February 22, 2013

Whole30 Round 2: Wrap Up (For Real This Time)

So here's the thing, I told myself I was going to do a Whole60 or Whole90. This was an autoimmune protocol experiment. And I'm going to be honest with you, after 30 days, I was ready to quit. And I did. Well...I went a little longer than 30 days, but let's just say I did a Whole30®.

Livin the Crunchy Life: Whole30 Results

Now, at 20ish days since I ended this second Whole30, I haven't introduced any gluten. But guess what I did have?


Oh Starbucks, how you lure me in with your steamy cups of sugary creamy coffee. And even though I haven't touched you in months, a long sleepless weekend seems to bring me back.

There should be an emergency support line for these moments. Maybe a number you call with a recording that says, "If you drink that latte, your skin will break out and your eczema will flare and it won't taste as good as you remember anyway." (That one was specifically for me. These recordings would be personalized of course.) Then instead of paying $4 for said latte that really wasn't that satisfying or delicious and did cause a break out and congestion, instead, I would go home and make myself a cup of coffee or tea. With no crazy ingredients involved (unless you think putting butter in coffee is crazy).

But you know what -- I will never drink a Starbucks latte again. So not worth it. (Well...never is such a strong word. I am only human.)

Okay, so I was initially disappointed in myself for not continuing more than 30 days and messing up my reintroduction process. But stopping the Whole30 felt right. And well, the Starbucks was a no-sleep stressed-out decision. Now, I am still eating mostly Whole30. Near the end of the 30 days of autoimmune protocol, I began to worry too much about my food restrictions. Although eating and enjoying my food was surprisingly easy, I decided to take a break.

And let me tell you, it's been nice. The meat guy (yeah, that's what I call him.) has finally stopped staring at me every time I peruse the sausages, still searching for that one without sugar. (Just one. Is that too much to ask?) Of course I'm no longer screaming "Seriously, sugar is in this?!" so that might be the reason for the lack of stares. Now I am the one staring. I stare at the meat case trying to will the prices to drop so I can buy that grass-fed filet. No luck yet. Okay, but seriously...

Livin the Crunchy Life: Whole30 Results
Post Whole30 Eats
 Tandoori chicken, Kale & berry smoothie, Brussels sprouts, coconut flour pancakes with blackberry spread, salmon cakes with sauteed kale and onions

...I just knew that I needed to stop for the moment. I'll probably start again, but right now I'm just eating (it just happens to still be mostly Whole30 style). So will I do the Whole30 again? Maybe. Maybe not. And let me tell you why...

The Results
*Note: These are a combination of changes/results from my first Whole30 back in October and the one I just completed. 


For the first time in my life, I feel I am in control of what I eat and that food is no longer controlling me. I may not be completely in control at all times, but I no longer feel that I need dessert or that I might just die without a piece of chocolate. It doesn't even bother me to keep on walking past all those alluring goodies in the grocery store. I'm betting none of it would tastes as good as I thought it did at one time. I'm continuing to work on this control thing, but since my first Whole30, I've come a long way.

Emotional Eating

I realized just how much of an emotional eater (or coffee drinker I think in my case) I was/am (still working on it). The most amazing thing to me is that even though the past few years have been some of the most stressful and emotional in my life, eating real food makes it easier to choose not to drink that seemingly comfort-inducing latte. As you guys know, if you read about my first Whole30, sugar was quite an issue for me. I've since realized that my sugar consumption was more about emotional eating than anything else. Now, truthfully, I'm glad I did the second Whole30 shortly after the first. Because it was just what I needed. Yes, I've consumed some sugar (mostly honey) since I ended the Whole30, but I now have control over how much I consume. Doing the Whole30 was what I needed at this point in my life. If the restriction causes too much guilt and anxiety for you, it might not be the best thing for you.

Intolerance and Necessary Changes

I am finally completely certain that gluten and dairy have been causing many issues for me. From my digestion, to eczema, to migraines, to achy joints -- it has all gotten better with the elimination of gluten and dairy. And when I reintroduce them, I notice a difference in how I feel. Now, I haven't had a migraine in many months, my digestion is getting better, my achy knee hasn't bothered me in awhile (I just realized this), and the biggest change for me -- my eczema is gone (it cleared up before my Whole30 with dairy elimination but it hasn't come back)!

