Y’all, I did it! One whole month of absolutely clean eating and I feel amazing. It’s day 31 now and I know that I technically can start reintroducing back food groups, but I really don’t want to. I feel that good. And I’m seeing the best results I’ve seen in years with my body and overall wellness. Seriously you guys, you have to try this thing. It’s life changing.
Here’s how I’ve changed over the course of 30 days: I’ve lost 9 pounds. My energy levels feel way more consistent. I sleep better and I have less mood swings. I feel so much happier with the way I look and feel throughout the day. My grocery bill, while still consisting of nutrient rich food, has been cut in half. I’m more mindful of what I consume and actually pay attention to labels. My sugar cravings are so much more manageable. Instead of mindlessly eating every treat that crosses my path, I can now sit in front of a bowl of candy or a donut and not think twice about it!
It’s so funny how this whole thing started, now that I really think about it. I was in Target (shocker) with Mark and we were walking all through the store picking up things we didn’t need (another shocker) and I saw the Whole 30 book. I picked it up and looked at it, turned to Mark and said “I think I’ll do this. I’ve heard good things.” That was that, no further research or conversation. It came home with me along with some socks and the Hocus Pocus DVD. I’ve declared that I’ll “really be committing to being healthy and cleaning up my diet” so many times before and each time I’ve either never begun or I quit after a couple of weeks, so I think we both brushed the whole thing off as nothing particularly special. I know for sure that even as I was paying I had a small voice in my head saying “do you really think you’re gonna actually commit to this?” Then there was the week where I read the book, learning the ideas behind the program, familiarizing myself with The Rules, and going back and forth between excitement and extreme doubt that I, lover of lattes, cheese, pasta, and sweets, would realistically be able to make such a huge lifestyle change.
I chose a start date and stuck to it. For the first 2 weeks I treated the book like my bible, referencing it often to make sure I was doing everything right and for an idea of what to expect. I kept a diary about how I was feeling and how things were going. And I planned weekly rewards for myself to keep myself motivated, which only really felt necessary up until day 15, at which point the real motivation came from how great I felt. If I’m being really honest, this was the easiest hard thing I’ve ever done. Like, it was hard at first. But putting myself and my health first turned out to be so so easy! I know this is getting repetitive, you get the picture, I’ll stop. But I didn’t get the chance to share a lot of what I was eating during this experience, and I really do think there’s a misconception out in the world that to be healthier you have to eat boring salads. I’m proud to say I ate like two salads this month…and they were topped with steak so you can hardly call them boring. To prove this misconception wrong, I’m sharing three of the best meals I made over the past month that were directly out of the book. Boom.
1. Steak kabobs. Steak, zucchini, bell peppers, and onion on the grill. The best part of this was obviously the steak because, you guys, Mark makes some of the best freaking steak in the world. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I don’t know how he does it, but let me just say having a nutrition plan that encourages my consumption of steak is JUST FINE with me. We topped it with some chimichurri sauce straight out of the book and it really reminded me that I simply need to eat more kabobs.
2. Shepherds pie. This dish saved me when I felt bummed about not getting to eat any fall dishes and it was also an epic dish for leftovers, it was my lunch and dinner for the whole week. It consists of sautéed beef, onions, celery, and carrots topped with mashed sweet potatoes. Exact consensus that was reached in my home: “more of this, forever.”
3. Salmon cakes + asparagus. Such an easy but special feeling deviation from my normal meals! The cakes are made with canned salmon, sweet potatoes, almond meal, egg, onions, dill, and parsley. I freaked out about how good these were and made everyone in my office try a bite of my lunch. But small bites. Definitely small bites.
And you guys, this doesn’t even skim the surface of the options available! I still have so many dishes I want to make from the book, but there’s also an entire website with compliant recipes that I am just dying to jump into. You better believe I’ll be doing my best to document it here 😊