Throughout the month of March, Jesse and I decided to try Whole30 for the first time! Not familiar with Whole30? Here’s a quick breakdown:
30 days. No sugar. No grains. No legumes. No dairy. No alcohol.
Sounds crazy, right? So, you’re probably wondering, why did we do it?
Last year, Jesse and I heard about Whole30 from some friends who were giving it a try. Ever since then, Jesse and I made a deal that we would try it out after we got married and got settled into our apartment together. Well, that time finally came, and we felt more ready than ever - especially after all of the rich, indulgent meals we enjoyed over the holidays. So, we did our homework, made a plan, and started our Whole30 journey at the end of February.
The main goal of the Whole30 is to help you change your relationship with food. It’s so easy for us to consume without thinking; the Whole30 helps you take a step back and put more thought into what you are feeding your body. Many people often discover that the foods listed above can have a negative impact on their bodies, so taking time to actively cut out those foods for 30 days can reveal so much about how our bodies work and what they truly need in order to thrive.
Now that we’ve completed the 30 days (YAY!), I would love to share my Whole30 thoughts and experiences with you. If you’re interested in trying the Whole30, perhaps this blog post will help give you some encouragement and inspiration!
My Top Three Discoveries About Myself and My Body
1. I thought I was living a healthy lifestyle before Whole30, but it turns out, I wasn’t. Everyday, I was running around from school, to work, and back again, without properly preparing myself for a healthy day. Whether it was grabbing an iced coffee from Starbucks, picking up a “quick bite to eat” at Tim Hortons, or mindlessly eating treats at the office, I was never really paying attention to what I was doing to my body. During Whole30, I quickly learned that you can’t often rely on outside businesses or restaurants to keep you properly nourished. You’ve got to take care of that on your own (as much as possible).
2. Sugar is hiding in everything! On day one of Whole30, I felt absolutely terrible before it was even lunch time! At first, I couldn’t figure out why. But then, I gave it some deeper thought, and realized that on a normal day, I was giving my body SO much sugar before NOON! Toast with jam, pre-packaged oatmeal, coffee sweetened with sugar or honey - that’s a LOT of sugar first thing in the morning! It took my body a few days to get over the major sugar withdrawals, but after that, things really started to look up from there.
3. Eating whole and healthy foods for 30 days completely transformed my mind and body! I could spend hours talking about all of the amazing changes I started noticing about my body. But, to list a few: I had the BEST sleeps of my life, I had SO much energy all day long, I could think and focus more clearly, my sinus issues subsided immensely, and I don’t think I ever had an upset stomach.
My Top Five Tips For Success
1. My biggest tip for Whole30 success is: DO NOT SET FOOT into a grocery store until you’ve sat down, made a menu for your week and written out a proper grocery list. Not only will this save you time at the grocery store (because you’ll know exactly what you need to buy), but it will also prevent you from wasting food; every item that you put in your shopping cart will have a specific purpose and thus, will be eaten within the week. Plus, it also feels SO great to come home from work and know exactly what’s on the menu for dinner.
2. Pick a night of the week to do some food prep. For me, it’s Sundays. Get out your cutting board, your mason jars, your tupperware containers, and get chopping! Whether your prepping some veggies for tomorrow’s dinner, or cutting up some fruit for tomorrow’s lunch, it’s going to help you stay on track, big time!
3. Always have Whole30 snacks on hand. You never know when you’re going to need a little pick-me-up in the middle of the day. Keep snacks everywhere! Your car, your desk at work, your gym bag - you will thank me later. My favourite on-the-go Whole30 approved snacks are: grapes, apples, bananas, pistachios, apple chips, chopped up veggies, Larabars (check the ingredients first), and homemade energy bites (see recipe below).
4. Get inspired and try new things! You’re already challenging yourself by giving up so many comforting and familiar foods for 30 days - you may as well keep stepping outside of your comfort zone and give some new foods and recipes a try! To get you started, I’ve listed my top five favourite Whole30 recipes down below. Pinterest was a lifesaver for finding great Whole30 recipes!
5. Take this opportunity to learn to listen to your body better. Pay closer attention to how it behaves from hour to hour, and think more deeply about what your body is actually asking of you. Does it need more water? Does it need a boost of natural sugar? Does it need a good night’s rest? The more you stop to listen to your body and pay attention to what it’s asking of you, the better you can take care of it. I found that by the end of the 30 days, I was way more in tune with my body and what makes it truly happy and healthy.
My Top Five Whole30 Recipes
1. This Paleo Pad Thai recipe was my absolute favourite!
2. Tacos! Here’s a recipe for Spicy Shrimp Tacos. Substitute the tortillas with lettuce.
3. These homemade Energy Bites were the perfect afternoon snack.
4. Jesse killed these incredible Chili Lime Chicken Wings.
5. Can’t forget about soup! Here’s our favourite Tomato Basil Soup recipe.
And finally, here are some photos of meals and snacks that I made throughout the month of March. If you have any questions about my meals, or anything pertaining to my Whole30 experience, feel free to write me a message here. Enjoy!