Whole 30 is something I never really thought I would partake in. If I'm being completely honest, I used to think it was just a trend (and it is very trendy), but when my doctor recommended I do a Whole 30, I agreed. I honestly went in with minimal expectations and was pretty low key about it all. After all, I eat about 75% Whole 30-ish on any given day, could the 25% "ish" really make that much of a difference? Well, it turns out it can and I'm pretty excited to share my top 5 revelations from my Whole 30 experience!
Before I share these personal revelations, I want to mention that I didn't weigh/measure myself before, during or after Whole 30. There was zero part of this that had anything to do with body size/appearance and I honestly couldn't tell you what changes, if any, took place. I'm 10 months post partum and still navigating the journey of what my body was like then vs now, and I'm at peace with the process.
Revelation #1. I had way more added sugars in my diet than I realized. I'm not sure if I was in denial or just completely oblivious or maybe a little of both, but between coffee creamer, nut/seed butters and granola bars, it was adding up big time! To my point earlier, most of what I eat is "healthy-ish". My coffee creamer is almond milk based, my granola bars are gluten-free, have real ingredients you can see/pronounce, etc. etc., but I was completely overlooking the sugars. I'm not saying you need a sugar-free diet (that's crazy), but I am saying it can add up over the course of a day and I truly realize that now.
Revelation #2. I was rarely meal prepping before Whole 30. I can't believe it took me a Whole 30 to realize this but I was rarely planning our meals and sticking to that plan. I would have loose idea and then often resort to old faithfuls like breakfast for dinner, gluten-free spaghetti and meat sauce, salad with protein on top, etc. None of these meals are bad but we were honestly in a little bit of a meal rut and not actually using all the produce I was getting for the week. Which leads me to the next thing I learned!
Revelation #3. I hate to admit it, but I was wasting a lot of food. Like a lot. As a busy stay at home/working at home mama and with a hubby who often works nights, there's not a ton of motivation to cook a meal every night. Once Joy goes down, I'm beat and often would resort to a bowl of cereal, breakfast for dinner or sometimes just heavy snacks. All the produce I purchased with good intentions were living a lonely life in the fridge and often times didn't get used, which is just awful! Yes, Whole 30 is strict and some take issue with its strictness but for me it forced me to meal plan and stick to that plan. I'm forever grateful for this realization and even post Whole 30 I'm meal planning and prepping like a boss (below is one of my favorite simple Whole 30 approved recipes- Herb Crusted Sockeye Salmon)!
Revelation #4. I have a mad passion for pecan butter. Seriously, y'all. Honest to goodness no other ingredient pecan butter was slathered on sweet potatoes, bananas, a spoon and medjool dates. If I took nothing else away from my Whole 30 other than a pecan butter discovery it would have been worth it. Georgia Grinders is my favorite in case you're wondering!
Revelation #5. There is so much power in listening to your body. I have a very clinical background and multiple nutrition degrees. I value evidenced based nutrition, but I also think there's high value in listening to what actually works for your body. About 2 1/2 years ago I went on an elimination diet in hopes of resolving GERD (spoiler alert- it worked) and I was super skeptical at the time that gluten or dairy could be the culprit. To make a very long story short, I don't do well with either. I've had every test under the sun to show I don't have an allergy or sensitivity to gluten but I feel completely wrecked after any accidental exposure (I say accidental because I haven't intentionally eaten gluten in 2 1/2 years). Going on a Whole 30 allowed me to really pay attention to how I felt on a diet slightly different from my norm and also see how I feel after when I reintroduce certain foods back in.
I'm so thankful for this experience and if you're read this far- thank you! I'd love to know what your biggest takeaways were from your Whole 30 or any questions you have about trying one yourself!
Welcome to KISS in the Kitchen! I'm Shannon, and my dad always told me "Keep it simple, Shannon". And that's what you'll find here- simple recipes and simple ideas to help you get healthier and happier.