For the past year and a half I’ve been a member of Barry’s Bootcamp and I made some really great connections and memories there. One of the most important ones was my introduction to the Whole 30, which has seriously been life changing for me. I have been battling with stomach problems ever since I was a child. I was that kid who the weekend after team outings would indulge in pizza, ice cream and soda and be forced to stay home sick with a stomach ache from all the crap I ate that weekend.
In my adult years I contracted a stomach infection which led to ulcers, seeing a GI doctor, not having an ulcer, getting an endoscopy, to having inconclusive results on food sensitivities and intolerances after being hospitalized for 4 days😦 It was frustrating. But coming out of it I was able to compile a list of things that irritated me: Milk, spicy foods and “fake food”.
Out of curiosity, I decided to dive into the Whole 30 program along with All of my Barry’s Bootcampers. With the help of some friendly trainers (Erica and Nichole) and the support of fellow Bootcampers (Igor and Malvina) I was on my way. I initially planned to start earlier but the Whole 30 requires a lot of planning ahead. Monday of my planned week one rolled around and I wasn’t ready. I took the rest of the week to prepare by brushing up on the rules, planning meals, stocking up on items, adjusting my work schedule and fitness routine.
Things I learned:
- There’s a lot of crap in our food that shouldn’t be there.
As someone who would spend an hour at whole foods, Trader Joe’s, Costco etc. trying to figure out if it was Whole 30 compliant I got really pissed off at all the unnecessary added sugars in everything. Luckily, I had a handy dandy list with some of the compliant foods. I definitely became that girl who was oddly staring at bottles of juice and sauce in disbelief and disappointment when I realized I no longer could consume it anymore
2. My body is sensitive to Dairy and processed Sugars
The first week of Whole 30 was hard. I felt like I was reaching menopause from all the sweating I did from my body detoxing. I was also pretty tired all the time since my body wasn’t running on complex carbs and sugars anymore. Oh yea, guess who wasn’t getting really bad stomach aches anymore? and really bad mood swings (oops)
3. It improved my cooking skills
There aren’t many things in the Whole 30 that are already made so you pretty much have to make everything from scratch and I mean everything. I made my own dressings, mayo, ketchup and more. In the process, I discovered my love for green juice and we’ve been inseparable since then.
4. Not everyone was understanding of it, and you need to preempt that.
As someone who’s the “skinny” person of their family, being on a “weird diet” isn’t really … understood… at family events. During my Whole 30 I had to go to a family party where it was BBQ food (luckily I brought my own BBQ sauce). But all I could really eat was burger meat, lettuce and some fruit salad. I almost passed out that long, hot, dry, California day.
5. It gets easier
The first couple weeks are tricky where you are still trying to figure out what you can and cannot eat. Luckily I lived in San Francisco at the time (probably one of the easier cities to be able to eat this clean) and was able to have lots of options, especially restaurants. I went for breakfast after the SF marathon and kindly asked my waitress what kind of oil they cooked their food in, and she was able to tell the cook to cook mine in a non-grain kind. Just ask nicely and explain that you have an intolerance.
If you’re looking to find the answers as to why you have really bad allergies, have a sensitive stomach, or are always tired the answer , may lie in your food choices and you should check out the Whole 30.
6. Be open minded
You may be eating things that you are not used to eating, or foods that are flavored naturally. Things may seem weird or tasteless at first but once your body adjusts you will realize that most American foods have way too much sugar. Bear with the adjustment period, trust that you are infinitely boosting your health and long-term quality of life, and you will grow to appreciate the new tastes, flavors, and wholesome nature of your new meals.
PS if you want more specifics on the actual diet instead of my review i suggest reading the book or visiting their website at http://whole30.com/