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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kristen Mitteness

Whole30 Wrap Up

Updated: Dec 23, 2018

My #Whole30 is over! I followed it strictly until day 30 where I celebrated with grilled cheese, tomato soup and paleo pumpkin pie for dinner knowing I was getting back on board for the rest of the week.

Here are the challenges I didn't expect:

1. I was moody until day 22. DAY TWENTY TWO! I didn't have cravings, I felt well physically, my mind seemed clear, but I was moody. I honestly contemplated what life would look like if my boyfriend and I broke up. If you have never experienced what it is like to feel hormonal, here's your chance. I didn't expect to take this long to really feel awesome because Whole30 is really not that much different from the way I normally eat. I eat dairy and gluten free grains less than once a week, I eat refined sugar and glutenous grains about once or twice a month and I have about 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey a few times a week. I also added a liver and GI detox supplement to help my body detoxify a bit better. Coincidentally (or not so much) I started taking adrenal support on day 21 which I had been off for about a month.

2. My skin broke out and didn't clear up for the first two weeks. I get the occasional zit every month or so after I eat too much dairy. So, why was I breaking out now? Annoying, but at the end of the 30 days, my skin looks beautiful.

3. I got sick on day 1. There was a virus going around that resulted in sore throats, coughing and congestion lasting for 2 weeks to a month. Both of my receptionists took sick days. Every other patient had it. Luckily, I kicked it fast. But, I treated it very aggressively.

4. I tweaked my low back. This, of course, doesn't have much to do with my diet, but it was an unexpected twist. I felt something shift during muscle ups on day 3. I finished my workout feeling okay. On day 10, I experienced the classic "deadlift followed by searing low back pain". Luckily, I had a hike with the girls planned for later that day which kept my joints warm and moving. For the next 4-5 days I couldn't stand up straight after being seated or laying down for a while. I spent the next 10 days stretching my glutes and hamstrings, got a massage and chiropractic treatment. I was back in the gym 10 days later feeling great.

Here are the challenges I did expect and you should, too:

1. Preparation is key. As with anything challenging, you need to prepare. You need to toss out anything non-compliant that will tempt you. You need to find and prepare recipes to have on hand. You need to consider what you will do if an event comes up (which it will!). You need to prepare how you are going to explain yourself to people who tempt you or poo-poo your "diet". You need to prepare for a breakdown. You need to always have more food than you anticipate you'll need. YOU NEED TO HAVE A GAME PLAN.

2. It's going to feel like a long time until you are done. 30 days is a long time to commit to something. But, you'll be okay.

3. You are going to feel like you are missing out on things. And you might be. But, life will go on.

4. You are going to hate people sometimes for no apparent reason. Be patient with yourself and others. And apologize when necessary.

Here are some ideas for success:

1. Find support. Whole30ers are all over the place. There is a huge support system online. Or recruit a friend. Having someone with you to lean on is really helpful.

2. Read It Starts with Food or Whole 30 to really understand the ins and outs of the program. The website has loads of free information, but even just renting these books from the library will help.

3. Make time for self care. Massage appointments, long walks, acupuncture, chiropractic, physiotherapy, yoga, meditation, steam rooms, pedicures. I would recommend doing these things on your own so you can really reflect and not vent to someone else which is exactly what you will want to do, but if you want someone else to join you, that's cool, too.

4. Don't just plan. Over plan. Always have compliant food with you. You never know when you will be hungry. Fauxnola bars saved me a few times.

5. Keep a journal of your feelings for each day. This will help you realize how much you really did accomplish in 30 days.

6. Have a post-Whole30 plan. Which foods are you going to test and how are you going to incorporate them? What did you learn about yourself? What does your new normal look like?

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