Day 31: a look at the Whole30 experience

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Well, we did it! 30 days of super-strict Paleo eating. And with the exception of a glass of wine at T’s work banquet last night, we didn’t have any known slip-ups/cheats. T lost 10.5 pounds, which is damned impressive in a month where neither of us felt like we were starving/dieting. (I mean, we ate bacon for gawds sake!) My own weight loss was less impressive at 4 pounds, but given how light my exercise schedule has been and the aforementioned bacon, I’m pleased with it. I’d like to lose another 7 before training ramps up in a few months,(Not so much for vanity, but lighter=better for running and bike riding) so we’ll see how it goes.

When you read about this challenge online, you see tons of stories and testimonials of people who felt crazy energetic and amazing. Neither T nor I experienced this level of “magic.”

What went well:

  • The low-level of daily stiffness in my achilles disappeared, despite running 4-5 days per week.
  • I can go 4-5 hours between meals and don’t have that crashy “hangry” feeling when I get hungry.
  • 30 days Diet Coke free, without any major cravings for it. We’re going to keep that rolling!
  • We ate a ton of veggies. I still can’t wrap my head around how many, but I am pretty excited about it.
  • I learned the simple joys of an evening cup of tea or kombucha out of a wine glass.
  • I made my own mayo! It wasn’t even that hard and tasted so much better than the store bought kind!
  • Good, solid sleep, only waking up the middle of the night to pee. Once we moderated our evening water consumption, that wasn’t an issue any more.

What could have gone better:

  • I got really tired of having meat in the morning. I really missed my morning smoothies. I’ll definitely add a few of those into the mix, making sure that there are lots of veggies in there and combining them with some eggs or protein.
  • We got the hang of it after a while, but it was exhausting to have to think about what is in our food all the time. It made going out to lunch with my officemates or going out to dinner a frustrating experience.
  • I never had the great all day energy. I still have the afternoon lulls (which are what usually drive the Diet Coke cravings, so I’ll have to keep an eye on that… )
  • I had a few episodes where any intensity in exercise made me dizzy and feel terrible. That might be lack of fitness, but I feel like it also had to be diet related.

Our next phase is to slowly introduce some of the eliminated elements back in with days of clean eating in between to see how our bodies react. We’re starting this process tomorrow with dairy. I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes. There is a part of me that’s scared I’m going to discover some terrible food sensitivity, especially gluten. The thought of not being able to eat T’s bagels or Delancey pizza fills my heart with dread, but we’ll see what happens. Once get through the various eliminated foods, we’ll figure out how we want to structure our diet moving forward. I definitely want to keep the amount of veggies in our diet and the three meals a day structure. I also want to keep our treats intentional. No more eating things “because they are there” or using food as a crutch. Overall, it was a cool experiment and I feel like I learned a great deal of useful info.

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