Hi! I wanted to do a short update about our September Whole30 and share a few things I learned over the 30 days. Yes…even after four years and several Whole30s under my belt, I still benefit and learn from this reset!
Lesson One: If I’m Making Healthy Food Choices, My Ability to Handle Stress Improves
Let’s be honest…life can be stressful. We’re going through some transitions in our family and I haven’t quite adjusted to the routine. The biggest change is our oldest just started high school while our youngest is still in elementary. Their schedules don’t line up most of the time which makes for very divided afternoons/evenings (meaning after 3pm, I practically live in my car)! Thank goodness for LaCroix, Apple Music, and Audible to get me through…
More than ever, making a deliberate decision to choose healthy food during busy/stressful times makes it easier to endure and even thrive! Choosing a less healthy option might be easier in the moment but it almost always leads to feeling not so great afterwards or an energy crash. Going the healthy route doesn’t change the circumstances, but it changes how we cope and deal with what comes our way. And, less meltdowns for everyone!
Having a fridge stocked with ready to go options is the key to surviving our week! Here’s the deal: you have to eat, so why not choose the things you know will nourish your body and give you energy. Once you make the decision it actually simplifies things!
Lesson Two: Acknowledging My Emotions Leads to Using Better Coping Strategies
Of course, during the September Whole30 it crossed my mind to give in and have a glass of wine or a sweet at the end of a crazy day! But, I know that brings only temporary relief and I end up feeling worse or more tired. The Whole30 pushes me to feel what I’m feeling and turn to a healthier non-food coping strategy. Talking to a friend, enjoying a cup of tea/decaf coffee, reading, working out, and going to bed early are all things I can do when I’m stressed/tired/anxious that will actually make me feel better.
#NSV | A Huge (for me!) Non Scale Victory
My most notable non-scale victory this round has been my skin clearing up! I was hesitant to share this because I’ve felt self conscious about it, but I’ll be real with y’all. For the last year, I’ve struggled with breakouts/acne. Probably the worst breakouts I’ve ever had! Nothing I tried was helping. I even saw a dermatologist for a prescription regimen and that helped a little, but it majorly dried out my skin.
I decided to stop (a few weeks before I started the Sept Whole30) and see if just doing the Whole30 and using collagen peptides would help. It did!! I’ve seen a huge improvement in just 30 days. I’m 37 years old so I’m not expecting it to look they way it did in my 20s, but it’s much clearer and brighter than it’s been in over a year. I am beyond happy and thankful!
It may seem shallow, but I’ll admit that it affected my confidence. I started wearing more makeup than I ever had before to cover up and I didn’t like doing that. More importantly, breakouts are a sign that something isn’t right in the body. The inflammation comes from somewhere!
All that being said, I chose to do the Slow Roll Reintroduction instead of the Fast Track. (Click here for an explanation of reintro schedules.) Basically I’ll continue to eat Whole30-ish and only veer off if something comes up I really, truly want and feel is worth it. I’ll relax on the added sugar rule, but continue to follow the guidelines for the most part. The biggest challenge with this approach is only adding one thing at a time when I do decide to reintroduce…
I have a sneaking suspicion that dairy may have been the culprit of my breakouts and I’m not ready to add it back to test it just yet. I’ll keep you posted though!
This method is pretty much how I’ve coasted through the last four years…and it’s worked beautifully for me! I can usually tell when I need to clean it up or do a mini reset if I’ve gone too far off track. I don’t always get it right, but where I am now is a much better place than where I was (in my relationship with food) pre-Whole30. And, the off track times seem to get shorter/takes less time to get back on track.
It’s taken work to get here, but the reward has been freedom from feeling that food was in control. Life changing! Though the Whole30, I’ve been able to formulate a plan that works for me and fits my lifestyle. Its evolved over the years as I’ve learned more and become more in tune with my body.
The Whole30 can bring about subtle changes or breakthroughs, or both! This round was more needed than I even realized at first. It helped me maintain a greater sense of control and peace during a busy phase of life. And, on top of that I feel fantastic…energized, happy, and strong! For me, the Whole30 is what helps me look and feel the way I want to and is sustainable over time. I’m forever grateful!
Read Food Freedom Forever With Me!
I just started reading Food Freedom Forever and would love for you to join me in an informal book club! I’ll be talking about it this month on instagram stories/live and here, too. There’s still time to get in on it! I’m planning to read through Section One by Friday (10/20).
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!
Photography: Beckley & Co.