Brooke and I started our Whole30 journey on October 20, 2015 and SUCCESSFULLY completed the trip on November 18, 2015 - 30 complete days of compliance to a very prescriptive program (Note: there is much more flexibility than you might think). We believe that anyone can finish the Whole30, but ONLY if your head is in the game. Granted, there are certain medical conditions that could make this harder, if not impossible, but our experience has proven to us that it was our "mental toughness" combined with a "best friend and buddy accountability system."
Let me share our experiences with Whole30, but first let me dispense with the formalities, rules, regulations, warnings, interactions, contagions, rumors, side effects, made-up legal lingo, distractions (squirrel), unrelated run-on sentence, and the all around general information (batteries not included and DO try this at home). My resemblance to anyone living or dead would be odd, but coincidental.
The Ground Rules: If you cannot agree to these simple requirements then STOP, do not pass go, and do not collect $200 nor healthy results (the larger type is provided for the hard of hearing).
So, one last thing before I review how we were affected by this program. I have taken this straight off of the Whole30 site because this "reality" will very likely enter into your mind should you decide to follow in our footsteps; get past this and you will win!:
Our Experience in Simple Terms - The Candelaria Pros and Cons:
Let me start with the CONS or the challenges, real or imagined -
- Yes, we missed cheese more than anything else (note: you can have natural organic bacon so you do not have to miss that)
- I enjoy a good craft beer and Brooke enjoys wine, but we could not have ANY alcohol for 30 straight days (note: honestly we both had virtually no cravings for alcohol the entire time)
- There are plenty of excuses to cheat, but NOT a single acceptable reason to do so
- Eating out and traveling is much harder, but not impossible (note: plan in advance)
- We did not have "immediate" results meaning we had unrealistic expectations initially (note: extraordinary changes started mid week 3)
- No exceptions, we had to commit to 30 days straight - starting and stopping for any excuse..er..reason..er..excuse is not an option
- Doing this alone without a buddy or a committed cheerleader would be exponentially more difficult
- The are saboteurs EVERYWHERE be it well meaning friends, family, or complete strangers who think that one little french fry, or half a glass of wine or a single shot of Patron won't hurt in the grand scheme of things (note: there are people you know who do not want you to succeed, as mysterious as that may seem)
- 30 days seems easy in the beginning, but it may seem a prison sentence later down the road (note: do not confuse this decision and commitment as a loss of freedom because it is no less a personal choice than deciding to eat those fries or drink that wine)
- You have to have an imagination and willingness to try and/or prepare new dishes or you WILL get bored even if you LOVE eggs or avocados or salads or bun-less burgers or smoked chicken wings or Filet Mignon (note: having cooking "chops" or being a foodie is hugely advantageous)
And now for the good stuff, The PROS, all real -
- We were fortunate to not have cravings because of Brooke's ability to create numerous fantastic tasting foods
- Doing this together as a couple with similar goals and COMMITMENT made it seem easier to complete
- The focus on this as a food intake cleanse (making better food choices) made the weight loss an awesome by-product
- No calorie counting so we were able to eat as much of the right foods as we could "stomach" (note: easy to manage hunger which diminished greatly over time)
- Both of our daily blood pressure readings dropped into normal ranges and it proven even after we both stopped our medications for hypertension
- Though we have yet to weigh in, we both lost weight
- We both lost size in the waist
- We have noticeably higher energy levels
- Both of us are experiencing much better digestion (no heartburn, no cramps, no gas, no irregularity)
- Virtual elimination of wide mood swings (Greg)
- An interesting and wonderful feeling of overall euphoria and happiness (all is well with the world)
Good luck to any of you who plan to try this #Whole30 trip. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to recruit us as your cheerleaders!