Today I have something extra special for you guys! My friend who blogs over at the-loudmouth.com took some time to write up a post for you guys all about surviving a Whole30. You might remember her from that one time I guest posted on her blog. What’s a Whole30? Well, I’ll let her tell you. Here she is!
Hello out there to Alysia’s lovely followers! I’m Stephanie and I blog over at The Loudmouth Lifestyle about food, fashion and living life to the fullest. I’m all about eating well and spending less while still having fun. If that sounds good to you, read on.
Have you tried Whole30 yet? I’m a big fan. I’ve completed two of them so far. If you’re not familiar, it’s 30 days without grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and legumes. I don’t eat much meat so I lived on fruit, vegetables, eggs, fish, and nuts. And I loved it.
This may sound like torture. As someone who spent many years drinking lattes, Cokes and tequila on the regular I totally understand. However, it’s not as hard as you think. And if you survive it, your life will be forever changed.
Lucky for you, since I’ve done it twice, I’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t. I’m here today to share my secrets of getting through Whole30 and ending it successfully, if you so dare to take on the challenge.
1) Prepare yourself. Remove anything non-Whole30 from your kitchen. Give it away or donate it. I tried to finish my cabinet’s carbs and sugars the week before, but I ended up feeling sick and bloated. (This may be a good thing, though, if you need extra motivation to start eating right.) Then, go on a huge shopping trip for healthy goodness. Prep your meals by cooking meats and vegetables ahead of time so you can grab and go throughout the week. Tupperware was my best friend for the month. When you make it as easy as possible, it’ll be impossible to fail. Don’t forget to take a before photo, no matter how embarrassing it is!
2) Keep a food diary. In college I was one of those crazy girls who counted calories. I lost weight, but I was also kinda starving myself because I wasn’t eating the right things. There’s no counting during this challenge, so don’t worry about that. However, I do recommend writing down everything you eat. This will help hold you accountable, and you’ll also be able to look back and see your progress. In addition, you’ll be able to gather more ideas from looking at your ingredients on paper, and you can re-create some of the meals you really liked. Purchase a fresh notebook or just use your daily planner!
3) Do research before you leave the house. Just because you can’t drink doesn’t mean you can’t be social, but something I really liked to do was check out menus before I went to meet friends. Look up what the chosen restaurant offers and figure out a few options before you get there. That way you’ll arrive prepped with questions for the server and you’ll know if there’s something Whole30-friendly (which, 99% of the time, there will be — it’s your body and you’re allowed to ask for substitutes). I went to plenty of parties and even traveled to Austin during my first Whole30, and still had fun!
4) Keep yourself inspired. Everyone has different ways of doing this, but I personally love self-help and inspirational books; they’ve gotten me through some trying times. I’m not ashamed to admit it. It Starts with Food, the official guidebook by Whole30’s founders, was an awesome tool. Posting progress updates at my blog really helped, too. If you don’t have your own blog, keeping a personal journal may come in handy. If that’s not enough, research other bloggers who have completed the challenge; Nom Nom Paleo and The Clothes Make the Girl are two of my faves.
5) Reward yourself. After a couple weeks without added sugar, apples with almond butter and cinnamon will taste like candy, and Kombucha will feel like your favorite cocktail. Allow yourself these little rewards for a job well done. Feel free to fantasize about what you’ll be able to have after, too. I literally googled pictures of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos because I was craving them so bad, and I made a list of everything I wanted to eat on Day 31. Apparently, you’re not supposed to binge right after ending the month, but go ahead — I won’t tell.
Thanks Stephanie for such great advice! I kind of want to do a Whole30 after reading this post! Have any of you guys ever done a Whole30 or something similar? What advice do you have? These are some great tips! Are you thinking about doing a Whole30? Let me know in the comments.