What I Learned on Whole30

Yesterday was the last day of the January Whole30…which, in my case, really added up to about Whole22 all told, and Whole10 in a row.

Okay, so I’m weak. But hey – it’s better than Whole3, which is what I accomplished the first time I tried.  But I did accomplish enough to learn a few things about my eating patterns and my health, which is one of the more important points of doing a Whole30 in the first place.

First, I learned that I can turn into a Grade A Bitch if I get sick while attempting a Whole30, for which I apologize.

I learned that at least attempting a Whole30, and sticking with it for the majority of the month, is a good way to lose the 3 pounds you gained over the holidays, when you ate far too many “paleo” treats like dairy-free egg nog, almond flour banana bread and chevre cheesecake topped with a butter-free (and delicious) lemon curd.

I learned that we eat pretty “cleanly” most days (Beloved pointed this out).  We didn’t have to change or give up much in order to do this, but cooking with alcohol and my tendency to make “conventional” dishes “paleo” (i.e. cottage pie and butternut squash pancakes) is what did us in, even if we don’t consume those all that often.

I learned that while it’s not hard to drink my coffee without stevia, it’s not something I’ll ever enjoy.

Having said that, I also learned to appreciate sweet things, since I (mostly) cut them out for a month.  Now all I need is a drop or two of stevia in my coffee – just enough to cut the bitterness of the beverage, but not enough to actually sweeten it.  And while I still prefer my pastured, cold-smoked ham steaks glazed with a little maple syrup, it is now really a “little” syrup.

I’ve learned that I’m really better off without any kind of dairy in my diet, and that it’s okay for me to miss the little bit of cheese and butter I did eat (and mourn the fact I will probably never be able to enjoy even a gluten-free lasagna ever again).

And while I’ve learned that I, personally, am better off without dairy, I also learned that it is entirely possible to make a 3-course fondue meal, if not Whole30, then at least primal.  And that teenage boys will eat it.

I learned that I’m sensitive to sulfites – they are very likely responsible for my mild and occasional asthma-like symptoms.  So, when it’s red wine, it’s now red wine with no added sulfites.

I learned that I have bad reactions to FD&C Yellow No. 5 (you don’t even want to know how I discovered that).

Finally, I learned, after looking at the gorgeous Whole30 menu photos over at Nom Nom Paleo every day, that I absolutely lust for a SousVide Supreme.

And now, back to our regularly schedule blog posts.  I may give this another whirl in June.

15 thoughts on “What I Learned on Whole30”

  1. I need to write a similar post Jan! We did a Whole14 followed by a Whole15 due to a late Christmas/Holiday family gathering, so we were not perfect either. It was a really good experience over all, and I definitely learned the same about dairy…but then I made ghee, and life is good. 🙂

    1. I need to make some ghee again; the last batch I made left me phlegmy, but I’m not sure I got all of the milk solids out.

  2. Girl, you have got yourself the beginning of a Christmas list right there. $400 better make you holler.
    I am constantly hemming and hawing over going dairy free to see if that would stop this phlegmy feeling I have right now, just everything you wanted to know about me, why not?, but then I have my coffee in the morning and I can’t bring myself to go through with it. Yes, I should try coconut creamer, I will, since I refuse to turn to soy.

    1. Give it a try – you don’t even have to use the So Delicious coconut creamer (I wouldn’t; too many additives). I use plain old coconut milk – Native Forest is organic, non-GMO, fair trade and the cans are free of BPA.

  3. I’m glad you learned so much about yourself! And that most of it isn’t painful to learn. The food dye thing? Not surprised. I’m beginning to think they rank with corn syrup on the list of all things evil. But the paleo fondue intrigues me.

  4. Health is an ongoing process – figuring out what does and doesn’t work for our particular body. Like right now … I’m thinking the smoking hot trainer at Paul’s gym might really be an asset to my health.
    : )

  5. What exactly is Stevia? I fear it, and I don’t know why. You know, Jude might go for fondue. Cheese, meat, eating with your fingers? I might try a little boyified version of it. Ideas? Oooo, I’m making the chicken stock to day! I finally located the Ball plastic freezer jars. Very excited.

    1. Stevia is a plant that is naturally sweet – it’s one of the components in Truvia. It can have a bit of a bitter aftertaste, but the kind I buy (in a liquid suspension) isn’t too bad. I like it much better than Splenda.

      I’m writing about the fondue tomorrow for my Spin – I think you’ll find that it’s pretty kid-friendly.

  6. You’re my hero. I don’t think I’d last through a Whole1, let alone a Whole22, Whole10 or Whole30. 🙂

    I’ve been tempted to try Stevia – I can’t do Splenda because it gives me headaches (as does other artificial sweeteners, particularly those that have aspartame or are sucrose. One of the only allergies I have). I’ve also been spoiled by my homemade wine – I can’t drink the commercial stuff anymore, because it’s so rife with sulfites and extra preservatives (which is why their shelf-life is a few years longer than the shelf-life of my homemade nectar). While my wines to have sulfites (to stabilize the wine and make sure it doesn’t continue fermenting in the bottle) it’s waaaaaaaaay less than commercial wines – so it doesn’t make my sinuses swell up to where I can’t breath through my nose, unlike when I drink a commercial wine. 🙂

  7. We’re wrapping up our Whole30 as well. Had a piece of dark chocolate tonight to celebrate. I’m in the same boat as you with the dairy – I had something with butter yesterday and I felt it almost immediately. I really need to make my own ghee – the Pure Indian Foods one is so expensive!

  8. Thank you for mentioning the tartrazine thing. It might be what’s causing my chronic urticaria!

    How did you find out about that one?

    1. Nicole – I caved and ate a piece of candy off of a co-worker’s desk. When my asthma-like symptoms came back shortly afterwards, I looked at the container it came in; sure enough, one of the ingredients was FD&C Yellow No. 5.

      That’ll teach me.

  9. I never use chees on lasagna anymore, and I honestly don’t miss it. Try this one:


    There’s a cashew “cream” sauce in lieu of cheese, and it works really well. I use almond butter instead of being patient and soaking some nuts to make the cream.

    I also really like this recipe:

    If you let the thing cook long enough (which I almost never do), the squash becomes so smooth and buttery you don’t miss the cheese!

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