Whole60 is officially in the bag!
We just wrapped 60 days of no sugar, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no alcohol, no baked goods or treats, and no carrageenan, MSG, or added sulfites, as well as no weighing or measuring yourself — and no cheating. I originally chose to do Whole30 because of some major and inconsistent digestive issues that I needed to get control over. And Whole30 solved the problem. It’s been 60 days, and I haven’t had one upset stomach or one sudden trip to the restroom (TMI, I know). Hooray!
If you’ve been following along with my Whole30 experience, checking out my recap blog posts from Round 1 and Round 2, you know that I’ve been looking forward to Whole30 being over and finally getting to eat a treat. But you know what? Day 31 came and went, and I didn’t want to eat anything sugary. Those items in pantry that I have been looking at for the past two months didn’t even look appealing. Now that I can have them, I don’t want them. Now that I can eat out and get anything that I want, I don’t have the desire to.
Let’s Talk Whole30 Results
After completing our first Whole30, Brian and I both saw amazing results:
- Brian has lost 8.5 pounds and at least two inches in his waist.
- I have lost 9 pounds!
- All of my pants are too big and saggy.
- Shirts that were a bit too tight that I was hanging onto are now too big to make work and I had to get rid of them.
- We’re both sleeping more soundly.
- We have way more energy.
- All of the erratic digestive issues that I have been plagued with are gone.
- Brian’s gall bladder issues have remedied themselves.
After completing our second Whole30 with the addition of daily exercise (Focus T25), the results are a little different…
- We are still enjoying a better, deeper sleep each night.
- We both have noticed an increase in energy, and in turn daily productivity.
- Our digestive issue have completely vanished and we both feel the best we have felt ever. I’m talking about the best we’ve felt in our entire lives.
- I am stronger and have more stamina from daily workouts. For the first time, when hiking uphill miles, including a very steep incline, I didn’t have to stop to take a break or rest. I was able to power through and hike to the mountain top without stopping.
- Most of our clothes are too big. We got rid of a lot of clothes after the first round of Whole30, but now we’re getting rid of even more. Brian is the skinniest he’s been in more than 10 years, and my body has definitely changed shape. I ran into someone I haven’t seen in a few months the other day, and they were shocked at the transformation.
But here’s the Whole30 truth: I lost ONE freaking pound. ONE. UNO. WTF?
While I didn’t do Whole30 to lose weight, it would have been nice. Brian didn’t add workouts to his second Whole30 and still lost seven pounds. I completed workouts that seriously kicked my butt almost every single day this month in addition to doing Whole30 and only lost one stupid pound.
Grrrrr… I kind of want to punch Brian (and men in general) in the face.
Yes, I know that after not working out for almost 10 years, I’m building back muscle mass and that muscle mass weighs more than fat. Yes, I know that I will build the muscle before I lose the fat and that will stall things. Yes, my clothes are baggier. And yes, I can clearly see in the mirror that my arms, legs, stomach, butt, and face are all smaller/thinner.
But that doesn’t make me feel any better or any less irritated that after all that effort, I lost ONE dumb pound.
The Food And The Workouts
The last six days of our Whole60 were all over the place in terms of what we’re eating and what I’m doing to get in a workout. We took a Memorial Day weekend road trip and spent the days hiking. Several times, I also just didn’t want to cook. That’s real life. And incorporating Whole30 in real life is slowly getting to be a piece of cake, second nature, and finally habitual.
We took the lazy way out for some meals, however, eating an Epic Bar or RxBar or an apple and almond butter. Yet, we made some incredible and gorgeous meals. We ate several picnic-style meals on the road. And while I did miss some workouts, I also got in some of the best workouts of my entire month.
Whole30 Round 2 Day 25
Knocked out my T25 workout first thing, right after taking Carter to school. My morning workouts are slowly becoming a natural part of my daily routine and not something evil! It surprises me to say it, but I actually look forward to getting my workout done.
Brian and I have been feeling a bit like we’re eating too much meat, so for breakfast, I made the most amazing Italian Breakfast Stack With Sweet Potato And Marinara. It’s all the things I might normally mix into a breakfast scramble, but stacked on top of each other. Not only was it totally delicious, but it was gorgeous too!
For lunch I had an apple and almond butter, and for dinner I made Spicy Chicken And Vegetable Meatballs with Roasted Garlic Zoodles.
I don’t know why I always thought making meatballs was difficult. I also don’t know why I always assumed that meatballs had to have eggs and breadcrumbs or cheese added to them. I’ve been making them with just the meat — ground turkey or ground chicken — and vegetables, and not only have they have stayed together perfectly, but they have so much more flavor!
