Behind The Bakery: My "Whole30" Experience

Welcome to the first "Behind The Bakery" blog post! This monthly series is designed to introduce myself to all my readers and for you to learn a little more about the woman who makes all those yummy cake balls. 

Continue reading to see what the Whole30 program is and to see how I navigated a successful program while having one of my busiest months yet. 

Life On Whole30
If you've never heard of Whole30, you can read more about the program here. The creators are very adamant that this is just a reset and that it's not meant to be a lifelong commitment.

The program cuts out 7 main foods for the entirety of the 30 days: Added sugar (real or artificial), alcohol, grains, dairy, legumes, MSG (carrageenan or sulfites), or baked goods  (including junk foods or treats with “approved” ingredients). 

"Strip them from your diet completely. Eliminate the most common craving-inducing, blood sugar disrupting, gut-damaging, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the reset button with your health, habits, and relationship with food, and the downstream physical and psychological effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day-to-day life, long term health, body composition, and feelings around food."

- Whole30.com

The goal of the program is to heal your body, change your cravings, and help you see what foods are negatively impacting your body. 

The book lays out a day-by-day timeline of how you'll probably feel during the 30 days. I noticed it was extremely accurate for what I was experiencing. 

The first 10 days were the hardest, which is true of anything you start. I noticed I had a mild headache from sugar withdrawal and coffee definitely wasn't as good without my creamer and stevia. 

On the positive side, I quickly noticed my bloating went away, my continuous runny nose (which I thought was just because I lived in Ohio) stopped running, and my mood improved. 

After the first 10 days, the positives kept rolling in. Since you're not allowed to weigh yourself (keep reading to see what I lost) or take any body measurements, the creators encourage you to notice non-scale victories along the way. 

Here are some that I noticed after the first 10 days: 

  • My wedding and engagement rings fit better
  • My energy levels were higher, even with longer days (I was putting in 20-30 hours a week on the bakery outside my 40 hours at my day job) 
  • I felt in control of my food
  • I didn't have difficulty breathing 
  • My skin cleared up, including a few patches that I didn't know the cause of 
  • I stopped experiencing a mid-day slump
  • My anxiety lessened 
  • I stopped craving sugary foods
  • I learned how to handle my boredom eating, stress eating and emotional eating 
  • I listened to my body and stopped eating when I was satisfied, not stuffed

One main thing I learned while doing this program was how to prepare for any food situation. My husband and I meal planned and grocery shopped Friday nights, which we've always done, and I prepped my breakfasts and lunches every Sunday night. 

This planning helped me on the days where I was waking up at 4 to work on baking cakes then making orders every night. Having a plan in place and not having to worry about dinner takes a huge weight off if you're already in a busy or stressful season of life. It was easy to come home, open the book to the page listed, and make dinner since I had everything I needed at home. 

I found it was easy to have the same breakfast and lunch each day, that way I only had to prep 2 recipes instead of more. We never duplicated our dinners during the week and we ate a lot of new veggies that we may not have tried without Whole30. 

At the end of the 30 days (which went way faster than I expected), I felt in control of my food for the first time in my life. 

Life After Whole30
Now that I'm on the "other side" of Whole30, I'm starting to learn what foods do and do not agree with my body. Ironically, everything that goes into a cake ball disagrees with me. I already knew I had a gluten intolerance, but apparently I have dairy and sugar intolerances, too. 

To help navigate this new found "food freedom," I'm reading "Food Freedom Forever" by Melissa Hartwig, who is one of the co-creators of Whole30. This book goes into the mentality behind cravings and eating, which I've found insightful. I highly recommend this book to anyone who does Whole30 or anyone who wants to learn more about their body and cravings. 

All-in-all, I'd give my Whole30 experience a 10 out of 10. It helped me gain knowledge about the way my body reacts to food so I can make better choices in the future. I lost 9.5 pounds in those 30 days, which I'm hoping continues as I keep on this journey. I also found confidence I haven't had in a while and that confidence goes hand-in-hand with my improved mood. 

I've healed my body from the inside out and am learning that I can run a home bakery without needing to eat everything I create. I will not change what I create for y'all because I know you guys enjoy it, but I might start trying new recipes so people who are gluten-free and/or dairy-free can enjoy some baked goods, too. 

I hope you enjoyed the first "Behind the Bakery" post and if you have a topic you want me to cover, or if you have questions about me and my life, let me know in the comments below! Come back next month to read about the reality of being an entreprenuer, as it's not all glamourous.