So if you’ve been following along on instagram or have been within ear shot of me over the last few weeks, you know I’ve been working my way through the Whole 30 Challenge.
My goal with this challenge is to reset my body from overindulging in November + December (#oops), clearing up my skin + gaining improved energy + mental focus.
I stumbled upon all of this in the middle of las year. Curious to learn more about it, I quickly bought the book written by Dallas + Melissa Hartwig. (You can find you copy here.)
They had me at the first line:
“It’s not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.”
I don’t know about you but that was the kind of kick in the ass I needed. I mean, really…giving up a few not-so-good for you things in exchange for better health was. not. that. hard. I could learn to tame my sugar dragon + say “no” when offered a cookie.
For those of you unfamiliar with the challenge taking social media by storm, Whole 30 is a 30 day challenge to eliminate soy, grains, dairy + legumes (those are beans...which I had to look up myself. Lol.) from your diet before slowly reintroducing them back in afterwards. So mainly, fruits, veggies + lots o' meat.
This helps you to eliminate foods that are naturally inflammatory + can cause a number of different health issues in order to address any issues you may have. If you don’t have any food related ailments, go you! The list of positive side effects is so extensive it’s reason enough to give it a try!
I usually follow a healthy eating model of 80/20. Eighty percent of the time I choose healthful, nourishing foods that my body needs + 20% of the time I indulge. For the most part, it works! I never feel deprived + I feel like I’m operating at about a 7 or 8 on any given day.
A few years back I was having stomach issues that I couldn’t resolve. In an effort to get to the bottom of it I removed gluten + then dairy from my diet.
I had never felt better. My energy was through the roof, I never was uncomfortable + my skin was glowing.
I eventually would reincorporate those foods back into my diet in moderation (because pizza, pasta + pie) but still feel a majority of its benefits.
That is until this past holiday season…I ate like Buddy the Elf for two months straight. Hot chocolates left + right, cookies (yes, even the dough!), cakes + pies. It was never ending!
That’s when I decided I would end this bender with Whole 30 beginning in January.
So here I am! I started the year with a 3-day juice cleanse (Pressed Juicery!) to help me break the habit of over indulging, which helped A LOT!
(**A funny side effect of a juice cleanse is the overwhelming productivity you experience because you never have to stop what you’re doing to worry about cooking or grabbing food!**)
That first day on Whole 30 was…rough. Not gonna lie, coming off a juice (sugar) cleanse for three days definitely took a toll on me that day. I felt like everything I saw was sugar. I looked gray + I felt like a zombie. Probably looked like one too. LOL.
I’m not sharing this to deter you from doing it or scare you away but to tell you that the hardest part of this whole thing only lasts a short while + the process strengthens your willpower muscle like nothing else.
The following two days were slightly better, my energy came back + I craved sugar but not in the same way. The cravings wouldn’t last as long + if I needed to, I would just grab an apple.
Now that I’m on Day 5 I feel like the worst is over. The biggest improvement I’ve felt so far is the mental clarity I’ve gained back. If you’ve never experienced what I’m talking about, most likely you’re currently (+ have always been) in a fog. Most of us are 90% of the time! I’ve been more productive than ever feel less-stressed all the way around.
I thought I’d share some tips I’ve learned so far in these last five days in hopes to encourage you to give it a shot (or make some positive change towards healthy eating!) in the New Year!
How to conquer the first stage of Whole 30 + “slay your sugar dragon”:
Get the book. It helps. In it they explain the science behind everything + why it’s good to go through with this according to plan. If you’re anything like me, I don’t do anything just because…I need to know why.
Meal prepping is KING. You. Must. Meal. Prep. It’s non-negotiable. There aren’t enough foods you can grab on the go to do with out this step. Once you’ve prepped, you’ve saved yourself a shit ton of time during the week + made those moments of weakness much more manageable. “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
Prep breakfast too. I feel like breakfast never really enters the meal prep domaine all the often but I really recommend making a big batch of something. I made a breakfast casserole that was honestly amazing + could eat everyday probably until the end of time. it’s so worth the time up front to make your mornings much smoother. I would double this recipe! (Especially if multiple people are eating it…it will not last!)
Support system. I’m going through this challenge with a few friends. Its super helpful to have people to bounce ideas off of for recipes or just to simply text when you want a cookie. Ha! The more the merrier to keep you accountable + on track.
Fat Fat Fat. All the fat for breakfast. It keeps you SO full + satisfied longer than anything else you can eat in the AM. So eggs, avocados, nuts…bring em on!
I will make sure to keep you updated on the process. If you don’t already, follow me on instagram where I post different snack ideas + recipes on instastories!
What are you doing this new year to be a healthier, happier you?! I’d love to know! Shoot me an email, DM or leave a comment!
xo, Kendall Marie