Whole30 Reflections

It’s been over a week since I completed the Whole30 challenge and these were mere observations and experiences from my point of view (because well, it’s my blog).
  • Apparently, I thrive in a structured environment and if I put my mind to something, I can achieve it. Good to know!
  • My taste buds have definitely changed – spicy food appeals to me and I’m currently in a love/hate relationship with cayenne pepper.
  • I have some serious demons when it comes to food – even though I’ve been perfectly healthy (both before and during the Whole30) I was incredibly hard on myself during the entire process. I found it mentally exhausting to constantly be worried about every little ingredient that went into my body. Reading labels is a great habit to form; however, don’t let it drive you nuts.
  • Food is like a drug and “getting clean” is like drug withdrawal. Seeing other people eat foods I enjoy is like being a former smoker and having smoke blown in your face.
  • I found myself avoiding otherwise enjoyable situations just so I wouldn’t be “tempted” by food (or alcohol).
  • Things I lost during the Whole30
    • Around 8lbs  - but I didn’t think I did. I did notice some body composition changes but not a significant amount. 8lbs on a 5’2” frame is actually a lot.
    • Strength and stamina at the gym – admittedly, I had been out of the country for almost three weeks and the strength-loss would be more a consequence of that than anything else, however, I did not regain strength after I’d been back for over a month. The 8lbs lost could also attribute to this. In the week after the challenge, I introduced more carbs and have definitely noticed more energy during workouts.
  • Sleep has been heavenly - I've been sleeping like a freakin' baby.
  • For the ladies, I did notice that it affected my menstrual cycle. I didn’t get cramps or bloating and it was an effortless and quick period (maybe 3 days long).  I’m usually in the fetal position for a week straight craving chocolate and bad chick-flicks.
  • All the meat I've eaten in the last 30+ days has been appropriately raised and fed (grass, forest, pasture, etc). Which is awesome. It’s also expensive; HOWEVER, because I haven’t been eating out at restaurants, I’ve actually saved money. I bought a new camera lens to celebrate!
  • I’m absolutely lactose-intolerant and that makes me sad. I’ll now be going dairy-free whenever possible but am willing to suffer the consequences when it's really worth it.
  • I’ll also be going grain-free and low-sugar whenever possible. I’ve yet to introduce gluten back into my diet so I’ll see how that goes.
In the end, I’m glad I did it. Proving that I could do it is a feat in itself and it has taught me that I’ve more willpower than I had allowed myself to believe. Learning how to reset my body and my nutrition habits has been a valuable lesson and one that’ll stay with me.

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