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The first two weeks on Whole 30

If you missed my post yesterday on why I chose Whole 30, you may want to read it first. If not, keep reading. It may sound crazy but after only 14 days on Whole 30, I feel like this journey will forever change how I eat and how I think about food. For the sake of documentation and my own memory or lack thereof, I wanted to share a few things about my first two weeks. Perhaps if you are considering the program, you will find this helpful, informative or inspiring.

1. First it's not as difficult as I imagined. I thought it would be the worst month of my life but that is not the case. Unless you live in a hole, I promise you have done harder things in life than the Whole 30. It's just food. Yes we need it, but it's still just food. The Whole 30 simply asks us to eat really wholesome food and there is nothing hard about that. Yes, it takes a little extra time and effort to plan and cook your meals but the results are so worth it.

2. The thing I love most about Whole 30 is the simplicity. It is very black and white. No tracking or weighing food. There are no cheat days or "extra points" or "activity points." At first it felt very restrictive but now I appreciate how cut and dry the program is. It makes grocery shopping super easy too! Grab your produce, your meats, your healthy fats and your La Croix and you're done. Boom.

3. I realized after just two days on Whole 30 that I have been fueling my body all wrong.  I've always had trouble regulating my blood sugar and would try to eat several smaller meals throughout the day or incorporate snacks but I still felt hungry. I have not been hungry once since following Whole 30. It's so awesome to leave the house and not have to grab a handful of "protein" bars in case my blood sugar crashes.

4. I realized a lot of my indulgences are not consumed out of desire but rather habit. For instance, Friday night Mexican and margaritas, ice cream with the kiddos on the weekend or pizza night for the sake of convenience. After Whole 30, I will indulge in these things but it will be done more consciously and it will be enjoyed to the fullest and without guilt. If you're wondering what foods I've craved the most, see above. (Pizza, margaritas, and chocolate ice cream.) All the other "junk" I can most likely live without.

5. I've always been pretty good at reading my nutritional labels but often failed at reading through the ingredients. WOW, there is sugar and soy in everything...along with a bunch of other "ingredients" I cannot pronounce. Going forward I will consciously purchase brands that use more wholesome ingredients, not only for myself but for the entire family. I've already switched things like our spaghetti sauce and our butter.

6. Physically I can tell I've lost weight which is great! I'm noticing other big changes too. My sleep cycle feels completely different. I get naturally sleepy (vs a cocktail induced sleepy) at 10:30pm and wake well rested, except for the nights I'm up with Ben! (He has regressed with his sleep but that's another story.) While I did experience the infamous fatigue and Whole 30 hangover during the first few weeks, it was hard for me to tell whether it was diet induced or due to middle of the night awakenings with Ben.  Either way, each day I'm feeling more energized and stronger both mentally and physically. My nails look amazing so I'm hoping my hair is benefiting too. My night sweats are gone and the swelling in my knees and ankles are gone too. I don't have anymore lightheadedness associated with the highs and lows of blood sugar which is something I've struggled with since I was a teen. Overall feeling a lot more healthy and happy!

*photos by Amy Mikkelsen

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