Whole30 Diet: Pros, Cons, Tips, and Take-Aways

Good morning friends! It has been a few weeks since my last Whole30 post, so I thought it was about time to wrap it up and fill you in on how it went. On November 13th, we learned that the barn at our wedding venue burned down. And to be completely honest, Whole30 ended that day. I still ate all the delicious recipes I had planned and stuck to the program about 75% of the time, but I was too stressed to worry about every little thing I was eating and just wanted some comfort food. Which for me, was those chocolate chip cookies I had been craving so much!

So, I did not complete the 3 weeks of Whole30, which was my original intention. But, I did learn a lot about food and incorporating Whole30 into a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Here’s a run-down of my experience with roughly 2 weeks of Whole30 (which I understand is not enough time to have made much of a difference).

Pros

I tried so many new recipes and really enjoyed cooking new meals! Pinterest and the Whole30 Instagram account were life-savers here. Here are my favorites:

Smoked Sausage and Potato Soup

Salsa Verde Pulled Pork

Spicy Chorizo Bolognese

I did genuinely feel better. I didn’t notice a large change in my energy level. However, I did notice less bloating and less of that “too full”, uncomfortable feeling. And when I resumed my “normal” eating habits, this is the first thing that came back ☹

Cons

This is expensive! High-quality, compliant meat was insane pricey, and I honestly don’t think it was worth it. Yes, it is nice to know the meat you are eating is organic and farm-raised, etc., but I cannot afford to spend upwards of $10 per pound on my protein. Nut butters and different types of oil (avocado, coconut) are also budget-busters!

You end up cooking a lot.  While I mentioned that it was so nice to cook new recipes and try unique food, it is exhausting having to cook dinner 4-5 nights a week. In hindsight, I should have doubled recipes or meal-prepped more at once, but I wanted to try a bunch of dinners in the couple weeks I did this experiment.

This does limit your social activities.  And even though socializing should not revolve around eating and drinking, the truth of the matter is that it does. It was difficult coming up with activities to do with friends, which is kind of sad.


Tips

Do it with a friend or family member.  If I had someone to keep me accountable, I think it would have been a lot easier to continue with Whole30 after hearing about our venue. Instead, Jarrett was following a totally different diet (he is actually trying to gain weight for his weight-lifting competitions). So, I ended up having to make a lot of modifications to what I cooked to satisfy both needs.

Be prepared to be judged. I know it shouldn’t matter what people think, but people are going to think you are strange for wanting to complete Whole30. I mostly had comments from co-workers, but friends and family snuck them in here and there too. You must want to do this for yourself, so you can ignore what others are inevitably going to say.

Take-Aways

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I am going to try to resume a lot of my Whole30 eating habits between now and Christmas. I am not going to be as restrictive, but going to be paying attention to the processed sugars and unnecessary ingredients in my food. I have my first wedding dress fitting at the end of December and I want to feel great!

There is a difference between what I want to eat and what I need to eat. Whole30 improved my self-control as far as food goes, but I still want to work towards not indulging as regularly as I have been.

I honestly didn’t notice a change in my skin, which was a little frustrating. However, I do realize that 2 weeks of changing my eating was likely not enough time for changes to show. I have added dairy back in to my diet, and my skin did not freak out. So maybe it is unrelated to my eating?

Am I glad I tried Whole30? Yes.
Am I a little upset I only completed 2 weeks? Absolutely.
But, I discovered a few new recipes and cleaned up my eating habits a smidge, so I would call the overall experience a win.

If you try Whole30, let me know how you do! Interested in my previous Whole30 posts? Check them out here: Grocery Haul, Week 1, Week 2.



Questions? Comments? Words of Advice?

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