Sunday marked the “end” of my Whole 30 eating challenge. But it’s just the beginning of a new way of thinking about food.
Over the last 30 days, I eliminated dairy, gluten, wheat, sugar (including wine, excluding a moderate amount of fresh fruit) and the so-called “bad fats”. I didn’t eat beans or grains (even quinoa) and only limited types of nuts. I learned to drink my coffee with coconut milk, and I didn’t even indulge in the s’more layer birthday cake I made from scratch for Jack’s birthday. I went to happy hours and out to dinner with relative ease, sticking to water, both flat and sparkling.
“How much weight did you lose?” a few friends have asked. The rules of Whole 30 included no hitting the scales, but I checked this morning, and the answer is two pounds. Weight loss was not the point though; the benefits have been much more extensive. I have more energy because I’m sleeping better. The inflammation around my gut has decreased. My skin looks amazing. The only time I found myself ravenously hungry was when I didn’t get enough protein at the previous meal. Oddly, I really haven’t craved anything and didn’t cheat. No one ever believes me, but it’s true. When you give your body what it needs, you lose the taste for the bad stuff.
I don’t intend to sound preachy, so skeptical readers, don’t take it that way. We all have our own particular relationship with food, and mine is reward driven. “I’ve had a bad day, so I deserve this” and “I worked out today so it’s okay to indulge” are phrases that frequently swirled around my head. But I was “rewarding” myself by ingesting foods/beverages that actually don’t make me feel better. What’s up with that?
Many people wondered what my first meal would be once I’m off the plan. But with the exception of indulging in a glass of wine or a nice piece of cheese now and then, I plan to remain compliant with the Whole 30 plan. So this morning, I had the breakfast I pictured on the first day: hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, avocado.