BTW: So happy to have found an off-the-shelf Whole30 compliant pasta sauce (Classico Riserva Roasted Garlic)! I enjoy a lot of cooking, but when I’m cooking I like easy. That means I’m usually only willing to tackle one complex/hard thing per meal. Any more than that and well, that’s when things burn or don’t come out the way I wanted.
Whole30 Round 2 Day 26
For breakfast, I made a Mixed Potato and Micro Kale Breakfast Scramble to use up things we weren’t going to pack with us in the ice chest for our Memorial Day Weekend road trip.
I was busy with client work, packing, a last minute grocery run, and food prep, and I forgot to eat lunch! We hit the road as soon as Natalie got out of school, so I munched on freeze dried strawberries, mixed nuts, iced tea, and some carrots in the car. The day was so crazy full of things I left for the last minute that I also completely failed on the workout front. The only exercise I got in was walking Carter to and from school. Crap.
We arrived in Redding around 6:30 pm and everyone was ready for dinner. We found a Chipotle, chowed down, and then headed over to the Turtle Bay Exploration Center to explore the Sundial Bridge — the largest sundial in the world.
Whole30 Round 2 Day 27
Brian and I ate RxBars, mixed nuts, and coffee/iced tea for breakfast while in the car on our way to a new family adventure: Exploring Lake Shasta Caverns. The Cavern tour was amazing and included a boat ride, a bus ride, and a self-guided cavern tour.
The Lake Shasta Caverns Visitor Center and Store has a shady picnic area and children’s playground near the parking lot, so we rolled our ice chest over to a table and enjoyed a picnic lunch of snap peas, rainbow carrots, and red bell peppers with cashew cheese, leftover chicken meatballs, beet chips, and mixed berries.
Regarding working out: no T25 today, but that’s more than okay. We climbed more than 600 stairs at Lake Shasta Caverns and spent the entire day on our feet exploring the Turtle Bay Museum, Whiskeytown Dam, and the Shasta State Historic Park. It was a 20,000+ step day according to my Fitbit, so I’m feeling good about that!
When we were all exhausted, we found a local community park and had a relaxing picnic dinner of chicken salads. I used more of the Taqueria-Style Shredded Chicken made with my Instant Pot. No, it’s not gone yet! Beware… when you cook an entire value pack of chicken in the Instant Pot, it makes a TON of shredded chicken and lasts forever if there are only two or sometimes three of you eating it. Anyway, we added the shredded chicken to a bagged salad, scooped on some mixed chopped veggies I prepped in advance, and topped it with Tessemae’s Avocado Ranch — and it was delicious!
Later we met up with some friends (at a nice restaurant in our sweaty hiking clothes, OMG) and I didn’t even feel weird about not ordering any food. The kids ordered dessert and Brian had a tuna poke appetizer, and I was good. I wasn’t hungry and I didn’t feel awkward or weird for just getting an unsweetened iced tea.
At the beginning of our Whole30 journey, I would have been really uncomfortable with this!
Whole30 Round 2 Day 28
Brian and I ate RxBars, mixed nuts, and coffee/iced tea again for breakfast while in the car on our way to a new waterfall adventure! We love chasing waterfalls and when I heard about McCloud Falls, which is actually three different waterfalls, I knew exactly what we were going to do today.
We started our waterfall hiking adventure at the Lower Falls Picnic Area and hiked to the Middle Falls, to the Upper Falls, and on to the Lakin Dam before turning around to head back to the car. The waterfalls were spectacular and the hike was long — six miles, with the stretch between the Middle and Upper Falls being a steep climb up long switchbacks. For this hike, we all wore our adventure backpacks filled with large water bottles and snacks/food.
After McCloud Falls, we drove over to Dunsmuir and hiked to Hedge Creek Falls, which has a cave behind it that lets you get underneath the waterfall! This added another mile to our day and by the time we were done, the whole family was exhausted.
We found a local park in Dunsmuir along the Sacramento River and had another picnic of snap peas, rainbow carrots, and red bell peppers with cashew cheese, leftover chicken meatballs, and mixed berries before driving home.
I got my workout in today!
Seven miles of hiking through the woods, with the entire first three miles going uphill felt great. What’s even more exciting is that I was able to hike the steep inclines and switchbacks without needing to stop and take a break. A few months ago, my legs would have been burning and I would have had to stop and rest every so often, but on this adventure, I never felt that way. Yes, my legs burned in a good way when on a steep climb, but I never once felt the need to stop and rest. Now stopping for some water when traipsing under the full sun, that’s a completely different story!
