This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Have you ever jumped on board a diet trend thinking “this is IT, I am going to change my life FOR EV ER!” That was me about 3 weeks ago! I have been re-reading It Starts With Food this summer, and my husband and I decided to do Whole30 challenge again. I thought this is fantastic! We can do this together and change our lives together. It was going really great until I hit a bump in the road and failed my Whole30 Challenge.
What is Whole30?
For those who don’t know, Whole30 is an elimination diet. It has you eliminate 5 things from your diet for 30 days. Their premise behind removing these 5 items from your diet you can then allow your body to heal and when you re-incorporate these items back into your diet you can see how your body reacts to them. The book It Starts with Food shares all the science about how food impacts your body. Then there is the Whole30 Cookbook and that is loaded with some awesome recipes and it teaches you how to cook too. I really enjoyed the cookbook.
When you decide you are going to try and go 30 days without grains, sugar, dairy, legumes and alcohol, it takes a mental shift. You have to actually plan what you are going to eat and you have to change what you are preparing. You also have to prepare your kitchen for success and get rid of the stuff that can make you fail. I kept the alcohol. I couldn’t bare to think about dumping it out. It was hard enough that I was not going to drink it for 30 days! How does one parent without having a an adult beverage here or there!!!
The successful beginning
So when we decided to do Whole30 again,(yes we have done it before, call us crazy!) we were doing so well! We were encouraging each other and my husband was even able to stay compliant while he was traveling for work! During this time, attending a giant party was on our calendar and we ate foods that are on the plan.
We decided right after we returned from our family vacation to start the program. My husband started 2 days before me and he was losing weight and feeling good. All was going great! We made it through the first 7 days which are the hardest. Then we got to 14 days. I felt great! My thoughts were clear, my brain was clear and I was thinking about living like this long term. Not to mention I had lost 10 pounds in 18 days! As a woman of a certain age, that is unheard of!
Failed Whole30 Challenge
Then on day 18 it happened. I woke up sick. Like throw up sick. I couldn’t move and when I did it was just to the washroom. It was awful! I enlisted my kids to take care of me and themselves! Thank God they are 8 & 10 so they aren’t as need as little kids are. I went back to bed and slept till 1 in the afternoon. The illness had my stomach doing flip-flops and all I wanted was a piece of toast. I was sick and there was nothing I could do about it. When I woke from sleeping, I caved and ate a piece of gluten free toast. That was all I ate that day. The next day wasn’t any better. I was still sick and only ate a slice of toast that day. But my Whole30 was over. It came to a screeching halt. I was sad.
At the same time, I was glad. I made it 18 days before I got sick. I thought that was a great accomplishment. On top of that, just eating toast for those 2 days made me realize that the grains in gluten free bread didn’t hurt my belly.
Always look on the bright side
Once I felt better, I hopped back into the Whole30 lifestyle again. I just started following the same rules. I figured that I could just continue and live like that as close as I can. That way my body can still heal from my sugar addictions and my body can move back into a healthy place.
My husband finished strong. He was able to stay healthy and didn’t get the stomach bug I had. I did continue to eat the foods allowed and then once it was over I realized I didn’t want to go back to eating tons of sugar and feeling like crap.
Whole30 is not for the faint of heart. It is tough to do, but once you get through the first week you feel so much better! I always wonder how my kids would react if they were to give up sugar. Maybe when I feel a little more courageous I will try and detox my kids. Would I do it again? Absolutely and still try and remain as close to compliant as possible. I just can’t get over how quickly you crave sugar once you have allowed it back into your diet. It’s like breaking the sugar habit all over again.
I wish I could have told you that I failed at Whole30 because I ate a giant 16 scoop ice cream sundae. Getting sick on Whole30 was totally unexpected and I really didn’t expect my body to respond to illness so violently.
My thoughts on eating a whole30 lifestyle or a paleo lifestyle is still turning over in my head. I honestly feel 100% more productive when I eat that way because my body isn’t being weighed down by the foods that it struggles to process. I wrote a post about how I would love to merge 3 books that have really spoken to me about food and how the body processes food.
Overall, I think it was a great experience. I tried some new foods and my kids did too. We definitely increase the amount of fruits and veggies we are eating on a daily basis, including the kids. If you are looking to clean up some eating habits or break the sugar addiction, I highly recommend doing Whole30. It really is eye opening to see how much sugar is in SO MUCH of our daily food. If you do try it, let me know how it goes! I would love to hear from you!
Stephanie has been blogging at Sticky Note Mom for 4 years. Before starting her blog she worked in the finance industry working on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade to working for major financial institutions with personal financial planning and the mortgage industry. Now she shares all she has learned about frugal living to help others learn how to stop spending and start saving more.