thoughts on whole30

Post whole30 steak quinoa salad

I chose to write this post versus another weekly recap because I, in all honestly, really stopped following Whole30 guidelines last week. I started adding brown rice (as a condiment) into meals. I became less stringent about added sugars. I (gasp) ate cheese. These were conscious decisions I made during a very difficult week to help lift an additional burden off of my shoulders. I didn’t go out and order pizza and eat all the candy, but when I accidentally took the chicken curry that had rice I didn’t have a full-on freak out like I may have had a couple weeks ago.

The creators of the Whole30 always say that the program is not meant to last 365 days. From the start, I fully intended on transitioning out of its stringent rules, but still keeping some of the spirit of the program in my everyday life. I probably needed the full 30 days to feel more physical effects, but I didn’t need 30 days to figure out how I want to be eating.

Post whole30 stuffed peppers

Some of my personal takeaways:

  • I really did not miss cheese. I was obsessed with cheese a month ago. Scrambled eggs had more cheese than egg. Cheese just had to be a massive part of an otherwise healthy chili. Cheese was sometimes my dinner. Now? Cheese is just a tasty condiment…if I even really want it.
  • I do want milk in my coffee. I am not a fan of black coffee, even with my super awesome high-quality small-batch locally roasted beans. I don’t need flavor, but I really, really, really prefer using some cream or whole milk to cut through the coffee.
  • Fat is not the enemy. I’m so much more satisfied when I use whole-fat dairy or include half an avocado as a creamy topping to chili. Cooking fats bring more flavor to foods. Fat keeps you satisfied until your next meal, which leads to less snacking.
  • I’m not a fan of ground beef anything. I’d much prefer turkey burgers and chicken chili, but I also recognize that I need to switch up my meat intake once in a while, too.
  • I really don’t need bread. Rice and other grains don’t need to make up the bulk of my meal. Beans do cause me some discomfort that I’d like to avoid.

I could sit here and make up new rules to follow based on what I’ve learned, but I’m not going to do that. I’m really just going to pay attention to my body and play it from there. I may have nights where dinner is cheese and wine (like yesterday’s Spanish cheese trio and tempranillo), and when that happens I’ll have a better day the next day. That’s really all you can do.

This was a good experience, but I’m happy to feel like a normally-functioning person again.

PS: You can read all of my Whole30 posts here.

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