Today is my first day of the Whole 30 diet so I’m a big ball of emotions. I’m nervous and excited all at once. I’ve gotten a few questions and comments when I talked about doing theWhole 30 diet, so today I wanted to talk it out and share all my thoughts here on the blog. And I wanted to share what I did to prep for my first week in case any of you are thinking about doing it as well.
And while, we’re in the mood to share and be honest today, I wanted to say that the next two weeks are going to be a little different here on Live Laugh Linda.
Total honesty and disclosure, it has been freezing in New York. Maybe it’s just in my mind, but I feel like this month has been the coldest and between the weather and the fact that my mom and I have both been busy at work, I haven’t had it in me to take outfit photos. Going into March, I really struggled with planning content. I was pretty uninspired with outfit planning and content planning so I knew this month was gonna be a hot mess.
But, anyways, I just wanted to call out that the next two weeks are going to be more personal and/or more conversation style posts and less about fashion and outfits. I’m definitely more inspired for April so don’t worry, outfit posts are coming back, I’m just sharing more lifestyle posts for the next two weeks.
WHAT EVEN IS THE WHOLE 30 DIET?
It’s funny because when I worked in editorial, it felt like everyone was on some special diet. At any given time, someone in the office was on the Whole 30 diet or was going paleo or trying out the newest diet craze. I actually first heard about it when I was working at Cosmopolitan and my coworker was on it. Even in the blog world, I feel like it’s a well known thing that everyone is trying out. But, when I brought it up at my current job that I was thinking of doing Whole 30, no one even knew what it was!
So in case you are not familiar with what it is, I recommend giving this a quick read since it will explain it better than I will. But, basically for 30 days you cut out all sugars, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy and almost all processed food and junk foods. There’s no counting calories or anything to track, you just have to pay attention to what you’re buying and making and make sure to stick to the rules of cutting those things out of your life for 30 days.
WHY THE WHOLE 30 DIET?
Full disclosure here, I’m pretty nervous to share this and I debated not sharing this at all. But, I pride myself on being honest here especially since I don’t have my life together and I’m not super confident and I’m pretty sure a lot of people feel that way too so I want to share my thoughts so that if you’re like me and you’re also riding the struggle bus, you don’t feel like you’re tackling this alone. So, here we go.
A few weeks ago, I booked my plane and hotel tickets for Puerto Rico in May. I was and still am so excited. I think about this trip every single day and it makes me even more excited as the days go by. Anyways, I went to the mall the other day to see if I could get a head start on shopping for my trip. My mom had seen the cutest fruit printed (hello, pineapple queen here!) one piece bathing suit in the window at Forever 21 and thought I would love it. So when we went into the store, I was so excited to not only find it, but see a ton of vacation, warm weather items. I seriously ran around the store, loading up my little shopping bag with everything and anything. Then I headed for the dressing room and that’s where my story takes a nose dive.
First up, the fruit printed bathing suit. *silence* Not flattering at all. And it wasn’t even the suit I disliked, I looked in the mirror and hated myself. I tried everything in my shopping bag on and with each piece I put on and took off, my confidence took a major nose dive. I prefer shopping with my mom because she’s annoyingly honest. Even things I don’t like, I pull back the curtain to show her just to get her opinion, but on this certain trip, I couldn’t bear showing her anything because I felt so horrible. I was pretty much in tears while putting everything back on the hanger and just wanted to put my big winter coat on and leave.
But, then we headed to Loft, which for the most part fits me pretty well. I saw a jumpsuit that I thought would be so cute for Puerto Rico and it’s been my current mission to find a great jumpsuit. Went to the dressing room and it was the same thing all over again.
For me, body positivity is not about being a size 0 or 2, it’s about being comfortable and loving your body and the way you look. And right now, I don’t love my body or the way I look.
In the morning getting dressed, I avoid mirrors at all cost until my clothes are on. I haven’t looked at my body in months because I hated what I saw which was why when I was alone in that Forever 21 dressing room looking at myself in a bathing suit I was shocked. I love fashion and clothes, but I dread now ordering clothes or shopping because I’m scared nothing is going to fit and most times I leave a dressing room or return an online order feeling frustrated and defeated.
