Sunday, May 29, 2011

Whole30 ~ Week 4 and End of 30 Days!!!

Hi. My name is Heidi. I’m a sodaholic. It’s been 43 days since my last Dr. Pepper.

I’ve reached the end of my Whole30 Challenge. Only meats/eggs, vegetables, fruit, and nuts for 30 days. No grains, dairy, legumes (including soy and peanuts), or added sugar—which meant I had to completely overhaul the way I interacted with food on a daily (hourly, minute-by-minute…) basis. I also had to go to the grocery store a few times a week and ignore 98% of the food for sale.

Here are a few things I’ve learned in the past thirty days:

  • I have will-power and am capable of some sort of self-control over what I eat. This is an unprecedented and monumental accomplishment.
  • Accountability: It’s a beautiful thing. I don’t think I could have done this without sharing the journey with my husband and on my blog. I wasn’t going to lie to you, and I did. not. want. to have to tell you I cheated or failed or quit.
  • I cheated. We went out to eat at a buffet place on day 27. I ate meat and veggies. But I’m sure there were seasonings, sauces, or coatings that weren’t ‘legal.’ I passed up white rolls (would have liked about 10), mashed potatoes, soda, and dessert. Can I get credit for that?
  • I don’t have to drink Dr. Pepper. I miss it (terribly). But I won’t die without it.
  • Drastically changing how I ate was a great way to force me to think about food in a new way. It also was very effective in pulling me out of a junk food/sugar/soda/snacky/carb-heavy daily diet.
  • I love to eat constantly and in large quantities. I’m always hungry. I think about food all the time. I don’t know how to change that.
  • My boys will eat some foods that I didn’t think they would like. Sometimes they even shocked me.
  • I CAN fix dinner every night. I CAN try new recipes and cook something other than spaghetti.
  • I love dates. And sweet potato chips. And Larabars (which I never would have tried without Whole30).
  • I have to decide whether a food is worth it before mindlessly putting it in my mouth.
  • Good pizza is a ‘worth it’ food. So are homemade chocolate chip cookies. I really wish Dr. Pepper was.
  • I hate cleaning up the kitchen after dinner.
  • Burgers don’t need buns. They are perfectly fine with only dijon mustard, avocado, bacon, grilled onions, tomato, and lettuce.
  • I need to work exercise into my day, but I can’t figure out how. I don’t have any me time, and I can’t figure out where to buy some.
  • The easiest dinner is grilled meat and roasted veggies. If only I could remember to thaw the meat.
  • Russ can get natural meats at a great price (wholesale) from one of his clients. Fabulous.
  • Yams roasted with olive oil and sea salt taste like candy. Spiced and roasted cauliflower with almonds doesn’t, but it’s still really tasty. If you add Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausage to roasted broccoli and almonds, it makes a fabulously simple meal.
  • My headaches don’t seem to be food related. Sleep related, muscle related, chronic sinus-something or environmental allergy related…maybe?
  • A good diet doesn’t replace sleep.
  • I can plan ahead and take along good food if we are going to be out and about.
  • The family I get eggs from is AWESOME. The last three weeks they’ve delivered eggs within 30 minutes of my FB message request!
  • I like scrambled eggs. I can eat them for breakfast 30 days in a row, in fact. But when the boys put cinnamon raisin toast in the toaster, it sends me over the edge. And I really, really miss orange juice.
  • I’m jealous of my husband’s job. He gets a salad bar and a kick-boxing class during his lunch hour (and he GETS a lunch hour!). But he also has to walk past the 25 cent soda machine…
  • I fail at moderation. I can’t eat just one of anything. It’s all or nothing.
  • I don’t yet know what my diet will look like on an ongoing basis. I’m thinking a roughly 80% paleo diet would be a great thing for me to aim for. I know that my eating has been so much healthier this way. Partly because I can’t stop once I start on bread, baked goods, and sugary stuff.
  • I don’t yet know how I feel about dairy and grains in moderation. I think it will be interesting to see how my body reacts in the next week or two. I have many family members with celiac/gluten intolerance. I miss cheese.
  • A 10 pound loss sadly isn’t very noticeable on (off) me, but I gained about 30 pairs of pants stashed on the top shelf of my closet.
  • I’d love to lose 10-15 more pounds. And tone up what’s left. And get a tan. I’d also like to win the lottery.
  • Forget my brownie recipe, just make Fudge Babies. Who knew a no sugar, no grains, no dairy, vegan, raw food dessert could taste SO YUMMY!!
  • I’m buying myself some really good chocolate.
  • The local farmer’s produce stand and I are going to see a lot of each other this summer.
  • I am so thankful for the blog friends who have joined me on this journey. I’ve really appreciated your comments and encouragement.
  • The science of food (well, science in general) boggles my mind. The amount of contradictory information ‘out there’ is so overwhelming. How do you decide whom to listen to? Sigh. I think I am going to go by what works for me and makes me feel my best, with room for traditions like birthday celebrations. Mostly, though, I want to eat real food from reliable sources, local and organic when possible.


