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My Whole30 Experience

2020-02-28 | By: Laurel

After a few months of eating out more than I should, holiday parties, and digestive issues, I decided that I needed to make a lifestyle and diet change. Especially moving into the new decade! 

I am a relatively healthy person. I love green smoothies, have a slight avocado obsession, and consume a large amount of greens at every meal. However, with an intolerance to gluten and dairy, I still run into many different digestive issues and, after the holiday season, I desperately needed a diet reset.

Whole30 caught my attention because out of all of the “fad” diets it felt the most attainable to keep up with long-term and revolves around real, healthy foods. With each round only lasting 30 days, it was the perfect way to kick off the new year. 

Whole30 diet is made up of meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit, natural fats, herbs, and spices. Things you cannot eat while on Whole30 are added sugars, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, or processed foods. The only tweak I made to the standard Whole30 diet was to try it Vegan.  

I kicked off 2020 by starting Whole30 on January 1st. The first few days were a breeze, even without eating animal products. I was feeling more energized than I had felt in months. Some of these feelings may be credited to it being a new year and a fresh start. However, even while feeling great I did miss my evening bowl of vegan ice cream and overall felt hungrier than usual.

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At about day ten I realized that I most likely wasn’t getting enough protein without animal products or legumes. I was supplementing with nuts and seeds but started to lose that energy I had at the beginning of the month and  repeatedly felt sluggish at about 3:00 pm. Because of this, I decided that I should add eggs and seafood back into my diet for the second half of the month.

After adding just a  few animal products back into my diet, I felt much better, had less brain fog, got my energy back and felt satiated longer after each meal. My skin started to clear up and I actually didn’t miss many of the foods that I had eliminated at the start of the Whole30. When a craving for a snack or junk food hit, I made myself a warm cup of cinnamon tea - It did the trick! 

An average day during my Whole30 journey looked like this:  

Breakfast:

  • Warm water with lemon
  • Homemade green juice
  • Scrambled eggs with greens

Lunch:

  • Sweet potato bowl that consisted of sweet potato, kale, cucumber, avocado

Snack:

  • Cinnamon tea
  • Nuts with dried fruit or a date

Dinner:

  • Fish with roasted veggies covered in olive oil, olives, and artichokes

After dinner:

  • Tea

Throughout the month, I quickly found that my biggest struggle with Whole30 was maintaining a social life. I was only able to go out to eat one time but more than that, I felt excluded from events that revolved around junk foods or drinking. Because of this I felt slightly disconnected from friends and family throughout my 30 days.

January 31st arrived, and I almost wanted to keep going with the diet! I felt light, energetic and healthy! As an added bonus, I actually lost 8 pounds in the 30 days I was on the diet. The only reason I decided to return to my usual diet was so that I could get back to a more social life. 

Moving forward I will continue to incorporate the Whole30 principles in my diet. However, I will add legumes, oatmeal, and quinoa back into my regular menu along with poultry. Every now and then I’ll allow myself to indulge in vegan ice cream or a glass of red wine with friends because YOLO, but I truly am not missing other non-Whole30 approved foods like I thought I would!

In my personal opinion, I think Whole30 is a fantastic reset for anyone, no matter how “healthy” you are, if you want to lose weight, or just feel like the best version of yourself. I will definitely be doing the Whole30 diet again!  

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