We are done with Whole30, now what?

By February 20, 2014December 16th, 2014Food, Paleo, Whole30

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Ack! Time just gets away from me during the week. I’ve been working on a writing intensive project at work, and by the time I am through with my day, all I want to do is work out and read books. I’ve been reading voraciously lately — but that’s another post.

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My ginormous salad and waffle fry splurge. Salads have become my best friend.

We officially finished Whole30 over the weekend and celebrated with our group at a restaurant Monday night. In discussions with Neil and the group, I definitely think we came away with a lot of mixed feelings about Whole30, but find ourselves arriving at many of the same conclusions: 

  • Although we were excited to see and experience the positive results of Whole30, we agreed that long-term, it’s not a sustainable way of eating if you are shooting for balance in your diet. For most of us, that’s due in big part to the lack of alcohol, overall beverage and dietary variety.
  • We all encountered a wall early on when we attempted to maintain the same food quantity we ate prior and realized that we simply had to eat more on Whole30 than our normal diets in order to feel energetic and satiated. More food = more prep = tedious. Many of us ended up batching a lot of food and eating the same things over and over just to save time.
  • Most of us experienced some loss in enthusiasm about food/eating, which was only made up partially by the fact that we felt good about eating really clean.
  • We felt socially isolated and unable to go out or spend time with friends. We found ourselves declining invitations for movies, dinners out, and time with family simply because of food.
  • While I think we all agreed that we don’t plan on continuing Whole30, most of us really want to continue eating clean on a much more manageable level to manage the progress we’ve experienced with Whole30.

Neil and I definitely voted that we had a lack of enthusiasm about eating and cooking. To be honest, it just became a chore. And some foods got old fast. I don’t think either of us will be touching almonds for a while, and I think I’ve had about enough of bacon.

Despite what feels mostly negative, our stint with Whole30 did bring about some results we’re absolutely in love with:

  • Food journaling has been much easier to make habit than I thought. With programs like MyFitnessPal, so much of the math and guesswork are completely removed. And it keeps me accountable and much more aware of the ratios I’m eating.
  • We’ve almost completely lost our taste for soda (I still like Sprite).
  • We desire to snack very little. Eating whole, complete meals with lots of veggies keep us full longer and we don’t want to waste our daily eats on filler.
  • We crave less junk. I still keep dark chocolate around, but we have a lot less processed food and dessert lying around.
  • We’re now very intentional about structuring the timing of certain foods throughout the day. More on that soon.

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Everything in moderation right?

I definitely want to resume the habits we maintained prior to HOA and the holiday season and combine them with some of the new things we developed over the course of Whole30. I feel leaner and more energetic than I have in months, and I really think that’s sustainable through clean eating on a much more balanced level.

We still have some more thoughts about Whole30, including some tips and our the foods and products that absolutely saved our butts over the course of 30 days. Definitely look for that coming next week!