Monday, February 24, 2014

whole 30 // a reflection

the first thing on my 30 by 30 list i decided to tackle was to do whole 30 with my husband! today is day 30 & i am so proud of us! i wanted to do a reflection post on our last 30 days to process our experience. this reflection is mainly my take on how it affected my body, but i've asked Thomas for some input from his side as well.

my word for 2014 is balance & part of finding balance is having a balanced diet. it's easy for me to "get in the groove" and find motivation, so i eat pretty healthy most of the time. however, when i eat bad.... i eat BAD - it's like my appetite is screaming "go big or go home!" so my body just gets overloaded with junk and sugar. so my diet definitely needed some balance.

whole 30 is not meant to be a crash diet although someone could certainly make it into that. it's not meant to be followed for 30 days and then go right back to your old eating habits afterwards. it's not even really meant to help you lose weight, although eating healthy tends to have that affect, especially right at the beginning.

the reason we chose whole 30 is because it instills habits for a healthy lifestyle. no diet is beneficial if you only follow it for a certain amount of time and then forget about it when it's over. if you do something for 30 days consecutively, it helps to instill the habit in you. after 30 days, my body is used to getting energy from good fats instead of carbs. after 30 days, i can look at any label and tell what the bad ingredients are. after 30 days, i would prefer to spend some time cooking a healthy meal than settle for convenience food.

if you'd like to learn more about whole 30 & what the program is, click here.

January 26 - February 1 || week 1
this first week was better than my first whole 30 where my body was super exhausted from the lack of carbs. i think the reason this time was easier is because between my first whole 30 and this one i didn't eat a huge amount of carbs. i ate them, but my body wasn't as reliant on them this time.

i've been so surprised by how little i snack when i start each whole 30. i normally eat little bits of food all day, but when i start whole 30 my body is so full after each meal since i'm not eating empty calories. we both felt so much better this first week just by eating clean & we loved it! we could definitely tell a difference even after only 7 days!

February 2 - February 8 || week 2
this is the week where it gets real. it wasn't a super tough week for us, but we did crave some junk food a little bit. we had an entire conversation over all the different flavors of potato chips one night before going to sleep & i'm pretty sure it was driven by a little craving.

my body was more exhausted this week, but i think it had more to do with my crazy work schedule than adjusting to whole 30. i did notice a difference with my sleeping this week though. before whole 30, i woke up constantly during the night. however, this week i slept through the night each night. that is one of my favorite "side effects" from whole 30!

February 9 - February 15 || week 3
this week was super busy and kinda flew by. our bodies have both felt so much better & Thomas noted that he felt he had way more energy. during this week we went out to eat a few times & we are getting really good at tweaking salads to be whole 30 approved. but Thomas stated that he is definitely ready for sandwiches again!

Valentine's was actually super easy on whole 30. we made steak & broccoli at home to enjoy and it was delicious! sure it would've been nice to have a dessert, but we didn't need it & we didn't really miss it either! (although he did buy me some reese's hearts for when we are finished & i stuck them in the cabinet out of sight! if anything is my weakness, reese's is!)

we did try a few new recipes this week & found some that Thomas loves! this was definitely nice & made it easier for us because i was starting to get tired of the same food each week!

February 16 - February 24 || week 4ish
this week everything kinda evened out! our energy levels were good &
i'm pretty sure my stomach shrunk because i can hardly finish a meal without feeling full. and it's such a great feeling to get full off of healthy food!

salads have become one of my favorite things to eat, which is not normal for me! i never ate salads before because i was convinced they couldn't fill me up, but they really do! and this is a salad without ranch dressing, cheese & a ton of croutons!

this week our conversations before bed haven't revolved around junk food, like our chip conversation in week 2. instead, we've been discussing fun things like what baby animals are called! for instance, a baby owl is a fledgling, a baby penguin is a chick, & a baby turtle is a hatchling. who knew!

so, after 30 days do we feel like it's helped us instill a habit of healthy eating? the simple answer is yes! you don't realize how long 30 days is until you do something like this. we feel like our bodies are thriving off of healthy foods & good fats. we are both excited to continue this healthy lifestyle & taking care of our bodies! we do have to admit that it is nice to have the freedom to a little variety now that we've finished though. not that we are going to go crazy & eat ALL THE JUNK FOOD... but it's nice to introduce other healthy options back into our diet. i, for one, am excited about being able to eat black beans & steel cut oats! if that's the "worst" thing in our diet from here on out, we're doing pretty good!

even though we didn't do whole 30 to lose weight, we did lose some weight just from cutting out the empty calories! we collectively lost 30 pounds total - Thomas lost 20 & i lost 10. which i'd be lying if i said that wasn't nice. but you know what the best thing that happened is? how healthy, great & alive we feel! :)

if you are interested in doing a whole 30... you can find some of my favorite recipes below - just click the picture to go to the recipe!
also, if you have any questions, want more recipes, or need suggestions - please don't hesitate to email me!


have you ever done a whole 30 or similar program? what are your thoughts?


  1. So glad that you have liked it and that it was a success! yay

  2. Congrats on rocking out the Whole 30 challenge! I've had many friends start and give-up during their first week (I'd love to try it, but I'm vegan and already have a diet rich in whole foods). You should be really proud of your commitment!

  3. Oh man... that's cool to take charge of your diet like that. & to get a weight loss is a bonus.

  4. How awesome that you lost weight doing that! I may have to talk Nate into doing this for a month or so since we both need to drop a few pounds. ;-)

  5. Good for you girl! Eating healthy makes such a big difference.

  6. We, in general, try to stick to "whole foods" as much as possible, though with so many family parties and traveling lately we haven't, but I know I feel better when I do, and there's so much good whole food out there! The processed foods and carbs really aren't worth it. I need to learn how to do more cooking with cauliflower. I keep hearing good things about it but I've never really cooked with it before!

  7. thank you so much!! i honestly feel so much better & crave the healthy food! :)

  8. thanks so much, Caitlin!! it definitely hits you the first few weeks!! thank you for your kind words! :)

  9. it was such a nice bonus :) i was proud of my husband for sticking to it with me! :)

  10. it is so much fun to do together! and cutting out so much will definitely help you drop a few! :)

  11. it really does! i was surprised we lost as much as we did since we didn't exercise regularly during the 30 days! i am on a roll though & keeping it up! :)

  12. that is such a great thing to stick to, Rachel! :) we did well until we got engaged then had to travel a lot and SO many showers! but you are so right there's a ton out there & it makes me feel SO much better to consistently eat healthy!
    i haven't done much with cauliflower either! i have a recipe for cauliflower rice & am hoping to try it soon! :) let me know what you cook!!

  13. i thought that was ironic, too! :) thanks for your encouragement!! the crockpot is my best friend! i will try to round some up and email them to you! ha! i did say a prayer for you! :)

  14. thank you so much, Chelsea! :) it feels good to accomplish this!

  15. This is a great recab, Robyn! I feel similarly from when I did the Whole 30 challenge last year. It is a nice kick in the butt that helped me get back on track with healthy eating :)

  16. thank you so much, Amy!! :) it really is such a nice kick in the butt!! i'm loving continuing on this healthy lifestyle!!

  17. Isn't that perfect timing - I'm starting right when you're finishing. Way to go, though! I definitely may need to borrow some crockpot recipes. I haven't been able to find very many that I like and I depend on my crockpot. And, after only 2 meals into day 1, I totally understand the part about actually feeling full. Though, it's about time for my afternoon chocolate fix so send up a prayer!