Feb 11, 2014

Let's Get Paleo: My First Whole30 Experience

Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!

If you follow me on the ol' social media, you probably saw some of my photos in January whilst I was living the Whole30 dream. Well, those 30 days are well over now, and I must say it was a highly interesting experiment (if you're not familiar with Whole30, here's the quick run down).

Overall, I'd say I adhered to the Whole30 "rules" about 97% of the time during those 30 days. Even though I was making every conscious effort to eat/drink within the guidelines, when we ate out it was almost impossible to know that everything I was ordering was totally paleo-approved. Here is a list of foods I ate most frequently:


By far, the hardest part of this challenge for me was not consuming any alcohol. Because Matt's career is in the craft beer industry, sampling & sharing brews is a fairly significant aspect of our social life... and that's not even taking into account my weaknesses for good wine & bourbon on the rocks (sorry not sorry)...

To be totally honest, for the first few days I was super tired and felt like crap, and after reading about other people's experiences with Whole30 I'd say that's pretty typical. After the first week I definitely felt more normal, but while my energy levels improved noticeably, I still found myself dragging when it came to attempting any cardio-intensive workouts. The longest high-intensity cardio sessions I had during Whole30 were 20-30 minutes and they left me pretty wiped out.

BUT, for the last two weeks of Whole30 I felt AMAZING. Yes, my energy levels were still muted, but this was the positive inflection point in my Whole30 experience. I struggled initially with the restrictions of eating/drinking paleo, but after a couple weeks I fell into a food-prep rhythm and the cooking came easy. It was at this point when I reeeeally started noticing how much better my clothes were fitting and how much healthier I felt!

Would I do this again? Heck yeah! Abstaining from the excesses I'd overwhelmed myself with over the holidays felt great, like someone hit a refresh button on my body. While I don't think this restrictive way of eating is a sustainable long term goal (I mean, you want a social life right?), I think keeping my foods/drinks paleo for a short time frame really made me appreciate the sweet treats & bourbon drinks even more.

If this is something you're thinking about trying, I'd just have one tip to share: Read your labels.

That being said... I think I'll go enjoy some girl scout cookies now :)

Any and all thoughts on Whole30, nutrition, paleo eating, trendy diets, or random what-have-you thoughts are 100% welcome here :)

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