My Experience With the Whole 30 Diet
The New Diet
I spent many hours reading about the Whole 30 Diet. I joined a facebook group and I read the entire book, cover to cover, twice. I googled the diet. I googled recipes. I asked my facebook group questions. I felt 100% prepared to give the Whole 30 Diet a try. I was super excited to get started. I wasn't just going to lose weight, I was going to change my families life!
I actually kind of liked the diet, but I had limitations. I live in a rural area, where the closest "real" grocery store is 30 miles away. Produce can be hard to come by and a lot of the foods that were ok on this diet just weren't available to me. My nearest Trader Joe's is 4 hours away! And Trader Joe's seems to be a favorite of the Whole 30 faithful. I think if I wasn't a mom of a big family in a rural area this diet would have worked much better for me. As it was, it was impractical and expensive.
The Whole 30 Diet
I decided that I’m going to start the Whole 30 Diet. It started when a friend, who has lost about 30 lbs in the last few months, posted a picture of a book to her Facebook wall with a caption that read, “This book will change your life.” The name of that book was It Starts With Food.
I don’t usually pay attention to that kind of stuff on Facebook, but this post caught my eye. For one thing, my Facebook friend is looking amazing and acting happier than she’s ever been as long as I've known her. For another reason, I’m getting desperate. The reason for my desperation is that I feel awful most of the time. I feel bloated or tired or just lazy. I’m overweight and yet undernourished. I’m unhappy in my own skin and the mirror is not a friend of mine. On top of it all, I have my 15-year class reunion this summer and an important wedding. I want to look better and feel better. I just want to BE better.
I have tried diet after diet for the last few years. And I give up or just plain fail. I've counted calories or points, I've changed when I eat, where I eat, how I eat. But I can’t seem to stick with it. I’m addicted to food.
So I saw the book, and I bought it for my Nook, and I read the darn thing. It all seemed to click in my mind. It made sense, the science was sound, and I am going to give it a go.
In the book, It Starts with Food is written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig and the book basically walks you through the science and the reasoning behind the Whole30 diet. It’s a well-written book that is both entertaining and educational.
The basic premise behind this book is that the food we are feeding ourselves is making us sick. Our bodies weren't designed to be eating all these additives and preservatives. We aren't supposed to be eating all of these chemicals and sugar and dairy. We should eat more like our ancestors. We should eat meat and veggies and seasonal, local fruit.
So this diet has you cut everything out. All non-natural sugar, all bread, pasta, white potatoes dairy, etc. Basically, anything processed. The book says you may go through a phase of basically a carb flu. Where you feel sick from not eating any of the foods that you are used to, but in the end, you will feel so much better.
Your plate should be loaded with veggies, a serving or two of meat and maybe a fruit. They recommend that you don't snack.
After reading the book and signing up for the facebook group, I went grocery shopping with my 12 year old daughter. I was determined to buy nothing but healthy foods. I loaded up my shopping cart with veggies, sweet potatoes, fruits and meat. I also bought raisins and banana chips for the on-the-go snacking that's sometimes required. I only hit the outside isles of the grocery store and the spices/oil isle where I bought Olive Oil for cooking and an Olive Oil cooking spray (Olive oil and Coconut Oil seem to be the only acceptable Oils). My daughter was complaining non-stop about the contents of the grocery cart. "What about cereal?" "Are you kidding me? You aren't buying milk?" "What are we supposed to EAT? You aren't buying any food!" She was thrilled about all the fruit I bought though. She loves fruit and because of our grocery budget, I don't always buy fresh fruit.
I left the grocery store having spent about 200.00 and to my dismay, realized I probably only had about a weeks worth of food for my family of 6. My grocery budget is actually 100.00 a week for the family during the school year, so that was kind of a budget buster.
We ate well the whole week. We did a lot of grilling and had grilled steaks, pork chops, broccoli, sweet potatoes and even some grilled apples with cinnamon on them. Yummy!
We also had mashed sweet potatoes, boiled sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots in the crock-pot with the roast and sweet potato french fries. We had salads with vinaigrette and sunflower seeds, we ate a LOT of bananas and the food was all delicious and nutritious.
But, the complaining never stopped. Everyone was ALWAYS hungry. We would finish a meal and they would go searching for more food. Nobody ever felt satisfied. There's something about bread that just seems to fill you up and keep you satisfied.
One day I had a couple of beers without even thinking about it. There's sugar in beer and sugar is a no-no. I was mad at myself for messing up.
I did lose 2.4 lbs which was awesome. And the food was delicious and wholesome. I had a headache for day 2-3. I think that was from lack of caffeine. My kids complained non-stop about the lack of food options and I blew my grocery budget out of the water.
I think this would be a great diet if it were just myself or myself and my husband (he LOVED it! Meat and veggies make him happy!) but I simply can't afford to double my grocery budget right now and my kids want sandwiches and cereal and milk. I never thought I would hear my kids BEG for me to buy them some milk, but they were doing just that after day 3.
The book is inspirational, and if you are looking for a new way of life and a new way of thinking about food and eating, this book is for you. If you follow this diet, you will be eating food that will make you healthier than ever. Also, if you have a family that is going to be willing to go with you on that journey, this is definitely an excellent diet that will work. However, if you are anything like me and my family or are on a very tight food budget, this diet is definitely NOT for you.