my current weight loss & whole30 journey

i've shared bits here & there about my whole30 journey, but i have yet to sit down & really dive into the details of my experience. 

you see, food is such an intimate & personal topic to discuss. it's as personal as how we choose to raise our children & educate them. homeschool, unschool or public school? vegan, paleo or fruitarian? 

i have witnessed so many food debates. so much so that it leaves me wanting to grab the nearest bag of cheetos & hide in a corner while others argue over the positive & negative impacts of eating meat. i have also witnessed the whole30 gang, belittling & criticising others who don't align with their personal eating habits.

these choices matter - they really do - but let's step back for a moment & recognize that we are gifted with the privilege to choose. we have the choice of gluten free, dairy free, soy free & gmo free while others are faced with the reality that there may not be another meal. 

so, i'm not here to place any judgement or criticism on your food choices because your choices are your choice just as my choices are mine & we are both lavished in privilege to choose. 

i am here today to share my thirty day experience of eating ninety meals that are whole 30 approved. 

so what exactly is whole30? 
i wish i were an expert, but i'm not, so here's a helpful website to learn the basics. there are sets of rules within whole 30 & reasons for why it might be worth your time to commit to the whole30. when in doubt, i check out my whole 30 approved food list. you are not expected to eat whole30 compliant for the rest of your life. instead, whole30 is an effective way to reset your eating habits, identify possible food allergies & kick that sugar craving.

why did i choose to commit to the whole30?
simply put, nothing else was working. i was beaten down & frustrated by my lack of weight loss despite my best efforts. i tried counting calories, weight watchers & running with very little results. i was frustrated that my body wasn't responding to these healthy choices even though i witnessed others benefiting greatly from these programs & lifestyle changes. as i was complaining about my lack of results, my friend, erin, talked me into trying out the whole30.

what were your whole30 results? 
whole30 is not a weight loss plan, but it often results in such. during my whole30, i lost six pounds & a few inches. i gained confidence, energy & a new perspective on health. i was surprised that i didn't lose more weight, but i kicked my sugar craving so i was thankful for this experience.

what did i eat? 
i leaned heavily on pinterest for meal ideas. i cooked a lot of pulled pork in the crockpot & made salads nearly every day for lunch. i spent a lot of time in the kitchen, which is to be expected. i also recognized that i needed a snack between breakfast & lunch so i allowed myself this. 

did you experience any difficulty during whole30?
i was very frustrated my first two weeks of whole30. i was extremely constipated. tmi- i did not go to the bathroom for the first week & i gained nine pounds. i was absolutely miserable & almost threw in the towel. simply put, my body was not used to digesting so much meat. once my body regulated to this change in eating habits, i was better. i still experienced some discomfort throughout the whole30, but this allowed me to seek out alternative proteins for my meals. additionally, i felt left out of a lot of social situations centered around food. i took this as an opportunity to make healthy food choices instead of caving into that cupcake. i ate watermelon instead of cake & savored a larabar instead of pie. 

what did you learn from your whole30 experience?
i learned that i have a gluten & dairy intolerance. gluten & dairy leave me feeling absolutely ill. gluten also prevented me from losing weight. i am also much more aware of the way sugar affects my days. i learned to lean on other foods during emotional setbacks instead of sugary, sweet treats. 

what has been your experience post whole30?
i have actually dropped about 14 pounds since my whole 30, totaling about 20 pounds. i have added honey & maple sugar back into my diet. i sometimes sprinkle a small amount of feta or parmesan cheese into my salads or on top of my vegetables. aside from the occasional cheese & slip ups, i have almost completely removed dairy & gluten from my diet. i said almost - i am still a big fan of half & half in my coffee. i am eating a lot of seafood & limiting my red meats. i pile on the vegetables at meal times & exercise (running & lifting weights) regularly. i try to eat a smaller meal at dinner & eat a larger lunch. 

i am finally finding my rhythm of eating that suits my lifestyle, my body & my overall wellbeing. before going to the beach later this month, i am committing to a whole15 to get me back on track. my friend, kara, & i will be eating whole30 meals for the next 15 days. we started today! i am excited to share my journey via instagram with the #whole30crew hashtag. 

do you have any questions about the whole30? what's your experience in eating to lose weight or better your wellbeing? please share!


did you miss our announcement? we are offering a canning & preserving workshop on our farm on august 16th! registration opens on july 9th at 8am central time. at 8am on july 9th, send me an email confirming your attendance! the first ten to email & pay will participate in our workshop! 

i have so many artists sending goodies for your swag bags & a few surprises up my sleeve. lesley from recipe for crazy will be joining us to assist in teaching! i cannot wait to meet you & share in a day on the farm!


