reflections after completing the whole30 (whole9)

February 2, 2013

we did it!! 30 days of no sugar, dairy, grains, legumes, bread/rice/pasta, processed anything.

it was difficult, wonderful, and extremely valuable.

sometimes … beautiful insights, connections and habits come from taking the right step – which could never have been predicted or anticipated.

i knew this cleanse was *that* step for our family, and indeed … what it has produced and inspired is not what i expected.

i want to preface by sharing that i’ve had this word – organize – on the forefront of my mind as i’ve thought about 2013. it doesn’t sound very spiritual but something within me has gravitated to that word as my word for this year. organize … my home, our schedule, some habits, some messes. it’s time.

i had no idea that this cleanse would move me beautifully and firmly in that direction! i tend to have a rhythm vs a tight schedule when it comes to our days at home; an order or sequence (roughly!) of events but no set times, really. i tend toward flexibility and spontaneity. but i am finding that a tighter schedule and more structure really brings a freedom and peace of mind!

:: this cleanse created this focus on mealtimes; in the absence of mindless snacking, there was an intention about eating. we were hungry and ready!  i had to PLAN and put in time preparing every meal. so about the second week, mealtimes crystallized: 12noon for lunch, and 6pm for dinner. those hard-stops then helped inform the schedule for the morning and created sort of a domino effect. and it felt GOOD. i want to press forward with this for our family.

:: necessity inspired me to become even more creative in the kitchen! from ideas to satisfy our sweet tooth, main dishes trying to mix up the meat & veggie combo, and the endless pursuit of a breakfast that was something other than sausage/turkey bacon (chop and saute sweet potatoes and apples in coconut oil with cinnamon!) … we tried new things this month. in fact, that is something maddie shared as her highlight of this cleanse: she tried and enjoyed new things. yes!

:: i had hoped for a clearing of skin issues for my babies … really suspecting foods as a trigger … but if anything, their skin worsened this month. very discouraging and yet helpful, knowing that we *completely* eliminated nearly every trigger that could be eaten. now to figure out other triggers … !

:: i lost 15 lbs! and 2 days post-cleanse, i was down 17 lbs. losing this postpartum weight was and continues to be a primary goal for me, so i am stoked!

:: as for the effects you sometimes hear about, the clear-headedness, extra energy, etc … ya, those didn’t happen so much. lol. i DO feel more clear, and for sure there were days of great energy. but i can’t say that i have this profound, overwhelming sense of feeling GOLD (which is how i felt after doing 9 day isagenix cleanses). of course, this may have to do with the reality of having TWO BABIES and sleepless nights!! LOL.

i do feel better. some aches and pains have lifted. i feel stronger.

:: another emerging habit: daily walks in the afternoons.  i have come to really look forward to these each afternoon, which is awesome!! i pack the babies in the double stroller and take an invigorating walk through our neighborhood. we had several afternoons of beautiful sunshine which was awesome; there have been some drizzly cold afternoons that made the walk impossible. but most afternoons, i did it … and it felt GREAT.

:: there is nothing like the sense of empowerment from exercising will power and self control.  i think this may be the biggest takeaway for our girl: knowing she can do it!! she can set her mind to a seemingly impossible task (no sugar for 30 days, are you kidding?!) and she DID it. with literally NO COMPLAINTS. focused. and she beamed with satisfaction upon completion.

:: the first several days were really difficult but never excruciating. honestly, my biggest craving this month was my {favorite} hazelnut breve from dutch bros. i missed that! fast food didn’t even sound good to us, which was great (still doesn’t).  i was pleasantly surprised how much i liked real coconut milk (from the can) in my coffee, with a dash of stevia. yum.

:: satiation definitely is happening much sooner when eating; our stomachs have shrunk? for sure, we are all satisfied with  much less.

:: i feel a serious sense of having reset the metabolic picture for my body; the “nutritional reset” you hear about happened for sure. i am fine with feeling a little hungry. most nights, i went to sleep slightly hungry and i was ok! i don’t have to respond to the slightest twinge of hunger with food, immediately. food has lost some control, if that makes sense.

:: as day 30 approached, i felt some angst about the big question: what next?? what to reintroduce and bring back to our meals? my tentative plan is to bring back brown rice, soaked whole grain bread, cream for coffee, cheese (yes!!), oats/whole grain breakfast cereal, rice pasta.  i won’t be buying any refined sugar or white flour. we will have one cheat day a week. i will severely limit my brown rice/rice pasta/whole grain bread, until i’ve lost the rest of the weight i need to lose. i will continue to focus on creating meals for my family around good protein, veggies and fruits (+ rice, quinoa, etc for them).

:: real, whole foods will continue to be the norm.

{doing this cleanse with a few dear friends and their families was invaluable!! we kept each other accountable, we shared words of encouragement and recipes … it was the best! i love you ladies!!!}


One Response to “reflections after completing the whole30 (whole9)”

  1. home2learn Says:

    i knew this would happen – i’d think of more things to share!

    this diet was *expensive: eating so much organic meat drained our food budget 2 weeks in to the month.

    it was also very time-intensive – i spent hours prepping and cooking food each day.

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