As you all know, Kevin has been right along side me the past few weeks, partaking in his own Whole30 journey. I’ll let him explain his thoughts and feelings on it below. If for some reason you don’t believe what I’ve said and think it’s all in my head, please read below for another perspective on the program.
Hello interwebs. I’m jumping on to write my first (hopefully not last) guest post. I’m Kevin/boyfriend/fiancée, but you can just call me awesome. This post is basically just to give my perspective on how the Whole 30 is going and how I’m handling it.
My participation started for two main reasons: 1) to make things easier and 2) because I should be eating healthier anyway. It all sounds like common sense, but it really is achievable. When M brought up that she wanted to try this eating plan, I wanted to support her. Yes, I call it an eating plan and not a diet because I feel diet comes with the stigma you are trying to lose weight. From anyone who has met me, I can’t really afford to lose much. I figured the best way to support her in doing this is to do it with her. This way it removes temptation if I cook or buy other things. Also, for more selfish reasons, it stops me from having to make an entirely different dinner and we can just take turns cooking.
When I gave this whole plan some thought, I also came to realize “Why would I not want to be healthier?” Sure we were doing alright in our eating since we moved but our Friday night take out started to turn into Friday night and an occasional weekday. So I was prepared to make the most of this plan. I didn’t think it would be hell but certainly not a picnic either. I don’t have much dairy in my diet in the first place so that’s a non-issue. Sugar was pretty easy too. I never was a huge bean person so that was simple too. I think the biggest change was no grains. Not that I eat a ton of grains in the first place, but I was struggling with how do I make a sandwich without grains (apparently with romaine lettuce as a wrap, but that got a bit dull and kicked my sandwich habit). No alcohol is also a pretty small issue. It is the one thing I said I wasn’t going to give up completely (that sounds like I’m an alcoholic as I read that). I would have a glass of wine or a beer most nights. Since starting the Whole30, I maybe have a drink one or two nights a week.
The thing I was interested to see is how this affects my body and my training. I am currently training for a half marathon coming up in April and was interested that this eating plan is supposed to give you a bit more energy. Energy for a distance runner is always good. I’m happy to say, I am pleasantly surprised. I noticed I had more energy just three days in and I’ve felt that same level all the way through. The only cheating I have done is the occasional alcohol but there you go. Instead of going on and on about everything that’s happened in the first half, I have summed it up in some bullet points below.
-Coconut Oil, good for you and doesn’t change the taste. I was concerned at first that everything we would make with coconut oil would in fact taste like coconut. I love coconut, but not in every meal. It melts quick, it’s better for you and I notice no difference than if I were to use olive oil or butter to get the pan going.
-Almond flour, same story. It really makes a great sub for regular flour. I do not miss regular flour over this healthier alternative.
-No cravings. When I used to eat junk, I would crave certain things. Sure nothing terrible…maybe fajitas or an occasional hankering for pizza. But since starting the Whole30, I haven’t felt like I need to eat any sort of junk. I don’t suddenly crave ice cream or gummi bears or dream about finishing off the pizza in the fridge. I don’t drive past Wendy’s and dream of fries.
-More energy. As I said before, I have more energy. Yes it is easier to get out of bed in the morning. I have energy that seems to last the whole day. I don’t fall apart when it hits 9 pm but also once I lay down I feel I can get a whole night of sleep.
-Cooking is fun. Some meals can be done in 20 – 30 minutes. But with prep and cooking a bunch of my dishes take about an hour or so. Writing that out seems drastic and terrible. But I really enjoy cooking. It’s some time alone in my head and gets me caught up on some of my podcasts or audio books. Plus it is fairly fun and it’s cool to try some new recipes and techniques.
-Full feeling goes away fast. With the Whole30, you can eat as much as you want as long as it fits into the allowable foods. One of M and I’s past problems is that we would eat with our eyes. Our plates would have too much food. Now we are better about that. But if we do have a big plate and get full, I find that uncomfortable feeling to go away very quickly. Over all I believe I have a faster metabolism.
-You get used to different things. I thought having to drink my coffee black was going to suck (I usually drink with a splash of skim to just change the color). At first the black coffee was a bit bitter, but now I don’t really notice a change.
-Eating colors. All of our dishes are much more colorful. Sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and avocados really seem to be staples for us but everything else really does seem to be full of color unlike how we ate before.
-You can’t eat crap if you don’t buy it. People talk to me like I’m a saint for not eating cookies (kind of sad when you think of it). But I find this Whole30 pretty easy as long as you go to the food store with a clear head. YOU CAN’T EAT CRAP IF YOU DON’T BUY CRAP.
-The biggest downside I have found is a need for different veggies. We relied on a lot of broccoli and carrots in the first 15 days. Sweet potatoes too but I never get sick of those. I would love to find some sort of side dish that isn’t a vegetable or at least one that isn’t boiled or roasted and seasoned with salt, pepper, and maybe garlic.
It looks like we are going to finish out with ease. But what comes after? We’ll start to reintroduce some of the banned ingredients. But my plans are to stick close to the Whole30 for the future. Sure, I’ll eat grains without guilt. Or I can go out with family or friends and not have to say “I can’t eat any of this.” But for the most part, I will stick to this because I feel great and why the hell would I want to feel like crap over some cookies or a burger. I give my stamp of approval as a food enthusiast and as a training athlete.