Thursday, January 8, 2015

Whole30...yes, I did it!

Whole30...how did we even get here?  If you've followed along for any amount of time, you know that I enjoy a healthy balance of wine and treats with my training.  It's always been incredibly important to me to not feel deprived of things that I like.  It makes me angry cranky and then I don't enjoy training as much...and as we all know, it MUST be fun in order for us to keep training as hard as we do day in and day out.

Alert...this was NOT a beautiful process filled with me exclaiming every day, "WOW this food is so amazing (the food is good), and I don't miss wine at ALL and I am so perfect, this is easy as pie".  Have you seen people post like that?  My 30 days weren't filled with instagram posts of my food and how much ass I was kicking with W30.  I didn't even post that I was doing it for fear I fail. In fact, some of my text messages to Mark were pretty sad..."all I want is xxx" and there may have been tears when he teased me that it was so easy and how could I really miss milk?!

I had heard about Whole30 previously and said, Oh HELL no, I will not be doing this.  The plan is a 30 day elimination diet of no legumes, dairy, grain, sugar and alcohol.  After 30 days, you can introduce these supposed inflammatory foods back into your diet and see if they are irritants to you.  Their thinking is that there is no Switzerland in the food world, what you are eating is either making you more or less (see groups above) healthy.  That was a high impact way to open the book, and for most of us, I think we are pretty aware when drinking a glass of wine that it isn't exactly doing much for our health...that cupcake?  Not so healthy.  So I think we all have to say, OK, I know this pizza is not the best thing I could be doing for my body, but every once in a while, pizza is A-OK in my book...although the resulting stomach ache is usually enough to put me off of pizza for the next few months!

How did we get here again?  Mark (previous lover of a mashed potato and bread sandwich) had gone riding with a friend who was on my hit list for 30 days who is a phenomenal bike racer and raced maybe once last year and WON the district race...not bad, right?  And swears that is is a result of Whole30.  Mind you, we had already been reducing grain and hardly ever ate refined sugar, so this was not going to be a massive change for us (no carb-flu here), However asking me to give up lattes and wine for 30 days was a big ask...especially in the dead of winter and off season.

Original and Coconut are W30 Compliant
So Mark started reading the book and I continued to resist.  I could tell though that he was going to try this out, and as the CCO (chief cooking officer) of the house, I may as well join in as I would be doing this by default any way.  So I read the book as well and thought, no legumes and grain?  Not a problem...don't really love beans and grain I can do without.  Sugar?  no problem, Barnana on rides with nuts will work just fine (although I did miss post ride tacos and agua fresca).  Whole milk lattes and red wine with friends?  This will be the hard part.  Mark is so not impressed with food that doing this was going to be a cake walk for him.

We decided to start so that we would be ending on Christmas day...time for some wine anyone?  Mark had suggested a start date of 01/01 but once we started to read the book, I thought we may as well get this show on the road, better to get it over with, and I thought it could be good to avoid all of the holiday drinking and over eating of cookies.

Pesto in eggs at work..EASY!
How was it?  For the fist 4-5 days, I really wanted to inflict pain on someone and woke up pretty cranky every day.  Again, I don't do well when told NO...if I chose it, then that is a different story.  I substituted full fat coconut milk to make a latte and that wasn't bad...it's actually a pretty good replacement if you can't do dairy, but I was still pretty down on missing my whole milk.  I got a plan together for what we would eat, and although it wasn't going to be a massive switch, I was nervous about the food planning...I couldn't imagine trying to do this with a typical American diet.  I spent an hour or so in the kitchen on Sunday's and made a fresh batch of (no cheese) pesto to throw in eggs and over veggies in a pinch as a great fat source and also got quite good as what we call "awesome sauce"...which is a cashew cream made up of soaked cashews, lemon juice, chipotle peppers, red wine vinegar and stock...thrown in your Vitamix and WHAM, dip for veggies or again, throw it on top of anything hot for a bit of fat and flavor.  I also did a lot of slow cooker stuff and put it over spaghetti squash (best/easiest substitution ever).  I tried to make enough for leftovers to make it even easier, but Mark said it was my fault it all got eaten since it was so tasty...hmmm, make food taste less good and we'll have leftovers?  Feel free to drop me a line if you need any recipes, happy to share.

How were my workouts?  Surprisingly (or not if you are a Whole30 devotee), really good.  I had a few rides that didn't feel good, but were better than LY at this time and LY I had already been in training for a month prepping for Los Cabos.  So there's that.  Whole30 advocates not stepping on the scale during the 30 days. It was slightly disappointing that with no wine and the other things given up, I didn't lose any weight.  Maybe that means that I was already eating pretty well for my body?  But as always, you're hopeful that sacrificing in the food department will yield pleasant results on the scale.

What's it like now that 30 days is over?  I am back to my heavenly whole milk lattes, but have not had any other type of dairy.  My tummy doesn't bug with dairy, but if it's a supposed inflammatory, then I'll stay away from it as much as possible.  No legumes except for peanut butter...cashew butter/almond butter, they just don't do it for me the way PB does. I've only had grain once and it was fine, but again, if I can get by without it and perform well, well that seems like a win to me.  Wine has of course come back in...not so sure that's an inflammatory as much as it just does nothing good for you.  I'll try to cut back again when getting into the bigger training.  I went to one day a week before Kona LY and that was really a good decision.  Last but not least...SUGAR!  I am having dark chocolate again and totally had to have some cookies that were delivered special for Christmas but other than that, haven't needed/wanted it.  I made a "sweet" version of the cashew cream as well with cashews, coconut milk and lots of vanilla...oh so tasty over baked fruit as desert.

How did I feel?  You do feel good on the inside when you stay away from all of the banned foods...you are satisfied but never feel icky on the inside, but I generally only feel that way when I've had gluten.  So I would say you do feel better, but it is not necessarily a WOW feeling.

Can you eat out on W30?  We took a "best effort" approach when eating out and really only ate out once...realizing that many places use banned oils/butter for cooking- but we stuck to the principles of what was not allowed and stuck to "compliant" food and hoped for the best. But the more likely thing is that you'll find it easier to just eat in for most of the month and not nearly as tempting when all you have in the house is what's on the plan.

If you've thought about giving this a try, I would highly recommend that you first read the book as it gives the why behind what you are doing which is always helpful for me.  I think if nothing else, it will bring an awareness to your food that you might not have and that is always helpful.  The more you know, the more successful you can be.  It is definitely a challenge and you need to be fully prepared with what you will be eating before taking this on.

So there you have it, Whole30...have fun!






3 comments:

The Hippie Triathlete said...

Wow, good for you! I need to do this, as an elimination diet to troubleshoot my chest issues. Can't find the willpower!!

Kelli Roberts said...

Thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

Thank you for your experience and was very impressed by your performances.

I signed in for my first Ironman h next July 2017 and also start the whole30 diet this week. After reading the whole book, I am now wondering what kind of nutrition plan you have on your races. After the whole30 we are supposed to go faster and longer thanks fat storage. Currently I m fueling with gels plus electrolytes drinks + energy bars. Shall I give up those carbs on the race and rely on my fat stocks, which seems cray for more than 12 hours in my case. Or shall I continue with sugar and I what pace?

Thank you very much for your time and shared experience.