You committed to the Whole30 program. If you’re anything like me you’ve fantasized off and on about eating All. The. Things. at some point during this journey. It definitely wasn’t easy, but you made it through. Your non scale victories are off the charts; you’re more confident in yourself, your jeans fit better, your skin is more clear, and you’ve figured out a diligent routine when it comes to meal planning and healthy habits… so now what? What does life look like AFTER the Whole30?
Back in December we started a Whole30 Facebook group for people looking for support during their journey, and one of the most common questions that continually comes up is, “What the heck do I do now?!”
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Melissa Hartwig of The Whole30 dedicates an entire chapter in her book to the reintroduction process. And while you might be tempted to head straight to the buffet to indulge in ALL the naughty things you missed out on for the last 30 days, that is exactly the opposite of what the book encourages.
Thirty days ago I decided to take the Whole30 challenge pregnant. You can read more about that in my Can I do Whole30 Pregnant post. These last 30 days have been an emotional rollercoaster. It’s been hard, yes, but I have had some amazing results that I’m excited to share with you!
10 Reasons I’m Not Heading straight to The Buffet After Whole30 (even though I contemplated it a few times)….
- I haven’t had to take a nap in 30 days. I know this might sound absolutely absurd to some of you, but I parent two wild boys who NEVER run out of energy. This combined with simultaneously growing another human inside of me, left me exhausted each and every day. Prior to Whole30 this month my food choices had become purely convenience based, which led to some REALLY horrible eating. I was reaching for simple carbs every few hours. I have had more energy these last 30 days than I had in months. It’s amazing what nutrient based food choices will do for your energy level.
- Healthy Skin. Within 9 days my skin had completely cleared up and was smooth! So smooth that at one point I washed my face three times before I realized the soap was indeed already washed off, and this is just how my skin feels when I’m eating the right foods.
- Regularity. Ya know how sometimes when you’re pregnant, your digestive track isn’t exactly working the way it should. This might be on the verge of TMI, but Whole30 cleared that issue ALL up for me.
- Meal Planning is Baaaaaack. With more energy came more time for me to get things I needed done! I became diligent at healthy meal planning.
- Organization. Once my head was completely out of the food fog, I became more efficient at so many little things that made my life easier! I haven’t left dirty dishes in the sink even once this month. I stayed on top of the laundry. I was even able to re-organize my pantry and fridge. This from the girl who, prior to Whole30, couldn’t even make it through a day without a nap!
- Workouts. This whole time I thought pregnancy was making CrossFit incredibly difficult. Once I changed my diet, I set two PR’s (personal records), was able to finish my workouts as programmed, and minus the growing wall ball under my shirt, almost felt like I wasn’t pregnant at all.
- Our dining out bills dropped significantly. Throughout the entire month our family ate out three times, and this includes a 4 day camping trip to the beach. Healthy home cooked meals became our norm.
- My headaches are gone. Another symptom I thought was pregnancy induced, was really just caused by the massive amounts of sugar and simple carbohydrates my body was getting. No need for Tylenol, and no need for caffeine.
- I feel more comfortable in my clothes. This might sound ridiculous coming from somebody walking around with what looks like a bowling ball under their shirt, but my clothes started to actually fit better. I noticed major differences in my legs, back, arms, and even neck.
- Confidence… in so many areas of my life. I feel like a better mom and wife when I’m providing my family with healthy meals. I feel like I can contribute so much more knowledge and encouragement to the health and fitness community having completed another round of Whole30.
Now before you go off thinking the month has been complete bliss, I want to be completely honest with you. I had some serious emotional ups and downs. One moment I felt like I never wanted to have even one bite of sugar again, and the next I wanted to drive over the Nothing Bundt Cake and eat the entire thing myself. My temper was shorter with my kids and husband on a few days, especially towards the beginning.
Will I be completing another round of Whole30? No. However many members of our Facebook group are sticking around for another month! You can join by clicking this link.
Will I go back to my old ways? Absolutely not.
Whole30 was a reset for me. It enabled me to grow diligent in my meal planning, regain self-control, and reap the benefits of healthy eating. The last thing I want to do is wreck all the hard work I’ve put forth this past month. There are certain things I’m looking forward to like a date night with my hubby and maybe even a smore on our next camping trip. But basing my diet on healthy foods that will sustain me has become my normal once again, and I’m not even the least bit tempted to go back to store-bought lasagna!
In one word, life after Whole30 is… INTENTIONAL.
What will my diet look like going forward? This experience has (once again) taught me exactly what my body responds well to; vegetables, protein, healthy fats, and fruit. I plan to slowly reintroduce certain foods into my diet, but I will be back to maintaining a paleo lifestyle.
If you think your Whole30 Journey might be leading you down the road of a paleo lifestyle we put together a list of our favorite Paleo cookbooks! I get most antsy and am tempted to make unintentional food decisions when I experience food boredom. These cookbooks are sure to give you not only recipe variety but encouragement that properly fueling your body is WORTH it!
- Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great by Danielle Walker
- Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes to Make Anytime by Danielle Walker
- Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Melissa Joulwan
- Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Melissa Joulwan
- The Paleo Kitchen: Finding Primal Joy in Modern Cooking by Juli Bauer
- Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook: Over 100 Gluten-Free Recipes to Help You Shine from Within by Juli Bauer
- Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans by Michelle Tam
We are wishing you the very best of luck with life after Whole30!
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If you liked this post you might also like our My Whole30 Journey Series.