Believe in the Power of Food ~ Katie Floyd
I DID IT! I did the Whole30. Actually I should say, WE did it. My husband Aaron joined me. If you ask each of us about our experience, you are going to get two completely different answers.
Me, I didn’t mind it. The food was tasty, I love fruits and vegetables! What made it lame is there is no difference between the workweek and the weekend. Meaning, we will usually have a “fun meal” over the weekend such as gluten-free (for me) pizza and a couple of drinks. None of that fun is happening on Whole30. BUT what did happen was this. I had shoulder rotator cuff surgery that has left me sleepless for the past 7 weeks.
Ask anyone that has not slept well in seven weeks and they are going to look and feel like they’ve been hit by a Mac Truck. Me, not so bad. I really don’t feel tired. I am more annoyed by not sleeping than the actual lack of sleep. Also, I did not have one bruise from my surgery!!! Another positive, my acne is 100% cleared. My face has thinned out too. I can’t say that I’ve lost any weight but I am also not exercising (shoulder surgery) like I normally do. Also, my mind is super sharp and my memory has definitely improved. No more brain fog?!
Power of Food:
Now for Aaron’s thoughts…He despised it for the first two weeks. He was constantly hungry and has lost a ton of weight, which is not what he wanted. Aaron’s is one of those lucky ones that struggle to keep weight on. But, after getting used to always being hungry (I did not experience constant hunger) and submitting to losing weight, he didn’t mind it. His mind is also sharp and has a lot more energy.
So, why did we (really me and then pressuring my husband to go along with me) choose to do this cleanse? A few reasons. One, I have digestive issues that I’m always working to improve. Two, my clients ask my opinion about Whole30 and I like to give them an answer based on my personal experience in addition to knowledge. Plus, Aaron and I both have thyroid issues and the functional medicine approach to balancing the thyroid is gut health. Last, temporarily eliminating inflammatory foods is never a bad idea, is it?
What are the inflammatory foods? The main ones: sugar, alcohol, legumes, grains, and dairy. We also avoided white potatoes. So, what CAN be eaten? Eggs, nuts (in moderation and if following strictly only certain nuts), protein, vegetables, and fruit. What did I miss the most? Homemade popcorn. What did Aaron miss the most? muesli/ oatmeal and all the weight he lost LOL.
I am confident we are getting a TON of nutrients from the variety of food and color in our diet. Plus, improved energy, sharp mind/memory, and clear skin. I am looking forward to getting blood work and discover if my thyroid has improved!
Cons: It’s expensive and time-consuming! Since Aaron was constantly hungry, I was buying SO much more food. BUT, we didn’t go out to eat for 30 days so we saved money there. With more food means a lot more shopping, prepping, and cooking. Last, according to Aaron, the food is getting boring. The main starches are squash and sweet potatoes. When looking for Whole30 recipes, it seems like 80% of them are sweet potato or butternut squash based.
Our favorite meal:
Breakfast casserole: eggs, whole fat canned coconut milk, sausage, broccoli, onion, and multi-colored peppers. It’s hearty and filling and oh so delicious!
The most common questions I get: Where is the fiber? Raspberry, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts are excellent sources of fiber. What about dairy? Collard greens, sardines (with bones), bok choy, kale, and non-dairy milk (be sure to verify on the label, not all non-dairy milk includes calcium).
There is a protocol in reintroducing the foods and Aaron quickly starting on day 30. Me, I am going to continue with a modified version! I am seeing positive changes in my digestion and I don’t feel deprived, so why not? In fact, I have done many cleanses and this has been the most lenient in all that I’ve tried.
So, if you are looking for a reset or want to healthily lose weight, I highly recommend Whole30. My recommendation: plan before you start. Look for numerous recipes that get you excited. Spend a couple of hours on Sunday (or whatever day you have time) to prep a few meals or all of your meals and freeze a couple for later in the week.
Last, big shout out to Melissa Hartwig, co-creator of Whole30, and her team for creating the program and providing so many resources to assist with sticking to the program! Thank you! Katie