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One last Whole30 feedback-on our last day!

Posted Feb 05 2013 5:22pm

Can you believe that our first Whole30 challenge officially ends today? After only a few weeks in, when the rough patch came and knocked me on my bum, I felt as though it would never end. All I wanted was a glass of wine and a few (ok the bag) of plantain chips. But now that the end is here, my energy level is back, my cravings are gone, and I am feeling great again, I am shocked as to how fast it seemed to have gone by. I really needed this challenge to clean up some bad habits I got into from the holidays. I can’t believe how a few extra glasses of wine and some desert could amount to me gaining 3 pounds from Thanksgiving to Christmas! Now 3 pounds may not sound a lot to some, but when you are barely 4’11″ tall, 3 pounds is actually a lot and noticeable.  I am happy to report that I am back down the 3 pounds I gained from the holidays and my clothes are back to fitting the way they should :-)

So here is our last Whole30 challenge feedback. My cousin Andrea joined us in our Whole30 challenge about a week in. She texted me and asked if it would be ok for her to join us in the challenge even though it had already started. The more the merrier as far as I am concerned so I happily told her that we wold love to have her! Here is what she has to say on her day 15.

January 25, 2013
Pride made me do it!
Not my own selfish pride but the admiration and pride I have for my cousin, Pam.
Two years ago she and her family came to our son’s birthday party. Trying to accommodate all the food diversity in our nutty family from vegans to carnivores, I asked Pam what I could have prepared for her. Her response was “are you ready for this?”…. “no dairy, no legumes, no sugar, no alcohol, etc…” Alrghtie, so I made her grilled chicken and some salad. My curiosity was spike to her 30 day paleo challenge from her gym. Struggling with my own return to a pre-pregnancy body I would often think of Pam’s diet (which I even hate to use that word since it sounds so January fad, so lets call it a lifestyle). Then swimming next to her muscular body each summer with our kids I would be gently reminded of her fitness lifestyle including the paleo diet.
Our fathers are brothers, our kids are gorgeous, we share some great genes so my body should look like hers just a smidge taller, right? I am active and work out (no marathons though) so maybe just maybe there is another factor? Oh yeah, that crazy cave woman diet of hers. Hmmm, should I try it?
After a terrible stomach bug, bronchitis and an injured rib from coughing around the holidays I felt like I hit a health bottom. I want to feel healthy and strong again like I did before I had our now 3-year-old son. Then I saw Pam’s post talking about her Whole30 challenge. Feeling like I had nothing to lose, it was time to give this a try. Day 15, half way through I feel tighter, stronger, healthier, sexier, slimmer, fuller, more satisfied and free from the foods that can creep up and control your existence. When I tell my friends and family why I am now a cave woman (and why I now look quite cute in a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans) my explanation is filled with pride for my cousin Pam and her lifestyle!

Ok I may be a bit biased, but don’t you just LOVE stories like this! I know that I learned a lot from my cousin’s experience. I never once preached my way of eating on her. When she told  me of the menu that she was offering for her son’s birthday party 2 years ago, I had just started my first ever 63 day paleo challenge.  Not wanting to be a pain in the butt or viewed as a weirdo,  I simple said something along the lines of don’t worry about it I’ll be fine. I certainly didn’t want her going out of her way to accommodate my new diet.  Andrea could sense that I was holding back and reassured me that she was used to throwing parties with guests with various eating styles (a few of my cousins are vegans). So I asked her if she was ready for it and proceed to rattle off the list of no-no foods that I was to stay away from.

What I did, without even realizing it, was to lead by example. I have been accused in the past of being overbearing with my nutrition and exercise beliefs. I honestly feel that I am just passionate; I love what I do for a living and I want to inspire others to love it as much as I do.  I remember reading one sentence in the Whole30 book, It Starts With Food, that truly resonated with me. “Lead by quiet example.” I realized that I can’t want it for others, they have to want it for themselves. And the more I pushed some with my knowledge and passion the more they pushed away from me. Everyone needs time to come to the decision on their own. I am truly happy that I was able to be a quiet example for my cousin.

How did the challenge go for you? How do you feel? If you are looking for what to do now that the challenge is over and you don’t have the book, It Starts With Food yet read this link from There are a bunch of resources for how you introduce these foods back into your system if you choose to do so. Basically, you introduce one new food at a time. If your first meal post Whole30 is chicken parm over ziti with minestrone soup from the nearby Italian restaurant, then how do you know if it was the dairy, legumes, or grains that caused you to feel bad, breakout, or whatever. You want to be able to pin point exactly what you ate that caused any issues (if any).


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