With the publishing of this post, Brian and I will officially have only six more days left in our second round of Whole30 — and here’s the weird part: that makes me a little bummed. When I began this journey, I was counting down the days until I could eat Urban Fries again… and now I really don’t care all that much. I’ve actually really enjoyed these two months doing Whole30 and benefits have been more than worth the few awkward nights hanging out at breweries drinking water.
But don’t get me wrong… while there are a lot of positives about doing the Whole30, there are also some negatives that I feel need to be discussed too.
Based on our experience with the program so far, here is the good and the bad of the Whole30:
The Good Of Whole30
- We have way more energy and have been getting more done during the day — I can’t remember the last time I felt that 3:00 pm slump.
- Brian and I are both getting a better, deeper sleep each night, and we’re falling asleep faster.
- Healthy eating and avoiding grains and sugar is becoming a habit. It’s becoming second-nature, a natural choice, and not a novelty.
- I have learned more about how food affects my body, my mood, and my digestive system, as well as how much sugar is added to common everyday foods.
- I’ve learned more about reading food labels and making better choices at the store, so we have better options at home.
- Being almost forced to cook at home, I’m becoming a better cook, and I’m getting more creative about where I’m sourcing food to make whipping up mid-week meals much faster.
- Over time I’ve noticed a big reduction in appetite. I’m not as hungry, I don’t have as many cravings, and I don’t get the snackies or munchies in the afternoons. Overall, I’m not eating as much and I’m not feeling hungry.
- Sweet things, like fresh berries, are actually tasting extra sweet — sometimes too sweet. Larabars are the same way. When I started Whole30, I really like them, but now they taste almost too sweet, like a candy bar or dessert.
- For whatever reason, I’m craving spicier foods and need to be careful because not everyone likes foods as spicy as I now do.
- My skin is clearer, my nails are stronger, and my hair is growing faster.
- My clothes are still getting baggier!
The Bad Of Whole30
- At the beginning of Whole30, you’ll go through sugar/grain withdrawls — and how bad it is will depend on how much sugar and grains you consume in your diet prior to beginning Whole30. If you’re drinking full sugar coffee creamer, drinking soda, eating candy, and lots of processed foods, it’s going to be bad. You’ll feel yucky, have headaches, and just want to stay in bed.
- Brian and I both feel like we’re eating too much meat. We’re going to get back to a more vegetarian based diet this next week.
- I miss going out to lunch and relaxing with Brian in the middle of the day. He doesn’t relax and take an hour off when we eat at home. I’m lucky if I even get 30 minutes of his time. He usually just comes in the kitchen, inhales his food, and goes back to work — which sort of stinks.
- I also miss some of our favorite lunch spots. I’m looking forward to adding them back in when we finish this round of Whole30, but doing so in a more health-conscious way. For example, maybe we go out to lunch once a week instead of three times a week like we used to. Or I’ll order a side of roasted vegetables with my chicken pita instead of fries.
- OMG the dishes. So many dishes! No one tells you how many more dishes you’re going to use when you cook at home three meals a day every day. Thank goodness I don’t do the dishes. Brian does all the dishes and Natalie and Carter put them away, and now they’re doing them constantly!
- Grocery budget pains. When we first started The Whole30, we spent less on eating out and more of groceries and it sort of evened out. No biggie. But now we’re noticing that we’re going through more expensive items like almond butter, almond flour, spices, olive oil, eggs, RxBars, and NutPods coffee creamer, at a much faster rate. We’re also buying a lots of raw nuts/bulk nuts to make our own nut mix, and some of those nuts are $13+/pound! I’m noticing our grocery budget is a lot tighter than it used to be.
- Depending on the mix of foods you’re eating, your digestive system may be on overdrive 😉 and you may find yourself spending a little more time in the restroom as your body adapts.
- You don’t always feel awesome. Sometimes you feel sluggish. Overall, we’re feeling amazing, but if we don’t eat enough or get busy and skip a meal, we REALLY feel it — I’m talking lethargy.
