Week two of Whole30 has come to an end! Read all about what we ate, how we felt and why we decided we aren’t going to continue with the program.
The past two weeks have been interesting to say the least! The first week went well and the second week did not go so well. First, I’ll share with you what we ate and how we felt and then I’ll go into detail with why we decided not to continue with the program.
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Clementine
Lunch: Sweet Potato Noodle Breakfast Bowl (Me), Salad (Kyle)
Dinner: Leftover Vegetable Soup and Oven Fries (Me), Leftover Buffalo Wings and Oven Fries (Kyle)
Today was a very blah day for me. I don’t have any cravings and I’m not even thinking about foods that I “can’t” have. It’s just a weird mood kind of day.
Breakfast: Sweet Potato Noodle Breakfast Bowl (recipe coming soon!)
Lunch: Leftover Vegetable Soup and Salad
Dinner: Lettuce Wrap Sliders with Cheese-less Pesto and Oven Fries
I was able to get through today without snacking! I tend to get ravenous between 2-3pm, but today I tried making a cup of tea and having that instead of eating. I brewed loose leaf blueberry rooibos tea that had no added sugar and it worked really well to curb the hunger! I was really hungry by dinner though.
Although today was a good day for me, Kyle was grumpy ?. Once he ate dinner he was filled up and happy, but he said the sliders didn’t satisfy his “burger itch” because he needs the bun. I’m used to eating bun-less burgers, so it wasn’t a big deal for me.
Breakfast: Sweet Potato Noodle Breakfast Bowl
Lunch: Leftover Lettuce Wrap Sliders
Dinner: Lemon Dill Salmon and Roasted Brussels Sprouts (minus the parmesan & please excuse the cringe-worthy photos!)
For the salmon I made a variation of this recipe. I omitted the cream, mascarpone, and dijon. Instead I used a tablespoon of ghee whisked with the lemon juice and dill. Then, I stirred in homemade mayo and a little chicken broth to thin it out. It was delicious and tasted just like the original recipe!
I’m starting to really feel like I’ve lost weight, but my mood is not so great. I’m losing interest in eating and the thought of cooking makes me want to scream!
Breakfast: Sweet Potato Noodle Breakfast Bowl
Lunch: Egg Salad in Lettuce Leaves (Me), Mixed Green Salad (Kyle)
Dinner: Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Acorn Squash
Today I’m feeling pretty tired, but doing ok food wise. I’m craving steak today – which is really odd for me. I’m not huge on red meat, but lately I’ve been into it. I’m starting to eat less and less at each meal because I just don’t enjoy eating anymore.
Breakfast: Sweet Potato Noodle Breakfast Bowl
Lunch: Egg Salad (Me), Soup and Salad (Kyle)
Dinner: Steak and Baked Potato
I have absolutely no interest in even eating today. If I didn’t force myself to eat, I probably wouldn’t have. Today is when I really started to consider stopping because I’m starting to look at food in a negative way. I decided to wait and see if this feeling passes…
Breakfast: Sausage and Spinach Egg Scramble
Lunch: Applegate Hot Dogs (grass-fed beef and spices are the only ingredients)
Dinner: No Dinner
The feelings I had yesterday didn’t pass – if Kyle didn’t make me breakfast and lunch I probably wouldn’t have eaten. Neither of us wanted to eat dinner, so you know something is off! I have never hated food so much in my life. I’m also really tired and just feeling blah.
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and Bacon
Lunch: Homemade Sausage Patties
Dinner: Pulled Pork (it’s currently in the slow cooker) and Vegetables (probably be a mix of what I have in the fridge)
The feelings still have not passed and I really don’t feel well. I know I’m not eating enough at this point, but I’m not even hungry. Today will be the last day of our Whole30 – I will go into more depth with the reasoning below!
As you can see from the recap, this week didn’t go so well. I’ve read so many success stories that I think I assumed this would be a life-changing experience. However, it’s having a so much of a negative impact on my life that I’ve decided not to continue. This goes far beyond food and isn’t even about wanting to cave in and “cheat”. Actually, I have no desire to cheat. Heck, I don’t even want to eat at this point!
I certainly don’t want to bash the Whole30 program, but I’m not convinced that it’s for everyone. I’d also like to mention that I have a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences, so nutrition is something I’m constantly researching/keeping up with. From a nutrition perspective, Whole30 could easily be considered a “fad diet”. I’m not saying it is, I’m just saying that it could easily be considered that because a “fad diet” generally requires you to give up entire food groups.
I totally get the concept of Whole30 and I think it’s great. Hence why I wanted to give it a shot. However, I don’t think I was the best candidate to do it. Here’s a few reasons why:
1. I already eat healthy
The whole point of Whole30 is to reset your diet, get rid of processed foods, and change your relationship with food. If you’re consuming processed foods on a daily basis, relying on food for comfort (stress eating, etc.), or are overweight, then Whole30 could probably really help you. However, I don’t have any of those issues. My diet, for the most part, consists of real food!
I’ve always been conscious of food labels and where my food comes from. I buy local produce, meat, and make my own dressings, sauces, etc. The only time I consume processed food is on occasion – certain snacks, desserts, etc. I’ve always been a big supporter of “enjoying food in moderation”. I’m also not overweight, I get regular exercise, and I feel great!
