My husband and I just finished our first week of the Whole30. Yes I’ll wait for your applause. No really, I feel like we should get a medal! Whole30 is not for sissies. This program requires time and committment. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it! The first week has been a roller coaster of emotions…..and cravings! If you’re not sure what the Whole30 is, check out my blog outlining the program and why we started it.
As with everything, each person’s Whole30 is a little different and I wanted to share what we’ve experienced this week. If you’re considering participating in Whole30 or if you’re in your first week, hopefully our experiences will help YOU to know what you’re in for!
Holy dishes, batman. There’s a reason people eat processed foods. They’re EASY to prepare! When you’re on Whole30, you’re cooking your own meats, cutting up and roasting your own veggies and making your own mayonnaise (yes, that’s a thing). The number of pans, bowls, measuring cups and spoons we washed in just one day is insane. Our sweet 13 year old decided he would be the ‘kitchen fairy’ and do all the dishes for us our first weekend. I think he was just trying to butter us up so that he wouldn’t have to eat all the veggies we were cooking!
I am a Type A girl and the queen of multi-tasking. I can do 15 things at once while juggling and playing the piano. But not during the first week of Whole30. My brain literally feels like it has cobwebs in it. I went to the store 2 times today because I kept forgetting to buy the things on my list. I thought a cucumber was a zucchini. I put my pants on backwards. My son asked me what the date was and I struggled to even remember the month.
So if you feel a little slow, it’s totally normal! Our body is used to being fueled by carbs and sugar and when we take those away, it takes a little while for it to realize that it can use fat as energy. And I’m super excited for THAT day, when my body is using my fat for energy AND I can return to being a normal, functioning human being.
Increased Grocery Bill
The Whole30 program can be expensive. High quality meats and lots of produce are costly, not to mention some of the ‘extras’ that you probably don’t have in your pantry, such as avocado oil, almond flour and ghee. A couple of tips here:
- Look for Whole30 compliant items at Walmart or Aldi FIRST. Their prices are usually cheaper. If you have a membership to Sam’s or Costco, buying in bulk should be cheaper as well.
- Hit the produce stand. We’ve found that the produce stand saves us a LOT of money. Their produce is cheaper than our local grocery store and most of it is locally grown, so it’s a win win. Plus, I like to support small business any chance I can.
- Don’t buy all the things. You don’t need to buy every single ingredient that you see on Pinterest on your first shopping trip. I’d HIGHLY suggest that you start with a basic menu for the first week. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Just get the basic Whole30 foods and you can add on from there.
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Excitement – At first
There is a lot of planning and prep that goes into the Whole30, so we spent about 2 weeks just getting ready. We read the Whole30 books, checked out recipes on Pinterest, bought a few kitchen items that we thought would be helpful and started purchasing some Whole30 basics (like ghee and coconut and avocado oil). It was exciting, almost like planning and packing for a trip! And even if you’re prepping for Whole 30 alone, you might enjoy this lead up process to Whole30. So……remember that excitement when day 2 hits and keep reading 😉
Anxiety hit me the second night. I went to bed without a meal plan for the next day and I couldn’t fall asleep. Suddenly, the idea of having to think and prep for every single meal for 30 days seemed completely overwhelming. I mean, who does that? It sounds bananas. And I began to question why I had started this in the first place! What was I thinking? I love bagels with cream cheese and chocolate cake and chicken with yellow rice. WHAT HAVE I DONE?!
Anxiety is normal. And it’ll probably happen more than once. So just take it one day at a time, maybe even one meal at a time. Whole30 is a big committment. But if you’ve planned and prepped, you can do this. If you start to feel anxious, go back to the book It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways and remind yourself why you started.
Melissa Hartwig suggests announcing your intention to do Whole30 as a way to stay accountable to the program. I posted it on my personal Instagram and Facebook page and a majority of my friends and family were super supportive. But I got a few snide and passive-aggressive comments that at first really threw me off. When you’re making a big change, you often run into people who don’t support you. So my best advice is to realize their response is about THEM and not YOU and move on. Because you are doing this for yourself and not anyone else.
So if you are considering starting Whole30, know that IT IS DOABLE. None of the things I listed above are impossible to handle. We are eating delicious, satisying and filling meals and we feel good about OURSELVES for making healthy choices.
And if you’re already in your first week of Whole30, YOU GO WITH YOUR BAD SELF! You’re that much closer to food freedom.
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