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  • Writer's pictureRachel Bennett

30 days of......

So I did a thing that my Dr. had me do… The Whole30. If you've never done it, here's a quick overview. It's pretty much plants and animals only. No sugar or sugar subs, wheat, legumes (sorry peanuts), soy, dairy… you get the picture. You eat like this for 30 days and then spend the next month reintroducing foods into your system and monitor how your body reacts. My doctor and I have been trying to figure out this mystery of why I'm not feeling all that great all the time and so now we're trying an elimination diet to see if there's a food issue. This is not a diet to lose weight. It actually says so in the books. And yes, I bought the books. I have 2 Whole30 books and another book by a different author because I like multiple sources. If you do something new you should never go into it without knowing what it's purpose is and how it's supposed to actually work. And since this is new to me, I thought I'd share just a little bit of the experience with y'all. Because it's like nothing I've ever done before for one big reason. And that big reason is that if you screw up in one tiny little way, YOU HAVE TO START OVER AGAIN. There is no grace, no oopsies, no second chances. You have to start over again. Even if it's day 28.

DAY 1 -

First day on the new diet (because that's exactly what this is… a diet) and it’s the day after my husband's birthday. I was thankful that I didn't have a hangover from the margaritas we had from his celebration dinner. The main goal for the first week is to just stay compliant with what I can eat. The secondary goals were to get enough protein and water throughout the day because that's what my body is used to. I took the whole day off to meal prep and just wrap my brain around what I was going to be doing over the next 30 days.

Day 5 -

By the end of the week I was feeling pretty good. Any bloating I had been feeling was completely gone and I was moving so much better. I felt confident that I could do this over the next 25 days and then I started getting ready to meal prep for the next week. OMG food is expensive when you don't have all the added sugars and preservatives!!!!

Day 7 -

I didn't have time to meal prep this past weekend because of swim meets and catchup Christmas time with family (thank you COVID) so I'm trying to get it done in the middle of work. I can only prep for a few days at a time. It's so much food to prep. This is so hard but I'm a week in and so determined.

Day 10 -

In the book, she says that around day 10 you should just ask your family for forgiveness for anything that you say and boy was she right. It was like my eyes had sugar seeking sensors on them. That's all they saw. And every time I saw a piece of candy (that was on the top of the fridge tucked away barely in sight) I was infuriated that I couldn't have it. I was not a happy person to be around. And yes, I had to ask for forgiveness for action like a big ole b-word to my family and I think maybe my employees.

Day 13 -

The plan was to spend a few hours meal prepping. I had no idea I was going to spend all afternoon meal prepping. I swear, next week... I'm just having salads and deal with it. I know I'll get tired of it but who cares. This is annoying. But on the plus side, I've realized that I have slept hard every night since day 4. I used to take melatonin every night but some of the ingredients are non-compliant and I can no longer take them and now I don't miss them. This is an interesting turn.

Day 18 -

We have company coming over to check out our new firepit and the kids are going to roast hot dogs and do smores. I have my organic hotdogs ready to go and my homemade sweet potato hummus in hand so that I can feel like one of the gang. But sadly, it only took the joy out of it. I was so fixated on the food that I couldn't have for 60% of the time that it just made me sad. I tried my best to just enjoy the kiddos, but hated that when they wanted to share a smore I had to say no thank you. I don't like being left out. And while I am used to making choices all the time that are healthy, I don't like not having a choice. This was a really really tough night. After our friends left, my husband and I talked and we won't be entertaining anymore until after I'm done.

Day 22 -

I can't believe I'm in the single digits. Eight more days and I can start to reintroduce foods back in. I'm so excited for that glass of wine! Y'all don't even know. I have already made a spreadsheet of the foods that I'm introducing and when, along with a list of potential affects that they might have on my body. It's all about the preparation no matter how anal retentive it makes me appear.

Day 27 -

I decided to go ahead and run a 10k I'd scheduled this morning. With all the racing I've done, nutrition has been a big part of my training and this was very new. I was afraid I would run out of energy fast because honestly doing the whole30 doesn't keep with me with enough slow burning fuel. I did it. I walked a little, but ran mostly. I had a buddy who pushed my pace and I'm glad that I ran. But later in the day I felt so sore and so tired. Battery officially drained.

Day 28 -

I'm so close to the end. And yesterday's race is definitely showing up today. I'm more sore than I normally am and I don't feel like last night's sleep was very restful. So today was a little rough and I'm tired. It doesn't help that I'm now hormonal and want to eat all the chocolate on the planet, but it's only 2 more days. I've got this.

Day 30 (or the morning after) -

I made it. I did the whole30 and never strayed off of diet. I didn't wake up feeling like I earned a new badge or leveled up. But I am happy that I once again proved to myself that I could stick with something consistently for a whole month and never stray… nutritionally that is.

So now it's done. I'm going to be brutally honest. It was hard. For a few reasons.

  • Training to run with very low carbs is hard.

  • Grocery shopping is expensive when you can't have most preservatives and sugar

  • It didn't really make me feel as amazing as the books claimed. I didn't feel like I had tiger blood or huge bursts of energy.

But I committed and I did it. But here are some of the benefits.

  • My bloating went away almost immediately

  • I lost 10 lbs (mostly in due to decreased bloating and inflammation)

  • I was forced to evaluate some of my bad habits like licking spoons and eating when I'm not hungry

  • I drank water… with no added flavor, just water. It'd been a long time since I did that consistently. And I don't plan on stopping.

  • I've realized that most of the symptoms that my doctor and I are trying to understand are mainly hormonal. And possibly that something that I eliminated is triggering hot flashes and fatigue that normally would only hit me around my cycle. Answers! I feel like we're getting close to answers!

So now it's done. Now I get to tackle the reintroduction of foods that I need and that I miss. Nerd alert…. Yes, I have spreadsheets to track it all so the next month will be interesting. But first things first…. WINE!!! I can finally have WINE!!!



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