Health and cheerfulness naturally beget each other. 

~Joseph Addison


Misha said...

Congratulations, Heidi! You did it! You have been such an inspiration to me, too. : )

I have been thinking I need to make a list like this, too - whole30 has been such a good fit for me and I know I am going to need to remember why. : ) I was just talking with my sister-in-law about this very thing (all the conflicting science) and saying that really I can't see how there is any one right way to eat for us - everyone is so unique in their chemistry and needs.

I love how intentional you were with this and I so appreciate you letting us be inspired by you! said...

Hi Heidi, Congratulations. You did it! That's amazing. So much of what you said could have come from my mouth! I too am a sodaholic (diet pepsi). They need to have a group for this! Ever since I found out I was celiac (after pregnancy #1) I've been mourning food and my diet has been all over the place. I substitute that feeling of lose (of choice) with Cheese puffs and diet pepsi. Not good. I admire this diet you tried. Sounds like a great way to cleanse the system. I could never do it full time. I've done weight watchers twice now (18 yrs ago and presently) and I've found that it's the one that seems to be the most reasonable. I can still eat my GF food, my treats and forces me to make healthy choices. I don't feel like I'm depriving myself. I just wish that I could become less dependent on the soda (or pop as we say in Canada). If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them.
Thanks for sharing your honesty. As always, loving your blog. Just finished reading "The Core" and I loved it. Thanks for the referral.

Heidi said...

I have to say that I've tried to cut out the soda before and it never worked. Because I'd eat things that I *needed* to drink a soda with. The food and soda went hand in hand. The only reason it worked this time is because my EATING habits had completely changed. I couldn't have just a small portion of treats (which would make me crave Dr. Pepper). It is the oddest thing that cutting *everything* out was easier for me than cutting just one or two things out. I needed really strict rules with a strict timeline (long enough to form good habits, but not so long that it felt like forever) and accountability. Now that I've gone so long without the soda, I don't want to "break the streak" or ruin all the hard work I've put in to quit the habit!

Anonymous said...

Congrats Heidi! Thanks for sharing your journey! I have been inspired to pay attention to what foods my family is eating!
: )

Mary Ann Gulley said...

Hi Heidi, I think this was great reading and I am impressed by how you set your mind to it and stuck to the change in your diet. You are inspiring me to give this a try. I quit diet pepsi over a year ago and that was big for me. I do miss it and am tempted alot but have held on. I know I have willpower but love to eat and cook. You are amazing and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Kim said...

Congratulations! You did an awesome job. I looked forward to reading your weekly updates.

I had planned on doing the diet with you but for a few different reasons wasn't able to. You have totally motivated me to take the plunge as soon as I can.

Great job! Good luck on finding the right balance for you. I hope you can find some sleep too. ;)

Anonymous said...

hi heidi....congrats to you! that is quite an accomplishment!!!

i didn't do the program with you, but i have been following your progress. i think your 80% plan is realistic, and i know you will be successful. i'm a bit of a health nut, and we try to do the 80-90% healthy and organic lifestyle. it would be hard for me to give up dairy, though. we do, at least, consume raw milk - and from that i make homemade kefir, yogurt, and buttermilk. and the raw cheese is fantastic. and aren't you loving the coconut milk? so yummy. we use coconut oil, too. i forgot, do you use the oil?

as far as exercise, is school coming to a close for you? we are done here, and that is freeing up some time for me to get on my pilates machine 20 minutes a day. i've lost 5 pounds in 2 weeks! i know with a baby, though, you're in a different season. it will come. my "baby" just turned 8 and i'm FINALLY getting back into it!!

keep up the good work. and 10 pounds is 10 pounds, right? i'm sure you look great.


Maureen said...

Hi Heidi,

Thank you so much for kicking off the "Whole 30" plan. I've followed it about 90% of the time this past month and have dropped 7 lbs so far. (I was hoping for more, but it's a good start). I am going to continue on the "modified" diet for another 2 months--until my birthday. So far, the hardest thing for me to have given up is bread--esp. our homemade artisan bread (in 5 minutes) and pizza.

FWIW, I think you (and your family) are beautiful and look terrific just the way you are!

Jill said...

Hi Heidi- I am an occasional reader of your blog. I enjoy your writing immensely and am inspired by your experience with the Whole 30 diet. I am a soda addict as well (Pepsi) and have managed to give it up for a time...even as long as several months..only to "relapse" when I allow myself to "cheat." I need to quit...again. Anyway, I noticed in your entries you've mentioned you're having headaches...not sure if anyone else has chimed in..but I wanted to suggest that your headaches may be due to neck/shoulder strain. Especially with a baby (still nursing maybe?) and all the reading and teaching you do that would make a lot of sense. I have suffered these problems as well and they can definitely bring on very painful headaches. Have you tried chiropractic care and then maybe physical therapy? FInding some pain relief would be welcome I am sure, plus some advice on stretching and other techniques to help heal your strained muscles. Just a thought...good luck! This kind of pain is no fun. Thanks for a greatly entertaining and informative blog. Your family is darling!

KatolinFamily said...

Great job! I did something kind of similar to this (but for less time and cheated a lot more than you) and found myself agreeing with every one of your bullet points. For me I need to find a balance between perfection and reality, knowing what our daily diet will actually look like. I know I gave up my daily coffee for good, have smoothies on a regular basis and have incorporated some new foods that I never expected to like so that's a win for me. Definitely going to try your fudge babies!

Way to go Heidi!

Anonymous said...

Heidi, Grandpa and I have sure enjoyed your blog about your new diet and think you have done an incredible job. Grandpa says "congratulations from him and to keep up the good work". I especialy agree with your last bullet point about all the contradictory information out there.Fortunately I never have been addicted to soda but agree that there are just some things that especially call for it. But now I seldom have it around and especially since I learned that "diet" soda with aspertame turns to formaldahyde in your stomach. I really don't want to "get pickled" yet. Roasted vegetables are my favorite and could eat them everyday. Sugar I have a hard time leaving alone. Grandma

Kathy said...

wow congrats!!! you did AMAZING! I was wondering, would you be willing to share some of your recipes and also a typical day of what you ate? I really want to try to do something like this but feel very overwhelmed at what to eat and where to start. you can email me at if you want ... thanks!!!

Charis said...

Congrats to you! This is a long journey to undertake, but rewarding in so many ways. I wanted to thank you for introducing my husband and myself to the Whole 30 4 weeks ago. We decided to jump on the bandwagon with you and have been blessed! I am eating SO many more veggies than before, which has been a nice change in my diet and my energy is much higher as well. Thanks for sharing your journey (and recipes!) with us. It was (and is... we still have a week to go) encouraging to see you blaze the trail before us :)

Anonymous said...

