I did my first Whole30 in January – and it was not easy. I was cooking every single day, I had to really challenge not just what I ate, but how and why, and I gave up some of my absolute favorite foods for 30 days. And starting May 1st, I’m doing it again.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Whole30, it is an elimination diet. No sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, or alcohol – for 30 days! I challenged myself to do this because in 2016, after my hellacious 2016 and the accompanying fall-out, I started getting migraines regularly. I was taking Imitrex – a prescription-strength painkiller specifically for migraines – at least once a week, and there’d often be days where I’d have to augment the painkiller with an additional 4 ibuprofen.
Needless to say, I was not happy.
I’d read about Whole30 a few years back, and after all the dust kicked up by 2016 had finally begun to settle, I thought kicking off 2017 with a diet that emphasized eating whole food seemed appropriate. I was happier, but I was still dealing with migraines on a semi-regular basis, and I thought that maybe I could improve my health by changing my diet. (Rocket science, am I right?)
So I bought tons of groceries, including wild-caught/grass-fed meats (which I’d given up for most of 2016), lots of organic, cage-free eggs, and a ton of fruits and vegetables. I kicked my beloved carbs to the curb, and ate potatoes of all shapes and sizes with everything – in my breakfast frittatas, my salads, as a side with dinner. I kept a running food diary, commenting on how I felt and my ups and downs. I was a meal-planning fiend, and not a day went by without me cooking or meal-prepping – and I don’t really enjoy cooking! I bitched about missing carbs – a lot.
And in the end? I still got migraines. I think I had at least four over the course of the 30 days, if I remember correctly. But I also had increased levels of energy, which helped me deal with the pain. I was less bloated, more light on my feet. And I was literally lighter, too – I lost 5 pounds without any real exercise beyond walking. I also saved money! Because I cooked nearly every single meal and
So while my migraines persisted, I felt better overall. And to me, that made the experiment worth it.
Stay tuned for my follow-up post on Friday, which will lay out how I’m approaching the program for my second go-round!
Have you tried Whole30? What were your experiences, if you have?