My Whole 30 Journey

My final thoughts are captured in this post, but read below for my play-by-play summary.
Days 1 - 15
Overall it was pretty good! It was harder, but at the same time easier than I thought. It seemed "naked" to not have croutons or bleu cheese on my salad at lunch, but I didn't really miss them.
On day 1 I had a headache by noon – which was a little weird to me because I always have black coffee. It was gone by The only thing I can really chock that up to is the fact that it doesn’t take much label reading to realize sugar is in EVERYTHING. Especially the protein powder I have regularly.
Meal prep is incredibly important! I had a hard time finding breakfast, because I didn’t prep well and have compliant things on hand for the first few days. I didn’t buy the Whole 30 book until Day 4. I suggest not doing that.
Grocery shopping went from 30 minutes to an hour, but is well worth it. Label reading is so important. Sugar is in EVERYTHING. Have I mentioned that yet?
I admit it, I was worried about energy and workouts, I am used to a pretty high intensity. Complete non-issue. By day 4 I was ready to do cartwheels down the sidewalk. And on Saturday I went to a local boxing gym and had the best workout I’ve had in a long time!
Around day 10 I really started to panic, despite recording record workouts and feeling better than I’ve felt in a long time – maybe ever. I have a half marathon coming up; it is on day 28.
So far the biggest motivation to keep going (besides my blog and my brothers wedding) is the fact that I have had no inflammation in my legs and ankles since around day 3. Normally I am plagued by swelling and inflammation. Having ruled out any heart conditions, it seems I have inadvertently stumbled onto something.
A bump I was able to (proudly) navigate successfully:
  • I was a vendor at a health fair on Day 4, where the lunch was a tortilla bar. I made a salad with the fresh ingredients – grilled chicken, onions, green peppers and a homemade Pico all over a bed of shredded lettuce. (In the interest of full disclosure, this was slightly easier for me because the caterer is a local place that uses fresh, locally sourced poultry)
  • We were supposed to spend the weekend in Kansas City, complete with a concert and a Royals game. We ended up not going - whew. Bullet dodged, went shopping, stayed compliant.
What I’ve learned:
  • Potatoes are important. You can’t take a salmon, broccoli and rice dinner and just eliminate the rice. You need to replace it with something. Once I figured that out it changed everything.
  • A piece of toast or a bagel before a high intensity workout isn't (always) necessary - the morning of my boxing workout I had a banana, unsweetened coconut and almonds with unsweetened plain almost milk. I got through the workout and made it all the way to lunch.
Footnote: On the 1st day 2 boxes of Thin Mints showed up on my door step. SERIOUSLY!?! (Update: as of 9/16/2016 they are still unopened!)
Days 16 – 30
Well, Passover happened. I went off the reservation at least once that I know of. And by once I mean for an entire meal, not just one item.
If you aren’t familiar with Passover, the traditional Seder Plate and dinner includes matzha (unleavened flatbread), Pesach (apples, walnuts & wine), Gefilte Fish (made with onions, carrots, salt & sugar), Maror (bitter herbs), an egg and wine.
I honored the tradition of the Seder while abstaining from dessert and only take one sip each time we raised our wine glasses. I also went to Buffalo Wild Wings and was informed that in the 4 years our waitress worked there I was the first person to ever order a salad. It was grossly non-compliant but at least there was no dairy and no fried chicken.
I arrived in Pittsburgh on Day 26. I only go home twice a year. I am a true Girl from Southwestern PA. Drinks were on the agenda. No way around it. Beer is its own food group where I am from.
Disclaimer: I do not believe flexibility = cheating or quitting. Enjoy what you enjoy. Infrequently and only when it’s meaningful (i.e. not mindless).
Here’s how I handled it:
  • Super-healthy airport breakfast (seriously) and an all-greens salad with cucumber, red onions, 2 hard boiled eggs & O&V for lunch.
  • I sailed by the chocolate covered strawberries and Oreos without thinking twice at our "Chocolate" Spa Day.
  • When we got to the bar and the band started up and I had a couple (or 4) Michelob Ultras. And maybe a Bud Light when we got home.
  • 3 eggs and a baked potato for breakfast
  • A whole grain bun on my turkey burger (topped with spinach & mushrooms) for lunch before hitting the expo.
  • Dinner was a grilled chicken breast with plain baked potato and plain steamed green beans. And a glass of red wine.
Sunday (half marathon day AKA: my fall from glory)
  • 2 baked potatoes pre-run, plus 2 eggs
  • I had my beer after (it’s our annual father-daughter tradition).
  • I also had a sprouted grain roll on my way down the shoot. I was HUNGRY when I finished.
  • Water (and 2 gummy worms someone mercifully handed over at mile 10.5) for the 13.1 mile duration.
A few notes I jotted down on Day 29 in a journal.
It's the day after my fall from glory. I finished the half in a struggle. My worst time. The first time in I'm not sure how long my entire body has been sore the day after. I can only imagine what Tuesday is going to feel like. *I should probably point out that since my last half marathon (on March 6) I have run 6 TOTAL miles. This had more to do with lack of training that food choices, of that I am certain.*
I'll need to figure a fueling strategy for my next run - raisins & bananas maybe? Definitely a Pinterest search in my future.

Read my final summary and why I'm so happy I did this here.

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