Millennial Nutrition

I cut out sugar, dairy, grains, legumes, and alcohol—here’s what happened the first week

10 July, 2017

I cut out sugar, dairy, grains, legumes, and alcohol—here’s what happened the first week

I have always wanted to try the Whole 30 program as a way to clean up my diet and get “back to basics,” however, I was not confident I could stick with the strict diet rules.

Whole 30 is an elimination diet where you cut out food commonly associated with sensitivities, stomach discomfort, and inflammation.  This includes added sugar (which is in almost any packaged food product), dairy, all grains (even “healthy” grains like quinoa), legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.), and alcohol for 30 days. Then you slowly add these foods back into your diet to see which foods cause discomfort so you know what you should avoid for the long haul.

To be honest, I was most discouraged about cutting out my occasional indulgence of rosé. I mean, there are some days this millennial mom needs a glass of wine.

I decided that if I was going to do this, I needed other people to join me to hold me accountable. That’s where the idea of Whole 21 by Millennial Nutrition came in.

Whole 21 follows the same principles as Whole 30, however, it lasts 21 days and includes support from a dietitian (me!) as well as a community of other people joining you on your clean eating journey.

After just one week, I have noticed significant physical changes and identified new habits that can help me live a healthier lifestyle beyond these 21 days.

What I have experienced physically:

  • Better sleep: When I wake up, I feel rejuvenated and refreshed. I sleep more soundly and deeply than before–and that’s saying a lot for a mom of a four month old.
  • No afternoon bloat: I used to always feel bloated at the end of the day. I looked forward to getting home from work so I could put on my comfy pants. And while I still look forward to getting cozy after a long day of work, it’s not because I’m suffering from a bloated belly.
  • More energy: Initially, there were a few days where I felt really depleted and exhausted. My body was trying to figure out what to do without the processed foods I used to feed it. But after I really started adopting the Whole 21 principles, I noticed how much more energy I had in afternoon meetings and even when I got home from work.

What I have learned:

  • A meal plan is your best friend: To successfully eat a clean diet, you have to be prepared. Creating a meal plan and grocery list every week has been key to my success. Additionally, I’ve had to bring my own meals and snacks to social outings since many of the foods offered are not Whole 21 compliant.
  • Avoid becoming “hangry” (hungry + angry) at all costs: When I get “hangry,” I am more tempted to eat crap. That’s why it’s been really important for me to eat every 3-4 hours and usually requires me to pack snacks and meals so I always have something on hand.
  • You’re less likely to cheat if others are watching: If I did this on my own, it would have been easy to cheat a little here and there until I was not following the guidelines at all. Posting photos of all my meals and snacks in our Facebook group daily has held me accountable.

Want to join me on this clean eating journey? The next Whole 21 will kickoff on Monday, September 11th. Mark your calendars and tell your friends. And be sure to “like” the Millennial Nutrition Facebook page and subscribe to my email list to be notified when you can sign up. Spaces are limited, so don’t miss out!

I’m not the only one experiencing changes from following a clean eating routine. Check out what other members of Whole 21 experienced in their first week:

I’ve been 100% compliant! I honestly can’t believe it! Initially, it’s challenging because your mind automatically thinks ‘I can’t eat…’ when the focus should be on ‘I am able to eat…’ With this mindset, the possibilities are endless. We’re so used to reaching for grains and dairy that we forget to eat more fruits and veggies. I’ve stuck with it while being put in some pretty difficult situations: cupcakes at a baby shower, alcohol at the beach and dessert while out for dinner. I realized that it’s the hardest to say ‘no’ when it’s very easily accessible. I am feeling pretty darn good at the moment, no more bloating! I’m a nursing mama and the best part is my little girl is loving this new way of eating as well. And this group holds me accountable. I love that we are all in this together sharing our experience along the way. At the end of the day I think to myself… “My Whole 21 peeps, yep, they’d be proud!”

I have done a Whole 30 before. This time around, things are different. I am actually enjoying the process and seeing value in being compliant. I might even say that I am enjoying cooking and being in control. Shocking, I know! This is the fastest I have seen my body change–others have even mentioned my weight loss. My husband has stuck pretty close to the meals and we both report sleeping like rocks, and even “sleeping in” to 7:30 – 8 am. My challenges continue to be getting back on track even after one cheat, being in locations that are tied to old bad food routines, and the social aspect of food and drinks. I have loved the group support and couldn’t have done this without the challenge.

The first few days were tough. My body was definitely figuring this out and made me pay for several poor habits. Things are much easier now, however, and that includes the cooking and prep. The group has been very helpful, especially as we began. I will be interested to see how much guidance we continue to need, but just knowing you are there is helpful.

I’ve decided I want this to be more than a diet. I want this to be a lifestyle change. During my first four days of Whole 21, I slept better, had more energy and felt 100% less bloated. It was a huge difference. The one meal I had that wasn’t compliant made me sick and I went straight to bed. Needless to say, my body loves clean eating and doesn’t want to go back to the stuff that hurts my stomach. I’ve always been sensitive but I think I’ve ignored it more than I even realized! I’m so excited for the next two weeks and to see where my body is July 27th for my first wedding gown appointment!

It’s been a struggle to give up sweets and breads for me (especially at the firehouse where they are constantly available!) It’s already been a great learning experience and there are some eating habits that I can stick to in the future.

It has not been as hard as I thought it would. I am very thankful for the reminder that I don’t need to eat so much junk to be satisfied. Making better choices has already made an impact on our kids too! I am excited to keep finding new recipes and “tricks” to make being healthy easier.

I am a little surprised but super excited that I went all 7 days being compliant. Thanks for the support and posts of the group because they are keeping me accountable.

 Join us on Monday, September 11th for the next round of Whole 21. Subscribe to my email list to be notified when you can sign up!