Well, that’s a wrap! Yesterday marked day 30 of the Whole30 challenge. That’s 30 days without sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, and dairy…and we survived.
Sounds like borderline torture, right?
No, really. I actually kind of liked it (after the initial shock wore off). I swear I’m not crazy.
Seriously, once we got past about the 10 day mark, things really started lookin’ up. Sure, it was hard when people around me were eating pizza and cookies and ordering out…all I wanted to do was dive right in and treat myself like I normally would, but since there was an end in sight, that helped me stay strong and committed to the challenge.
Here are a couple of the meals we ate during the last week, to keep things interesting. There are plenty more where this came from but I’m trying not to make this the longest post in the history of blogging, so stay tuned. 😉
Sausage, Sweet Potato, Egg and Kale Bake
- 4 sausage links or breakfast sausage (Whole30 approved, or not if you aren’t doing the challenge)
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 2 large handfuls of kale, or more
- 8-12 eggs, depending on how much you like
Cook the sausage on the stovetop while you roast the sweet potatoes in the oven for about 20min (until tender) at 450 degrees. You can also saute the potatoes, I just prefer the texture of them roasted. Place kale into baking dish, pour the sausage, potatoes and eggs over the top and bake in the oven on 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked through and the kale is wilted.
Easy Taco Salad
What you see above! The taco seasoning doesn’t include any sugar and is basically a mixture of several spices.
Chop pepper and onion and saute in olive oil, or you can cook it right along with the meat. Add salt/pepper and taco seasoning and you’re done! Add a little red wine vinegar, olive oil and avocado/guacamole and it’s a super easy, healthy and delicious taco salad!
First of all, I want to emphasize that my intention for this challenge was not to lose weight. Although I eat healthy 80-90% of the time, I was interested to see how my body would react when I removed processed foods, sugar, etc. all together, without any treats or cheat days.
We feel great! We don’t feel lethargic or bloated after meals and we have more energy overall. Until this challenge, I don’t think we really realized how certain foods affect our bodies. After week two, I even noticed my post-meal sweets craving had all but disappeared, which I never thought would happen. I’m interested to see how I think sweets taste after 30 days without them. Honestly, a cheat meal doesn’t even sound that appetizing to me right now. Who am I??
I only lost 3 pounds, which was a good thing. I dropped that much in the first week of the challenge and to be honest, if I dropped any more I was going to think about quitting the challenge all together. Instead, I tried increasing the size of my meals and that helped me stay even for the rest of the 30 days. Matt, on the other hand, lost 12 pounds! He looks and feels great, so I’m proud of him for sticking to the plan with me. I’m sure some of the weight will come back on once we start introducing certain foods back into our diet, but this challenge was a good jump start to an even healthier lifestyle that we can hopefully maintain.
Matt and I both agree that we really like the way our bodies feel with minimal sugar and processed foods, so our plan is to continue to eat this way….most of the time. It will be nice to have the pressure of the challenge behind us, so if we are running late or just don’t have time to prepare, we can grab a protein bar, smoothie, or order out. During the week, I’ll cook meals like I have been for the past 30 days and I’m sure we will treat ourselves every once in a while on the weekends. And dangit, give me my dark chocolate!
Thinking about trying the Whole30?
Stop thinking about it and just GO FOR IT! The whole idea of giving up so much for 30 days can seem really intimidating, but not if you do your homework. If I can give one piece of advice, it’s prepare, prepare, PREPARE. That is the absolute key to successfully completing this challenge and doing so with your sanity intact. I constantly searched for new (and easy!) recipes that would keep things interesting and that I could prepare on Sundays for the entire week.
In the end, I’m SO glad we did it. #1 it’s a great sense of accomplishment when it’s over and #2 I think it has opened up our eyes to an even better lifestyle (NOT a diet) that now we know we can can have.
Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a glass of wine calling my name….
As always, thanks to Jenn for hosting the WIAW link-up!