I finished the Whole 30 and overall I had a really good experience with it! I found some new products that I love (such as MaraNatha All Natural Coconut Almond Butter Creamy) and I tried a ton of new recipes. After the first 2.5 weeks, the negative tired/hungry feelings went away. My runs improved, and my energy levels were great!
Whole30 works for me because it cuts out three main food groups that I know do not work well with my body. Refined/white carbohydrates, added sugar, and dairy are typically not my friend. Over the years and after a few different elimination diets, I know that these contribute to low energy, bloating, and an overall sluggish feeling for me. I also know however that without dairy, I personally struggle to get my daily calcium intake – so I can’t see myself cutting this out 100%. Eliminating refined carbs, sugar and diary are what I have found work for me – but they won’t work for everyone. I highly recommend you try out an elimination diet if you feel as though certain foods may be negatively affecting you!
Although it was a great experience – I don’t think Whole 30 is the best food plan for me (it isn’t designed as a constant eating pattern but I’m just making this statement as if it is). One thing that I struggle to full get behind on the Whole 30 is the absence of legumes. Legumes are nutrient dense, contains carbohydrates protein and healthy fat, and they pack a ton of fiber into one serving. Fiber, and specifically legumes, has been shown to have amazing health benefits. So many studies support the use of beans, lentils, and other legumes as part of a healthy diet – and if one is vegetarian, they are a very important source of protein. I am also a huge believer in variety, and eating foods at the top of the food pyramid (sugar ect.) in very tiny moderation, so cutting out foods entirely isn’t usually something I enjoy.
Overall though, the Whole 30 was a really great experience. I lost 6 lbs during it, and I felt amazing! I will definitely consider doing it again soon (maybe with legumes next time haha).
So I am officially 12 days into the Whole 30! I wanted to write this post to share the ups, downs, and thoughts that I have had so far. Overall, it has been a really positive experience and I am feeling great. Even though the stress of school has elevated significantly from first year, I’m not craving ice cream pints or that everything bagel anymore.
So let’s start with the bad. Most of the negative experiences were during the first 6 days or so. I was eating refined carbohydrates fairly frequently before this, so I did feel a withdraw from the carbs and sugar. The first four days were the worst. I was constantly hungry, tired, and had an off and on headache. I also ran 3 miles on day 2, and it was my slowest 3 miler in a very long time, but nothing was worse then the 5 miler that I tried to do on day 4 – that was downright awful. I probably ended up walking almost 1/3 of my ‘run’. I felt like I had no energy and my head was foggy. Since then, the only negative thing I have been experiencing is a little more fatigue than usual on my long runs. I started eating a sweet potato the day before my long runs to see if it helps – I’ll let you all know how it goes after my 8 miler tomorrow.
So the positives are starting to trickle in. Since around day 7 my hunger has significantly subsided. My energy is elevated and constant – no more mid-day cravings for a venti iced latte. Overall my mood has been good! I’m a little stressed with school work but I’m actually surprised at the lack of external stress manifestation that’s going on comparative to the to do list on my desk. I am also really enjoying the time that I am spending in the kitchen trying new recipes. Below is a carnitas recipe that I modified (added 2 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp onion powder to the rub) and seriously was amazed at how it came out! Nothing like a good crockpot win! Also because I have been thinking a little more about my meals and what I am buying at the grocery store, I am actually saving time spent in the kitchen with my meal planning. So overall I think the positives are starting to outweigh the negatives, but it was a rough start haha!
If you have done Whole 30 before, I’d love to hear how the start of it was for you. Also if you have any good recipes please send them my way!
Carnitas Recipe: <http://www.anyaseats.com/slow-cooker-paleo-pulled-pork/>
So last Monday I started doing the Whole 30, and I wanted to share a little bit about why I decided to do it. Let me start off by saying that I usually don’t support fad diets. Nutrition is an area of research that we still learn about every year, and as one’s medical conditions and activities change, so do their dietary necessities. I also don’t believe that the Whole 30 is the best diet out there – but I do believe that it is one of a few good places to start if you’re interested in changing your diet to benefit your health. I find it hard to believe that any one way of eating is “the best” way of eating. If I’m being critical, I don’t believe absence of all grains, dairy, and legumes is “healthy” (refined sugar on the other hand is a different story). In other words I don’t believe that everyone benefits from cutting out these staples especially since there is a lot of positive research supporting them in health and wellness.
So why did I decide to eliminate sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol, and any refined/processed/chemically laden foods for 30 days? Because I know myself well and I knew this would be a good way to kick my butt back on track. This past summer I got out of sync with my normal eating patterns. I was eating more carbohydrates (think white pasta and everything bagels), and eating less vegetables than I would have liked. My weight increased a bit and my loose pants started to feel snug. I knew I wanted to make a change and I thought the first week of 2nd year organ blocks would be the perfect time to do it.
I personally don’t do great when I say “okay starting Monday I’ll eat healthy”. I know myself and I know that when I implement a behavioral change, I do better with set goals and set guidelines. Whole30 provided me with the goal and guidelines, and all I had to do was follow through. I was also inspired by one of my good friends who successfully completed the Whole30 and saw some really positive results. I did a similar, but more intense, elimination diet last year called the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP) to see if eliminating certain foods would help my chronic eczema. Although the AIP protocol did not help my eczema, I felt amazing overall. I attributed the positive changes in my energy and overall health mainly to the reduction of refined carbohydrates and maybe (still undecided) the reduction of dairy. So when I saw the guidelines for the Whole30, I figured it wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
I’ll update with how the Whole30 is going this weekend, and then again at the end of the 30 days! One thing I will say right now though is that I’m loving exploring new recipes – I made slow cooker carnitas this week that were 100x better than chipotle. If you’re interested in learning more about the Whole30, I’ll post the website link below (realize though the the diet’s website will be inherently biased!). I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Whole30 – please comment below or comment on instagram!
Hi! My name is Caroline Franke and I am a second year medical student in North East Ohio. I love cooking, running, and playing with dogs and kids. I am on a mission to learn as much as I can about nutrition, mental health, and physical well being. Feel free to join along as I try to navigate the world of wellness.
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