Anonymous said...

This is not on topic, but I just found your blog this weekend and have enjoyed it so much. Even tho I am a fifty-something, empty nester, I am also a farmer's wife (not really but we do have a large garden)and I am re-leaning how to can, love to sew and create, draw and dream. So,I will be enjoying the inspiration you offer.
Your new friend,

Amanda said...

Yes. Dieting and food changes and weight loss is so personal. Thank you for sharing your journey and being brave enough to do so.

Kathleen said...

I'm on day 22 of my first whole30! It's been a lot better than I expected. I know I've lost weight but I don't know how much yet. But I was addicted to sweets and I really do feel like I've overcome that, and that was my main goal!

Kait said...

Thanks for this post! I, too, struggle with so many dietary choices. Right now I am sticking with vegan while at home and vegetarian while eating out and that seems to work with my body. Good luck with the rest of your journey! I really wish I could come to your canning day but I simply don't have the funds right now. It sounds divine though, have the best time and post pictures!


Madelyn said...

Natalie- I love that you wrote about having the privilege to choose your diet! It's so true, those of us to have the ability to pick and choose the foods we eat are very lucky. Thanks for sharing!

Mildred said...

Hi Natalie,
Thanks for the pointer to whole30. I didn't know about it yet and will check it out.

Rachel said...

Natalie, I loved reading about your experience-- Thank you for sharing! While I didn't get into the privilege of choosing our diet in my Whole30 post, it is something I've thought about extensively.

And I hear you on the first/second week...yummy prunes are a whole30 girl's best snack. ;)

Here's to wellness, all around.

Love to you.

Erin said...

Natalie, you look BEAUTIFUL!!! As soon as you said "constipated" I thought "dairy!" I wonder if that was an issue along with the meat?

I've been thinking that I should get rid of dairy to see if there are any changes but it's SO hard!

Loads of well wishes on this journey of yours.


Caitlin said...

I am on Day 17 of my first Whole30, inspired by you! Thank you for your wise words about respecting everyone's choices and appreciating our ability to choose the way we eat. I am having a couple of rough days on Whole30 after feeling really good, but overall I think this has changed my life! My story sounds very much like yours--eating healthy, Weight Watchers, and running with little to no result as far as weight loss. I'm also relieved to hear that your weight loss was not as high as expected, as I think my weight loss might not be significant as well. But I feel great and the food is so good, so I also think I will (mostly) continue to eat this way. Thanks again for your honesty and inspiration!

Anna @ A Good Home said...

Would you consider creating a whole30 pinterest board? I would LOVE to have links to the meals you've used specifically for your whole30(s)!

Unknown said...

Great read. These food really help us losing weight and are healthy as well. Thanks for sharing. Anyway, just wanna share, research shows that a professional healthy weight loss exercise for your body type burns 3x more fat and is twice as enjoyable. It also patronizes eating the proper food to have good metabolism for faster fat loss which shows best result.

Unknown said...

What an amazing message you've given here. Not only do I totally subscribe to it, but it really put things in perspective for me. Well, anyway, I'm glad that you've committed yourself to an awesome dietary plan, and I can see that it's really working for you. You look absolutely gorgeous in that before pic. I hope a lot more people out there would get a thing or two from your journey towards better health. Thanks for sharing and stay awesome, Natalie!

Jackie Wong @ Miami Institute

Adeline said...

You looks beautiful, Nalalie. And yeah you've changed a lot. Great transformation. It truly inspired me. God bless!!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm currently on day 10! Inspired by you, actually, you were the first person I heard of it from last year while I was laying on the couch recovering from a major surgery. Finally, I'm doing it myself! Thank you! Did it change your diet/health/weight for the long term?

Unknown said...

Your blogs and every other content is so entertaining and useful It makes me come back again. weight loss

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