Whole30 - A Year Later

I am now officially one year from when I was in the middle of my Whole30 adventure last year, and my FB memories keep popping up reminding me of meals I ate or discoveries I made. I still subscribe to the Whole30 subreddit, and often get some fun recipes from it, or share in people's victories and frustrations.

Today, someone who is in the middle of their first Whole30 was feeling discouraged in that she wasn't experiencing the benefits she was told she would by undertaking this program. She wrote:

"If I don't feel much different than before Whole 30, I'm afraid none of the foods I bring back in will make me feel any different, and I'll have wasted these 30 days.
I did everything right. I didn't cheat, or go crazy on Larabars or fruit. I didn't snack in the last half of W30. I haven't exercised a lot, but I didn't BEFORE W30. I'm sleeping about the same too.
I guess my head feels a little clearer, and I haven't had my usual headaches/migraines since the 2nd day of W30.
Maybe I feel better than I realize, and once I try sugar, gluten, etc I'll suddenly feel like garbage. Maybe I just forgot how crappy I felt?"

And oh man. That was so super familiar in every way. So I shared:
"I hope it won't be too disappointing to report: Me? Same.
I did not get any of the supposed benefits they tout or others report. Digestion the same, skin the same, sleep the same, energy the same. I thought re-introduction would be the real payoff, when I would suddenly be shown what was changed that I wasn't noticing and...nope. Nothing. Well not NOTHING nothing. I lost...6 lbs? But I wasn't doing it for weight loss, so that was neither here nor there for me.
What did I get out of it? Well, honestly I felt really accomplished. I felt proud of taking control of my food and alcohol consumption like that.
I especially enjoyed the shake-up of my food routines and I learned about recipes and ingredients I would maybe never have encountered without Whole30. I have at least 15-20 new recipes in my arsenal, several of which are in regular rotation now (egg roll in a bowl is one of my FAVES!!).
I liked that not feeling hugely changed validated me in my regular diet not being hugely bad for me. I didn't have to make any major adjustments to combat a newfound inflammatory response. I could keep on keepin' on, maybe with a few changes here and there where I found value in doing so.
I like how it opened my eyes to what is really in the foods I consume--sugar and corn everywhere, amirite?! It's like a fun scavenger hunt in my life to be looking for new recipes and recognizing which are Whole30 compliant or what small tweaks I could make to a recipe to make it compliant. And often I will make those tweaks, because I have a cupboard stocked with "cleaner" alternatives.
And I get to support friends and people here and other places online with recipes and encouragement.
So even if I never got all those other benefits, there are so many accomplishments and insights to be gleaned through completing Whole30. I hope you come out the other side feeling as enlightened and proud as I did!"

Looking back, I still feel the tremendous accomplishment. And I'm reminded I still would like to see a dietician and talk about other elimination diets I might try to cut back on my regular nasal inflammation which Whole30 did not get to the bottom of...but that's another story.

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