My Whole30 Paleo experience

Today is day 30 of following the eating guidelines of the whole30 program.  I followed the guidelines pretty strictly.  I didn't drink, I didn't consume any sugar, I was gluten-free, I was dairy-free, I didn't eat legumes, I drank all my coffee black.  I ate a lot of fruit, vegetables, chicken, and almonds.  I drank a lot of Hint water and coconut water.

Common questions answered below:
  • Do I feel AMAZING?
    • On one hand - I feel accomplished for sure.  I set a goal and I stayed with it.  I was recently sick for 72 hours and all I wanted was chicken noodle soup - but I was committed to the program.  I do feel great that I saw it through but I also feel great that I didn't really feel like it was a debilitating sacrifice (minus not drinking on a Saturday night).  Food as fuel (vs. reward or hobby) sank in - and I think that is definitely something that will hopefully help me moving forward.
    • On the other hand - I can't tell you that I "feel revived" from an energy perspective.  I feel the same from a mental health standpoint.  Actually, in the first 10 days - I felt flat-out BAD and crazy lethargic.  I would wake up thinking I was in college again (needing to go to class after going to sleep 3 hours before).  My body seemed to bounce back, however, after that initial gut punch.
  • Did I lose weight?
    • This is my bad ... but I didn't do a great job setting a baseline.  I can't say for absolute certain how many pounds I lost for two reasons:  1) I don't know what I really started with and 2) depending on when I weigh myself during the day - the numbers vary DRASTICALLY (no joke - 7 pounds difference between morning and night).
    • Anecdotal feedback says I did lose weight.  Both my wife and some co-workers have mentioned my appearance looking slimmer.  
    • While I did exercise - I definitely could have ratcheted this up a bunch for a more powerful impact.  I was focused on preparing dinner vs working out - if I'm making excuses.
  • What was the hardest part?
    • For me it was the substantial increase in the kitchen prep time.  Whether it is dinner during the week, or preparing breakfast/lunch/snacks-on-the-go on the weekends... I live in a NYC apartment where I don't have a "chef-style kitchen."  Our fridge is small, our counter-space is small, etc. and so preparing 50 meals/snacks, etc over the last 30 days was the biggest amount of "work" that I wasn't used to.  I started buying pre-cut vegetables which I found helpful in this area (especially onions, peppers, etc).
    • Some people say that during the day (at work) is the hardest part -- but this is the clincher of success for me.  The company I work for provides free, amazing food with plentiful options and variety.  It actually makes eating and snacking paleo a cinch during the week. 
    • I also found the web resources WEAK for beginner paleo newbies.  Google search results tend to rank some pretty bad websites on the topic pretty high.
  • Will I maintain eating paleo?
    • I've definitely found the guidelines do-able.  I truly can't tell you that I missed a lot craving wise.  It's more about - will I have the motivation to cook a meal at 8pm when I don't have the goal at hand.  I hope so.  My goal moving forward to eat paleo Monday-Friday on a strict basis (minus drinking, yet reduced) and I'd ease some of the restrictions on the weekend (while still opting for paleo when the options are there).  We'll see how it goes.
  • Would I recommend it?
    • If you are someone who needs a guideline, I think it definitely provided that for me.  
    • 30 days is a short-enough time to see the end in sight - yet long enough where it can begin to set the foundation for changing habits.  I've gotten in the habit of reading every ingredient on what I eat -- which is a good thing.  I am not looking at fat grams or calories, etc.  
    • I also found it very supportive that my wife came along for the ride.  While she has an already established eating guideline in her life - she attempted to do the program with me and I found that really supportive and helpful.

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