Monday, May 11

Whole 30 C'est Fini

"When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." John 19:30
Okay so maybe the Whole30 isn't necessarily a religious experience, but for some of us who love food, it kind of is a religious experience. The journey is done, it is finished. I never imagined I would've actually made it through the program but here we are at the finish line and are filled with a mix of relief, exhaustion, hunger, fullness and fear of the unknown. 

However I do have to say that the 4th and final week has been the easiest and some of the best foods we've made while on the Whole 30. Mothers Day happened to fall during the final day so I did make a wonderful recipe from Against All Grain (check out her great cookbooks and website) but adapted it slightly. I made one that had everything on it and one that was dairy-free. See here for recipe.

Another successful breakfast item I made this week was homemade sausage. Never again will I buy those pre-made sausage patties, these are awesome and you can make them as spicy (or non-spicy) as you want.

I ate them plain but I also crumbled them up in an egg mixture to create a sausage-egg scramble that was delicious too!

What do you do when your veggies are about to turn bad and you don't know what to do for dinner? Chicken and vegetable stir-fry. I made a bed of zucchini noodles along with chunks of grilled chicken breast, water chestnuts, carrots, broccoli, snap peas, peppers, onions, and pineapple. I just made it up, but here are some recipes to try for stir-fry.

Have I mentioned that I never used to like Pellegrino or any other type of sparkling water? Now it's what I live for. That, in a wine glass, with a bit of lime...heaven!


One final recipe I'd like to share was this Paleo shepherd's pie (made with ghee, not butter or cream). My whole family was home one evening for dinner including my grandmother who had flown in from Minnesota...she even wanted the recipe. So I figured if my 88-year-old Swedish grandmother approved, it must be good. Another simple way to use up some of those veggies you don't know what to do with. Best thing- is you can make it how you want it!

Eat a comforting but healthy dinner with this Paleo Shepherd's Pie. Fill with your favorite veggies and top with white or sweet potatoes.

I've done a lot of "life after the whole 30" research and let me tell you, the results have scared me. Some have gave up everything that isn't 'approved' forever and ever amen. Others went off the plan and fell into old habits. While others tried to add in once-common items into their diet like milk, popcorn and wine and have gotten horribly sick. The idea of eating this way forever makes me sad. Not that the food isn't great, not that I don't feel better, not that I couldn't do it. I just know it's such a huge time commitment, financial commitment, and overall I just miss simple things like peanut butter and air-popped popcorn. Give a girl a break for godoness sakes! I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do come tomorrow. Part of me wants to gorge out on The Melting Pot or somewhere lovely with chocolate and cheese. Then part of me wants to keep going with the progress I've made. I think I'll need to add some other things back in like the occasional dairy (butter and cheese) into morning eggs to keep me from going mental. I'll definitely need to add soemthing crunchy back in like rice cakes or air-pop popcorn: I need a mid-afternoon crunch. But I read over and over that the 80/20 rule works for most; eat paleo/whole30 80% of the time and have your "cheats" or your whatever meals 20% of the time (about 4 meals a week). I think that is sustainable....I say that now at least...

The Results
After reading It Starts with Food a bit, reading peoples stories with the Whole 30 and seeing before and after results...I was excited to maybe finally get down to an even leaner frame and lose another 10 pounds or so to be a lean-mean-green-eating machine. Well the results weren't quite that way. I am an avid Crossfitter, 5-6 days a week usually. I like to lift weights and heavy at that. So in order for me to lose pounds, it takes quite a miracle. So here was the stats for my 30 days
Pounds lost: 4 lbs
Arm: 1"
Thigh: 1"
Hips: 3.5"
Bust: 1" (dangit)
Waist: 2"

Overall what I learned:
1. My relationship with food was unhealthy, even though I was eating "healthy"
2. I don't need a sweet treat every day, 1-2 a week will be just fine
3. I'm learning to like vegetables in a new way, the color they add and the flavor they add
4. The farmers market is a great way to buy fresh produce and meats
5. I should buy chickens with how many eggs I eat
6. It takes a lot for me to loose pounds, so be happy with the inches and progress made in that aspect. Don't get caught up in the stupid number on the scale. Look at your pant size and how your body reacts to you
7. It's just an number
8. My body hasn't felt this good ever
9. My skin became clear and glowed, many people commented on how I looked tan and my eyes were bright and open; something I never noticed before
10. Never once did I have to take an antacid or digestive pill during the 30 days, my gut was happy with me for once (coming from a gluten-free gal that says a lot)
11. Doing this with a support system (my mom) saved me; I would've given up without her! I recommend doing this with someone even if it's a virtual friend you meet on a Whole30 chat- it helps really!
12. Plan plan plan. Plan ahead your meals, your snacks and your workout time because you will be exhausted and may fall into old habits. Don't do it!
13. I never did get that "energy boost" in fact I actually felt more tired than ever. I went to bed earlier these last few weeks than I have in a while. Maybe my body just needed the rest...and some days I was so hungry (emotional) that I just went to sleep instead
14. Don't go shopping while hungry. Just don't.
15. If you have to cry, then girl you go ahead and cry. You'll feel better afterwards.
16. Embrace the change and don't be discouraged if you make a mistake. Keep going and get through it, you'll come out on the end of 30 days and be amazed at all you faced and give up.
17. There will never be the "perfect" time to start so just stinking start. There'll always be a birthday, a wedding, a bridal shower, a graduation, a work function, a girls night, a date night, a tired-and-just-want-to-order-pizza night, there will be a vacation or a just commit to it and do it. You'll wish you would've started today, me!
So mom and I survived our first Whole30. Everybody says you'll do another one eventually, but right now I'm just enjoying the freedom to say, yes, I will have a piece of chocolate and a glass of red wine...and not feel bad about