Well guys, I have a confession: I never finished my Whole 30. In fact, I ended up “quitting” the day after I published my last post about it, the one updating you all on how it was going. Hah. I don’t want to make excuses about it: I simply decided to stop. And I stopped with a bang, by eating a cupcake at a co-worker’s birthday celebration. Here’s the thing: it wasn’t that I hated the food, it wasn’t that I was struggling with cravings or “withdrawal” symptoms. It’s just that I felt like ALL I was doing for the week I lasted was thinking about food, cooking food, and cleaning the kitchen. For real. Cooking 3 solid meals a day is HARD. (Coincidentally, I also started the project the very week I transitioned into working full time, so there was that aspect as well.) And this is coming from the girl who already meal plans, who already makes a grocery list every week and knows what’s for dinner every night. I can’t imagine trying to come to the Whole 30 without already being in the habit of doing those things. It felt like a losing battle trying to keep enough “acceptable” foods in the refrigerator and on our plates. I felt stressed and tired and worried about what I was eating. And since I wasn’t feeling any positive changes to make it seem “worth it,” I just decided it wasn’t. The end.

I still mean everything positive I said in my last post, but I think the ambivalence I expressed there just won out in the end. However, as we’ve switched back to our “normal” eating habits, I have been trying to stick with some of the principle of the Whole 30. I’ve been trying to do fewer carbs overall, and I’ve been making sure my breakfast is a little bigger and contains a little more protein. I’ve been buying the “good” version of some food products, like milk and eggs (and meat when I find a good price), and I’ve kept some of the Whole 30 recipes I discovered in the rotation.

Here are links to some of the keepers I found:

All of these are simple and delicious. So if you’re thinking about trying a Whole 30, I’d like to encourage you that at least the recipes themselves don’t have to be intimidating. I got to practice even more my concept of “if I’m not sure what an ingredient is or if it’s super-specific and expensive, I can skip it and the recipe probably won’t suffer that much!” Andy has also proclaimed a love of spaghetti squash, the darling of the paleo diet, and I found you can cook a sweet potato in the microwave. Easy peasy!

I’ve strayed a bit in the last few weeks, but I’m trying to do basically Whole 30 meals for dinners. I’ve also pretty much given up Diet Coke. I realized I didn’t miss it nearly as much as I thought it would. I’m down to basically just one cup of coffee a day–but boy do I sure enjoy my flavored creamer in it!!! I’m still mostly going from breakfast to lunch without a snack, but I’ve re-instituted my late afternoon snack sans guilt.

In conclusion, the Whole 30 just didn’t work out for me, and I’m okay with that. It was a worthwhile experiment and left me with only some positive outcomes.

Have you tried any diets or eating plans? What are some approaches to food that work well for you?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman