Thursday, June 28, 2012

Considering The Whole 30

The calorie counting is going okay, but I find I do feel much better when I am not eating certain foods (sugar, grains, processed stuff) so rather than just eating whatever I want that fits into my 1600 calorie budget, I've been eating less of those things and more whole foods. And while I am doing that, I often start considering whether I should cut out some other stuff like dairy and legumes and just go on and try the Paleo thing for awhile. I guess I have been resistant because it seems like the latest fad to me. I wonder if it is sustainable. I consider doing the "Whole 30" which is 30 days of eating Paleo, but then I ask myself, "can you imagine sticking with that forever? Or would you end up just adding legumes and dairy back in later anyway and gaining back any weight you lost?" I dunno. I often think about trying it just for the learning experience, to see how eating that way would affect my body. I don't think it is unhealthy, and don't think it could hurt. But aside from the sustainability issue, I wonder how on earth a person could eat that way while traveling. I travel in the summer. I am busy. I run around doing stuff almost every day. I have a habit of grabbing a protein bar or a shake or hey, stopping for a latte (which, by the way, is not 'junk' but is just skim or low fat milk plus espresso and *maybe* a shot of sugar free flavoring on occasion). I am used to having a string cheese or a Greek yogurt for a quick protein snack. If all those things are eliminated, what am I supposed to eat? Hard boiled eggs are fine but I get tired of eggs everyday. Bags of meat in the car for long trips? I dunno... For those of you who DO eat Paleo or have done the Whole 30, what did you use for grab-and-go nourishment? Like I said, I am considering giving it a shot, but I don't want to start it if I am just going to bail because of inconvenience.

Until I decide, I'm sticking with the calorie counting and am increasing my walking daily. Input welcome!


Anonymous said...

I've been doing Low-Glycemic/low carb for about 2 years. I've lost 105 pounds and now am looking at ways to loose 10 more (to finally hit a 'normal' bmi for the first time in my life). Sorry, I digress. Anyway, I've found that the low-glycemic works for grab and go. My husband and I travel a lot and do "grab and go" meals with cut up veggies/hard boiled eggs/low carb yogurt/sliced chicken. I never though I could make this a life style change...I was such a fries/ice cream/pastry kind of girl. So, this has happened, but like you, I like having the options of some dairy and legumes. However, a 30 day diet could get your body our of craving carbs/sugar. I did read one time that eating one meal a day that's the same is good for weight loss/maintenance. I thought this was undoable when I first read about it. However, I've adopted this for lunch. I pretty much eat a salad everyday. No more leftovers or varied meals (except for rare occasions). It's become comforting. I know what I'm doing - no questions. Thanks for sharing, it's nice to have that connection with others who are on this journey.

Allison Clow said...

I haven't done the Paleo diet but, I think moderation is key to any diet. The only reason I have gone off of diary, for instance, in the past was to see if I had an allergy to it. Diary is such a great source of protein, I know I couldn't do it for the long term. I am very busy myself (with 5 kids) so I grab protein bars or shakes often. Have you ever heard of or tried Shakeology? It is a shake (comes in chocolate, greenberry and strawberry) and delicious. It is full of everything you need. I look forward to having it everyday! It definitely falls under a whole food diet. Good luck!

Caz said...

I eat whole30 as a general way of life. I only eat twice a day max - I am just not hungry as often as I used to be. So snacks are not an issue for me. If you go onto the forum's on Mark's daily apple and have a look you will see that most people who have been eating this way for a while (I've been eating this way for 10 months) settle into 1-3 meals a day. It just takes a little bit of time for your body to get over the initial change.

To be honest, if you are looking at Whole30 as a 30-days-and-then-it's-over, I'm not sure it is worth doing. If you do it, it should really be with the aim of finding what works for you. And maybe that is no carbs, no fruit and no dairy. This is what I've found works for me. Do I love fruit? YES! But it gives me stomach ache and makes me fat. So I"m willing to do without. You need to decide if you would really be willing to do without if you find that those things (carbs, dairy, fruit) are not working for you.

