Finally, my Whole30 reflections post that I’ve been delaying for a while and I figured it’s better to finish it off or else I’ll just keep delaying it. Yeah I am such a procrastinator sometimes.
Anyway let’s cut to the chase: what’s my thought on this Whole30 challenge?
Before I began, let me tell you a little bit of what I thought prior starting. I started being Primal in February 2011 and slowly going towards more to Paleo approach. Long story short, Primal is a bit more lenient than Paleo as it is more liberal towards dairy (if you tolerate it well), natural sweetener like honey and stevia and nuts. It’s more like 80/20 approach of Paleo and for some people that kind of approach makes it a bit easier for them to maintain. If you want to know more details the difference between Primal and Paleo, read this post on Mark’s Daily Apple.
So I felt great and I knew I’m quite discipline with my Paleo approach and my food choices. To give you a little background, I don’t have sweet tooth, so sugary desserts etc are not my biggest problem, but savory snacks are a whole different story (helloo potato chips and fries!!). Not to mention, once in a while I did sneak some crackers/bread/insert any gluten/grain stuff here. Also I do ate fruits quite a lot (big bowl of berries/cherries in afternoon and night!). I didn’t feel any impact etc. So when I saw this Whole30 challenge, I was skeptical and thought it was way too strict and dogmatic and I know myself that the more restrictive I make myself to do, the more I’d like to rebel and stray away from it.
After been thinking for a while and reading more into it, at the beginning of July when Whole9 mentioned that they would like to start a Whole30 July group, I instantly jumped in without thinking and I’m glad I did.
During first week, I already started feeling great – my hunger regulates a lot better and I could even have 3 square meals every single day without feeling much hunger in between, which sometimes I had to force myself to eat when it was meal time. If you read my entire Whole30 posts, 99% of the food that I posted there were EXACTLY what I had for that particular day. The other 1% probably some insignificant amount of Coconut Chips/macadamia nuts/seaweed snacks that I had here and there.
I also cut down on my fruits to a single serving per day (during daytime after lunch mostly) and I also made sure to include healthy fat in my main meal except post workout to keep my hunger at bay. So if you’ve been following my entire Whole30 posts, you might always see me having at least 1 avocado during lunch AND dinner.
Additionally, I became more adventurous in cooking – I enjoyed coming up with my own recipes based on whatever I have in my pantry. I cooked a lot of chicken because that’s mostly what’s affordable for me now and not to mention chicken breasts are on sale pretty often. If only wild caught fish is not that pricey, I’d love to add those in as well for their Omega-3 rich. But for now I’ll be content with my Fish Oil supplements which sometimes I fail to remember to take it.
Despite my skepticism thought that I’d rebel for being too restrictive, I actually didn’t feel being deprived at all. In contrast, I am more aware of my food choices and I could feel my body composition started to show a bit more progress, especially around my abs.
I know it’s not much difference and pictures are not really a good indication either as the lightning, camera angle and positioning could always play factors in it. But the main important is how do you feel overall. I was hesitating putting up this picture because I was a bit worry people might think that I was just dreaming of seeing progress physically from doing Whole30. It’s true that I might be in minority group here as I’m more looking to sculpt, build strength and gain lean muscle mass instead of losing weight and fat as majority of other people who are following certain diet and lifestyle. But the quest of living healthy is not only limited to overweight people, right?
I do miss dairy, I admit- especially that full fat rich and creamy Greek yogurt but it’s not like I’ll crash and burn if I don’t get my fixing on it. Either way, even prior going Paleo, I didn’t eat much dairy as I hate milk (can’t digest it either) and not a big fan of cheese. Up to today, I still haven’t touched my defrosted Voskos full fat greek yogurt in my fridge. But bacon is another story though..haha.
Another thing that I did during in the middle of Whole30 was giving up my morning loose leaf tea and that one was quite challenging. I am not a tea addict and I only drink them in the morning prior noon but I just want to really fine tune my Whole30 by stripping off caffeine entirely (can you tell I’m such a perfectionist?) Remember that I had some insomnia for almost entire week after I gave up my morning tea? At the back of my mind, that insomnia might have something to do with the missing morning tea, but was hard to think that as during that week it was my monthly cycle so it was a bit unclear. Well let’s just say I won’t take away my morning tea.ever.again!
Overall, it’s NOT hard to do Whole30 just like Whole9 mentioned on their blog.
“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Giving up heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your “struggles”. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.”
And I’m actually want to keep this lifestyle as much as possible – might not be 100% all the time because we gotta live up a little, right?
Alright, there you go, my Whole30 reflections post. It’s quite long and might bore you to death before you actually reach to the end..haha..I apologize for that. My writing skill isn’t that great so please bear with any grammatical errors.
Lastly, I finally finished Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution and Gary Taubes Why We Get Fat (a shorter version of his Good Calories, Bad Calories) books and I HIGHLY recommend anyone who’s interested in paleo and healthy living to read them! I love Gary Taubes how he challenged the Conventional Wisdom that has been around for 30 years or so and it’s such an eye opening. It complements well with Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution. Also if you have time, go listen to Robb Wolf’s podcast from his blog! He got tons of it! I’ve been listening to his podcast and still can’t catch up with him. So many to listen and surely he’s pretty funny.
Phew, I’m glad I finished this post!