a diet he was considering.
He briefly explained the concept – no dairy, no sugar, lots of fruit and vegetables. For a month. Although he hesitated to ask me to do the diet with him, (it’d be unhealthy for me to lose weight), we were both excited. We love goals, challenges, and trying new things.
I immediately agreed, and went back to work.
Some background, I haven’t done a lot of diets, but I’m good at rationing my food. I’ve always limited the amount of junk food I eat, and I prefer fresher items with simple ingredients. Besides cutting out sugar, I didn’t think this would change my diet much.
Then I started, and got into the actual rules of Whole30.
So far, here are the advantages and disadvantages:
PROS: I’m allowed to eat some of favorite foods (in excess), such as seafood, olives, spinach, and avocados. A lot of the main parts of Whole30 are foods I already like and eat. I physically feel better, I’m less tired when I wake up, and I don’t have frequent stomachaches (like I typically do). I’ve tried new things, like almond butter, that’s amazing!
CONS: I’m not allowed cheese, soy sauce, rice or noodles. Pretty much staples of my diet. I also feel hungrier more often, to the point where I feel a little lightheaded if I don’t eat. I’ve had headaches from withdrawing from sugar. I’m already getting tired of eating so much of the same thing (eggs). I’ve also had strong cravings for items I usually ration, such as doughnuts, pierogies, and bagels with cream cheese.
The other difficult thing to understand about Whole30 is embracing a new mentality about food. One of the main objectives, aside from eating healthier, is making better decisions about food. Creating “fake” versions of unhealthy choices is strongly discouraged. The reasoning is that you’re trying to break your dependency on those dishes, making it less likely you’ll relapse. It’s why I’ve opted not to use the “fake” soy sauce that’s allowed on the diet. I use soy sauce all the time, and I know all that sodium isn’t good for me.
Mike and I have been doing Whole30 for almost a week now. In addition to those other pros, I feel considerably less stressed/anxious. I’ve read a few Whole30 testimonials that talk about how they’ve felt emotionally better after adapting to the diet. A lot of people keep it up even after the first month.
Here are some snaps of meals I’ve had (some of which were lovingly prepared by my friend and co-worker Nout):
Have you tried Whole30?