Whole30: FAQs

5 Apr

Arranged Vegetables Creating a Face

A few friends reached out to me during the process to express their interest in giving the Whole30 a try. But, since it’s rather intimidating, they had lots of questions. Here are some good/common ones:

Q: Is it hard?
A: Yes. But not that hard, and it got easier. During the first week or so, I would finish a meal and then panic, thinking, “Oh no! Was that compliant?” Of course it was. I planned and prepared all of my meals in advance (which is very hard for some). I was just terrified I’d forget that I was even doing a Whole30. For example, I made pico de gallo. I needed to taste it, and Richie had a bag of pita chips out, so I almost reached for a pita chip without even thinking! (Don’t worry–I used a spoon instead.)

And in the evenings, the dessert cravings were a little intense–especially during a particularly rough week (see my post on treats)–and lasted until around day 20. But, I got over it.

Q: What have you been craving?
A: Pizza (I had at least two pizza dreams), wine (I had one wine dream), peanut butter, cheese (of course), and crunchy things!!! Not that fresh bell peppers or sugar snap peas aren’t crunchy, but on one grocery run, I wanted every crunchy thing in the store, including every bag of chips. So I bought roasted hazelnuts; they’re amazing.

Q: Is Richie joining you for support?
A: No. It’s not that he’s not supportive (though eating all that peanut butter in front me wasn’t very nice), but Whole30 is vegetarian-unfriendly. It’s not impossible, but it’s very difficult. We mostly made separate meals, but for some meals, we made separate proteins.

Q: Have you been surprised about ingredients in anything?
A: Yes! Why does chicken need sugar? It doesn’t, but you’d be amazed how much has it added. Luckily, the Whole9 forum was incredibly helpful when it came to ordering lunch at chain restaurants (which I did at work a couple times). Did you know Panera has a secret menu? (It’s more Paleo, but you can make Whole30 adjustments.)

Q. What can you eat?
A: Lots of stuff! When out, I had a few bun-less burgers and lots of salads with grilled chicken. One of my favorite at-home meals was spaghetti (squash) and meatballs with homemade marinara and wilted spinach. I also rocked a few delicious curries (coconut milk SAVED me).

Q: No alcohol? Really?
A: Really. During the month, I went to a brewery’s birthday party, a concert, and a couple bars, and we even hosted a barleywine tasting at our place. I drank seltzer with lime and sometimes added a splash of berry juice. It was delicious! (Now I’m considering getting a SodaStream).

Q: Did you cheat?
A: No. Not on purpose, at least. At home, not at all. When out, there’s only so much you can do. I’m sure not all of the cooking oil was Whole30-compliant, and I wasn’t about to raid any kitchens. And I realized–a couple weeks in–that the tea I keep at work has soy lecithin in it, so I didn’t have it for the remainder of the challenge. You have to draw the line somewhere.

Q: What results have you seen?
A: Check out my results post here!

Q: Will you keep it up?
A: No! Well, not really. First, I need to reintroduce grains, dairy, beans, sugar, and alcohol one by one to see how they each affect me. But I already know I’m going to make it a point to consume very little sugar and alcohol. And maybe even dairy. Because as much as I love cheese, the truth is that I love good cheese, and I had lost sight of that, eating just any old cheese that came my way. That’s right: I was a cheese hussy.

Any other questions? Stay tuned for reintroduction posts (maybe) and recipe posts (definitely)!


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