Q and I just finished a Whole30 attempt, which ended up really being a Whole20.5. I learned about Whole30 from an awesomeeeee chef I follow on Instagram. She had so many great things to say about it that I became inspired to try it for myself. I told Q about it and he agreed to do it with me! Whole30 in plain terms is getting rid of a lot of foods that are common irritants in our diet. The closest thing I know of is paleo. Basically, it goes like this: no sugar, alcohol, dairy, corn, soy, flour/wheat/grains of any type, legumes, or certain chemicals (MSG, sulfites, carrageenan). I mainly wanted to do it to have more energy. Here are my impressions:

It’s a lot of cooking. I made a lot of stuff from scratch, including sriracha, salad dressings, mayo, pesto, ghee, aioli, and of course everything we ate. It was a lot. Marquette helped when he could, but I often get home a few hours before him and it feels weird waiting for him to start cooking. He helped with meal prep on Sundays, and I prepared dinner most evenings. Because the food isn’t as “filling” compared with the carb-heavy meals we used to eat, we were eating a lot and running out of things quicker than I thought we would. We also had super limited options for dining out (by virtue of living in the dirty south!), and only ate out ONCE, at the end of our whole20.5.

It feels good to eliminate these foods. I didn’t have any craaaaazy cravings, surprisingly. I exercised a lot while doing it - not sure if that’s because I felt better, or because I was just motivated. I loved that I never had any super heavy meals to the point where I felt like I would be ill if I worked out after eating! I did miss chocolate and wine a lot, but I’ve had both since we stopped it and it wasn’t all I remembered it to be. Absence makes the heart grow fonder I guess.

Results may vary. I bloat a lot after eating, and on Whole30, I didn’t. It was AWESOME. I loved not feeling stuffed and bloated, and it was great to have a flat tummy all day long. That was a major benefit. Other than that, however, I didn’t really see a whole lot of differences in how I was feeling. I’m definitely planning on doing it again after the new year (and finishing!), and I plan to monitor how I feel more closely the month before, so that I can have something to compare to while doing it. I will say that I think we already eat somewhat healthy, so maybe that’s why our results weren’t as dramatic.

The food was reaaaally good. It took some getting used to at first, but pretty much everything I made was good! There are a lot of dishes that I plan on continuing to make, just because they’re delicious. Pinterest has a a lot of recipes, and the Whole30 website has a ton of great FREE resources.

What we ate was mainly meat, vegetables, nuts, and oils. I will say that it kind of went against what I’m used to as far as eating and what I consider healthy. I normally try to use oils sparingly, and I’m not huge on eating meat. I definitely eat it, but in the past we’ve gone weeks without eating meat, just because there are other things to eat. Heart disease runs in our families and it’s important to build and maintain healthy habits now. In the past I’ve tried to minimize my (our) meat consumption, so this type of eating went against everything I believe in. I don’t really know how to feel about the fact that I was feeling so light and bloat-free because I don’t necessarily want to eat like this all the time but I loved that! Part of Whole30 is reintroducing foods back into your diet slowly to figure out what messes you up. We didn’t do that. So the next time around I think that part of Whole30 will be super beneficial for optimizing our diets in the future. It was nice to be challenged in this way, and I may experiment with other types of eating in the future, like veganism. We shall see! Overall I feel optimistic and excited about healthy and continuing to figure out what our bodies like and don’t like! Hopefully I can get Q to do a round 2 with me! - J

**Pictured in this post is a Whole30 Compliant meal: Seared Filet Mignon with compound ghee over cauliflower mash and sautéed asparagus, with oven roasted sweet potatoes**