The Food And The Workouts
I’m getting my workouts done, or at least getting some kind of exercise in almost everyday. But man, on some days, it’s just hard and I’m not feeling it. It’s getting easier though to just push through and get it done.
This past week we have eaten A LOT of chicken! I figured out that the chicken from a local restaurant near us is Whole30 compliant, so I ordered up two sides of chicken to go, and it fed Brian and I for FOUR meals. I also used my new Instant Pot for the first time and basically fell in love. I can see us using this baby all summer long to avoid heating up the house!
Whole30 Round 2 Day 19
I woke up so hungry! Brian and I started off our day with absolutely fantastic Spicy Chicken Breakfast Stack with a roasted seasoned yam base, Kale And Balsamic Chicken Sausage, and Tapatio to give it some kick!
I let Carter have a ditch day today and I skipped out on work so we could have a mid-day date. We went mini-golfing at Golfland Sunsplash, playing both 18 hole courses, then went out to lunch at his favorite restaurant, Blaze Pizza (I had an RxBar).
No one really felt like a big dinner, so we all just scrounged around the pantry and fridge and ate leftovers.
Whole30 Round 2 Day 20
This morning, I had to be at my sister’s house early to help with a garage sale, so I quickly got dressed, grabbed an RxBar, and headed out the door. By the time the garage sale was over, we were starving and headed to Chipotle for lunch, where I got a bowl with onions and peppers, pico de gallo, and guacamole.
We then met up with my dad and spent the afternoon checking out a incredible gathering of train enthusiasts — and these weren’t little trains either. There were tons of steam powered trains that we could actually ride on that are built by train lovers (Sacramento Valley Steamers) who come from all over the country for a weekend of train talk, working on their trains, and driving them on the long tracks at Hagen Community Park in Rancho Cordova. It was one of the most unique and interesting things I have seen in a long time… so cool!
On the way home, Carter and I stopped at Little Caesar’s Pizza to pick up a pepperoni pizza for Natalie and a Crazy Bread combo for Carter — it’s his absolute favorite place to get bread sticks. We also walked to Don Quixote’s Mexican Grill, a couple doors down to see if their chicken is Whole30 compliant.
It turns out they marinate the chicken in orange juice and no added sugar, so their chicken is Whole30 compliant! WooHoo! So I ordered two sides of chicken to go and on the way home brainstormed ideas for dinner.
I made Loaded Mexican Chicken And Vegetable Stuffed Yams — with chicken, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and green onions — and it was to die for. While I don’t think I could have eaten another bite, there was a small part of me that was secretly wishing I made made myself a WHOLE Loaded Roasted Yam instead of half!
I didn’t get my workout in today and I’m kicking myself about it. I’m angry that I didn’t find time to make it happen, but I gone until almost 5:00 pm and then I was exhausted from being out in the hot sun and sweating like crazy all afternoon. Maybe all that sweating will make up for my lack of a workout today?
Whole30 Round 2 Day 21
For breakfast, I used up more of the chicken I bought from Don Quixote’s Mexican Grill. For just over $10, I had enough chicken for three meals, plus fresh salsas from the salsa bar! I made a Mexican Chicken And Salsa Breakfast Scramble and seasoned the veggies with taco seasonings like cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano. We topped the scramble with Wholly Guacamole and it was delicious!
After breakfast Brian and I hit the backyard for some pruning, yard work, and garden prep. This is by far the latest we have ever prepped and planted our annual salsa garden and it’s been killing me! I’ve felt so behind.
While Brian turned the soil over, cleared out old roots, and prepped the garden beds of chicken manure, I pruned back plants and flower bushes that were growing over the pool waterfalls and the pool, cleaned up our succulents, pulled weeds, and watered the potted plants while I did about a million calf raises and knee lifts! By the time we were done, I was dripping with sweat and totally disgusting, and we jumped in the pool to cool off.
Working in the yard definitely counted as my workout for the day!
Once we got cleaned up, Brian and I had RxBars, did some grocery shopping, made a big fresh fruit salad with strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. I love keeping fresh fruit on hand to add to our meals or scoop on a salad.
