I’m officially halfway through the Whole 30! I wanted to give you all an update on my experiences so far and some of the recipes that I have enjoyed. Overall, the Whole 30 is not that bad! I thought that it would be harder to resist temptation and that it would be difficult to follow a regimen with so many restrictions, but it’s pretty easy once you have a nice collection of recipes and ingredients.
One of the great things about completing the Whole 30 challenge is that there is so much internet support. So many forums, Facebook groups, and recipes out there to help keep you accountable and answer the inevitable questions that you will have. I frequently google “can I have xyz on the Whole 30?” whenever I have any doubts.
So, what have I experienced during the first half of the challenge? Short answer: lots of weird. On Day 4-6 of the challenge I started experiencing very vivid dreams and nightmares. When I did some internet research on this, I learned that I was not alone (PHEW!) and that the most common nightmares regarding the challenge are those centered around accidental cheats. For example, in one of my dreams I absolutely freaked out because I accidentally accepted a piece of gum (weird right?).
On days 8 and 9 I felt like I was drowning in a wave of exhaustion. There was nothing out of the ordinary about my routine and yet I felt like the most menial tasks took a tremendous amount of effort.
I have also noticed some differences in taste. Water has tasted sweet lately (how!?) and I feel as though I am less sensitive to salt. In other words, I feel as though I need to use more salt than I would typically use in my dishes to get that genuine salt taste. The cravings are not as bad as the beginning of the month, though I would be lying if I said that there was not a Chipotle or Chick-fil-a trip in my future following this.
That all being said, I am looking forward to the “Tiger Blood” phase of the month where I am supposed to be full of energy and at ease with the whole experience. I have not been discouraged throughout the process, even with the weird side effects. Fortunately, I have been very supported this month. From text check-ins from my aunt with tips, conversations with others currently completing the Whole 30, to having a girls’ weekend where my bestie cooked and ensure that the meals were all Whole 30 approved!
My goal in this update was to provide a realistic view of some of the things that can be experienced during the Whole 30. However, my experiences may not be reflective of your own and I would not want to discourage anyone from completing it themselves! Also, as all of my stat teachers would say, correlation does not prove causation!
Now for the recipes:
Below are the Whole 30 recipes that I have tried and loved this month.
Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs (SO. MUCH. YUM.)
Blackened Salmon (quick and easy!)
Mashed Butternut Squash Breakfast Bowl* (Just 4 ingredients!)
*This was an improvised breakfast idea that I threw together! I cooked the butternut squash using the method described here. Next, I mixed in a half a can of whole fat organic coconut milk (from Trader Joe’s) and a few dashes of cinnamon. Topped it off with chopped bananas. Literally my favorite breakfast creation!!
Stay tuned for my wrap up post and tips to surviving the Whole 30 in a couple of weeks!