After I finished my first round (see part I and part II) of Whole30, I didn’t think I would do another one so quickly. However, I had some interest from people that I really wanted to see succeed, so I decided to start another round and try and help encourage others to do it with me. I started round 2 just a few weeks after ending my first round. But those few weeks were enough to eat junk (hello, Easter candy I had hidden . . .) and start feeling sluggish again. I got a group of about 15 people doing it the second time. Only about 6 of us actually completed the Whole30 . . . but that’s okay – it isn’t for everyone.
It ended up being really great for me to do two rounds. I am glad I didn’t wait too long before doing the second one, because it wasn’t as hard to get back into. I was still in the groove of cooking 3 meals a day and eating snacks that were Whole30 compliant.
A couple of things that were different this time:
1. I made my own mayo and ranch dressing and used a lot of fresh herbs. That really helped add variety!
2. I used recipes from the new Whole30 book, and each one I tried was FABULOUS. My mom and sister also tried lots of the recipes and loved them.
3. I woke up early every day and got going – and was way more productive (which I didn’t think was possible). After the first 10 days or so when the bloating and tiredness started to wear off, I felt fabulous and had the “tigerblood” they talk about. My energy was plentiful and constant, and I slept soundly each night. My workouts were AWESOME. It’s hard to describe, but they were just so much better, and more effective, I felt?!?
4. I didn’t stress AS much. I didn’t each things on purpose that weren’t compliant, but I had a couple of tiny slip ups (with added ingredients, no ice cream or anything) that I didn’t let bother me.
5. I didn’t snack. The first round, I still had more snacks than I should have – so I made a goal this time to really figure out what would keep me full in between meals and from the evening to morning. A major part of this was eating more for my evening meal. The first round I ate random stuff for that meal because it was the end of the day and I was just throwing things together, but this time I made a conscious effort and it really helped. I felt fine all evening and didn’t need to snack.
6. I ate more vegetables. I ate a lot of fruit the first time. Not too much, but I wanted to up my veggies this time around.
7. I added in fresh green vegetable juice. I had a juice almost every day this round and it helped immensely. I love my juice – it makes such a huge difference in my day.
It was a great experience to do Whole30. I probably won’t do it again any time soon, because I feel it’s a good reset program and I think I have a pretty good idea of what works for me and my diet. It might be a good idea to do every year or so to get back on track.
What I learned during this process was invaluable. The biggest take away for me is seeing the potential that exists if we simply feed ourselves real food. I have always known that food is powerful and I will say it until my dying breath . . . but really getting to know what works well for me in regards to what I feed my body, has changed me.
I have more power over my food choices. I have never been a food addict or an emotional eater, but sometimes I would eat things just because they were there, or because other people were eating them. Now I have this knowledge that I don’t have to do that! If something isn’t 100% worth the distress it might cause me, I won’t eat it now. I am thinking more and more about what goes into my mouth, and what it’s going to do for my body. If I decide that even though a treat may not be healthy for me, it’s worth it and I want it anyway, then I will have it and deal with the consequences. That is powerful.
Besides the emotional change with food, I lost a total of 14 lbs from the beginning of my first round until today. I also went down 8.75 inches total over my body. That is A LOT for me. I am in the best shape of my life. I feel stronger and healthier than ever, and am still improving each day. I was going into this with a little bit of post-baby weight, but not a lot. I was mostly just a little out of shape. So now I am below my pre-pregnancy weight . . . from any of my four babies. The important thing is: I am healthy. That has always been my goal – to feel healthy and strong.