I’ve tried going to the gym, I’ve tried eating nothing but salad for lunch and nothing has stuck or work. I didn’t grow up eating fresh vegetables and grilled chicken, most dinners for me was a can of chef boyardee or a box of kraft mac and cheese. Which I love! And being asian, I love my white rice and bubble tea and being Puerto Rican, I love my rice and beans and empanadas. I’m not even Italian, but don’t get me started on pasta. I could eat it everyday.
The point is, I love food and I struggle cutting the bad things out of my life because it’s what I know and it’s whats comfortable to me. When I have a bad day, I like getting a bubble tea or when I’m happy I like going out for pizza. Just eating salad doesn’t work for me because sometimes I want something warm and cooked for lunch. I’m going off on a tangent, but the reason I chose Whole 30 was because they didn’t market themselves as a “diet” plan although most people that try it, do lose weight. They prided themselves on helping you change the way you view food, taming your sugar monster and helping with your overall health like your digestive system.
I did a lot of research before deciding and most people said they felt good and had a ton of energy and were overall happier. And although my Puerto Rico trip was the start of my motivation, I’m doing this because I want to challenge myself to step out of my food comfort zone and start putting myself first by eating right and working to get my self confidence back.
HOW I PREPARED MYSELF FOR THE WHOLE 30 DIET
I did a lot of research, mostly through blogs because I wanted to hear personal experiences. Did people really see a difference? Was it hard? Did they enjoy it? Did it change how they ate? While some of the struggles were different based on the person, everyone pretty much had similar things to say. They felt good, had more energy and felt inspired to change their diet even after whole 30 was over.
Then I started looking up recipes. I wanted to see what was out there to see if I could really get through this. I can barely boil water, I’m not a vegetarian and I can’t just get by on cold salads. I went on Pinterest to look up recipes and was shocked that there were so many out there and they sounded so good. I started getting excited for the program, especially after seeing a recipe for sweet potato chicken poppers (yum!) and a breakfast recipe for apples, sweet plantains and whole 30 approved bacon (double yum!).
A lot of people said that, to get through whole 30 you have to really prepare and organize yourself and you have to meal prep. So I actually made myself a binder of all the recipes I found. I printed out all the ones I wanted to try and then sorted them into my binder by sauces & sides, breakfast, pasta, seafood, chicken, turkey, beef, salads and snacks. I knew I wouldn’t have time every week to figure out what I wanted to make so getting myself together and gathering a ton of recipes before I started seemed helpful. I also made a menu for myself of what I’m planning to make and eat for the week which I’m keeping a record of on PowerPoint with each slide being one day with the three meals.
What really drew me into this program was that you didn’t have to pay money or sign up anywhere to do it. When I was looking at different programs, most required you to sign up, pay a hefty fee and purchase all these items to get started. With the Whole 30 diet, you didn’t have to purchase anything. They do have books out that they recommend and actually bought one of them which I do recommend picking up since it has been helpful explaining the program more in depth. But, you don’t have to buy them. They offer to meal plan for you if you like, but you don’t have to go through them and you can do it on your own. And they have a free newsletter you can sign up for. I just love that if you choose to go at it independently you can or if you need their help they have options for you.
HOW I CURRENTLY FEEL ABOUT THE WHOLE 30 DIET
It’s certainly expensive to get started and a little difficult to find some of the items if you’re not familiar with what they are. Like I definitely had no idea what a sprout was or what dill was or where to find ghee and don’t get me started on finding sugar free whole 30 approved bacon. I spent Saturday going up and down every aisle at Trader Joes and Whole Foods trying to gather everything I needed. I purchased all the ingredients I needed for a full week and spent a little under $200. My total was pretty high since this is my first week and I had to pick up things that I didn’t have like cinnamon, certain spices and ghee and I bulk purchased some things like a pack of frozen salmon and two pounds of frozen shrimp.
I’m a little nervous because I know it’s going to be a lot of work meal prepping and of course there’s that little voice at the back of my head telling me I can’t do it that I have to fight off. I think the hardest part for me is going to be giving up bubble tea since it’s honestly my favorite thing in the world and not having ice tea, soda or juice with my meals. But, most of all, I’m pretty excited. I’m excited about the recipes I chose for my first week and forcing myself to step out of my comfort zone and learn how to cook different things. And I’m excited to see how I feel after the first week.
Sooooo wish me luck since today is my first day and I’ll be posting updates here and there since I’m definitely going to need a support system!
Thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful week!