Healthy Life

Lessons Learned From the “Whole 30” Diet

I hate calling it a diet because that word has such a bad connotation in my mind, but I just completed my first Whole 30! If you know what the Whole 30 is about,  you know that’s quite an accomplishment, but one that I’m not here to brag about. If you don’t know about the Whole 30, it’s basically 30 days where you change your diet to exclude grains, dairy, gluten, soy, legumes, corn, sugar, and alcohol for 30 days. The whole point of the program is to reevaluate your relationship with food, eliminate any triggers to problem food for your body, and focus on non-scale victories that occur when we eat whole and nutritious foods. For more info check out the website

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For me, I ventured to this challenge with the hope of eliminating bloating and pains I’ve dealt with for the last few years and figure out what my triggers are exactly. But also, I knew that my relationship with food needed to change. My self control with eating has slowly slid since graduating college, and though I don’t believe in a restrictive long-term diet, I do believe you need checks and balances sometimes to keep yourself healthy. Anyone in a relationship or marriage knows that sometimes the other person can cause your healthy eating habits to slide…or as I say, they force you to eat too much crap! Well, Paul doesn’t exactly force me, but I like to blame him. It’s just easy to fall into a cycle of unhealthy eating with someone else. 

So, now on day 2 post whole 30, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned…what I want to change about my past eating habits and how my mindset with food has changed. 

First of all, throughout the last 30 days I had almost zero bloating, zero stomach pain, and felt so much lighter. I didn’t lose any weight, but the way my clothes fit was so much better! I felt confident and my energy was increased. I exercised more during the last month than I have in the last year, and I felt stronger through my workouts. 

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So, now to my take-away, because the Whole 30 is not meant to be a Whole 365…they actually say that.  Instead, it’s purpose is to learn what works for your body. Everyone is different, and what they can tolerate and feel best with differs.  

1. I look at a scale way too much to feel good about my weight. My weight fluctuates so much, and by weighing myself I was just discouraging myself. During the Whole 30 you’re not supposed to weigh yourself because you’re supposed to focus on “non-scale” victories. 

2. I have power to say “no”…something I’ve struggled with lately has been saying no to myself when my mind says I want another serving. This is especially true with desserts! I know that now that I’ll be reintroducing sugar into my diet it’s going to be a struggle to put this into practice, but the fact that I went 30 days without sugar is motivation that I can stick to one serving when I really feel like a dessert is worth it. 

3. I know my body does better without gluten and dairy, as well as limited sugar. Im really going to try to stick to decreasing the gluten and dairy in my diet…which is so hard when you and your husband love pizza and cheese and cracker dinners and ice cream! But everything is good in moderation. 

4. I’m more active when I don’t have alcohol in my diet. After a glass of wine with dinner, I may as well be in my pajamas because I’m for sure not going to get anything else done. Wine makes me so sleepy, so I never before did my exercises at night. Without wine with dinner, I had the energy to do one of my favorite workout videos at home and went to bed feeling more relaxed and slept harder. I think now I’ll save the wine for weekends and have more energy to workout during the week. 

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Ok, so those are my new goals for how I want my diet to look. It’s not about sticking to the “rules” as so many people think about healthy eating…it’s about feeding your body what will make it feel at its best and giving yourself space for enjoying the treats every once in a while. 

Some people asked me what I missed during the Whole 30, and I can honestly say that most of my sweet tooth went away as well as my cravings for bread. I really only missed a nice glass of red wine with dinner and dark chocolate. Overall, I’m glad I did it and encourage anyone else to try it as a way to acknowledge that we are not controlled by our cravings and to better learn what is best for your body. 

Have you had any experience with the Whole 30? What were your results? How are you doing now? Have you ever thought about doing it, but are scared? comment below and let’s learn how to better take care of our bodies from the inside out. 

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