Thinking about doing Whole30 or want to learn about it? My honest review about Whole30 offers information about the program as well as the good and the bad from my first Whole30 experience.
My Honest Review About Whole30
It was a late summer day, as my husband and I snacked on a whole bag of cheesy Doritos, when he guiltily looked at me and said, “I think we should do Whole30 again.”
The first time we tried Whole30 was in March. I became quite the fanatic about it. I read all about it, followed Whole30 coaches and bloggers on social media, and talked about it incessantly.
My husband Matt, on the other hand, didn’t quite enjoy it and was even a little bitter about it. However, once it was over and he saw the results he quickly became a believer. So, when he mentioned doing a second round of Whole30, I was so excited to have him fully onboard, hopefully with a little less complaining.
Today, I want to share with you my honest review about Whole30 from our experience the first time around.
Hopefully, this post can help you decide to do Whole30 if you are on the fence about it. Or if you’ve never heard of Whole30, this can be a place where you can start learning about it and perhaps be convinced to try it in the future.
What in the world is Whole30?
There are so many great resources out there explaining the program much better than I ever could, including the Whole30 books and their website. However, as a Whole30 believer here are some highlights about the program that sold me on trying it out.
- First of all, think of Whole30 as a reset for your health, your eating habits, and your relationship with food.
- Whole30 asks you to eliminate foods that have been shown by science to promote unhealthy cravings and habits, disrupt metabolism, damage your digestive tract, and hinder your immune system.
- You have to cut out these food groups for a total of 30 days.
- Then, systematically reintroduce those foods paying attention to how they affect you. This can be anything from your cravings, mood, energy, sleep, digestion, existing medical conditions, and more.
The five food groups to eliminate during Whole30:
- Sugar – any added sugars of any kind, whether they are real or artificial
- Grains and Grain Like Seeds
- Legumes – not just beans but it also includes peanuts and peanut butter
- Dairy – from cow, sheep, and goat’s milk
So what can you have:
- Natural Fats
Again this is just a basic overview, but it helps sum up the nitty-gritty of the program.
For more comprehensive information and program guidelines, check out the Whole30 website here.
Why did we decide to do Whole30 in the first place?
I first began hearing about Whole30 two years ago on social media. At first, I thought it was just another trendy fat-loss diet. My husband and I were already following the Tim Ferris’ slow carb diet and had great results with it, so I just wasn’t interested.
But, the Whole30 chatter just kept growing. Eventually, I paid attention and learned Whole30 was not actually made to be a fat-loss diet (although most people do lose weight on it). Instead, its main purpose is to reset and detox your body.
Matt and I always thought that our bodies did not respond well to certain foods. Yet, we were always too afraid or lazy to find out exactly what foods were causing us harm. Whole30 offered the opportunity to eliminate those problem-causing foods and finally get some answers.
Then there were the testimonials! So many Whole30 participants were claiming the program helped relieve and even cure other conditions such as allergies and headaches. I have terrible allergies year-round and suffer from terrible headaches, so I just had to give it a go.
What the heck did we get ourselves into?
Since this is my honest review about Whole30, I have to tell you the first round of Whole30 was challenging. It was difficult to eliminate certain foods that we both loved, it was difficult to learn to read labels, to change our eating and shopping habits, and to stop snacking.
From my perspective…
Being the main cook in our household, I had to adjust to a new way of shopping and cooking. The very first time I went to the grocery store to prepare us for Whole30, I spent almost three hours at the store reading labels to find Whole30 compliant foods. I also had to find new recipes and eliminate the use of tortillas, rice, beans, and cheese which were a part of so many of the foods I was used to making.
Thankfully after that horrible grocery run and learning more about what foods we could have, Whole30 became easier for me. Also, I started understanding what I had been putting in my body. I was appalled at the amount of added sugars found in most foods. I couldn’t believe how many gross additives and artificial ingredients I had been feeding my family.
After the first week, cooking with the Whole30 parameters started to make sense and it was even fun to see what recipes I could turn into Whole30 compliant ones.
Even more surprising to me, was that I stopped being a person who always said, “I could never give up milk” and “I can’t drink coffee without sugar.” These were all lies. Although I missed milk, I realized I could live without it and my body and stomach thanked me for it.
I also learned that coffee is actually pretty good without its flavor being masked by tons of sugar or sweet syrups. I used canned coconut milk and cinnamon, or an amazing Whole30 approved creamer called Nutpods. These things made my coffee easier to drink, and dare I say enjoyable.
If you haven’t tried Nutpods, you need to! You can find it by clicking here.
From my husband’s perspective…
For a while, it had become Matt’s habit to arrive from work and crack open a beer, have a glass of wine, or open up a bag of sugary candy. These were ways to reward himself after a long day or to compensate for low energy levels.
He acknowledges he used food as a coping mechanism. But he’d soon regret these choices as he spent the rest of the night suffering from heartburn, headaches, an upset stomach, or a poor night sleep. Then for some strange reason, the next evening, he’d start the vicious cycle all over.
It was difficult for him to curb his snacking more than anything. There were a few times when he almost slipped up. He would get mad about being on Whole30 and would wish for a cheat day. However, he soon learned that what you put into your body is what you become. He says the only person that is in control of it is you.
Did Whole30 actually improve our lives?
Now, you might be wondering if any of the claims and testimonials are true and why we ever decided to do a second round. Well, here is why:
- We slept better. Our sleep was deep and we would wake up so rested.
- Digestion issues, headaches, allergies, soreness, and moods improved.
- We felt lighter, both physically and mentally.
- We learned to read food labels and made better choices about which foods we were consuming.
- We tried new foods and created new recipes.
- We learned how our bodies react to certain foods.
- We lost the last few pounds we had been unable to lose with our former diet.
Overall, it just made us feel better and improved our relationship with food!
Click on the images below for some Whole30 recipes already on the blog!
Should you try Whole30?
Yes, you should!
Whole30 might seem daunting and hard at first. But, my complete and honest review of Whole30 is – it is truly life changing once you do it.
The first couple of weeks are the hardest, but right after your halfway point, your body starts working better, your brain is sharper, your sleep is deeper, and the program makes sense.
Then there’s the overwhelming satisfied feeling of reaching your goal on that 30thday!
For all of these reasons and because of our unhealthy obsession with Doritos, on September 10, we began our second round of Whole30. Today marks our 22ndday and we have already seen all of the listed results and then some.
How can Everyday Latina help me with Whole30?
I hope this has been useful and helpful. If you are wondering what type of meals you can even have on this program, I have linked some of my Whole30 compliant recipes below.
Keep checking back because there are so many more Whole30 recipes coming soon! I will also be sharing about our experience with our second round.
Check out these Whole30 compliant recipes:
- Mexican Meatball Soup
- Coconut Lime Jalapeño Dressing
- Spicy Guacamole with Roasted Vegetables
- Jalapeño Salsa
- Lime Coleslaw
- Pan Seared Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Pico de Gallo Salsa
If you still have questions about our experience or want to know more, leave me a comment below.
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