Monday, September 02, 2013

Our Whole30 Experience

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am going to IFBC, the best food blogger conference in the country, in a couple of weeks.  To get in shape...or at least try to jumpstart some healthier eating...or at least have looser clothing before I go to the conference,  my hubs and I decided to tackle Whole30. This is an elimination diet, or a short term "nutritional reset". You eliminate grains, dairy, soy, and anything manufactured. You basically include the best quality meat you can, preferably grain fed, organic. You can have vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, and healthy oils. You can go all out and get all high end stuff but I still had to actually feed my family on our budget. While I do 93/7 ground beef, and tried to get nitrate free bacon we did the best we would with the rest of our meat.

We ate A LOT of eggs and bacon for breakfast. For a family that eats cereal, oatmeal, toast, pancakes and bananas for breakfast this was a big change. How many ways can one eat eggs? Scrambled with a tiny bit of ghee, scrambled with green onions, scrambled with spinach (not anyone's favorite), scrambled with ghee, green onions and rosemary, fried in ghee, fried in same pan bacon was cooked in, scrambled with sausage mixed in, scrambled with breakfast steak mixed in, and hard boiled.

Lunches for my hubs included a lot of salads with grilled chicken. He did get a hot dog with chili minus the bun one day and we went to lunch at Qdoba once as well. That was kind of a cheat day. I had a naked burrito with brown rice, chicken, grilled veggies, and guacamole. He also had rice that day as well. Lunches for me tended to be grilled chicken with veggies and fruit I had around the house. I tried to be prepared the days that I was teaching by bringing a salad, again with grilled chicken and fruit on it.

I have to say, for dinners I spent more time in the kitchen over the last 30 days cooking than I have in quite some time. I had to be creative because I couldn't just order a pizza, or make tacos with the sleeve of taco seasoning or make a pan of mac and cheese. I cooked with olive oil and coconut oil. I coated chicken in shredded coconut. I made marinades from scratch, and found plenty of ways to cook veggies we don't normally eat.

About day 16 I got this timeline from a friend asking if that was really they way it went. There was some truth to it however, I have not been drinking soda since December of last year so I didn't have a caffeine detox to go through. Bobby did but managed to get through it with a few headaches. The "Kill All the Things" came on day 14. I was irrational and completely crazy. And I felt bad for taking it out on everyone. But it was one day and then I was ok again. About week 3 I was getting a little bored with eggs and not feeling as inspired to put together meals in the kitchen. I like cooking but was tired of washing all of the pans every.single.day. But we kept going. Bobby was extremely encouraging and stuck to the program so much better than I did. I bake for my classes on weeks 1 and 5. This particular class asked for peanut butter fudge for week 5. I will admit I ate 1 piece and discovered I could have eaten the entire pan if left to my own devices. Thank goodness my students liked it and took the rest of it home with them.

I hate to admit this but I felt really good eating this way. I had heartburn 1 day after eating almond butter by itself but other than that my stomach has felt really good. I had a couple of days when my stomach was growling a bit but then we would eat a good dinner and not be hungry at all after that. After the first few days sugar cravings went away. It was not difficult for me to give up bread, pasta, pizza, or Mexican food. I don't have a a sweet tooth I have sweet teeth so giving up sugar was more difficult. Bobby loves his bread, pizza, and Mexican food so that part was more difficult for him. He did say that he was not feeling sluggish in the afternoon and didn't feel like he needed a Diet Mt. Dew for a pick me up.

As an added bonus, I lost 14 pounds and I lost an inch in one area and 2.5 inches in other areas. Bobby lost 20 pounds and 2-4 inches in different areas.

Overall, we did a pretty good job sticking to the program for 30 days. This is my birthday week so we have a few things planned that are not the healthiest options but we are planning on sticking pretty close to what we have been doing for the next few weeks. Perhaps I can lose a few more pounds and inches before my conference. I will post some recipes from our Whole30 in the coming week or so. Good luck to you if you choose to join in!

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