My Whole 30 Experience

My Whole 30 Experience

My Whole30 would have ended today… had I not decided to eat a chicken quesadilla on Carnival Friday night. With 5 days to successful completion, did I really give in to temptation? Not really. I decided to break the Whole30 that Friday – five days early.

It wasn’t because of a craving or a wave of temptation – I successfully navigated those on Valentine’s Day. I have no profound reason, either. Lame, eh? The major reason for my decision is that it was Carnival weekend and I had quite a few activities planned, and didn’t feel like cooking. You can’t live Whole30 on purchased food.

Soooo anyway, wanna know the outcome? After purchasing my quesadilla dinner last Friday night, I went to the pharmacy to weigh-in, before heading home to dig in because I didn’t want to break the challenge without at least knowing how much I weighed at the end. Breathe. That sentence was a mouthful. Continue. And of course, if you’ve been following my blog, the batteries in my scale needed changing so I couldn’t weigh in at home. Turns out I lost approx. 5lbs and 5 inches overall.

I’m pretty pleased, although I can’t help but wonder what the extra five days would have done to those stats. Ah, well.

My brother also lost about 3lbs, but he also gained some muscle as did my friend who also joined the challenge but fell off the wagon somewhere along the way.

What’s changed through my experience with the challenge? 

Well for one thing, I’m actually quite impressed with myself that I somehow managed to survive without sugar, flour, rice, beans and corn for as long as I did, with minimal cravings – every now and then I did despair about not being able to eat anything at the concession stand at the movies.

  • I learnt by force how to stew chicken without sugar. It’s not the same but it is pretty good.
  • I learnt to make my own mayo, which I think is super cool! Look out for my recipe soon.
  • I learnt that there’s sugar in way too many foods we DON’T think has sugar in it. It’s sooo important to read labels.
  • I learnt that coconut milk is NOT to be feared and it is ultra-delicious.
  • I made a mash up between tomato chokha and spicy tomato salsa. Pretty delish, if I do say so myself.
  • I made the best pumpkin and saltfish  ever – next time I make it, I’d be able to add cheese. Yum!

Sidenote 1: I once ordered sada roti (flatbread) with pumpkin and cheese for breakfast at a cafe in Port of Spain – the lady behind the counter didn’t bother to hide her slight disgust when she asked, “Yuh want punpkin with cheese yuh say? People doh eat that.” but I promise, it is an absolutely delicious combination.

Sidenote 2: Curried channa with cheese is also pretty awesome!

Special thanks to Nom Nom Paleo for her awesome recipes!

What happens now?

I’m also going to take up the Whole30 Challenge again sometime around May/June or when the official Whole9/Whole30 community undertakes the challenge in July.

In the meantime…

The challenge taught me that I could successfully live without lots of foods I thought I couldn’t. My intention is to continue a largely sugar- and wheat-free diet but I plan to add legumes and dairy back into my diet, and ease up on the meat a bit. Did I just say that? Anyway…

Some of our Trini foods are actually already pretty paleo friendly – things like callaloo and bhaji, tomato, pumpkin and baigan chokha. And some traditionally store-bought foods and condiments are pretty easy to make – like homemade mayo, garlic sauce and ketchup. I have to keep working on the ketchup though – my first and only attempt was more like Heinz (not my favourite brand) than our good ol’ Swiss (my favourite).

So that’s it for my Whole30 errr…  25 day challenge. The time sure flew by! If you’re considering the Challenge, go for it. If you’re not, you should consider it.

It requires a lot of thought, pre-planning and food preparation but there are a lot of online resources to help and support. Many people vouch for the changes to their health, weight loss and improved feeling of overall wellbeing. I am one of those.

Think you can handle it?

A penny for your thoughts? :)

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