So why did I want to do Whole30?
Well, it was more about the challenge for me. I also wanted Kyle to do this because he did have a few pounds to lose and I thought it could help him change some of his bad habits. It only took 7 days for him to lose his belly (it was probably mostly bloat) and he realized what habits he needed to change. For example, he realized he doesn’t need the bread, can do without beer, and doesn’t need to eat as much for a meal. He lost 7 pounds in a week! Because he got what he wanted out of the program, he’s ready to stop.
2. I’ve been gluten-free for a year
When I gave up gluten last year I had a life changing experience. My health improved greatly and I could finally eat without getting sick. I experienced better sleep, no more dizziness or migraines, and I never missed the foods that I could no longer have.
A big benefit of Whole30 is that if you think you have food sensitivities, it’s a great way to find out what foods could be causing you problems. Since you are eliminating a lot of the foods that can be causing you issues (dairy, wheat, grains, etc.) you should be able to figure out what is causing you problems.
Going into Whole30, I already knew I had a sensitivity to gluten. In the past I have eliminated dairy for a few weeks and after reintroducing it, I didn’t have any issues. I do know that if I consume too much that it can make me feel bloated, but that’s about it. I also choose my dairy products wisely – I don’t drink milk anymore, I barely use cream, and I buy the highest quality cheeses I can find. Again, it’s all about moderation for me.
3. It’s stressful!
I’ve always been a label-reader. I don’t buy anything without reading the label – heck, I don’t even buy many things that have a label. I became so obsessed over the past two weeks with what I was eating that I couldn’t even enjoy food anymore. Sitting down for a meal was stressful and I was only eating because I had to.
The program “rules” state that you should try and only consume three meals each day with no snacks. I guess the point here is you should be eating enough at a meal that you don’t need snacks, but I couldn’t eat enough for this to happen. I don’t eat a lot at meals – I eat until I’m full and I stop. My eyes aren’t bigger than my stomach – I start out with a small amount of food and if I’m hungry for more I go back for seconds. More times than not, I don’t need seconds and I’m full and satisfied.
However, while on Whole30, I just never felt full and satisfied. I fully believe that this was completely psychological. I’ve experimented before with Paleo/Whole30 meals and never had any issues.
4. There’s just too many rules
This is probably my biggest criticism of the program. I know from experience that when you give people too many rules to follow, you can easily set them up to fail. This is specific to certain personalities, but when I went through nutrition counseling courses in college, the best approach was to ease patients into diet changes with realistic expectations.
I don’t want to sound negative here, but having a rule that you can’t have any sugar, but then saying fruit juice is compliant is just a little too much for me. Fruit juice may not have any added sugar, but it’s still sugar to the body and should be treated as such. From a scientific perspective, both will spike your glucose in the same manner – the body doesn’t know the difference in types of sugar. I’d much rather have bacon that contains sugar (for curing purposes) than use fruit juice. However, I do fully understand the reasoning behind that rule. I just don’t agree with it.
Obviously if you’re committing to this program, you’re fully aware of what you have to do. It’s just a matter of executing it! I suppose I just don’t do well with rules – I’m more of a “make my own rules” type of person. Hence why I work for myself and not for someone else. I’m a control freak… what else can I say? ?
5. Food is my life
This may seem like a counterintuitive statement in talking about the program. Isn’t Whole30 about changing your relationship with food? Yes it is, but the thin is, I already had a good relationship with food.
Food is quite literally my life. This blog, which is a food blog, is my life! I think about food 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I live for meal planning and I fully appreciate the little things about food. The silkiness of grass-fed butter melting on a baked potato, a perfect cooked steak (medium for me!), the sizzle the onion makes when you throw it into a hot pan.
Throughout this last week I felt that I was losing my passion for food. I wasn’t appreciating my food and I began to look at it in a negative way. I didn’t even want to eat let alone cook a meal. And, the weird part is, it wasn’t even about the food I was eating! I seriously loved all of the meals I made. I will eat them again and I will continue to make Whole30 compliant recipes.
So what was the problem? Well, I think all of the above reasons explain the problem for me. However, my biggest reason for not continuing is because instead of having a positive effect, it’s having a negative effect for me.
In the end, life is just too short not enjoy food! I like to savor my food and enjoy ever aspect of eating it – the company I’m with, the quality of it, and the pleasure it brings me. Food isn’t just fuel for me – it’s my passion!
Yes, I know it’s only a 30 day program. There is no doubt in my mind that I could complete the program without cheating, I’m simply choosing not to. I already have a healthy diet, I have a good relationship with food, and these last two weeks have helped me see that. All in all I learned something, which is great! Kyle also learned something and will continue with positive diet changes.
I’d like to conclude by saying although I’m not on board with Whole30, doesn’t mean you should write it off. Do your own research and if you think it’s for you – do it! Don’t only read success stories, though. Seek out some that weren’t successful and then draw your own conclusions. There is no such thing as the “perfect” diet, so what works for one person may not work for another. You’ll only achieve the “perfect” diet when you find the right balance for you, which is going to be different for everybody. Even then, it will never be perfect, but if you are healthy and feel good that is what matters!
Remember, this is just my opinion! I certainly welcome educated, civil discussion on this topic. ?