MY WHOLE30 REVIEW: What I learned from 30 days of a food reset and reentry
What is The Whole30?
If you have been following along with me, then you know that last month, my supportive husband and I decided to dive into the Whole30. We created a meal plan, a shopping list, and a compilation of recipes that we wanted to try. Here is our Whole30 review so that you might consider trying it for yourself!
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The Whole30 is all about 30 days of resetting your body through food. By cutting out processed foods, sugar, alcohol, dairy, and other foods, your body can let go of toxins, bad habits, and inflammation.
Or, keep reading below for our favorite overall recipes from this Whole30 experience!
30 days, 2 Wildly Different Experiences
Over the course of The Whole30, my husband and I experienced wildly different effects. He suffers from allergies and asthma year round. And, despite the fact that he stays in great shape through exercise, he was not prepared for how much better he would feel over the course of the 30 days.
Ordinarily he needs to use his inhaler every single day. However, after just a couple of days of The Whole30, he needed to use it only about once a week even when exercising. His allergies improved, his breathing improved, and his sleep improved.
During the reentry phase of Whole30, he realized that both dairy and grains aggravate his breathing and cause inflammation. Although cutting out dairy and grains completely for the rest of his life is probably not going to be a realistic adjustment for him, he now knows how to control his asthma and allergies through what he eats and has a very positive Whole30 Review.
Finally, in true male fashion, he lost more than 10 pounds over the course of the month. Men always seem to be able to drop weight so much more easily than women. Even though we ate the same foods and still exercised together, the Whole30 had a radical change on his body for the positive.
Experience B: My Whole30 Review.
My Whole30 Review, on the other hand, was very different. While my husband struggles with dairy and grains, I have a real addiction to sugar. Going 30 days without sugar made my irritable and tired, as expected.
But, I was not prepared for how nauseous the food would make me. I predominately fill my diet with fruits, veggies, dairy, bread, and some meat. Switching to the Whole30 plan cut out dairy and bread, leaving me with large portions of meat.
Apparently my body does not handle meat or even nuts very well as I spent several evenings curled up in bed sick to my stomach. After a couple of weeks of feeling sick after most meat-heavy meals, I switched to many more plant-based meals.
My husband loved steak and potatoes for dinner, but I opted for salads with avocado and grilled chicken or pizza potatoes (see below!)
And, unlike my husband, I lost only 3 pounds. To be fair, I never counted any calories and never expected to lose much weight, so I am very happy with a 3 pound weight loss. However, fair warning, don’t approach the Whole30 as a weight loss program.
When all was said and done, however, I was very glad to have learned to avoid the excess sugars in my life. Candy, cookies, and even lattes are constantly present all around me, and avoiding them for 30 days has helped me temper my portions.
Whole30 Review: What were my favorite meals and foods?
But, if you are wondering, “what did you eat?” Well, after 30 days of The Whole30, we tried dozens of new recipes. And, not all of them made the cut. So, I wanted to share with you our favorite Breakfasts, Lunches, and Dinners that I hope might make it on your Whole30 recipe list as well!
For breakfast, we ate tons of eggs! We ate fried eggs, scrambled eggs, and even hard-boiled eggs. It was great! Our favorite eggs to go were these microwave scrambled eggs with salsa. (Microwave 2 scrambled eggs in 30 second increments for 2 minutes!)
But, try these scrambled egg cups for hearty make-ahead breakfasts. With eggs, chicken, spinach, and salsa, these egg cups are going to become a regular breakfast in our house.
Our overall winner though of favorite breakfast were these sweet potato waffles. Topped with a scrambled egg and all-natural sausage, these sweet potato waffles were delicious and filling.
You can never go wrong with a crunchy salad. However, most salad dressings contain ingredients that are not Whole30 approved. For salads, veggies, hot wings, and more, I highly recommend these Tessamae’s dressings.
Each one is Whole30 approved and delicious. We used them for dips, for cooking, and for tossing hot wings.
Both of us missed pizza especially on Friday night family movie nights. So our Whole30 review has to include some of our favorite comfort-like foods. We tried this yummy cauliflower pizza, but we both wish that we had discovered these easier potato pizzas earlier in The Whole30. Replace movie night with these pizza potatoes for a hot and satisfying Whole30 pizza alternative.
Topped with all of your favorite pizza ingredients (except the cheese) and sauce, the potatoes become your crust!
The other food that we missed was TACOS. So, we made the tacos and nixed the tortilla shells. A simple taco bowl was a great taco alternative for dinner.
However, the overall favorite dinner of the entire Whole30 was a simple dinner of fried chicken! We made this recipe at least once each week, and even the kids loved it. We added sweet potato spirals, and a salad to round out the meal, and the whole family was happy!
Yes, we tried several new and exciting foods like coconut cilantro shrimp and marinara zoodles, but this comfort meal of chicken nuggets was easily the most cooked and most enjoyed Whole30 meal. As a family with small children, this chicken recipe definitely makes it into my Whole30 Review as a top favorite.
Now, we have completed The 30 days of The Whole30 and a brief reentry phase. Although we are glad to be back to our regular diet and glad to be able to visit a drive thru on a busy evening, we have both learned to approach food differently.
Hopefully our family will integrate more whole foods: fruits, vegetables, and organic meats, into our usual meal routine. And, hopefully, I can kick at least some of my sugar habit.