We completed the Whole 30 on March 2. I’m writing this review a few weeks late because: 1) I was traveling that week and the following week. 2) I hit the ground running at my new job as CTO at Praxis.
Here is how the final week went:
Successes this week
- The final week was fairly easy. We were in the groove from the previous three weeks and we stayed on track pretty easily, despite lots of temptations around us.
- I visited my family in Ohio for a few days before my birthday and they were very flexible and helped me find things I could eat. One day they had people over to have burgers, so I ate mine on lettuce without a bun. My aunt brought over a plate of roasted veggies, which was delicious.
- My grandma made me a “Whole 30 birthday cake” that was really an apple with a candle in it, garnished with blackberries and raspberries with almonds stuck in them.
- I introduced my parents to cauliflower fried rice. It was a beautiful 70F day, so I cooked it in a wok out on their porch.
- I made two dishes that I think will be regulars in our house now: Breakfast bowls and a veggie & protein bowl. Recipes forthcoming.
- Amanda and I found another Paleo restaurant in NYC: Springbone. (The other one we already knew about is Hu Kitchen.)
Difficulties this week
- I traveled for most of the final week, which meant that I had to eat out A LOT. Staying compliant required a lot of extra work and planning ahead.
- Amanda packed me some fruit and meat snacks for my road trip.
- I drove out of my way on 80/90 in PA to find a Jimmy John’s and have a lettuce wrap.
- I hit up Chipotle at least three times. No beans, no rice, double meat, fajita veggies, add guac.
- I scouted out places at each airport where I could find compliant meals. Plum Market in the Detroit airport was the best: I got a huge plate of carnitas, roasted broccoli, and roasted cauliflower.
- I kept cashews in my backpack. That saved me on a few long flights.
- Restaurants will almost always sub any starch or bread with veggies if you ask nicely.
- My birthday dinner was not what I had hoped, but I stuck it out for a few extra days to finish out the month before I got doughnuts and that burger from The Spotted Pig on day 31. It was delicious, but it made me feel like crap. Days 32 and 33 we were compliant again.
What I ate
Since I was traveling without Amanda for most of the week I didn’t keep detailed notes on what either of us ate. All I have to go off of are my photos, so here they are:
- Amanda and I are both down 14lbs each and a few pants sizes. I had to cut a new hole in my favorite belt and Amanda had to go buy new smaller work clothes.
- We learned a lot about what kind of food gives us energy and what makes us feel like crap. It is very difficult to figure this out unless you restrict your diet significantly for a period of time. If you do that and then reintroduce things like sugar and bread back into your diet, you’ll see how quickly your energy and mood changes.
- We learned about how much prepared food has sugar in it. Avoiding it requires attention to detail, discipline, and planning.
- For the first time in four years, we’ve gotten through the worst part of winter without getting sick. Not even a cold.
- We are sticking with 80% of the Whole 30. We are eating legumes again, but primarily still staying away from grains, dairy, and sugar.
- We are picking our indulgences instead of indulging in everything. Instead of copious mediocre candy bars, we’ll pick the best cookie we can find and just have one. Saying compliant instead of having fast food so that we can have the best pizza in the area the next day.
- We are drinking alcohol again, but less frequently. We are following the principle above: Instead of drinking a few bottles of beer, we’ll have a cocktail or a few fingers of good whiskey.
- Despite not being strict now that the dedicated month is over, we are still losing weight because we changed our approach to food.
- As I write this, we are at a coffee shop that has some of the best cookies in the area. We each got one, only ate half, and were done because they are so rich. Before the Whole 30, we would have devoured the whole thing within a few minutes.
- Staying strict on the Whole 30 long-term is probably unrealistic for our lifestyle right now, but staying 80-90% compliant is doable. Continued weight loss and having more energy is a definite driver for us.
- You’ll probably see meals posted here with a heavier vegetable influence, reflecting our change in food consumption.