You really do have a ton of will power, I think to complete this diet like you did with all of your other responsibilities. It sounded like really hard work to put together your meals. I'd like to try it and my husband would go along, but my boys absolutely would not eat that way and I don't know how to change that. Anyways, I have frequent migraines that are hormone related. Could that be a possibility with yours?

Heidi said...

Misha~ I am thrilled that this diet is working for you? How are the migraines?

Mary Ann~ I really miss the baking, but there is quite a bit of *cooking* on this diet! I'm proud of you for quitting diet pepsi... That is a huge accomplishment!!

Kim~ You can do it! :)

Connie~ I've heard raw milk is much better than pasteurized, but I've never tried it! We'll be doing school part time through the summer... in part to make up for last year and in part to keep my boys out of trouble!

Maureen~ 90% is great! Pizza and good bread are two of my weaknesses, too.

Jill~ I'm certain that neck and shoulder strain is a big part of my headaches. I've been to the chiropractor before, but not in the past few months. Might have to try that again!

KatolinFamily~ Sometimes baby steps are the ones that stick the most! Keep up the great work!

Grandma~ I have a hard time leaving sugar alone, too. Especially when it comes in the form of baked goods... Thank you (both of you!) for being such great cheerleaders. I love you!!

Charis~ Thanks for letting me know that you've joined me in the journey. You can do it!!

Anon~ My boys haven't seen a huge change in their diet. They like eggs, so they've had those with me in the morning (though they really miss pancakes and sometimes they have yogurt and granola bars), they still eat pb&j sandwiches for lunch (and other stuff), and they eat meat and veggies for dinner with my husband and me. The veggies are hit and miss as far as which boy likes them, but they like meat for the most part. I've been surprised a few times with them liking some of the new recipes I've tried. I don't *think* my headaches are hormone related, but it's a possibility. I think I get them for a variety of reasons (not enough water, not enough sleep, sleeping in weird positions, too much sugar, neck and shoulder muscle issues, nerve/skin sensitivity...) which means I get them often!

Heidi said...

Kathy~ I need to do another follow-up post with details such as menus. Be sure to look at some of my previous Whole30 posts where I share recipe links and menu ideas. I tend to find the things I like to eat and then stick with those, so I didn't have a huge variety...

Eggs and meat for breakfast (pork sausage, bacon, chicken and apple sausages)

Banana w/ almond butter, nuts, or sweet potato chips for snacks, Larabars when I was out and about

Leftovers, chicken salad, taco salad or tuna/grape tomatoes/sunflower seed wrapped in lettuce for lunches

Meat and veggies (and/or spinach/fruit smoothies) for dinner

(and dates when I needed a little something sweet)

For meat and veggie dinners we did stir fry, grilled meats, roasted veggies, baked fish, and various salads.

Ridenour Family said...

Way to go!!! I commented at the beginning of your journey, telling you I am doing it also because of yur inspiration. I lost 22 pounds. I was floored at how much different I felt while on this plan. I took a little break, and I'm starting another 30 days starting today. Thanks again for sharing this. It's so inspiring!

Heidi said...

Ridenour Family~ 22 pounds?!!! That's fantastic! I'm so excited for you. I think I'm going to have to do another 30. I don't seem to do so well without strict rules...

Anonymous said...

I only stuck with it for a week, but lost 5 lbs. I felt great, had energy, and I was also able to finally uncover a food allergy. I think I will go back to it and I like your 80-90% plan for after the month. :) Most of all it was nice to not feel guilty for overconsuming sweets!

Ridenour Family said...

Yes, 22!! I also have a lot of weight to lose (almost 80 pounds), so hence the higher amount, I'd say. I took a little time off, and now I'm back at it again. I originally started it because of horrible pain issues with my body, and the weight loss was nice icing on the cake. My pain went away on the diet. I, too, am floored by effects of your diet in your body. (it seems like, "duh", but we, as Americans, have gotten such a disconnect as far as this relationship is concerned).
By the way, I'm a recovering Dr Pepper addict too. I always say that it's a good thing it's not an alcoholic drink, or I'd be attending meetings!!!