So, guess what??
Actually, I finished it a week ago but have only just gotten the chance to write about it now. But YIPPEE! I DID IT!
What an experience. I definitely proved myself wrong by finishing it. With ease too. Huge pat on the back for me!
So what did I get out of the experience? Did I learn something new about my body? I sure did. A few things actually. I'll dot point them to make our lives easier...
- I FELT GREAT. Seriously. No joke. I would wake up every morning during the last 15 days with energy and ready for the day. My poor (enlightened in my eyes!) boyfriend had to adjust to a bubbly girlfriend every morning when all he wanted to do was just sleep in. It's a hard life for some.
- My stomach went flat. And my abs showed up for a change. The occasional bloat had disappeared (it used to be permanent until I cut grains out of my diet), and a layer of abdominal fat decided to vanish. I wont lie - I happily lifted up my shirt to confirm this pretty much 200000 times a day.
- I became less hungry. The need to snack reduced every day as I had large meals with lots of ample protein and fats to fuel me through the day. THOUGH, I have a confession to make. There were maybe 2-3 days where I ate dried fruit as a snack. Worst mistake ever. They just made me so hungry and want to snack more and more. And then some more. Lesson learnt - dried fruits are a no go zone.
- I subconsciously cut back on my exercising (excluding the 37km charity walk!!) but noticed my muscles began to show a bit more. I was clearly losing all that excess fat around my limbs (I am quite skinny as it is but this was a nice bonus to finally see some definition!).
- My skin cleared a little but not completely. I began a new cleansing routine using organic and all natural products halfway through so not quite sure how influential the diet has been.
- 'Cleansing' was much more regular. I think this contributed most to my flat stomach.
- I actually really enjoyed having 3 square meals planned every day. I loved being so organised and it was exciting to try new meals that I normally wouldn't make. The highlights were a prawn and mushroom pesto pasta (with zucchini noodles) and veggie latkes. Delicious. Visit my Instagram account (@organiconvert) for photos of all my meals!
- Seeing the meals as 1, 2 and 3 instead of breakfast, lunch and dinner helped me to challenge the thinking of 'conventional' breakfast, lunch or dinner meals. I had steak for breakfast, eggs for lunch, salad for dinner. Eggs and bacon for breakfast, leftovers for lunch, fish and chips for dinner. Anything for any meal. Because they are all simply meals to fuel my body - they are just eaten at different times of the day. Hey I got some weird looks from the housemates but meh...
- I went the first half without eating or drinking much fermented foods. Never again. I felt a bit blah one day and ended up on the toilet. It couldn't have been food that had made me sick so I thought maybe there is something missing from my diet that I need. So I had some kombucha and felt so much better. It may not have been the cause for my once off sickness, who knows!? But still, it seemed to work so another valuable lesson learnt!
- I discovered my weakness is raw chocolate and red wine. The only 2 things I missed for the whole 30 days. They tasted so good when I had the chance to celebrate completing the Whole30!!
So where to from now? Well, there are some changes I plan on making permanent:
- I love dairy and don't really want to exclude it from my diet, especially now I haven't really noticed any adverse effects from it. But in saying that, I'm aware it can be unhealthy per se. So, I'm sticking with my new motto - Quality Matters! So raw (whenever possible), organic/bio dynamic and full fat dairy only. None of this $1 a litre crap from the supermarket - time to really support the farmers!!!
- Definitely no more grains. I don't need them nor miss them. Chapter closed.
- Undecided about legumes. I had sprouted lentils on the weekend and noticed no side effects. So again, Quality Matters! Legumes will be a rarity but when I do eat them, they will be organic, soaked and/or sprouted.
- Time to embrace fats! I was fortunate to attend the Low Carb Down Under on the weekend and following very informative speeches with science backing their comments, I'm convinced we are meant to have a diet high in healthy natural SATURATED fats. Don't believe me? Check out Christine Cronau's site and get her book. Or check out David Gillespie's 'Big Fat Lies' book. I had already cut out margarine and other seed oils but this event just cemented the fact that NEVER again will I even go near that stuff. Never.
- Eat fermented foods or have kombucha daily. They help to settle my gut and I know they are vital to healing my gut in the long term.
- Bye bye sugar. You will be the death of me otherwise.
- Fats and proteins will make up the majority of my meals, with minimal carbohydrates. I am going to experiment with this over the next month so I will let you know how that goes.
- Fruit intake to be limited to berries and maximum 2 servings a day. In saying that, summer is coming up so I will enjoy a mango or hell, a fruit salad, now and then. I do have another new rule though - all fruit is to be eaten with fat! Yep, strawberries and full fat cream is on the menu. Why? Because the fat will help reduce the insulin spike caused by the sugar in the fruit. Less harm that way.
- I will continue with the 'meal 1, 2 and 3' thinking. And only eat when I am hungry. Simple.