On September 2, while camping at our favorite spot in Flagstaff, I came up with the idea to go on the Whole30 program. For those of you not familiar with this program, it’s about eating real food for 30 days. Unlike plant based eating programs, the Whole30 focuses on getting protein from animals. There are a list of foods that are not allowed during the 30 days such a sugar, grains, dairy and legumes. Alcohol is also on the list of items to avoid during the 30 days and that was a hard sell to Joe. He eventually came around and we committed to trying the program for 30 days. This is our Whole30 program results and our experiences.
What is the Whole30 Program?
This video describes the Whole30 program and shares a glimpse of our first day on the challenge.
Why the Whole30 Program?
We travel full time in an RV with our rescue pup, Leo. One thing we love to do is sample great food in each city we visit. After a serious food fest of burgers and pizza in Ohio to BBQ ribs in St. Louis, our bodies needed a serious reset.
Whole30 Program Results and Experiences
We kept a log everyday of our Whole30 results and experiences. This is a recap of the highs, the lows, discoveries and the challenges we faced during the Whole30 Program.
Day 1 – Felt great and kicked off the program with a steak dinner.
Day 2 – Discovered cauliflower “fried” rice. It’s not a replacement for real rice, but it is satisfying. Both felt unusually bloated at the end of the day. May have been the extra fiber.
Day 3 – It’s great to have support. Joe’s mom made us a meal that was 100% Whole30 compliant.
Day 4 – Serious sugar cravings. We both had bad cravings for sugary foods, ice cream for me and cinnamon roll for Joe.
Day 5 – Low energy level. Joe woke up not feeling well and had very low energy level all day.
Day 7 – Read the labels. Going to the grocery store taught us to read the labels carefully. We realize how many non Whole30 compliant ingredients are in food labeled as “natural” or “healthy”.
Day 8 – “Can you open a bottle of wine for us?” asked Joe’s mom. Our friend came over for dinner and it was a challenge not being able to toast and share a glass of wine.
Day 10 – Farmers markets rock! We went to a local farmers market and had a blast buying fresh produce. It’s easy to eat Whole30 when we cook every meal at home.
Day 11 – Early morning energy. We both woke up early feeling great, seemed like our bodies finally adjusted to the program.
Day 12 – Fight the temptations. A visit to my parent’s house landed us in the middle of non Whole30 compliant food zone. It was a challenge to not tear into my favorite bag of chips or grab a handful of chocolate covered almonds.
Day 21 – Ribs and more ribs. It has become apparent that Joe has zeroed in on the no calorie countyingand eat animal protein aspect of the Whole30 program.
Day 22 – The worst cravings yet! We both struggled with a strong craving for processed foods. Getting through Costco without getting a slice of pizza was a major challenge.
Day 29 – Light at the end of the tunnel. We spent the evening going through a list of things we want to eat after the 30 days. High on the list was beer and popcorn.
October 1st marked the last day of the Whole30 program for us. To our surprise, we had very different results. In this video, we discuss weight loss, energy level, challenges and benefits.
Our Takeaways from the Whole30 Program
A way to reset our bodies. There are plenty of diets, detoxes that are available and we happened to go with the Whole30 program to reset our bodies. We both felt better towards the end of the 30 days.
Be mindful of what we eat. Reading labels taught us to pay more attention to the foods we purchase and what we eat. There are many hidden ingredients in healthy packaged foods we weren’t aware of before.
No more hangry Kait. The hungry angry Kait was gone after getting over the initial hump.
Different results. The program does not allow calorie counting in the 30 days. At the end, Joe lost 7 pounds and I lost 1.5 pounds. Joe felt like crap for most of the program, while I felt great most of the program.
Not a lifestyle change for us. We enjoyed the way we ate during the Whole30 program and will continue to eat that way at home. When we go out, we’ll enjoy the foods that fall outside of the program. As we travel, we’ll continue to enjoy the local fare.
For those of you who have followed our journey, thank you for joining us and for all your support! If you’ve participated in the Whole30 or thinking about it, we’d love to hear from you!