I also think that any healthy lifestyle is going to be less convenient than an unhealthy one. It is time-consuming. BUT I find that the time and energy it takes me to prepare healthy food in no way compares to the hour and hours of mental energy I would put into trying to figure out what to do and what was going wrong.

As for snacks, I suppose you could try some of these:

Beef jerky,
bacon strip in microwave,
veg crudite's with a brinjal dip of sorts,
salad with olive oil,
any canned fish. I"m sure there are tons of ideas out there on the web.

In summary: I think whole30 is great (liberating, life changing, etc) BUT only if you are truly willing to embrace what may come out of it.

Andra said...

Funny you should mention this. I've been delving into the website reading about the whole 30 and considering taking it on for a month. Not sure if you've read much about the plan but there are tons of resources on the site including a meal planning template and a travel guide. Which is here~

Becca said...

I will say this common sense little tid bit that it took me a while to understand too... Where there is a fast food restaurant there is a grocery store that has a fresh produce section. Just as easy as it is to exit off an interstate to go to a McDonald's, it's just as easy to find a grocery store, and with those speedy self check out stations these days, you can have.

Just as easy as it is for you to grab a yogurt for a snack, you can grab a small (weighed) snack size bag of almonds.

There are tons of Paleo friendly websites out there that will give you plenty of ideas. I've never done it, though I'm trying to eat as many whole foods as I can.

I'll do it for 30 days, if you'll commit to doing it for 30 days.... why not issue a blog wide challenge?

Caz said...

One more thing. Whole30 and Paleo are just whole food versions of low-carb (in much the same way that Medifast is a non-whole food version of low-carb). I don't think it is at all faddish (and most definitely not more so than Medifast). It is whole, natural, completely unprocessed food. What could be healthier?

Other snacks (I've been thinking since my last post) could be cocoa with coconut cream, or a latte made with coconut cream and crushed ice (I'm not sure if you have a blender?), all sorts of soups (using real bones for flavour and nutrition).

Claire aguilar said...

Hi Lyn -
I've started with a modified-Paleo (eating cheese and butter and some legumes) before I launch into the Whole30 sometime next month. It's been a week. Yesterday I ate a delicious piece of T-bone steak with homemade salsa and guacamole. The day before I had turkey breast and sauteed kale. I have to say, I feel great, and it's only because I've eliminated wheat and grains, and still using a bit of milk in my tea and eating cheese. Aching muscles - gone. I feel like the bulge in my tummy is getting smaller. Better sleep,, elimination. And just overall feeling good after eating - although it's still unsatisfying and I keep thinking of Ritz crackers and steamed rice. Will get the book and shopping list from amazon this week. It will be a drag for me too - because I travel alot, but am already thinking of how to cope with it if I do the Whole30. (Bringing turkey and celery on the plane; ordering corned beef at the deli without the rye; salad bar at Whole Foods, etc.) I've done this before with strictly low-carb, but without the "Paleo" label. Would be curious to see how you feel if you try it, even for a week.

Anonymous said...

I went and read about it. Any food plan that states "you don't have to weigh or measure anything" immediately makes me suspicious. Moderation is the key, personally I need to weigh my food, not just eyeball it.
If I'm allowed to eat unlimited meats I will. And clarified butter.

Calorie counting and Weight watchers (same thing pretty much) still look good to me.

Anonymous said...

I echo Caz's comment that I'm rarely hungry while on Paleo/Whole30/Primal as well. That is why intermittent fasting normally goes hand in hand with it.

Here are some snacks that travel well, but do require some planning:

Celery/carrot sticks
Nuked Sweet Potato
Big salads with dressing on the side
Roasted Veggies with nut butter (don't knock it til you tried it. :))
Bags of tuna

Primal Pacs also travel well and require no planning:

Whole30 is meant for only 30 days. Even the creators of the programs say that. The 30 days are meant to reset your system from cravings. They have a new book ( that goes into detail about what to do after Whole30.

Like any lifestyle change, if you can get over the initial hurdle, the rest is smooth sailing (and rewarding.) If you do decide to try Whole30, here is what to expect emotionally:

Jac said...

Lyn, I totally understand your fears in looking at this long-term (much like my Chinese husband was worried about giving up rice forever!). The beauty of the Whole30 is that you will learn how those initially "off-limits" foods affect you *personally*. Lots of people can't handle dairy after a Whole30. But lots CAN, and so they include high-fat dairy products in their diets.

The diet *is* sustainable, once you get used to it. We've even mostly transitioned our kids (1, 3 and 4) to eating this way. As for eating on the run, it's tricky during the ACTUAL Whole30, but afterwards we just make a policy to stick to meat and veggies - but we don't get too hung up on what kind of oil they cooked with, or whether there's a wee bit of sugar in the house dressing. Most varieties of Larabars are Whole30-compliant, and are a delicious and convenient on-the-run snack. Nuts, dried fruits, veggies... and even though the Whole30 rules say not to Paleo-ify "treats" like muffins, I definitely did because I needed to know this lifestyle IS sustainable! And being able to grab a coconut banana muffin (made with all Whole30 ingredients!) is convenient and a sanity-saver.

I logged all my Whole30 eats on my blog, if you ever want to check it out. I also have gathered a bunch of handy resources - I won't bombard you, but leave me a quick comment if you'd be interested.

Jules said...

"dieting" is inconvenient. Have you noticed how accessible bad food is now days? I remember growing up we had ONE fast food in our town. We went MAYBE once a month for a special treat out. This was only 20 years ago. Now you have them on every corner. The grocery stores are filled with "convenient" foods. Coffee time was spent on the back patio or the kitchen table with maybe cream and sugar. Now you can drive thru and slurp it up in minutes, missing out on the enjoyment of "coffee time" with great conversation. Eating healthy is hard because we make it hard. It takes work. 20 years ago my family had a garden. We canned food for the winter. We raised chickens for both eggs and meat. We raised beef cows & pigs. Just the process of obtaining it and preparing it burned so many calories. Being healthy is HARD fricken work because everything around us makes it so easy to make bad food choices for the sake of convenience. You have a choice to make. We are lucky enough to be able to choose exactly what goes into our mouths. It's our choice if we want to buy product that is healthy for our bodies or convenient for our time. With all the advances in technology that have enabled us to streamline our time, we certainly have the time to make healthy choices now. Just do it, do it for YOU. Screw the inconvenience, when it becomes habit you'll be so thankful you made the change.

Lyn said...


yes, I'd be interested, thank you. I am heading over to look at your blog now. I didn't see an email addy so if you don't mind, could you drop me an email? I wanted to ask you a couple of things. Thanks!

tiffany said...

I have been doing a hybred of Paleo and low carb. I wonder about thirty days being too long, how about five? You are sort of almost there lately, with getting off of sugar and grains. The main thing for me is eating lots of fat. It seems if I eats lots of grass fed beef and pork,I no longer crave snacks. If I do, I eat lots of nuts and cheese, so that satisfies me really well.I have some fruit every day, usually berries from the Farmer's Market and lots of big salad, all the dressing I want. I have kept off twenty pounds for the first time in my life. No calorie counting, no portion control.

Vb said...

I have months and months of Paleo food logs on my blog. It absolutely is sustainable, prior to the agricultural revolution, people survived on a similar diet for millions of years. Me? I'm going on year three. After I did my first whole30, there was no going back. They aren't kidding when they say it will change your life. If you commit to it. 100%. For the full 30 days.

Beth said...

There are plenty of snacks you can bring on the go with the Whole 30, many mentioned above. There is also carrots, apples, grapes, bananas, cucumbers, celery, almost anything in the produce aisle. Sure it will take some extra thought and planning but when was anything worthwhile easy?

I think if you commit to the full 30 days and really follow it you will have some great results. I am on day 11 and I feel great. After the first few days it becomes almost easy to eat the Whole 30 way.

Anonymous said...

Mark's Daily

Anonymous said...

MargieAnne said...

Hi. Paleo seems to be a natural progression from where you are.

I notice that many people use modified versions of Paleo and many include dairy so unless you prove to be intolerant of dairy products why give them up?

Personally if you are leaning this way why don't you do the Whole 30, with the intention of testing dairy at the end of the 30 days, to see how your body reacts? If you have no problems then you can add dairy in permanently if you want.

You are strong enough to do this and it could be just what you are looking for.


Kristine said...

I was like you until I tried it myself. My husband convinced me to do a 30 day challenge with him. We did keep dairy in though. After 4 days of no grains, legumes, processed stuff I said you know what screw this I was a piece of bread. So I ate a nice piece of oat bread with berry cream cheese on top. That night I experienced the worst stomach ache of my life. I thought I was gonna die. I had a sore stomach for 4 days after that. That was what convinced me that this is real. this really works. I am 24 days into this and I cannot imagine going back. I truly feel so different and I have lost weight. The number one thing that has improved was my daily migraines. I have had a headache EVERYDAY! for the past 2 years. I have suffered for headaches severely since 25. After 1 week into the program my headaches were gone. They still are. This to me is a freaking miracle from the heavens above that I have prayed for every day for 7 years. I guess I probably have an allergy to wheat/gluten, but never diagnosed.
I hope you would consider giving it a try for a month and make your own decision.

Amy said...

I would be worried about not being hungry. When your metabolism isn't burning it goes into storage mode. You should be hungry/eating every three hours. Makes me wonder why these people are not hungry and what is happening to their metabolism? Food=energy.

Vb said...

Amy, check your facts. There is no scientific data to back up the claim that you need food every 3 hours. That is ludicrous. The reason why you lose your appetite is because your body becomes fat adapted when you quit spiking your blood sugar. When your body is fat adapted, you use what you have on hand, and not feel the fake hunger of a blood sugar crash. It takes DAYS of not eating before your metabolism slows down, and no one here is suggesting that.

i should be full said...

I've not followed the Paleo diet so I can't comment on that. What I can comment on is the fact that you and I seem to have the same tigger foods and the some difficulty with sugar, flour, and processed foods. I'm doing the Dukan Diet right now and I've lost 18 pounds in 8 weeks. I'm not hungry, I have no cravings (except around my period) and I feel satisfied. It's easy and I'm happy with the results. The best part is that the diet is broken into 4 sections with a jumpstart, then a steady weight loss phase, then a time once you reach goal to avoid rebound gains, and then a life long maintenance plan. It gives a complete guide to all the stages that is fool proof. It's been helping me so much. I don't like to try to sell anyone on what works for me, but we sound so similar that you might benefit from it too.

andrea. said...

I'm a few days into the whole30! I've experimented with paleo or primal eating in the past, and do find it makes a huge difference. (In the 'primal' version, you can keep a bit more dairy in.) The Whole30 is a bit 'militant' but I don't think the expectation is to do it that way forever -- I plan to do it as a way to break some bad habits, but then I do intend to go back to having the odd glass of wine, cream in my coffee, piece of dark chocolate, etc.

Anyway, I'm blogging my experience, if you're interested -- I'm only on Day 4 though so nothing too revelational yet. :)

Jodee said...

I have been reading your blog for a very long time, but have only commented like once before. But I just had to throw my two cents in. I have been over weight since I was in elementary school. I have did every diet imaginable, but every diet has been just that a "diet". The only way I have ever lost weight was by calorie counting, and I HATE calorie counting. I heard about another way of eating a few weeks ago, which doesn't require calorie counting, and the people were loosing a lot of weight, and feeling great doing it. It caught my attention and learned more about it, and so far I love it. I have lost a little weight, and I hope more weight will fall off soon. The only thing I see that you might not like is that it is mostly a vegan diet, and I know you include meat and dairy in your diet all the time. But I just wanted you to be aware of this other option. The book is called "Eat to Live". To see a very interesting presentation about this way of eating, here is a link:

I would like to say I could follow the eating plan exactly, but I can't. But I am doing my best to find a healthier way of eating, which can turn into a normal way of eating for me. Again, I just want you to see another option before ou start down another diet path.

