I finished my Whole30 challenge on March 30th! I had no idea at the time of my accomplishment how much this challenge had changed my life! I can honestly say that I am eating healthier than I ever have. I wished I had learned all of this so much earlier in life. Living Whole30 after you finish the challenge isn’t as hard as you might think it would be. Now I am not saying I never eat anything that is bad for me. I am saying 90% of the time I am choosing to eat Whole30 compliant food.
It’s been almost 7 months since the challenge and I am still learning new things every day! I have been able to identify my brain conjuring up memories of how something I consumed in the past made me feel good. I can think about a soda or a doughnut and actually feel my mouth water. That’s my brain talking to my body! It’s saying “Oh yeah, that’s going to taste soooo good! You just have to have it!”. In the past my brain could get me to eat something I didn’t REALLY need. The difference today is that I can recognize what’s going on and truly make an informed decision.
What does it mean living Whole30? I buy mostly fruits, vegetables, meats, and healthy fats when I go grocery shopping. I read labels on canned goods and anything else that is processed to check the ingredients. I have 3 Whole30 meals a day and from time to time I have compliant snacks.
I feel good about the food I am preparing and eating. I enjoy cooking and trying out the new recipes I find on the Whole30Recipe Instagram account. I will try a new recipe out and then when I cook it again I usually put my own twist on it.
I documented my first round of discoveries in my blog post Life After My Whole30 Challenge. I have discovered more about myself and my old eating habits.
The other day I was out at the pumpkin patch at Bella Organic Farm and had the opportunity to eat a Voodoo doughnut. I was very excited, I hadn’t had a doughnut in quite a while. I bought a sprinkle cake doughnut one of my favorites and thought “Oh this is going to taste yummy!”. I took the first bite and thought “Hmmmm this tastes sweet.” then I took the second bite and my mouth was on overload! Too much sugar for me! I was able to identify this wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be. So, I made the decision not to eat it.
In the past I could have had 2 doughnuts and not give it a second thought. Today I can actually listen to my body tell me “No Thank You!”.
I have had pizza once a week every week since I could remember. That was before the Whole30 challenge. Since the challenge I have not had one bite of pizza! I discovered that pizza is what I call my “convenience factor“. It’s easy to call up and order. You don’t even have to it pick up if you have them deliver. There’s usually left overs so bonus points for not having to cook the first time or the second!
Pizza is no longer something I even consider to eat. It has ingredients that I no longer consume and I am not willing to go there just because it is convenient. I do have a substitute version of pizza. It’s not quite the same but it’s fun from time to time! I make my “Healthy Hamburger Helper” and stuff it into giant portabello mushroom. No cheese, no bread, and all the ingredients are good for you!
Gum & Mints
I used to have a gum and mint fetish before the challenge. We used to by the LifeSaver mints from Costco just to keep us stocked up. I don’t have that fetish anymore. I used to think that gum and mints helped me from snacking. Now I think they just encouraged me to snack. So, I just don’t use them anymore.
You’ve heard me say it before but I will say it again “My name is Justine and I am a chocoholic!”. Yes, I am a chocoholic and I will always be a chocoholic. Do I eat chocolate now? Yes, from time to time I do. The interesting part about this is that it doesn’t have the hold on me like it used to. I can eat a piece of chocolate and walk away satisfied.
So, the one thing that I did have from time to time over the summer was gelato. It was cool, sweet, and satisfying. I buy the expensive stuff so that helps in appreciating it from time to time. I don’t really crave it and I have figured out I will think about it over time to decide if I really want it. I think life is short and they call it the “Whole30 Challenge” not the “Whole365 Challenge”. Needless to say I think all the good choices I am making out way a little gelato.
Remember I am a chocololic and I do love chocolate cake. The difference now is I can have a couple of bites and call it quits. I am not gobbling the whole slice of cake like a crazed woman anymore. I have a few bites and I enjoy them.
Living A Healthier Lifestyle
Yes, the Whole30 has changed my life! Yes, I eat healthy! Yes, I enjoy eating things that are not healthy from time to time. My motto is “Live, Love, and Laugh” and I do plenty of that!
If you have questions about the Whole30 challenge or want to know what recipes I am trying let me know! I would love to chat more about what I’ve learned and what works for me!