Thursday, May 5, 2016

Our Whole30 and where we are now.....

Some of you are here because you like us and like keeping up with what we're doing on a daily/weekly/holiday basis. And for that I am eternally grateful, because you are my  people. :)

Some of you, however, are here for the food. Welcome! You, too, are my people and I am grateful for you.

For several years I've been sharing what we're eating and what's cooking in my kitchen. I'm back to meal planning and sharing again because my people asked me to and people get what they ask for.

I thought I'd share a quick version of Our Whole30 experience and how the menus have shaped up at the West house these days.

We (I) decided in January that it would be a good "experiment" to complete the Whole30 (if you aren't familiar with the Whole30 Program click here.)

I first read about it online, from bloggers and instagrammers and then the Whole30 website. I looked at the calendar and knew that the day after my birthday would give me enough time to prepare and enough time to get Joseph to accept his fate for 30 days.

Then I bought the book.
I read it cover to cover over a few days. Then I read it again.

Websites, bloggers (like myself) and friends can tell you  lots about the program and real-life experience but buying the book, to me was key. And well worth the $30 I spent at Target. (Get it for $16.99 here.)

The book is revised and more in-depth. It tells you what you can expect over the course of 30 days and to me, I think a book holds itself more accountable than things you come across online.Buy the Book.

So, we started the day after my birthday and completed 30 days of elimination and "experimentation" with food and its effect on our bodies. We didn't take before pictures, but by day 5 I was wishing we did. My skin was noticeably clearer, my clothes fit better, and I felt different.

Before we started, I was drinking almost a pot of coffee daily. Fueled by caffeine, splenda and Sugar Free French Vanilla Coffeemate, I was so tired by 6 p.m. I didn't know what to do with myself. Cry? Collapse? Yell at someone? I think sometimes I did all three.

10 days in I was sleeping like a baby, waking up before the sun and had energy like I haven't had in years, maybe ever.

I have taken daily medications all of my adult life to treat acne.(nearly 20 years!!) A week into the program (and now 90+ days after) I don't need any of that.

Oh--and we dropped a few pounds. Together 43 pounds in 30 days.

When the 30 days were over, we evaluated how we felt and decided the best thing for us it to continue eating a diet filled with meat (mostly lean), lots of fruits and vegetables without refined sugars, dairy, and preservatives.

So here we are, nearly 4 months later and still feel great, sleep well, have plenty of energy and patience. We have a happier, healthier family. (and together have lost nearly 70 pounds in 90 days.)

Speaking of family--several members of our extended family have since begun a Whole30 for themselves. Many friends have started and friends of family members are now starting the Whole30 and seeing a difference.

Which brings us back to the blog. It takes thought and planning to keep at the "experiment" for 30 days. It takes even more brain-power and grocery lists to maintain a healthy diet like this for the long haul.

I've been sharing my recipes with family and friends via text, email and "here you have to try this" and finally have been asked enough times to start doing weekly meal plans that I'm digging in (but not before snapping a photo) to write out recipes to share with you and your families. I want to help you see that you can eat in a way that's best for you without feeling like you're missing out on the "good stuff".

I also want to know and I want you to know that we're in this together. :)

So starting next Thursday I'll be posting weekly meal ideas and recipes for you and your family who are Whole30, Whole90, or just want some new dinner ideas for yummy food.

And, yes, I'm going to continue sharing all summer long from Birmingham and the beach. Bathing suits and aprons are all the rage.

See you back here next Thursday for week 1! In the meantime feel free to comment to tell me about your family or who you're cooking for! If you're new here, we are a family of 4--with a 5 year old and a 4 year old and the sweetest big black bulldog in the world!

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