I did it! 30 days with no sugar or artificial sweeteners, no grains, no dairy, no alcohol, no legumes, and no potatoes. At the end of those 30 days, I weigh 8 pounds less, my skin looks clearer, and I feel great!
What I Learned from Whole30
So what did I learn from this Whole30 challenge? I learned I don’t need sugar. I might crave it, but I am perfectly capable of going without. And going without sugar is good for my complexion, my waistline, and my mood. After 30 days of strictly no added sugars, I can see the difference in my skin and in the fit of my jeans. In fact, I need to go shopping next weekend for some new jeans. The skinny jeans I bought last year aren’t so skinny any more!
I learned that eating like this means a LOT of cooking and creates an inordinate amount of dishes. If I’m solely responsible for all the meal prep, cooking, and clean up, then eating like this 100% of the time will burn me out. I learned that I need to build a night off from cooking into my weekly meal plan. Consistent meal planning makes a big difference in sticking to healthy eating. When I don’t have a plan, that’s when I most want to take shortcuts with processed or takeout food.
I confirmed that dairy doesn’t give me any problems so I’m adding it back into my diet. I missed cheese and the occasional shot of Irish cream liqueur in my tea.
The 80/20 Principle
I’m down with the 80/20 principle. Eat healthy 80% of the time and allow some room for less healthy food the other 20%. Our first dinner after completing this Whole30 came from our local Thai restaurant. We stayed wheat-free, but you can’t get Thai food without some pad thai rice noodles. Boy, did I enjoy those noodles and the Earl Grey tea with Irish cream I had after dinner!
My Whole30 blog challenge is done, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be eating wheat or potatoes or slamming back candy bars anytime soon. My family has been eating paleo and avoiding grains and high sugar/carb foods in our diet for the last couple of years. This stricter version for the last 30 days was an opportunity to reset and get back on track after the excesses of Christmas.
If you’re interested in checking out my meal plans and reading about my journey over the last 30 days, you can see all my Whole30 posts here.
Have you ever done a Whole30 or some other nutritional challenge? I’d love to hear about how it worked for you.