Things I learned while completing the #Whole30

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Today is Day 31.  It is with great happiness to day I have completed my longest endurance event ever. Thirty days of home cooking and eating meat.  In the end I lost 6.2 pounds and 2% body fat.  My hip-to-waist ratio increased as I seem to have lost fat in my bum/hips/chests/wrists and not my waist. (What gives?).

Other noticeable changes included sleeping better at night and reducing Achilles tendonitis (AT) and plantar fasciitis (PF) pain.  The improved sleep patterns starts the first week but I wonder if this is partly due to my body having all that meat to digest.  The AT and PF pain reduction have really become apparent in the last 2 weeks.  I want to maintain my #Whole30 primarily to see if it will be completely alleviated.  I am aiming to eat #Whole30 at home but not panic so much about eating out.  One decision I am still weighing out to beans and legumes.  But first I have planned a momentary blip for my 4th wedding anniversary. Bring on the pizza and wine! 

During the last 30 days, I learned a lot about myself, my friends, and my husband.  Here are a few highlights:

1.  Some foods are worth getting cut up rather than in their natural form: butternut squash, mango, pineapple. Trust me on this.

Nut butter-covered banana. Not very
photogenic.
2.  I have more willpower than I thought (except when it comes to nut butter-covered bananas). Hopefully I can stay on the straight and narrow at work by avoiding Mountain Dew and cookies in the canteen.

3.  Diet Coke doesn't have to be part of my daily routine. I am still curious if it will have the same appeal now.  Have my taste buds changed?  Happy to say I have a stock of peppermint tea to power me through sleepy mornings at work.

4.  There is a lot of planning and food prep involved, which means lots of dishes too. If you don't have a dishwasher, but sure your partner is on board.  Also, stock up on Tupperware that doesn't leak as you will be bringing food with you everywhere you go.

5.  I am capable of starting something and finishing it. My mom will be so proud!

6.  Chicken isn't so bad when you add spices to it. Neither is lamb or ground beef.  But I never tried pig, venison or horse.  Might incorporate these into the next round.

My first steak at The Fellow
7.  There is sugar in everything! Seriously people.  Read those food labels.  Aim for full-fat food as it usually has less chemicals and sugar. 

8.  Even if my friends think I am crazy, they are still supportive.  Big thanks to my husband, Leah, Danielle, and my few #Whole30 Twitter friends for their support.  Also, thanks to Christian and Leigh for buying me my first steak and letting me restrict your London eating experience a little bit.

9.  Any program where I can have avocado and sweet potato on a daily basis is ok by me.  These are possibly my 2 favorite foods and I didn't get sick of them.   Hurray! I wish I could say the same about hard-boiled eggs.

10.  Eating meat impacts the earth and climate change. (Pardon me while I get on my soapbox).  My husband is a flexitarian, which means he eats meat only a couple times per week or when it would go to waste or when we are on holiday.  He saw a lecture once about how reduction in meat consumption would have the greatest effect on CO2 emissions (this Guardian article n scientific research provides some examples).  We never had meat in the house until 30 days ago (only because I didn't know how to cook it at the time and he couldn't bothered cooking for one).  At the beginning of my #Whole30, there were several TV programs about meat consumption and global impact (e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04fhb90) which means we spent a lot of time talking about how much meat I was eating.  My argument was that after not eating meat for 20 years, I had a bit of 'credit' built up I could use for 30 days.


Part of the ethos of #Whole30 is eating local and using all the parts of the animal.  For my first go, I didn't worry too much about this.  When/if I continue, I will definitely take this into account and be selective on when I consume meat.

How is this not appetizing?

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