By Steph Farrar
So you're asking yourself, what the hell is a Whole30? Can I actually complete a Whole30? Just lean protein, fish, veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds for a month? No booze, sugar, grains, dairy, or legumes... 30 days?
Yes, you can do it. I swear, you can. If I can do it... anyone can. And it will, in fact, change your life.
This is NOT a picture of Kobe's 60 point game on 4.13.16. This is exactly one week prior, when the Lakers were pulverized by the Clippers ... the last night before we started our Whole30.
Yes, we got tipsy, which at the time seemed like a good idea: 30 clean days on the horizon, a court-side Laker Game, no kid-duty until 7 am the following morning (there's the compromise). I do not recommend a big night before you start your elimination 30. It will make it more difficult to cleanse toxins in the those first few days, hence restless sleep, night sweats, even insomnia.
No one likes a hangover anyway.
About three days in, after the charm wore off, I started to question myself on why the hell I was doing this cleanse. I was scared. 30 days began to feel like an eternity ahead of me, after counting the hours of the previous three days, eager for bedtime. I'm one-tenth of the way there? This. Is. Bullshit.
So I visited a dear friend's local community garden a few days into my Whole30, picked veggies and herbs along with one beautiful strawberry, kickstarting my cleanse with fresh air, hot coffee with my favorite almond milk, and the biggest beet I've ever roasted. Along with some Fava Beans I couldn't even eat (no legumes on Whole30... here'swhy).
Craig, The Magus of Wattles Garden.
Sorry Craig. Had to show the world what this master botanist looks like! I will be visiting Craig more often ... to steal his produce and any free time I can sucker out of him. When you've known someone for over 20 years, there's never enough time to catch up.
So here it is. My brief rundown of what's to come in the next 30 days. This article is a great resource for what to expect, but it's not always the same for everyone. I'll kick start with a few words of encouragement, along with the ladybug above for good luck on your adventure. I'm 14 days post Whole30, and not only am I insanely proud of myself for finishing, but these last two weeks off the Whole30 has been much more difficult than on it. My body is so clean and tidy, it doesn't want a patch of dirt in it!
There are many good reasons why you should reintroduce foods slowly, nausea being #1. My tummy hasn't warmed to most ingredients not on the program. My palette is responding to less flavor than I've ever previously enjoyed. It's taking time to freely eat again. It's been a while since I've felt as accomplished, light on my feet, and awake as I have in the last four (now 6) weeks. So I'm trying to take it slow.
After friends Jason and Katie finished a Whole30, glowing like a perfect California summer day, nearly 20 pounds lighter between the two, and gushing about the benefits, I picked a day 30 days in my near future, with something to look forward to and celebrate... my best friend's birthday party was in 33 days. Perfect.
I highly encourage you to pick a day to celebrate... but maybe not your best friend's birthday where you could potentially get loose enough that your friends think you may have been roofied. Skip the pre and post drinking nights people. Seriously. I've yet to get back to par.
Days 1-3: Clearly, on day 1, I felt horrible. Terrible hangover, so I didn't mind eating such a clean diet, minus avoiding milk and sugar in my coffee. I had gone to Whole Foods the day before to make sure I had a few staples to get going. Eggs, fruit, avocado, coconut almond milk, etc. I had lunch with my dear pregnant girlfriend and ordered a simple salad... brought my own dressing to avoid dealing with potentially cheating, especially as it's my first day! Dinner... easy, going to bed... easy, as I was exhausted from general life stuff. Day 1, down!
Day 2 was better, as I clearly wasn't hungover, but quite the opposite. Awake with wild energy, still hating the coffee and missing yogurt, but fine. Day 3, I was able to spend with my daughter, at a friend's kid's birthday party followed by a dinner at Au Fudge... my first night out, no booze. Kind of a relief to not have to pay for booze or an Uber! But I really missed the social aspect of it. Nights 2 and 3 were very rough. Patchy sleep at best, night sweats and tossing constantly. I could literally feel all the junk coming out of my body.
