- I finished the Whole30.
- I moved to Washington, D.C.
- I finished the Whole30 WHILE moving to Washington, D.C.
Needless to say, I’m pretty freaking proud of myself. Let’s start with a recap of Week Four and I’ll share my thoughts from the past few days.
I’m not going to lie, this week was an eat-or-starve disaster. I spent the first part of the week looking at apartments in D.C., so traveling was not my friend. I ended up bringing bananas through airport security and picking my way through restaurants and grocery stores. Super super super difficult, but I wasn’t about to give up on my final week. Once I got back home, I was feeling good. Once again, these plantain fritters came in clutch as an amazing breakfast. I also loaded up on a lot of fresh fruit this week to keep my sugar cravings at bay.
I also brought out a recipe I had long forgotten from my pageant prep days—bacon wrapped sweet potatoes. They’re as easy as they sound—just wrap sweet potato wedges in bacon and bake until cooked through and golden. Seriously amazing with some leftover rotisserie chicken. Big big fan of this meal.
I did NOT have time to take a picture of my road trip snacks, but I’ll give them to you here: bananas, cut up grapes and pineapples, Apple Pie and Pecan Pie LARABARS, and unsweetened dried apricots and figs. To break up the fruit overload, I did find some random grilled chicken at a gas station that I ate without questioning its contents. Girl’s gotta eat, y’all.
After a crazy day of driving/moving, I was happy to start this day at a coffee shop not a block from my new apartment building. They originally served this bacon, brussels, and butternut hash on waffles, but I asked them to throw some potatoes in for a Whole30 compliant and freaking delicious meal.
And so that brings me to today. The final day of the Whole30. What did I get out of all of this?
Extremes go in both directions. I decided to do the Whole30 because of my extremely sugar and processed food laden diet over the holidays. However, extreme bad eating is not really fixed by extreme “good” eating. There were a lot of foods I ended up missing that I KNOW I’m not intolerant to (grains, rice, soy) that I still had to cut out for the sake of the Whole30. This caused me to be overly reliant on things that are probably unhealthy in excess (i.e. fruit and nut butters) to survive. A little moderation in all areas is probably a better approach.
Sugar is ADDICTIVE! Seriously. Although I have cut grains and dairy from my diet before, cutting out any added sugar was a total game-changer. For the first few weeks, it meant breakouts, headaches, digestive issues, and less energy. For the last few weeks, it meant a more constant supply of energy and a significant change in the way my body looked and felt. While I didn’t do the Whole30 to lose weight (and still have not bothered to step on a scale) my stubborn midsection bloating definitely got reduced (even my rings have gotten a little looser). Being so mindful of added sugar was probably the most beneficial thing I learned from my experience.
Live in kindness (to yourself!) I definitely think that the Whole30 served its purpose in giving me a reset for the new year and helping me to redefine my relationship with food. However, it’s not meant to be a long-term diet, with many nutritionists saying it’s far too restrictive. Eating the Whole30 way helped me to realize that my body feels good when I fuel it with good, unprocessed foods. While a lot of foods TASTE good (I’m looking at you, doughnuts) they don’t always make me feel the greatest. While the Whole30 discouraged replicating “cheat” foods with healthy variations, I think it’s important for boosting morale. Eating well is no fun if you don’t feel like you can go out or give yourself a treat once in awhile. It’s all about balance.
I’m glad that I made the choice to do the Whole30—it really was something that I learned a lot from, especially when it comes to mindful eating. Although I wouldn’t recommend doing it while traveling (or moving halfway across the country!) I think even trying it for one or two weeks is really beneficial. Moving forward, I’m hoping to learn and develop the art of moderation, as well as bringing to the blog some health-hacked versions of my favorite foods (because good food should taste good!).
Blog post on DC life to come soon…stay tuned and pray that I’ll go easy on the peanut butter tomorrow.