Life after Whole30
I think it's about time I updated you all on my Whole30 journey. So, welcome to Part 1 of a 2 post series about my experience!
Long story short, I would say those 30 days were a success. Starting near the end of March, I timed up my final day to be just prior to leaving for my Dominican vacation. That was a great decision on my part. I left feeling refreshed and in control of my cravings.
As you may recall from my initial post, I had been battling some major sugar cravings. Admittedly, I really needed to break my beer habit for a bit too. I am happy to report that I was able to successfully conquer both of these. What made it easy for me were a few key elements that I'd love to share with you.
1) "Bulletproof/Butter" Coffee. For those of you who aren't familiar with this little bit of heaven, it involves a large dose of healthy fats in the AM. Typically, you mix 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon coconut oil in with your cup of coffee. Since butter is a no-go on Whole30, I used ghee. I also added in a tablespoon of Great Lakes Gelatin each morning for some gut health. Drinking my coffee like this leaves me feeling energized and satiated until lunch.
2) Whole30 friendly bars. The official Whole30 website has a whole page dedicated to approved products. I kept a stock of YAWP! bars and RxBars for whenever I needed an extra boost. If I was planning an intense workout at lunch, I would add one of these in to my morning routine with my coffee. These bars have great sources of protein with lower amounts of sugar, which make them a better alternative than some Paleo-friendly bars.
3) Meal planning. I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough. Each Sunday I plan out a week's worth of meals. This not only saves time and money when I go grocery shopping, but it takes the guess work out of each meal. By having a set menu, you don't troll the stores or spend time staring into your fridge debating on what to eat and you remain compliant. It also keeps you from grabbing something quick, easy and (likely) not Whole30 compliant when you are feeling tired and rushed at the end of the day.
4) Don't tempt yourself. When it comes to alcohol, I have an intense love for beer, especially IPAs. The problem is that as much as I like beer, it leaves my stomach unhappy and very bloated. I cleared all the beer out of my fridge pre-Whole30. By not having it in there, I wasn't tempted to open one after a stressful day at work. The same went for foods that I know do nothing but weaken my willpower and cloud my judgment. Sadly, I had to avoid all of my favorite french fry places to keep my strength and sanity.
These tips kept me in line and helped me accomplish my goals and I think they could help you too!
Some of you may be wondering if I lost any weight. Truth be told, I have no idea. I have learned that I can't always rely on the scale. It causes me a great deal of stress by forcing me to focus on a specific number. When I decide I don't care much for the number that day, it affects my attitude and mood. Instead, I try to focus on certain "non-scale victories," like how I am feeling and how my clothes fit. If I go based on those triumphs, this was 100% a success. I confidently wore clothes that had been a smidge too tight after the winter months, amped up my workouts AND rocked a two-piece on vacation.
Speaking of vacation, holy crap is the Dominican a beautiful place. If you haven't been there, I highly recommend you make a stop. I spent 4 days laying in the sun, wading in the ocean and staying (mostly) paleo! I will be going into greater detail of a Paleo-friendly vacation in Part 2, but until then, I leave you with this picture...
Photo credit goes to my friend Jeana, who took on the horrible task of joining me & snapped this while I was enjoying the ocean!