We also made our own nut mix for the week. Each grocery cycle, I buy bulk roasted and salted nuts, or sometimes raw nuts, and then mix them together to create our own trail mix. This week I got cashews, raw almonds, pistachios, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts — and I dug into them as soon as we got home!
I ended up eating enough nuts (Oops!) that I wasn’t even hungry at dinner time, so I just had some fruit and baby carrots. Never in a million years did I ever imagine I’d be eating this many carrots!
Whole30 Round 2 Day 22
I woke up sore today. Muscles that I didn’t even know I had along the sides of my back were screaming, as were my calves — and I didn’t even do T25 yesterday! I guess working in the yard really is a good workout!
Unfortunately, being sore didn’t mean I could take today off, so I got my T25 workout done right after taking Carter to school, and I had to dial it back a bit because of my sore muscles. I was amazed at how tired my legs felt.
After my workout I was freaking starving and started making breakfast right away. I was in the mood for something spicy and craving that delicious buffalo wing flavor, so for breakfast I made Buffalo Smash Potatoes with a Spicy Buffalo Sauce Breakfast Scramble. Topped with Wholly Guacamole, this breakfast made my belly very happy! And we’re still using up the chicken I bought from Don Quixote’s Mexican Grill! I only bought two sides of chicken, but it’s last way more than two meals…
Our breakfast was so filling, that I wasn’t even hungry at lunch time. I’m finding this to be the case more often than not. Big breakfasts mean I’m not very hungry in the middle of the day. Plus, as we’re nearing the homestretch of our second Whole30, I’m finding that my appetite just isn’t what it used to be and I’m eating less each day than I ever have… but I’m never feeling hungry, which is awesome!
I do know I should give my body the fuel it needs though, so I did eat a hard boiled egg and some fresh fruit before I went to Barnes & Noble for some focused work time away from the house and my office. I’ve got a huge personal side project (yes another one) that I’m working on and I needed a big block of time with no distractions. I even put my phone on airplane mode!
I didn’t get home from Barnes & Noble until almost 6:00 pm, we needed to eat dinner, and the chicken was frozen solid. This was the perfect opportunity to use my brand new Instant Pot! (This Instant Pot is the one I have.) I was excited to try it out and really nervous and freaked out all at the same time. Waiting for the chicken to cook was brutal.
Luckily I didn’t have to wait long! It only took 30 minutes (40 minutes total with pressurization time) to cook an entire value pack of chicken that was frozen into one solid block. And when it was done cooking, the chicken practically just fell apart and shredded itself when I pulled on it with a couple forks.
We then made Smoky Taqueria-Style Salsa Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos. OMG. So good!
I think I’m in love. I’m already dreaming up about 100 things I could make in my Instant Pot. WooHoo!
Whole30 Round 2 Day 23
Today the housekeepers came and I had an early lunch scheduled with a good friend, so I postponed my workout until the afternoon and had some apple slices and almond butter for breakfast.
For lunch, we went to Cheesecake Factory and I again had my go to meal, the Skinnilicious Factory Chopped Chicken Salad with no corn, no blue cheese, and no vinaigrette dressing. I asked for olive oil and vinegar instead of the dressing, and had them double the chicken. Mmmmmmm… yummy! (P.S. Why is the lightning so bad in restaurants?!)
I almost forgot to workout, but I was able to squeeze my T25 workout in after an awesome call with Kelly Azevedo of She’s Got Systems — she’s an incredible wealth of knowledge and was giving me some tips on video shoots for a new project I’m working on. Between Kelly and all the great tips, tools, and advice my friend Shawn Hesketh of WP101 has given me, I’m not quite freaking out as much about being on camera!
For dinner I made Smoky Taqueria-Style Salsa Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos, this time adding a side of Mexican Cauliflower Rice. For the tacos, the chicken was a little too spicy for my daughter Natalie’s tastes, but once she added ranch dressing to her tacos, it was perfect and we all chowed down!
Whole30 Round 2 Day 24
Today I had a hefty client workload and a call with my friend Chris Lema about our fall event, Map. Make. Market. — so excited about this hands-on, workshop-style event! Needless to say, I squeezed my workout and my shower in right away!
For breakfast I made a Smoky Salsa Chicken Breakfast Scramble and Buffalo Smash Potatoes. I have to say that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE having all of this juicy, shredded chicken on hand! The Instant Pot was so easy to use, it cooked the entire frozen value-pack of chicken super fast, and the chicken has so much flavor! I just wish I hadn’t made so much because I’m itching to try other Instant Pot ideas that I have!
Our breakfast was huge and I did have a ton of work to get done before leaving the office early for the Sacramento County Fair Media Night, so I didn’t take an actual lunch break. Instead, I grabbed some mixed nuts and fresh berries and snacked on them while I checked client tasks off my to-do list.
For dinner, our family was splitting up. Carter was going to be at school all evening for the school dance show and Natalie had dance class. Brian shuttled them around while I got to get a sneak peek at all the amazing food, entertainment, and activities at the 81st Annual Sacramento County Fair!
Inspired Imperfection only launched in April of 2016, so it’s only just one year old. While I have worked with some brands to review local shows and events, this was the first special media event that I have participated in and it was pretty cool! Not only did I get to meet some other local bloggers, but we saw daredevils perform, pigs race, a pirate perform a ventriloquist act, and were given samples of some of the most amazing fair food… none of which I could actually eat because I’m in the middle of The Whole30. So I just photographed the food and smelled it and wished I were eating it too!
Luckily I stashed an RxBar in my car to eat on the way to CalExpo — I had a feeling that I’d have to skip all of the fair food samples.
Sabotaging Your Whole30 Results
One thing I have noticed about Whole30, is that it’s really easy to think you’re eating healthy when you’re really not — even if you are staying Whole30 compliant. For example, it’s really easy to eat too much of the wrong thing, like overeating mixed nuts, which is really easy to do. It’s also really easy when your body is craving sugar to eat too much fruit to compensate, or to substitute fruit for dessert to still get that sugar fix, which won’t help you kick your sugar addiction. It’s also easy to get lazy about packing food when you’re on the go and simply default to just eating Larabars or RxBars. And yes, there is such a thing as too much healthy fat. No, you can’t eat an avocado at every meal.
It’s also a problem if you’re not eating enough. Your body needs fuel. It needs healthy foods. By restricting calories, eating portions that are too small, or skipping meals, you’re actually hurting your body’s healing process. Also, if you’re working out and not adding a pre/post workout snack to refuel, you risk your body entering starvation mode and actually store more fat!
Not sleeping enough can sabotage your results too. When you sleep your body goes to work to repair any damage done during the day. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body will have problems with temperature regulation, increases in stress hormones and belly fat, inflammation, and immune functions, not to mention challenges with your short term memory, cognitive functions, and attention span.
Food boredom is another big issue I see other Whole30ers complain about — which is insane because there are TONS of easy, delicious Whole30 recipes available not only on this site, but millions across the internet!
If you want to follow along with my Whole30 + Exercise Journey, check out the other posts documenting my whole30 experience and results below:
- Adding Exercise To Whole30 Round 2 With Focus T25: Day 1-6
- Permanent Lifestyle Changes In Whole30 Round 2: Day 7-12
- Whole30 Is Not A Diet, Results During Round 2: Day 13-18
Also, if you’re starting your first Whole30, check out the Whole30 review posts from my first Whole30:
- Getting Started With Whole30 In The Real World: Day 1
- Getting Used To The Whole30 Rules: Day 2-5
- Whole30 (Spring Break) Road Trip Food: Day 6-10
- Staying On Track With Whole30 On A Holiday: Day 11-16
- Whole30 While You’re Sick, Parties, And Date Night at A Brewery: Day 17-22
- Date Nights And Eating Out During Whole30: Day 23-28
- We Did It! We Completed Our First Whole30: Day 29-30