Days 4-8: Someone kill me, what have I signed up for? Oh wait, I'm the only one in charge? I can quit this thing right?
No!!! Keep going.
I think my husband would have poisoned me if he didn't know this cleanse had an end-date. So cranky. So mad at myself for putting us through this. Feeling guilty that Sam was attempting to go along for the Whole30 ride. Oh by the way, total exhaustion. Even after the first night of great sleep I've had in years, Night 4.
We had friends over for brunch that first Sunday and serving them up Proseco wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I didn't even want it. At this point, I'm not only full of pride in my already successful first few days, but also full of what feels like air. SO BLOATED. And the time is passing very slowly. Days 4 and 5 were equally boring... tired and bloated, but sleeping so well that's it's nearly worth it. By day 6, the tyrant in me erupted. I was exhausted and extremely cranky. And stressed for some reason, perhaps giving up things I love, like wine, bread and cheese, was causing some anxiety. Days 7 and 8 lit up a bit... I felt lighter and happier, yet still very gassy and bloated (tmi). I managed to hit up yoga and hike both days, felt enlightened and energized. Starting to think this could be the new me.
Days 9-14: This stretch was particularly difficult. Days 9-11 fell on a weekend where all I did was cook. This was the lovely anchor of time where Sam and I tested some new recipes. We whipped up a veggie frittata for dinner, and for breakie the following morning. We turned Bobby Flay's salmon with brussels and gala apples into a Whole30 dreamboat. We also used my friend Craig's staples from his gorgeous Wattles Garden into a beet, avocado and edible flower salad. By Day 13, after counting the days to what I've heard as "Tiger Blood" day 14, I'm ready for a turnover. I need the bloating to clear, I want my stomach to be flat (like I'd earned), and yoga classes to feel good. None of which became true.
But still, epic sleep. And an overall, undying commitment to finishing.
Days 15-22: By Day 15 I felt great, had found a new normal, and somewhat forgot about this wild new diet. I ended daily journal entries about Whole30 timeline and recipes, and just decided to live. Also at day 15, my face completely broke out... as if I was going through puberty all over again. Luckily it cleared quickly, but herein lies another shining example of toxic elimination. Knowing I had less to go than the time I've already put into my first Whole30, the time began to fly by. And my sleep grew even deeper, my energy level was through the roof, and my overall attitude healthier and happier. One day at a time.
Days 23-29: By this point, I'm bored with food, sick of cooking, and over it. But of course I'm feeling full of energy and addicted to finishing strong. I remember actually stopping by the mirror more frequently to check out my thinning thighs and bootie. Only a few days to go.
Day 30: There's no way I've actually made it. Absolutely no way. What the hell am I going to do now? The evening of this last night took all my willpower to not pop open the special bottle of wine I bought for myself for day 31. I must admit, this in fact, was my hardest challenge... finishing. But I did it.
And the next early afternoon, Sam and I shared this:
And all the sudden I was quickly tipsy on Dom... and truly satisfied in my ability to enjoy it, without needing it.
I mentioned at the beginning of this post that this experience will change your life. It will empower you, energize you, reveal your will power, and your commitment to the promise you made to yourself. It will change the way you see food. It will change the way you order food, the way you shop, and the habits years of bad choices have led you to. You will read labels and find sugar in nearly everything. You will learn you don't have to drink alcohol to relax. You will be so damn proud of yourself that it will rub off on everyone in your life.
So do it. And let us know how you did!!!!
WHOLE 30 APPROVED RECIPES:
(written recipes in following Farrar post, here)
1. Ground Beef with Roasted Sweet Potato and Sunny-side up Egg, sliced avocado
2. Roasted Macadamia Nut Salmon with Brussel Sprout, Apple, Raisin and Bacon Salad
3. Mango, Avocado and Cabbage Slaw
4. Beet, Arugula, Avocado, Edible Flower Salad
5. Asian Cauliflower Rice with Egg and Bacon
6. Kale Chips
7. Breakfast Frittata Mini muffins
8. Nut and Herb Pesto with raw veggies