Here are my takeaways:
- It was a great way to get my bad eating habits in check, which was particularly useful after the holiday season. I got in the habit of eating 3 meals a day, with little to no snacking between meals.
- Although I didn't really FEEL different, I could tell I started to look different. My skin was clearer, my body was less bloated, and I'm sure I've lost a few pounds.
- The composition of my diet changed from mostly carbs, to mostly protein & fat. Although tracking food/calories is discouraged on the Whole30, I (mostly) still continued to track my food at MyFitnessPal, just because it's habit for me. It was interesting to watch the change in nutrients.
- I learned to recognize my Sugar Dragon! I have always had a sweet tooth, but cutting all sugar out for 30 days made me realize how loud it usually roars! I knew sugar is a pervasive part of the Standard American Diet (also known as SAD, haha), but reading labels really opens your eyes. I found ONE type of sugar-free bacon, and had to make my own ketchup!
- Overall, I think it is a well-designed program, with lots of information and resources. I signed up for the daily emails, which I think was a worthwhile $15 investment. I would recommend it to anyone looking to improve their diet. I will likely do another one in the future!
What I Ate
I tried to focus on the suggest meal template of a protein, fat, and vegetables. I usually added a piece of fruit to my lunch as well.
Breakfasts: At-work breakfasts were usually a casserole or frittata. When I started to get sick of them (after 5 days in a row!), adding the homemade balsamic ketchup made it more interesting. At home, i usually made omelettes. I ate So. Many. Eggs! This coming from a girl who used to HATE them. I did find a local vendor who make chicken sausage, many without sugar. I picked up some Chicken & Sage patties, which were delicious.
Lunches: I've always enjoyed a nice salad at lunch. For the Whole30, I did tuna salad, spinach salad with grilled chicken, a Greek chicken salad, a buffalo chicken salad, a BLT + Avocado salad, and a salsa chicken salad. At home, my go-to meal was Applegate organic turkey hot dogs + balsamic ketchup, with homemade sweet potato chips.
Dinners: We tried many different recipes for dinner. I used my new spiralizer to make zoodles (zucchini noodles), which we had with meatballs and shrimp scampi. We made three kinds of no-beans chili, including a white chicken chili. We did Thai red curry stir-fries, and chicken tikka masala with cauliflower. We tried a pizza spaghetti pie with spaghetti squash. We made beef stew, and chicken fajitas over cauliflower Mexican rice. I made a batch of (amazing!) salmon cakes and froze them for a quick easy option.
Here are some of my favorite recipes, that I plan on keeping in the rotation! I've linked back to the original source. Some of them had to be revised in order to be Whole30 compliant.
Overall, it was a success! I don't plan on doing the formal reintroduction, but just seeing how I feel overall, and trying to keep eating as clean as possible. It's been a worthwhile challenge, but I'm glad it's done for now!