Jeanette said...

I tried the Whole30 with the idea that I would TOTALLY add in dairy and legumes when it was over. I, like you, am used to having a greek yogurt, etc etc. I relied on that stuff (which is WHY I took the Whole30 challenge... to stop taking my eating habits for granted).

I loved what paleo did for my body: extra energy, feeling great, clear skin, and lost ten pounds!! All with eating MORE calories than I had before.

I haven't gone back yet (it's been three months!)

Anonymous said...

I just recently completed a Whole 30 challenge. After about a week into it, I was no longer hungry and could go for long periods without eating or thinking about food. For snacks, I ate nuts (in moderation!) half an avocado, turkey meatloaf muffins, mini crustless quiche muffins, unsweetened coconut flakes, turkey wrapped around red bell pepper, cucumber or avocado, and slices of roasted sweet potato. I also roasted a bunch of chicken legs with garlic and paprika every week and would take one or two for snacks as well. This way of eating definitely took more preparation and forethought, but it was not that hard. I was worried about feeling deprived, but after the first week I had NO cravings, and purely ate for sustenance. The hardest part for me was not eating dairy - I really missed my greek yogurt, goat cheese in salads, and hwc in coffee. I got used to bringing a small container of coconut milk with me if I got coffee on the go (you can also drink a small portion of coconut milk as a snack - it is very filling). I have since added dairy back into my diet as I am not sensitive to it. I would encourage you, Lyn, to try a Whole 30. If nothing else, it will definitely break any carb or sugar addiction. I am about 20 pounds overweight, and lost about 5 pounds eating this way for a month.(I thought I would lose more - I have since started counting calories in addition to eating a primal diet to continue weight loss.) Once you get into it is not hard at all! Cari

Karen Stauss said...

I've done the 'Whole 30"... in April/May 2010. I lost a whopping total of 3 pounds. Contrast that to the 14.6 pounds I lost in my first 30 days of MediFast. I lost a total of 40 pounds on MediFast and I've kept it off for almost a solid year now.

Karen said...

If you try it, stick with it.

A Primal / Paleo template is the only way I've found to maintain my 72+ pound loss. Almost 5 months now into maintenance. Fabulous! I've not done a Whole 30 yet, but plan to this year.


Also, another fun blog to use for the mental change that must come with transformation try the Make Shift Happen podcasts in ITunes. The book by Dean Dwyer ( Same name as the podcast) just came out and it's on my summer reading list.

Stick with it. Karen P

timothy said...

i never even heard of whole30 so now i'm gonna research it! but i will say when doing low carb fruit will get you. a bannana has 27g which is than my daily allowance in weight loss mode. also anything with yeast can mess up your weight loss. i find mozzarella cheese is the easiest for my body and doesnt trigger issues that the others do. as for the whole30 try it and see how you feel, you got nothing to lose but the pounds!

Anonymous said...

Actually went out of town today, in the gas station I saw pork rinds, loads of various nuts, jerky. From home sometimes.I take pemmican (homemade), or squash chips from the food dehydrator, thick bacon slices. The big mistake Ive made while out of town is going to a hospital cafeteria and spending 12 bucks on chicken/salmon/cheese. Way too pricey and way to dry and protein rich. Taking a bunch of nuts works much better for me than fatless protein.

Leiah said...

