Halfway Through Whole30!

I’m officially at the two week mark of my Whole30 Challenge! It’s somehow been both better and worse than I expected.

Here’s an update!

The Good

I took on the Whole30 challenge after experiencing bloating, stomach pains, brain fog, and mood swings for most of August. These closely resembled—if not, beat—the symptoms I used to have from gluten. And I thought, if I’m going to feel this way anyway, then I’d rather be feeling it after enjoying a soft pretzel! What better way to identify the cause of my discomfort than starting an elimination diet, and so I began on September 1. The great news is that within a day or two of starting the Whole30, the stomach pains completely disappeared! Whoo hoo!

By Day 4, I noticed a significant reduction in belly bloat.

On Day 8, I realized how clear and focused I felt. It was truly an eye-opening moment when I walked away from a conversation and realized that I had listened, fully engaged, not interrupted, and more importantly, not lost my train of thought or had to mentally search for the right word. I was seriously expecting someone to admit they had snuck my old friend, Adderall XR, into my water and I was reaping the benefits. But no, focus and attention was achieved purely by my diet.

On Day 9, I snuck onto the scale…I know, I know! That’s “not in the spirit of the Whole30” but I was curious and I also knew that I had enough positive non-scale victories that I would not let a number determine my success. Well, I was down 5 lbs and finally at what I consider my healthy weight (though some BMI charts and data may disagree.) I say this only because it was ALL water weight and bloat. Proving again how stupid the scale is.

But the best part of all, is I’ve been eating some pretty AMAZING meals! Here are some examples below. For my full plan, please follow me on Instagram at @belowthefork!

Zucchini with yellow & purple carrots sauteed in coconut oil & coconut aminos. Steamed broccoli. Grilled drumsticks with coconut aminos.

Wild-caught Alaskan cod with fresh lemon juice on top. Kale sauteed in garlic & coconut oil. Mango!

Homemade meatballs (organic grass-fed beef, spices, 1 egg, 1T almond meal) Sauce (6 oz compliant canned sauce & peeled whole tomatoes, home-grown basil, spice) and zoodles

Open-faced omelet with mushrooms, bell pepper, leftover taco meat, and Roma tomatoes sauteed in coconut oil, with greens and compliant salsa on top.

Mixed greens, mushrooms, eggs, diced peach, and kalamata olives sautéed in coconut oil. Half an avocado on the side.
Mixed greens, mushrooms, eggs, diced peach, and kalamata olives sautéed in coconut oil. Half an avocado on the side.



                                                                                                                       The Bad

After reading testimonies and the “what to expect” section of Whole30.com, I got a little cocky about my usual clean eating habits, and assumed I’d breeze through the first couple days and then hit “tiger blood” way earlier than most people who were stuck detoxing from gluten. WRONG.

This has been a bright spotlight on the foods that I had let sneak into my daily meals; primarily, dark chocolate, wine, too many peanuts and/or peanut butter, and not enough protein to balance my high-intake of fruit. I really thought that giving up cheese was going to be the worse of it. Honestly, short of one moment of fiery jealousy over everyone else’s cheeseburger versus my naked burger, and I’ve been completely fine. The real issue? CHOCOLATE! Oh how I miss it. I also think my 3pm-ish rendez-vous with a small handful of dark chocolate chips was working as a crutch for getting through the sleepy afternoon slump with a boost of caffeine and sugar.

Which is one of the reasons I think I’m absolutely EXHAUSTED on the Whole30!

Where’s this ‘tiger blood’ they speak of?! My butt is draaaaaaging. I did some online research yesterday though (day 14) and—even though Whole30 is NOT about counting calories, carbs, or weight loss—was inspired to input two days worth of meals into LoseIt just to get a reference point. Yeah…turns out I’m averaging a mere 1400 calories before workouts, and slack-a-lackin’ on carbs. That’s not enough—I should be more like 2100 calories per day! I need to incorporate more potatoes and squash into my meals and hopefully that will be enough fuel to power my entire day. Now that I know, I’m hoping to see a big improvement for my second half of Whole30.

Here we go for another 15 days! How are you doing??? Please let me know in the comment section below!


Meridith Oram
Meridith Oram is an ACE-Certified Health Coach at Below the Fork where she encourages women to love themselves towards healthy. She is married with two boys, and lives outside of Philadelphia. She earned a B.A. in Communications from Villanova University. Meridith writes about FASTer Way to Fat Loss, fitness, nutrition, Celiac Disease, and easy (but delicious!) gluten-free recipes at belowthefork.com. Follow her @belowthefork on all social channels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *