Before I started Whole 30 I kept thinking to myself that thirty days really wasn’t that long, and truthfully it’s not.  But these past ten days have seemed to absolutely drag on.  I don’t think I can give you a specific reason as to why it has seemed this way, but one thing I know that has contributed is that everyone who knows I’m doing Whole 30 has asked me how much longer I have each time I’ve seen them. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely would not have twenty days behind me without the people who make up my support system and I am so incredibly thankful to each and every one of them for encouraging me throughout this process.  But for me, the second I start to think about how much longer I have to do something it seems to drag on forever.  Five minutes left on the kitchen timer?  Two more songs left in spin class? Ten more days of Whole 30?  Might as well be an eternity to me!

For my last update I did daily summaries that you can read here, but because I didn’t feel too drastically different from day-to-day I thought I would try something a little different for this update.  I get a lot of similar questions, so I thought I would take the time to answer some of them! 

What’s been the hardest?

I have to admit that the “newness” of Whole 30 wore off somewhere around day 12.  For the first week or so I was cooking something new for almost every meal of every day.  It wasn’t long before I was burnt out of cooking and so frustrated that I couldn’t just pick something up on my way home.  This is where meal prep comes in!  I’m no expert, but I’m getting better at figuring it out and am working on a little post about how I do it.      

Eating breakfast is also still really hard for me.  Some days I’m hungry when I wake up and others the thought of anything but coffee is repulsive to me.  It’s easier when I have a casserole or egg muffins pre-made and I can just pop something in the microwave as opposed to cooking, but it’s still not my favorite. 

Have you been tempted to quit?

Twice.  Once was a Sunday after volunteering and I was just exhausted and didn’t have anything ready to eat and the thought of cooking just made me angry.  Maybe my “Kill all the things” phase was just a little delayed ;)

The other was when Kyle and I went into town and the restaurant I found that I could eat at told us the wait was going to be 45 minutes to an hour and there was no way we were going to wait that long to be seated.  We ended up a deli type place and I ate lettuce with a piece of grilled chicken with some olive oil.  I kept thinking to myself how stupid it was that literally the only thing I could eat was lettuce and chicken and had to spend 5 minutes trying to make sure even that was okay to eat.

I think wanting to quit and getting angry with Whole 30 is all a part of the learning process.  If eating clean were easy, everyone would already be doing it and the idea of Whole 30 probably wouldn’t exist.  You have to learn to appreciate that food is fuel for your body and while it is okay to enjoy it, our world shouldn’t revolve around it.        

How have I felt?

Overall, I’ve felt pretty amazing these ten days.  I got that “Tiger Blood” feeling that the book talks about on days 18-19 and I seriously felt like I could do anything.  I wasn’t ready to go out and do a triathlon, but I had more energy for spin classes and didn’t crash or want to nap in the middle of the afternoon.   

I’ve also noticed a huge difference in the way that my clothes are fitting, which has been a huge encouragement during this process since you’re not allowed to step on the scale.  Weight loss wasn’t my number one motivation for doing this, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t giddy at the thought of my clothes fitting better.  It’s a total confidence booster!

My sleep patterns have still been amazing as well.  I’m noticing that I fall into deep sleep more quickly and for longer periods of time throughout the night, which was a huge challenge for me before I started Whole 30.  The only negative I have to say about this ten days is that I did get one upset stomach, but I have to blame that on eating a ton of blueberries – they were just too good to resist! 

How have you dealt with cravings?

My unfiltered answer to this question is, “not very well!”  In the book they tell you that it’s not normal for humans to have such intense cravings that it affects mood and overall behavior, but in the world we live in today, it’s pretty hard not to.

Every time you turn on the TV there’s a commercial for pizza, fast food, etc.  When scrolling through Instagram I see about twenty pictures every day of doughnuts, lattes and other delicious treats.  And worst of all is Pinterest.  Although it’s been a wonderful resource for finding new recipes (you can follow my food board here) it has also been the most frustrating because for every great recipe I find I look at 10 that won’t work.  Whoever is sneaking in deserts to the “Whole 30 Recipes” search, you can stop testing my willpower!

With all that being said, handling the cravings definitely has gotten easier in the second ten days as opposed to the first.  They are definitely still there, just not as intense.  Whenever I start to crave something – usually something sweet or a latte – I think to myself why I started this challenge and how it is definitely not worth it to enjoy a cookie for five seconds and ruin however many days I’ve put in at that point.

But even more important that having the willpower to resist cravings is having the sense to listen to your body.  Notice I said your body, not your mind.  Over time our brains have been conditioned to want sugar and try to trick us into eating it through our cravings.  My rule of thumb to determine if I’m really hungry or if I’m just craving is to ask myself if I am willing to eat grilled chicken and vegetables.  If I am, then I probably am really hungry and need to refuel my body with something healthy.  If I’m not, then it’s just a craving.  The easiest way to get over a craving is to distract yourself.  I usually get up and start doing something around the apartment that requires me to move around, or take pecan for a quick walk! 

What are my plans post Whole 30?

After I get the question how much longer do you have, I always get the question of what I’m going to do diet-wise after I finish the thirty days.  It almost feels like when they ask the winning Superbowl team what there plans are after their win :P  I unfortunately have no plans of Disney World in my near future, but I have started to think about what logically makes sense after I finish, and here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • Go off the sugar deep end (just kidding – sort of)
  • Continue with the Whole 30 diet with no “cheat” days
  • Take one week off strict Whole 30 eating, and then start another round
  • Switch to eating either the Primal diet or Paleo
  • Reintroduce foods a little at a time to see what, if any food sensitivities I might have

As you can see I’m all over the spectrum with what I’m thinking about doing.  In all honestly I probably won’t decide until day 30, because I want to see how I feel at the very end. 

Favorite Foods:

  • Fiesta Breakfast Casserole – I could eat this all day, every day.
  • Mango Chicken with Cauliflower Rice – I made extra sauce (better safe than sorry!) and I didn’t have coconut flakes on hand so added a little bit of canned coconut milk to the rice while it was cooking and it was amazing! 
  • “Breaded” Chicken Nuggets – this is something I’ve been cooking for a while and am working on putting together a formal recipe for!  When I’m cooking I really don’t measure things and kind of just go with what looks right at the time.
  • Roasted Veggies – My usual combo is onions, red peppers, broccoli, sweet potato, carrots and mushrooms.  I toss them in olive oil and season lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder and roast them in the over for 30-35 minutes at 425 degrees.  These are great to eat as a side, as a meal or my favorite, as a veggie egg scramble!
  • Snacks – still loving Cashew Cookie and Coconut Cream Pie Larabars and La Croix.  My other go-to snacks are a handful of raw almonds or fruit and hard-boiled eggs and unsweetened tea of any kind. 

If there’s any specific questions you have or a topic you want to me talk about in my final update, feel free to email me!  Cheers to 10 more days!