By the time we got home, I was so exhausted, I didn’t feel like eating anything, let alone cooking dinner. I just took a shower and fell into bed, but Brian used up the rest of the veggies I prepped and made another shredded chicken salad.
Whole30 Round 2 Day 29
My blog post about the Sacramento County Fair won me two free admission tickets and two free unlimited midway wristbands, so we hopped out of bed early this morning and made a basic breakfast scramble with some potatoes, eggs, spinach, and Wholly Guacamole before I took Natalie and a friend to the fair.
OMG. The fair food. Two days. That’s it. I only had two days left and I wanted to eat that fair food so bad, especially when Natalie and Hannah ate deep fried Twix and deep fried Oreos right in front of me! I can’t even tell you.
We had a blast at the fair, but by the time they were done with the rides, we were all hot and sweaty. We had already downed a ton of water, but we all wanted something cold. The girls got ice cream and I got… Hmmmm. There actually isn’t much for anyone doing Whole30 at the fair. I did find a solution though! I bought a bottle of 100% orange juice, asked for a cup of snow cone ice, and made my own Orange Juice Snow Cone. While I wasn’t thrilled about the sugary option, it was the best option available and I was so hot that it didn’t matter.
When I got home, it was late afternoon and I was starving and I didn’t feel like cooking at all. Brian and I ditched the kids and went to Chilis for some chicken fajitas — chicken, onions, and peppers only (no butter), with double pico de gallo and double guacamole.
No Focus T25 for me today again. I was going to workout, but my body just felt like it needed a break, and walking around the fair for half the day in the hot sun wiped me out!
Whole30 Round 2 Day 30
We ate most everything in the house before our Memorial Day weekend road trip, and ate everything I packed/prepped on the trip, and today it was slim pickings around our house. This morning we FINALLY used up the last bit of my Instant Pot Taqueria-Style Shredded Chicken, adding it to some eggs with peppers and onions for a delicious Mexican Breakfast Scramble.
I still can’t believe how long that chicken lasted!
We basically were out of all Whole30 compliant everything, except for RxBars, Larabars, and an apple. So that’s exactly what I had for lunch: an apple with almond butter and an RxBar.
At dinner time, I was craving a burger, so I hit the grocery store and picked up some grass fed beef, turkey burger patties, carrots, and baby potatoes. I seasoned up the ground beef to make Natalie and I burger patties, and seasoned up the turkey burger patties for Brian. I roasted the carrots in the oven and made our new favorite thing: Garlic Smash Potatoes.
The End Of Whole60
To be honest, I’m feeling a little melancholy about reaching the end of our Whole60.
I’ve enjoyed the program and more important, I’ve enjoyed the accountability these recap posts have given me. Sharing my Whole30 experience with you has helped me stay on track, motivated me to try new foods and make new things, inspired me to plate our foods in a more beautiful way, encouraged me to get out from behind my computer for daily exercise, prevented me from being too lazy about meals, and gave me a personal, healthy goal to work toward.
Now, I’m sort of wondering… What do I do now?
While Whole30 comes with a food reintroduction program, I’m not excited about reintroducing foods that clearly have negative effects on how I feel. I know I have a lactose allergy, so dairy is out no matter what, but the wheat and grains… I’m not too sure about. At first I really missed bread — I LOVE BREAD — but now, I don’t really want to add it back. In the 60 straight days we have been doing Whole30, I haven’t had a single digestive issue, and for someone who has been plagued by those issues for years, that’s a BIG deal. A really BIG deal.
I also no longer crave the foods I used to crave.
During my first Whole30, I yearned for Jack’s Urban Fries and cheesecake. I wanted them. I counted down the days until the end of Whole30 when I could once again eat them. I was tempted by delicious, crunchy, salty Pringles that my kids ate in the car while we road tripped. But wouldn’t that defeat the whole purpose of doing Whole30? The entire reason we decided to extend our Whole30 to a Whole60 was to kick those cravings — and it worked.
On Day 61, after Whole60 was complete, I could finally eat all the kid foods and snacks in our pantry. I could finally get some Jack’s Urban Fries or go to Cheesecake Factory and order a slice of cheesecake. I could eat anything I wanted. But I didn’t want to. I walked in the pantry ready to snack, and none of those things I used to crave sounded good. I thought about going out to eat and ordering anything I wanted, but I didn’t really care. The sugar and salty crunchy cravings are, from what I can tell, gone.
Brian and I have decided to stay Whole30 at home, where we control all of the food, and not worry about staying 100% compliant when dining out, going to parties, having date nights, and hanging out with friends. What is going to be interesting is to see how my body reacts as I do begin to add back some of these items. Will the cravings come back?
Hmmm… now that may just be another post for later as I navigate this healthier approach to eating.