Whole30: Final Thoughts (Round 2)

Yet again, 3o days have flown by and today is Day 1 of what I–and a whole bunch of other Whole30ers–are calling their ‘Food Freedom Forever.’

That’s the title of Melissa Hartwig, the brains behind the Whole30, newest book.  These last 30 days, scheduled to correspond with the debut of the book (which arrived on my doorstep yesterday, Day 30), were a much-needed dietary ‘reset’ for me, since my vacation/summer eating hadn’t really ended…and it was pushing September.

Let’s back up.

I decided I needed another Whole30 when it became apparent that my trip to France had derailed the new eating habits I’d learned from my first Whole30 in April.  In hindsight, I should have done a Whole15 as soon as I got back (see the new book for more on that) to get back on track.  Well, I didn’t, and spent the rest of the summer feeling out of control with my eating and splurging any time I felt like it.

As September approached, it seemed like as good a month as any (it even has 30 days!) to begin, and recruited a friend to come on this journey with me.  We joined the #SeptemberWhole30, a large group of Whole30ers who participated at the same time in anticipation of the new book.

I struggle to decide if this Whole30 was easier or harder than my first (back in April). On the one hand, I felt like an old pro; I knew the ins and outs of ingredient labels, what’s allowed and not allowed, and what’s easiest to prepare food-wise for a busy week (of which I have many).  On the other hand, this wasn’t a shiny, new Whole30 for me; it was an admission that I hadn’t held onto the healthier habits I’d been so convinced would be life-long at the end of my previous Whole30.  It was harder when eating out this time, and there were a couple slips along the way.

But, here we are on Day 1 of my reintroduction, and all I’ve had off-plan is a little half-and-half in my coffee.  (SO not as good as I thought it would be.  Wondering about my coffee choice, debating whether I want to try 1/2 a tsp of sugar tomorrow morning or not.) I’m also debating about having a small chocolate truffle that’s sitting in my purse this very minute.

I feel fabulous, my clothes fit better and I’d say I have more energy…except that I’m fighting a cold and have been plagued by some recent (and unexplained) insomnia–I blame too much caffeine and stress.  I didn’t weigh myself this morning, but probably will tomorrow.  I’m guessing I lost about 10 pounds, which is how much I lost last time.

I love all the food I ate, and–just like in my initial Whole30: Round 2 post–I plan to continue along this way, doing the ‘Slow Roll’ reintroduction.  It means that instead of doing the structured re-intro, I just eat things as I want them.  Like that chocolate truffle.

What did I miss?  Surprisingly, not a lot.  (Actually, I wasn’t surprised; at the end of my April Whole30, I was shocked at how little I wanted things–like ice cream–that I’d had to give up.)  I did miss cream in my coffee, and started that this morning (see above).  I also missed gum (I eat most of my meals away from home–at work, in the car–and really like having fresh breath) but didn’t resort to actually using the toothbrush I keep in my purse like I did in April.  I get the point about chewing gum and beginning a cascade of hormonal responses preparing the body for digestion, but I think I’ll still chew gum.  I missed popcorn, but I’m not jonesing for a bowl right now or anything. I’m sure I’ll have some soon.  As for dessert and other sweets?  I’ll address those as they come.  Fall goodies?  Oh yes, I’m sure I’ll indulge a bit in pumpkin EVERYTHING, but only when it’s really worth it.  I’ve already stashed a package of pumpkin waffles (I know, how can pre-made waffles qualify as ‘worth it?’  Trust me, these babies are.) in my freezer and plan to have them as part of a balanced meal, with plenty of protein and fat alongside my carby, sugary waffle.  And if those were EGGO waffles, or pop-tarts, or some other less-fabulous-more-mundane food item, it would still be OK.

Why?  Because if it’s worth it to you, that’s all that matters.  I’ve started reading Food Freedom Forever, and it’s phenomenal.  Seriously.  You CAN have ‘food freedom’ and still enjoy your candy/ice cream/brownie/whatever-you-love sometimes, without the guilt it used to bring before.  It’s all about embracing your healthy eating style, allowing yourself that splurge, and–when you’re starting to backslide into old habits–doing a diet ‘rest’ (like the Whole30, or a Whole15 or Whole7) to get back on track.  It’s that simple.

More on Food Freedom Forever once I finish it.  For now, I’m happy to keep eating all the delicious and super healthy food I’ve been eating, and maybe popping a chocolate truffle once in awhile.


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