Going Beyond Whole 30 - Lifestyle Changes

Today is Day 24 of the Whole 30!!!!  One more week to go!!!

Now is the time to start thinking about what life will look like after Whole 30 is finished.  Where will the road take me after the life changing 30 days?

Photo by felipe lopez on Unsplash

Spoiler alert: for me....it's going to look about the same.  I'm in no hurry to end the changes I've made during this Whole 30.  Being free of dairy, grains, sugars, alcohol, legumes, etc. has been the best choice I've made in a long while. 

When I started Whole 30, I was completely stressed and exhausted from the holidays.  By December 31st, I was bloated, drinking wine too often, and contemplating pie as a feasible breakfast choice in order to clean out the fridge.....basic post Christmas haze.  Then came January 1st and everything changed. 

From Day 1, I've slept about 8 to 9 hours a night like a passed out zombie.  That has been the biggest improvement that I've noticed.  I go to sleep easily, stay asleep, and wake up refreshed.  The "refreshed" part took a couple of weeks because I was woefully sleep deprived but now sleep is no longer an issue. 

Joint pain?  Bloating?  Yep, major improvements here as well.  Do I still have joint pain?  Yes.  Do I still have some bloating?  Yes.  Are they both a million times better than they were 24 days ago.  YES!

Sinuses?  Feeling clear.  Eyes brighter?  Yes!  Feeling less stressed and anxious?  Definitely.
Skin brighter and tighter?  Absolutely.  Feeling more present with my family?  Completely.

So.....many....positive changes.  Why would I want to mess any of this up by going back to food choices that caused so many problems? 

So, here's the deal Lucille.  Am I going to extend my Whole 30 beyond 30 days?  Yes and no.

I can hear you.....Yes AND No????  You JUST said you don't want to mess any of this up!

That is exactly right.  That said, there are a few things that I need to do that are not exactly Whole 30.

1. There is a laser focus level of required compliance on Whole 30 that is just a bit "much" for day to day life.  I've found suitable swaps for things like BBQ sauce and salad dressings thanks to the wide array of Whole 30 approved products from Tessemae's.  These will now be staples in our home. 

That said, I'm taking my sriracha "rooster sauce" back on Day 31.  It's 1 gram of sugar per serving, I don't use it often but it's coming back.  Also coming back....salsas and other stuff that are 1 gram of sugar or less per serving.  Sugar is still out in a big way for me but things with 1 gram?  I'm over worrying about it.

Other things like soy sauce (I'm a total convert to coconut aminos now), occasional sushi, occasional glass of wine, occasional....insert food here will be on a VERY slow roll reintroduction basis.  Whole 30 eating is going to be my normal 99% of the time.  I feel like I've finally detoxed off a BUNCH of gut disrupting, mood disrupting, weight disrupting, sleep disrupting stuff and I really want to stay that way. So, when/if I have anything super non-Whole 30 compliant it will be a small amount and it's honestly really got to be worth it.  I've worked too hard this month to get to where I am now to throw it all away. 

2.  I'm ready to not think in terms of "Whole 30" anymore.  Don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly grateful for all the work the Hartwigs put into creating this program.  I'm just a little tired of having to be mindful of it all the time.  I immersed myself in Whole 30 Instagrammers, bloggers, books, etc.  It was great at first but I'm a bit saturated with it now.  I think it's important to fully immerse yourself in it so that you find support and don't quit but it's called Whole 30 not Your Whole Life for a reason. 

3.  I plan to dabble in more ketogenic stuff.  As I've mentioned, Whole 30 is just a bit more carbs than I can do and lose weight without being hungry or experiencing nutty cravings.  I want to make some solid progress before our summer vacation and lowering carbs will help with that.  Still staying 100% dairy free though....which I also think would help a lot of people that struggle on keto.

4.  I want to get more focused on exercise.  Exercise is totally Whole 30 approved but by spending less time obsessing over Whole 30 recipes I'll have more time for movement!  Thanks to the Whole 30, I have a lot more energy and want to improve my fitness greatly.  To that end, I'm kicking things off by doing a virtual race called The Road to Hana via Yes Fit.  I plan to do a whole post about this virtual race once I've completed it. 

5.  I want some chocolate.  Not often, not a lot but for the love of all that is good and holy....no one should have to go through PMS without a small piece or two of good quality dark chocolate.  I went as far as stirring cocoa powder straight up into my coffee a couple days.  It's just not the same. 
I'm going to stick with my favorite Endangered Species 88% Cocoa.  It's dairy free, gluten free, and very few carbs per square. 

So, that's about all I plan to change going forward.  I hope my plans become reality.  Consistency and commitment are two things I plan to work on greatly in 2018.  It was very tempting to quit the Whole 30 in the early days because I wasn't seeing all the benefits and my tiger blood was late in arriving.  I mostly stuck with it because I made the commitment and it was important to me to show my children and myself that I did what I said I was going to do.  It's actually funny now because my youngest  requests "Whole 30" meatballs and my oldest asks questions about why certain things aren't allowed which opens up great conversations about food for good health instead of focusing solely on weight.  I know I haven't lost all that much weight on Whole 30 but I've improved my health so much in such a short time that I think weight loss will come easier in the coming months with a few tweaks here and there.  Weight isn't the focus of Whole 30 but going forward I still want to make progress on that front. 

If you've been doing the Whole 30, what are your plans on Day 31?

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