After such a beautiful summer, I’m not at all ready for winter but am trying to stay positive. Lake effect snow on the horizon makes it difficult but I’m trying! Before winter hits, at least there is fall!
This fall, in particular, has been really special. We’ve had some amazing weddings these last two years around the fall, which have been a blast.
We were fortunate enough to be able to make it out to a wedding in Wisconsin last month, which let us connect with a lot of friends we had known online for years. To say it was an amazing time would be an understatement! Luckily, most of us that went to September’s wedding also met up again in Connecticut for a wedding this month.
As part of preparing for this wedding, we all joked about different costume ideas we could wear. After getting the go-ahead from the bride and groom, Chad was now the proud owner of a green suit, with three other friends sporting pink, yellow, and Star Wars print suits as well.
Not wanting to spend a lot, we turned to eBay for the suit, found a great deal and ordered it. Unfortunately, Chad’s original size was out of stock but the next size up was available so we went with that. Two days later, it arrived and he tried it on. You know how sometimes things just work out? It worked out perfectly that his original size was out of stock and he went larger because this one was perfect!
Or at least mostly perfect. It was a little snug around the middle, through no fault of the suit. So while Chad was looking up man corsets, I suggested doing a mini Whole30 to drop a little bit of weight and stomach bloat.
Now, I would never suggest this as someone’s first Whole30 option. We had already done a strict Whole30 before and learned a lot about our health and food tolerances with that. Completely cutting out everything on the no list for 30 days and eating according to the plan was a game changer and if anyone is even considering it or wanting to learn more about food, their body, and take control of their health, I can’t recommend it enough.
For us though, we did a shorter, slightly less strict version for a few reasons:
- Time. We had three weeks before the wedding, where we knew there would be cake and drinking. The Whole30 encourages you to wait until after an event like this to start but we wanted to detox and see some of the benefits.
- Budget. There’s no denying that it’s more expensive to eat this way. The first week, we spent about $200 on groceries, but also placed an order with Thrive for essentials. We also didn’t have the extra budget to get as much organic or premium cuts of anything. Not that we normally do but two weddings a month apart and Christmas right around the corner can do a number on one’s wallet. That said, we did save a lot of money during this time by not eating a lot of quick meals (drive through, pizza, take out, snacks, drinks, etc) so even with the higher grocery bill, we still saved money overall.
- Reality. This time around we were not as strict. Again, this is only because we’ve done it the “right” way once already. This didn’t mean throwing the rules out the window! But the little bit of sugar that some company decided to put in the organic chicken broth? We’ll live. Same with bacon? Not a deal breaker this time! Stuff like that where it’s not 100% compliant but it’s the healthiest choice I can reasonably make. This is more sustainable than making your own broth 100% of the time (for me! If you can do that, you rock!) or ignoring the locally sourced and ethically raised bacon in our freezer because it might contain sugar.
So what did we do different this time around and what did we modify?
I mentioned not sweating the small stuff (like the tiny bit of sugar or “bad” oils in some organic products). We also pulled a few things from our garden, such as the tomatoes and kale that have taken over. We recently bought 1/8th of a cow, so there was a good amount of beef and pork in our freezer already. I tried to keep things super simple as far as food goes. Normally when people start asking about this diet, Chad starts listing off the things we can’t have, which makes it sound like we don’t eat. You know what we had the first night? Nachos. While yes, this diet does cut out a lot of the fillers we know and love, it’s not as limiting as it first seems.
With any diet or lifestyle change, there’s always an adjustment period. While this Mini Whole30 wasn’t quite as shocking as the strict version we did before, there were still some adjustments that I forgot about from last time. I didn’t quite hit the full-on, kill.all.the.things. point from before but I was crabby around the end of the first week.
I also forgot how much fat HAS to be part of a meal. Our first couple of meals were on the leaner side and we both ended up going back and snacking. This wasn’t hard to fix. It was just a matter of channeling my inner Paula Deen and adding twice as much ghee/coconut oil/olive oil on whatever I was making than I thought was reasonable. Adjustments, right?
Another big struggle for me is trying to eat three whole meals a day. Two I can do without a problem, usually lunch and dinner, but I struggle with breakfast. If I can eat something for breakfast and get my metabolism going, I think that in itself would solve a lot of my weight issues. This is going to be an ongoing thing!
Let’s talk about success here! The biggest success, and the main reason behind doing this in the first place, was weight loss and stomach fat loss for Chad. The total? Down 14lbs and enough around the waist to lead to a better fitting suit! We were breaking the rules a bit and actually weighing ourselves during this challenge for curiosity’s sake. The first week was very slow for Chad and the second wasn’t much better until the end. This happened to him before, where weight loss was slow going to begin with but then he started dropping about a pound a day towards the end. Last round he lost 20lbs so this mini reset was right in line with his results from last time.
My successes weren’t as exciting numbers-wise but still good. Down 3lbs, much less belly bloat, but I felt like I tackled a lot more cravings this time around. My sugar dragon seems much more contained and I know if I have some sugar, especially in the morning, I’ll crave more. Bread and pasta used to be another weak spot for me that I feel even more free of now. I don’t feel myself craving bread at all because it’s just not worth the side effects for me. I also noticed some intolerance to dairy after the wedding, which may be another area to watch.
So while the weight loss is minor, there was a ton of knowledge gained through this.
Overall, our mini Whole15 ended up being a huge success for a quick, no excuses jump start back into health. Along with other positive changes, like spending 5-10 minutes a day doing light exercise and daily 1+ minute meditations, these small changes are the foundation. While I’d love to be one of those people who meal preps, eats great, and loves going to the gym, I’m not. So I’ll start with baby steps and keep going from there, imperfectly.
Interested in learning more about the Whole30 program? Check out the website here, buy the book on Amazon or see if your local library has a copy to borrow. Tip? Get the physical book. eBook cookbooks are a pain in the ass to reference. Save yourself the frustration.
How did our first Whole30 go? Read about that here!
Want some super easy Whole30 approved food resources and meal plans? Here’s what I used this time around for reference to simple and easy food:
- The Ultimate Whole30 Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Plan from New Leaf Wellness
- Whole30 on a Budget from Paleo Bailey