Whole 30 challenge complete

So that’s it, 30 days (or actually 32 days as I write this) of whole foods – purely organic veggies (excluding potato), fruit (excluding dates), nuts, eggs and meat. I was pretty obsessive and took a food bag with me everywhere (even to an engagement party) so that I didn’t get stuck and need to eat grains, bread, soy, tofu, dairy, sugar, or legumes.

I don’t feel earth-shatteringly different, but I do feel good. I have no sugar cravings (I don’t even feel the need to have maple on pancakes!), and have broken my coconut yoghurt and carob addictions. Yes, I am proud to say I’m completely vice free!!

I’m 1.6kg lighter and lost half a per cent body fat. I might have also lost a bit of muscle because my protein intake would have decreased without the hemp protein powder in my smoothies, but I still feel strong and I do feel slimmer and less heavy.

My diet didn’t change drastically over the past 30 days – the biggest difference was cutting out legumes, quinoa, hemp protein powder and a little bit of cheese – oh yes, and the maple syrup and coconut yoghurt Sunday pancake ritual, and my carob nightcap.

What I have learnt though is

  1. I feel far better when I get my carbs from sweet potato than any other source
  2. I can’t live without omelettes, stirfries, salads and smoothies – they are great meals anytime of the days and are require no meal planning – I can be frugal and use what I have
  3. I need at least three eggs in meal to provide enough protein to keep me full
  4. I was quite reliant on protein powders and balls as portable snacks
  5. Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice really are fantastic spices! They go with almost everything (try them in turkey loaf!) and feel like a sweet treat without any sugar
  6. Choc mint tea really is the best tea ever! If you only have one herb I highly recommend getting this one. I have a pot of it sitting in some water beside my sink ready to pluck and dunk in some hot water

So, that brings me to the dilemma of whether I continue to eat this way, or if I return to my anytime food (essentially this diet) versus exercise food (carb, legume, quinoa and pulses allowed).

What I don’t like about this diet is that my meat consumption is higher than I would like it to be. Ethically I really like the ideal of being vegan, but it’s just not right for my body and when I was vegan I had a couple of serious health issues. That doesn’t mean though that I can’t limit my meat and dairy consumption and eat largely vegan meals. If I stick to this diet of whole food and no grains or legumes, then my meat consumption will be higher than I would like.

What I do like about this diet is I’m not eating anything processed (no protein or superfood powders) and I have no food wastage, so in that regard I’m minimising my impact and also our exposure to plastics, cans etc. Plus of course I feel good and my energy levels are constant.

I also have to consider that I’m still breastfeeding. And while bubba is also eating solids, I need to be conscious that she is getting all the nutrients she needs too, and that I need carbs other than purely when I’m exercising.

So I’ve thought of two options

  1. return to my anytime v exercise food, but continue eating some additional sweet potato
  2. continue with the whole 30 diet at home, and allow myself dairy, legumes etc when I’m out

What are your thoughts? Do you have suggestions for me? Have you done the whole 30 and what did you learn about what works best for you?

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  1. Bec - September 26, 2013

    Hi Lauren, I’m contemplating doing the Whole30 while I’m still in Aus, even though I’ll be traveling around for a two of the four weeks. I like my veggies so I’m worried about the meat consumption – will have to get prepared for that and use plenty of herbs and spices to take away the taste of meat. Otherwise I’m going to be eating a LOT of eggs… I’ve looked over the Whole30 website and think I understand the principles. Was just wondering if coffee (black, unsweetened of course) is allowed, or black tea? Or is that all too processed? Oh, and is it ok if I bug you for info along the way?
    Loving the blog, all your recipes look delicious and I especially love the banana omlettes!
    Cheers, Becstar

    • Lauren - September 26, 2013

      Good on you Bec!! Yes, black coffee is allowed, though I went san caffine and had rooibos, lemon myrtle and choc mint tea instead which I really enjoyed! I figured I may as well make the most of the thirty days and go full detox

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