Whole30 Update: Days 16-22

As the litany of egg yolks and roasted chicken photos on my Instagram feed suggest, I am in the last half of the Whole30. It has been easier than expected, and yet now on Day 22, I’m starting to get over the whole no dairy thing. (And yes, I realize in my last update, I told you how it wasn’t cheese that I missed.)

But it’s not so much that I miss the taste of dairy; I miss the convenience of dairy.

With school back in session and places to be at 9 AM, I just want to eat a brekkie bowl of yogurt-y goodness and call it a meal. Instead, the past two days I’ve had a banana and a Kit’s Organic Bar as I’m running out the door. Though this is “not in the spirit of Whole30,” they are technically compliant foods. But when you take away the rules and just focus on the nutrition, is it really healthier to have a bar and a banana, than eat a bowl of whole, unflavored yogurt filled with fruit, nuts, and seeds (oooh, and sometimes lemon zest or cinnamon….)?  Though it’s only been two days, I feel like I’m getting dangerously close to those meal replacement programs I loathe. All for the sake of avoiding dairy and being late.

I don’t even need milk. I just need my yogurt.

Which leads me to my one other complaint/concern. Without going into much detail, in my previous “eat clean 80/20” life, I am so regular with a healthy consistency. That has not been the case throughout this challenge. I’m starting to wonder if it’s because I’m lacking the probiotic that I was otherwise getting from yogurt. I should probably consider taking a probiotic supplement, but I don’t understand how consuming 100% REAL food is creating issues that didn’t exist before. Do I really have leaky gut so bad that it is taking more than 22 days to heal? Or is this proof of the healing that’s taking place? (Can any Celiacs who have completed the Whole30 challenge relate? Please contact me if you have!)

EDIT: After publishing, I did more research into what I was considering a problem. Interestingly, according to this chart, it turns out I shouldn’t even consider it an issue. If you’re curious as to what’s normal and what’s not, check out the Bristol Scale here: https://www.gutsense.org/constipation/normal_stools.html

On the Bright Side

Fortunately, breakfast has been my only struggle, and I realize it’s mostly due to time constraints; not my lack of love for eggs. I’m so happy eating a completely clean lunch and dinner, that it has become second nature to me. It doesn’t even feel like I’m on a program…it’s just regular life. While these meals were my cleanest prior to the start of Whole30, I really think I can maintain these even healthier habits the majority of the time.

I know many people have declared the extension of their Whole30 to be a Whole45, 60, etc. around this point. Check back with me next week, but I don’t think I’m going to be one of them. Or at least, I’m not going to be 100%.

On Day 31, I plan on re-introducing yogurt. It’s funny, but I started this Whole30 journey because I suspected that dairy and/or peanuts were my issue. And maybe that will be the case; however, now I think it’s peanuts, and either corn or all grains. I’ll probably wait a lot longer to re-introduce those foods than anything else.

Before you all think I am not enjoying Whole30 or experiencing any benefits, let me tell you the AMAZING things that have happened over the course of 3 weeks…

Non-Scale Victories:

  • Completely clear skin. Like, completely.
  • More appreciative/responsive taste buds (tasting ALL the flavors)
  • Kicked my need for chocolate
  • Kicked my need to have toast with my egg yolk (silly but I’m serious!)
  • More focused
  • Quick recovery from workouts (and I’ve been doing a lot of advanced yoga)
  • More energy (this one took awhile! Read my last post for troubleshooting)
  • Finishing produce before it goes bad (meaning, money saved!)
  • Taking better photos of my food (lol. I kid!)

Check back with me next week when I wrap this up and reveal my next steps. Where are you in your Whole30 journey, and how do you feel?

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.

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