Whole30: Redux

doing ANOTHER whole30

Yesterday, I started a Whole30. Again. As in, I’m doing a Whole60 (with a little 3-day break in the middle).

If you’re like most people and are very happy eating bread and flour and rice and cheese and yogurt and milk and candy and potatoes and chips and things out of cans, etcetera, this might seem crazy. One month ago, I may have agreed with you. Now, I am excited for another month of strictness–I’ve gotten so used to feeling great (see my last two posts) and I am eager to find out what else I can accomplish through my nutritional boot camp.

This second Whole30 is going to be even more hard core than the first. Before I explain how, though, I have a bit of an announcement: the founders of the Whole30 diet, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, have asked me for permission to direct other Whole30-ers to my new Whole30 Eats section as food inspiration. Remembering how much I relied/rely on other people’s experiences for food ideas, how could I say no?

In the interest of maintaining the integrity of their program, they made sure I got a copy of their Success Guide. You don’t have to have the book to do the Whole30, but it really is a very handy tool, and it showed me where I could make even better food choices. Also, since I am basically receiving an official Whole30 endorsement, I need to shape up and do things the right way.

That means some things will change:

  • No chewing gum. Gum is artificially sweetened, so it’s a no-go on the Whole30. I wondered about that during my first month, but since I didn’t have the Success Guide, I didn’t have all of the details. I may look into other breath-freshening alternatives, or else really try hard not to breathe on anyone. My apologies in advance. ;)
  • Taking fruit out of the spotlight. Fruit tastes great, can be very fulfilling, is a fantastic complement to most meals, but there is so much naturally-occurring sugar in it that it helps keep the “sugar dragon” alive longer. I want to starve that monster to death. So: I will eat less fruit, including trying to abolish the breakfast smoothie, unless I can make an enjoyable version that contains lots of veggies and little fruit.
  • Abolishing the Breakfast Smoothie. I know. My trusty breakfast smoothie. I will be sad to see it go, but I learned in conversations with Melissa Hartwig that liquid meals aren’t the best choice for those trying to lose weight, because the “I’m full” signal isn’t quite the same as when you’re chewing. I also learned that almond butter, which I was going through at a steady pace, isn’t on the Whole30 “go for it” protein list, but rather on the “eating-it-occasionally-is-cool” list. All this, combined with my decision to move fruit out of the spotlight, means that I will be looking for creative ways to get “real” protein (eggs, meat, etc.) into me at breakfast time, along with veggies.
  • No Fudge Babies. These little balls of Paleo goodness got me through some long evenings of reading and studying. However, they fall into the “no-no” category of “Paleo-ified” desserts, which the Hartwigs clearly forbid, lest that “sugar dragon” be allowed to remain alive. When I get an evening craving, I will eat a few almonds and some veggies.
  • Cutting back on the bacon and cold meat. As much as I loved the (additive-free) bacon and smoked turkey that I found at the farmer’s market last month, I realized that neither one is on the “great” list of proteins, and should be enjoyed occasionally, rather than regularly.
  • Fewer almonds. If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ve heard me talk about almonds before. They have been my super snack over the past year or two. While they’re not bad, they’re not on the “best” list, so I’m going to try to rely on them less. When in doubt, eat veggies!
  • New Balsamic Vinegar. I didn’t realize until I read the Success Guide yesterday that my balsamic vinegar (like most cheapies) has sulfites in it. Oops. Sulfites are a “no-no” on the Whole30, so it’s time for a new bottle.
  • Using clarified butter. This is the only “dairy” product allowed on the Whole30. Clarified butter has been melted and the milk solids skimmed away, making it a good fat rather than an evil one. It also helps to start with a good-quality, organic, grass-fed butter. I would venture to say it’s worth splurging on the good-quality stuff.
  • Eating more good fats. There is another diet out there where people eat coconut oil with every meal. On this diet, you don’t have to do that because you’re cooking with coconut oil and coconut milk and olive oil, and eating avocado, etc. I know it sounds backwards, but I’m convinced that good fats can make a lot of difference for a healthy diet. A diet without fats is difficult to maintain–you aren’t giving your body any extra calories, so without good fats, it won’t have much to run on. Besides, coconut and avocado are good for your skin and hair, etc. What did hydrogenated vegetable oil ever do for you?
  • Even more planning ahead. You really have to be on the ball with a diet like this. Especially if you have days like I do this term, where I leave my house by 8:30 am and don’t return until 9 or 10 pm. You have to get creative. You have to spend several hours cooking in order to have containers of good food to take with you when you’re out. You have to be disciplined in your determination to only eat foods you have made, unless you have access to a store or restaurant with Whole30-compliant meals. I don’t, so plan ahead I must. The tough part for me this month is going to be planning for breakfast. The smoothies were pretty easy, even though they took up more time than I had ever dedicated to breakfast on a morning where I had somewhere to be. Now, I have to prepare eggs and veggies… I’ll need even more discipline and creativity for that.

There you have it. My wee announcement, followed by several things that help you think I’m crazier than I was before.

8 thoughts on “Whole30: Redux

  1. so you were down to eating like 10 things, and now you took about 5 more of them away?? what CAN you eat?! veggies and meat and….?
    as for breath, check out therabrite toothpaste and rinse. not sure if it’s paleo-approved but it combats bad breath by oxygenating. they have it at shoppers.

    • Haha! Veggies and meat and eggs and some fruit, and seeds and nuts, and pretty much anything coconut that doesn’t have sulfites or added sugar… and when you add guacamole and spices and herbs and sauces and (though I know you won’t enjoy this one) mayo, everything tastes pretty darn delicious!

      Therabrite… I’m on it. Thanks!

    • Did you read my last two posts?

      I don’t find it exhausting. It was difficult for the first couple of weeks to get my head around what seemed like many limitations, but now that I don’t even really think about those seemingly “normal” ingredients when making food, and I am falling more and more in love with the full flavours of homemade sauces and dressings, it becomes more and more easy.

      Also, like I mention in past posts, this way of life has made me feel so great, given me energy, and encouraged me to get active, among other benefits, so it has become totally worth it.

      I should note that this seemingly extreme strictness isn’t forever. It was for a month, and now it’s for two months. When I’m done this second Whole30, I will slowly begin to reintroduce “normal” foods like dairy and honey and things back into my diet.

      I will proceed with caution, and continue to generally avoid the things that I know I really don’t want in my body, like carageenan and MSG, fake sugars, and genetically-modified corn and soy ingredients. It took a dramatic reset to realize that I don’t need them, and if I enjoy things I love (like tortilla chips and cupcakes and wine) in moderation, I feel so much better than when I eat everything in sight, not caring about what’s in it.

      Does any of this make sense? Haha! I’m not crazy, but it took doing something as dramatic as a Whole30 to shake me out of my slow spiral into overweight and out of shape.

      • Lol! No, I do not think you are crazy. We are careful about what we eat and where we buy are food but that is all part of living healthy. Pre packaged food and sauces are not something we indulge in very often if ever. I have been reading your posts and yes I agree you do feel better when you eat well. I do understand that this is a month long thing I just think that it can be a little extreme, for me anyway. But I am not good on any kind of diet. I just don”t buy what I don’t want to eat. I think we are the only house with kids that doesn’t keep cookies around. I guess it is your way of “giving yourself a kick in the butt” to change your ways and I think its great!I am just a huge advocate for everything in moderation keeps you happy, healthy and its an easy diet to stick to.

      • It sounds like you guys have already adopted an admirably well-rounded, healthy lifestyle that works for you. I needed that kick in the butt that you mentioned to stop myself from eating chocolate, cheese, cheap pastas, bread, chips, candy, etc. 24/7. I didn’t have the discipline I needed to stop myself from buying chips that were on sale or cookies “for Johnathan”, etc.

        I also had a feeling that my body wasn’t happy with all of the bread and cheese I was feeding it regularly, and wanted to find out if that were true. Eventually, I found this and decided to try it… and it will grow into a more healthy and well-rounded “most things in moderation” diet. After some work, it will become easy enough to stick to. I think. :)

      • I also think for us it was a budget thing. If you only have so much for your food every week you go for the things you need that will keep you going and extras like chips and cookies get forgotten. After doing that for a while you just get use to skipping them when doing the shopping. I am a big fan of bread and cheese too. My favourite foods!

      • Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

        This diet, as I will blog about in the near future, is not a great one for those trying to save their pennies. Pasta and rice and flour and white potatoes are much cheaper than meat and coconut milk and oodles of veggies.

        I’m hoping that after this month, I can balance my grocery bills a bit… we’ll see.

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