And because of the issues I have with gluten and dairy, I am realizing that I actually can live without them. I used to have pasta running through my blood (okay, that sounds gross). I ate a lot of pasta. Blame it on my Italian ancestry or just because pasta is delicious, but I ate it numerous times a week. But I don't need those things to survive and enjoy eating on a daily basis. The dairy was easier to give up. I was never a big milk drinker so that was no problem. But if you offered me some buttery brie on a cracker, I wouldn't turn it down. (Actually don't offer it to me now...I may still not turn it down.)

My point of this rambling is that now that I'm aware of foods that affect me, I can change the way I eat in order to avoid those negative effects. Or I can at least be more aware of what I'm eating and when I decide to eat off course. And to me, that is one of the main reasons for doing the Whole30.

Oh yeah...and no big deal, but since October (when I started my first Whole30), I might have lost about 10 pounds. Yeah, my pants are falling off. No biggie. 

Livin the Crunchy Life: Whole30 Results
Post Whole30 eats
Roasted herb chicken, Kale salad with roasted chicken and roasted brussels sprouts, Tandoori chicken thigh with sauteed greens and a few pickles, Cooking burgers and steak on the grill for the week, Burger with lettuce and avocado and garlic broccolini

And last thing...

Remember when I talked about influencing others after my last Whole30. Well...listen to this: Two of my family members completed the Whole30 in January. They both also told others about the program (when asked) and convinced a few of their friends and co-workers to try out the Whole30 as well. I told my cashier about the Whole30 after she offered up the fact that she was doing a low-carb diet but was feeling dizzy. (Whole30 doesn't have to be low carb.) She said she was going to look into it and hopefully she did. And last, but not least, my mother -- yes that previous lipton-noodle-soup-loving woman -- is doing a month of paleo eating. It's not the Whole30, but it's a big step for her. She started out committing to 15 days and is now going for 30 because she has noticed an improvement in her spinal stenosis.

So, if you are still reading this...

The reason I am happy with my decision to complete the Whole30 program is because within those 2+ months, I discovered so much about myself, my body, and my reactions to different foods. Plus, I feel better physically than I have in a long time and better about the emotional attachment I had to food, especially sugar. And...I'm happy again. Whether it's from the changes I've experienced or from eating good food or just from my whole experience, I'm a much happier person.

People decide to do the Whole30 program for a number of reasons. My main goal was to learn something about myself, my body, and my relationship with food.

And that I did.

If you want to read more about my Whole30 experiences, read more HERE. Get the book, It Start with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, HERE.


  1. I really really want my pants to fall off too! LOL That IS a big deal to me, so good job!! (Pathetic, I know ; ) I really hear everything you say and I agree. I too wanted to do a Whole 45 or 90 but it was not to be. "A treat on Valentine's Day" became treats-every-day-of-the-week-of-Valentine's-Day-and beyond and you need to know that they were NOT Paleo either. Last night I had a couple pieces of homemade banana bread and got a terrible stomach ache! Can I learn from this? I think so. Gluten just makes me feel absolutely awful... bloated, sick and awful. I am so darn addicted to sugar... just like I am to alcohol... can I learn? No sugar will be the best plan for me. I can't moderate. The end.
    March 1st I will begin my second Whole 30, I will make no promises past March 31st at this point (See? Learning! :) and I will open my heart and mind to the possibilities. And maybe with any luck I'll lose my pants in the process : )

    1. Well, don't tell anyone, but I'm actually excited about my pants falling off ;-) just not as excited about the maybe having to buy new pants soon. I hope you lose yours soon -- but hopefully not in public. :) Oh, and have you tried Civilized Caveman's banana bread recipe? It uses coconut flour, almond butter, and no sweetener and it's delicious!

      I understand how you feel. I am also realizing that moderation, when it comes to sugar, isn't easy, no matter how far I've come. I think sometimes that is all we can do, Kat -- just learn. And with learning comes progress.

      I always love your comments and I'm rooting for you :)

    2. Hey there - you can easily make homemade sausage without sugar :) Just buy ground pork and look up a recipe. :) Fast and DELISH!

      Love the blog!

    3. Thanks so much for your comment, Jen. I actually do make my own sausage :) though I use beef because I can't find good quality pork. But I still wish there was sugar-free sausage available, you know? And mostly, I was just trying to be funny ;-) I appreciate your comment and willingness to help! Glad you are enjoying the blog!


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