Monday, June 10, 2013

So much for Whole30 :(

Once upon a time there was a vegetarian girl.   She started this little paleo-esque challenge and failed miserably...the end.

Ok - so it wasn't quite like that.   But safe to say, I did not make it to 30 days.  In fact - I didn't even make it half way.

I did really want to do my best to make it 26 days.   I really did.   Truth, though, is that it is crushingly difficult to do as a vegetarian.   I went from eating a diet that I knew was pretty healthy and somewhat varied to basically eating the same meal 3 times a day.  

And I wasn't feeling any better.

In fact - I felt okay the first week and then, for the second week, I went above and beyond on the food prep to make it "easier"...I ate very strictly Whole30 while watching my family eat the way I used to.    I was a woman on mission.  A bored woman on a mission.  But that isn't why I quit.

I quit because I started to feel something bad happening.   I started to have unhealthy thoughts about food control.

For so much of my adult life, I have been dieting.  Controlling my food intake to try to achieve some level of perfection and I recognize that that is an unhealthy attitude.

And Whole30 is supposed to repair your relationship with food.   To help you gain back a healthier attitude toward the food you put into your mouth while making your body healthier in the process.

It was having an opposite effect on me.

I was feeling worse and I could see so much of the healthier attitudes I have built over the past 3 years (since my journey began) start to be compromised by the controlling of my diet.

I made the decision on Friday that I needed to nip it in the bud and find some other way that works for me.  Because this didn't.

and that's okay.

I did have a couple of takeaways that I will keep.

1) I actually love full fat plain greek yogourt.   You guys wouldn't believe how much better it tastes than ALL of the non-fat crap that is in the supermarkets.  

2) Paleo may work just fine for omnivores, but I operate much better when I can have my beans and lentils.  I felt like I had absolutely zero energy for 2 weeks.   It took everything I had in me just to get out of bed everyday...and I am normally someone who wakes up just before my alarm and gets up not long after.  Instead, I was spending every night tossing and turning and then hitting snooze until I was late.

As soon as I had a day of non-whole30 meals in me, my energy levels were back and I slept like a baby.

So - it didn't work for me.  maybe it will work for you, but you will need to try it to see.  It is my thought that the vegetarian program was made intentionally more difficult because of the authors view on vegetarianism (which they are not shy about sharing).  And that is their prerogative.  I came.  I tried.  I failed...or did I?

Perhaps I actually won this Whole30 thing because I was able to recognize when I had the unhealthy thoughts and could turn it around before it added to a continued life of disordered eating...


  1. Good for you for attempting it and stopping when you felt you weren't getting any benefit from it.

    I don't think I could ever fully do a paleo diet because I do enjoy beans and lentils (among other things) and I'm not sure I could survive mainly on meat and vegetables.

    What brand is the full fat greek yogurt? I'm still trying to like greek yogurt but we have always eaten the full-fat regular stuff.

  2. I found the BEST greek yoghourt, Oikos natural flavour. It's so creamy and full of taste, I never want to eat something else.
    Kudos to you for trying Whole30. I know I'll never want to try something so restrictive. Life is too short not to enjoy its little pleasures, which most come from food. No need to bring misery to your life... for what? Is it really worth it? You are a smart woman and I'm glad to see how in tune with your body and mind you are. That is winning!

  3. Cori, this sounds like the right decision for you. You already know a lot about nutrition and make healthy choices that are right for your body. I can imagine how boring this diet would be for a vegetarian. I think any "diet" that says you "can't"eat something isn't one that I would stick with for long (except gluten as a Celiac = no choice there). Everything in moderation! I also wouldn't empty my pantry for a 30 day diet. That gets expensive! ;)

  4. I don't consider it a failure. Everyone has a different experience, and here's the thing - we all have different bodies and not everything is going to work for everyone. It's why we have different kinds of shoes, and training programs, and eating programs. I'm sad it didn't work for you, but it's not for everyone. It's about experimenting and figuring out what does work for you.

  5. I totally agree, no failure, in fact it was a huge success because you pretty much just confirmed that you already had a healthy relationship with food to start with. Personally, I think it would be extremely difficult to do as a vegetarian because the whole thing is based on eating meat and not eating legumes. Pretty hard to be a vegetarian with those parameters! (And don't they even say that you should start eating meat again anyway? Ha ha)


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