I've been eating 'primal' for almost 6 weeks now and have lost almost 25 lbs. My fibromyalgia has only flared once - and that was the day the boyfriend & I ate processed food. I bake 2 pans of chicken thighs and roast 3 or 4 pans of veggies each Sunday afternoon. I pack the next day's lunch each night, complete with snacks which is usually a Fage yogurt or a handful of nuts. I have a green smoothie each morning for breakfast. Coffee used to be 3 or 4 cups - now? Maybe 1 with a little French Vanilla coconut milk creamer. I've not tried the Whole 30 but I do know that eating this way has given me more energy, no more joint pain and a clearer head. My fave dish I've discovered from other Paleo/Primal fans? Diced roasted sweet potatoes with seedless red grape, tossed in a little EVOO and sprinkled with a little sea salt. I was a little leary of the combo, but oh my gravy - it's delicious! Create your own modified plan and see what works for you. Good luck!

Reinaldo said...

OK, I had been "primal" for almost 2 years now. I'm not from the US, and for what I have read online, primal/paleo is becoming mainstream now and yes, it can look like it's the new fad. Over here (Chile), it's not a fad. It's unheard of. I'm telling you this so you know I started it when nobody knew about it and... well, still nobody knows about it around here :P I gave it a shot because it made sense to me.

I started when I was around 26% body fat, on my 30th birthday. I still had manboobs back then. Now, effortless (if I can use that word), I don't know my BF% but I see a 4 pack. 14-13% maybe?

Well, you know it can be done because you have been primal for a while now. Yes, I know you haven't labeled yourself like that, but looking at your meals from a while, girl, that's primal eating at its best, won't you agree? Avoiding gluten, eating more veggies, real food... Primal, for me is "Does it hurt your belly, joints, or makes you sluggish?? Don't eat it. It has calories, but no/low nutrients? Don't eat it. It has calories AND nutrients? EAT IT. There, Primal, in a nutshell. And the occasional treat, of course ;)

A Whole30 should be easy for you, since you're not coming from a high carb/grains/sugar place anyway. It should be interesting.

For Paleo on-the-go snacks, just google "paleo muffin". Every single (and read this with a really, really tired voice) EVERY SINGLE PALEO BLOG has some recipe for it. Some of them have meat, other onion, others are sweet and contain bananas. Besides the shape, flavor rainbow is endless. Also, jerky. Also, eventually not even hungry when driving. You said it yourself in the blog, eating real food suddenly makes you less hungry.

You used to eat every 4 hours or so, some Medifast thing. Now, you're kind of "meh, just not hungry rigth now". Since eating real food. Since eating real food. Since eating real food. I just had to say that thrice ;)

So, resuming: 2 years primal, started when it wasn't a fad but underground, I'm a great cook, thin, and a long time reader of your blog. If you got a question, email me! Hugs!!

Diandra said...

I wouldn't try it. And it seems there is no need for you to go Paleo, as long as the dairy and legumes are not hurting your body.

Samantha Starett said...

I am on day 12 of my WHOLE30. I am going to say within 4-5 days I noticed a decrease in cravings and appetite in general. I am no longer on medication for a serious Neurological condition. I know they say don't weigh yourself however this was one of my goals as well and in the first 10 days I lost 14 lbs. This is absolutely sustainable, especially when you start to truly pay attention to labels and what you are putting in your body. When you realize that the only thing real going into your beef stew is the beef because everything is in a can and preserved you start to change things pretty fast. LOL. In regards to way the Whole30 works it is a bit stricter from your regular paleo lifestyle and for good reason. It is like a jump start. You do not always have to be this strict but it is in some cases essential to go that entire 30days without "cheats". For others it may not be as essential. For me it is as I'm a classic little cheat here, special occassion here. This was a change in hopes to help my medical issues and it has worked. When I read that page and it said "start now, right now" I did. I literally started at dinner that night, and haven't looked back since. In the end I do hope to be able to add some Paleo-fied goodies and a little dairy as I love cheese, LOVE cheese. other than that i love what I eat now. So as most posters have already said do what feels right but don't be afraid to take a leap especially one that makes as much sense and real food.