Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Whole 30 Q&A Part 2

For today's post, I wanted to do another question and answer session on Whole 30.  I had a lot of fun putting together last week's post, and a lot of you found it helpful, so today I wanted to answer some more questions!


How can you eat out during the Whole30?

One thing that I'm really loving about the Whole30 is that it forces me to plan out my meals and get rid of that excuse of "Oh, I can just buy lunch at work."  It's hard to find completely compliant foods at fast food or regular restaurants, so it's so much easier to just make all of your meals yourself.  Plus, it helps to save a lot of money (which is my big goal for the year!)

Sometimes, though, things come up and you have to go out.  This doesn't mean that your Whole30 is sabotaged, there are just some steps you need to take to be prepared!

- Find out where you're going (or pick the restaurant if no one else has decided!) and check out the menu.  Look for any special menus, like gluten and dairy free, for items that would work.  Luckily, this is becoming normal and most chain restaurants have accommodating menus or items!

- As far as food goes- pick similar food to what you're cooking.  Chicken, steak, fish and salads are all great options.  Make sure that any side dishes are also compliant, which means no potato chips or fries!

- When ordering, don't be afraid to ask about preparation methods (no cooking in butter or vegetable oil!) and "hidden ingredients" like croutons and cheese.  For veggies, get them steamed, grilled, baked or raw.  For potatoes, get them without sour cream and butter.  

- For drinks, remember to not order alcohol or sugary drinks.  Plain water is the safest (and cheapest) option, but you can also get sparkling water with lime if everyone else is drinking.  Some restaurants even have "mocktails".  Check the ingredients, and make sure there's no sugar added!

- The book The Whole30 makes a point to never cry wolf and claim you have an allergy when ordering if you don't.  The restaurant may become jaded by the number of people claiming to have allergies.


Should I take supplements?

Before the Whole30, I didn't take any supplements.  I wasn't sure exactly what I should be taking, and when I got multivitamins I always forgot to take them!  The book It Starts with Food suggests a few different supplements, and after doing some research, I decided this was a great opportunity to add some to my diet. Below are listed the three that I'm currently taking, along with some of their benefits : 

- Omega 3 Fish Oil (1200mg with breakfast)
  • Improvement in the types and amounts of fat carried in the blood
  • Natural anti-inflammatory agents that play a role in brain and heart health
  • Protection from cancer, Alzheimer's and depression
  • Improvement of skin conditions 

- Calcium (600mg with breakfast, 600mg with dinner)
  • Build and maintain strong bones
  • Dairy is not allowed on Whole30, so taking a supplement is a great choice
  • Protects against cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Reduces stress-fracture risk by strengthening bones and plays a key role in muscle and nerve function

- Vitamin D3 (1000IU with dinner)
  • Lowers risk for osteoporosis, heart diseases, and certain types of cancer
  • Helps reduce SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) symptoms
  • Works in tandem with calcium to strengthen bones

Of course, this is all personal preference.  Some people don't like to take pills and would choose to skip adding supplements to their diet.  The best idea is to check with your doctor and see what would be the most beneficial to you!


How sustainable is it in the long run?

The main complaint or criticism that I hear about Whole30 is that it isn't a life-long, sustainable diet.  That's true- it's a very time consuming process to plan out your meals, you're pretty much cut-off from most social activities, and you're cutting out food groups that are extremely prevalent in most products.  I can't even tell you how long it takes me to shop now, because sugar is added to EVERYTHING!

However, this program is not meant to be a long-term "diet".  It has the number 30 in the name for a reason- you're only supposed to stick with it for 30 days, then introduce food groups back to your diet to see which ones adversely affect you.  A lot of people who have had successes during the program have gone on to adopt similar eating habits in their life, with adding in a group here or there.  Margaret is a great example of this- she shares mostly Whole30 or Paleo recipes on her blog year round!

I mentioned in my update on Saturday that I'm feeling really great from this experience so far, and I'm thinking of sticking to these eating habits in the long term.  I'm definitely going to test out different groups and see what bothers me (really hoping that alcohol will be ok!), but I've seen such a tremendous improvement in my health and fitness, that I don't think I could ever go back to my old eating habits.


What other questions do you have about Whole30?
Has anyone ever gone through this before?  What was your experience AFTER the 30 days?
Who else has tricks for eating at restaurants?

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15 comments:

  1. Thank you for ending with the fact that this is meant to be a reset, not a long term thing. So often people forget that!

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  2. Yep, there's a 30 in it for a reason. I don't want to say I will continue eating paleo until I finish and do the reintroduction, but I couldn't be strict like this forever. Sometimes just a reset is what we need!

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    1. I agree! I'm one of those people who thrives off of rules and structure, so this is actually working really well for me! I can definitely tell why some people would hate it though!

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  3. i've been eating clean since 2012 but have been grain free for nearly a year and i love it! i had no idea that it was called "whole30" rather, i started eating clean because i was tired of feeling like garbage and cut grains because my eczema was getting worse and nothing i did helped. the food prep is a pain in the ass and even though i've been doing it for 4 years, you'd think i'd be used to it but nope - still hate it! but i NEED to do it otherwise i panic and think OMG I HAVE NOTHING TO EAT!!!.

    as for restaurants, if i know the menu, i stick to your ol' meat and veggies. if i don't know the menu, i'll look it up/study it and if i can't eat anything, i eat before i go so that i can just have a drink and be with friends.

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    1. Thanks for this comment Kathy! I think you can do a diet that works for you and it doesn't have to be called a Whole30 or anything in particular. Just do you! Thanks for the tip on eating at restaurants :)

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  4. This was a really interesting explanation/Q&A. I didn't really know much about Whole 30 but I've heard the term tossed around here and there. I especially didn't know it's just a 30 day program/"reset." I admire your dedication to it and am glad to hear it's having such a great impact on your fitness and training!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

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    1. Thanks Gina! It's hard work, but so far the rewards make it well worth the effort.

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  5. I have literally spent hundreds of dollars over the years trying to find fish oil supplements that don't make me burp a fishy burp afterwards. HELP ME.

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    1. I got mine from Walmart (it's their store brand) and it specifically says "no fishy burp" haha! I didn't know that was a real thing!

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  6. Meal planning is something I suffer from. I am like you that I start off with good intentions and somehow it ends up with me buying lunch or dinner out LOL. I am glad the Whole30 is really working well for you though!

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  7. I love hearing more about this! And I agree so much about the lunch thing- there's a cafe/winery in my building at work and it can be so tempting to grab a panini or salad from there sometimes. Even though there are healthy options, having my lunches usually planned in advance helps out and saves money too.

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  8. Thank you for sharing my recipes!! This is all such fantastic info especially about the supplements! I'm not as good at taking them as I should be, but I promise I'm going to the kitchen to take mine ASAP after this comment.

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  9. That's so fantastic to see positive changes and feel great! I'm sure a glass of wine would taste good ;) Haha I'm too picky of an eater, I think, to be able to do this, haha! I do love hearing about it, though!

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  10. again, another very helpful post for those doing the whole 30!! this is on my list to do sometime this year! thanks for these tips!

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