Whole30 Thoughts: Week 4

I can’t believe I only have two days left of my Whole30 challenge. (You can catch up with week 1, week 2, and week 3). I have no idea where the time has gone and really, the past week has flown by. My cravings are pretty much non-existent (but yes, I still want a glass of wine on the weekends), my energy levels are ridiculous, and my body is feeling better than ever. While the challenge has flown by, I am ready to be done – simply because I want to have a glass of wine on the weekend or a square of chocolate for my mental sanity. I plan on doing a full wrap-up post next week but for now, let’s talk about week 4. 20130204-074442.jpg

[my brussel sprout breakfast hash - so good]

 

DAY 22: Stomach was feeling a little off today and was a little bloated – I think I need to up my water intake. Felt really energized all day and workout felt good minus really bad low back/hip spasm.

DAY 23: Stomach wasn’t nearly as bloated today and modified workout felt great, minus some hand tears. I feel like I’m not eating enough because I’m having a hard time recovering so I will track my food/calories/macros this week and see where I’m at.

DAY 24: Slept really well and woke up energized. I was pretty busy today and noticed that I don’t get “hangry” like I used to – definitely a nice Whole30 bonus! Also, was WAY below what I should have been eating, calorie/macro-wise yesterday so really making sure I get enough food & fats in today.

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[sugar-filled, pretty, super fun shoots this week]

 

DAY 25: Doughnut tower. That describes today – I had to make/glaze/style/shoot/build a tower out of dozens and dozens of doughnuts. I didn’t really want to eat them (minus maybe tasting the batter) and truthfully, the smell of that sugar gave me a headache. Major difference between today’s shoot and the shoot on my first day.

DAY 26: Definitely had too much coffee today but feel pretty good. I’ve been kind of skimping on post-workout food (although it is getting easier to eat) so my body is definitely feeling it today.

DAY 27: Didn’t sleep great since I had too much caffeine yesterday but was still energized and felt fine. Did this workout today:

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[also rocking my new Fashletics shirt - more on that later, but I LOVE it]

I bonked out HARD about 10 minutes into the workout. I felt SO incredibly weak during it and had to rest for a long time between rounds/reps. Guess I didn’t get enough carbs in yesterday. I came home, ate a lot of sweet potato to refuel myself and felt instantly better. I’m going to try doing a “higher” carb day once a week and see if that helps with recovery.

DAY 28: The extra carbs yesterday TOTALLY helped! Wasn’t nearly as sore today and felt much better. I felt pretty good all day minus some minor bloating - I think it’s a low stomach acid issue and I’m going to try some digestive enzymes to see if that helps.

 

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[Fajita dinner prep - love my green foods]

 

The GOOD

Normalized energy levels: My energy levels have definitely increased on Whole30 and more than that, they’ve leveled out. I feel just as energized at 5:30am when I wake up as I do at 3pm and 6pm. It’s nice not to feel so dragged down in the afternoons or to be obnoxiously tired at night.

Getting easy: I’m not “thinking” so much about the food I’m eating and what I’m avoiding. It’s just become habit now. It’s nice to not have to expend so much mental energy day in and day out to think about what is going on my plate. Instead of having to go through a mental checklist of do/do not, I can just eat. I definitely put thought into what I’m eating (am I getting enough protein? fats? etc.) but the whole process has become more intuitive and habitual.

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[Afternoon snack plate to fill up on fats, protein, and carbs]

The BAD

Playing with carbs: I haven’t felt completely wrecked by a workout (like I did on Friday) in a very long time. I definitely bonked out and know that it was because I didn’t get enough carbs in throughout the week. I’m going to play with doing one or two higher carb days (closer to 150-175g/day) and see how that goes. I’ve always struggled with this and I think the Whole30 has really helped me make fine-tune this even more.

Ready to be done: I’m ready to be done. Really, I’m just ready to be able to enjoy a glass of wine on Friday night and be a little less restricted. I plan on continuing to eat a little more strictly paleo than I was before but I would like to freedom to be able to indulge in some really good chocolate or cheese on occasion. I’ll touch on this a little more in my wrap up post but basically, I’m ready to shed the do/do not checklist.

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[Front squatting on Monday - need to approach my nutrition like I do training - analytically]

LESSONS LEARNED

Constant detective work: Having a few minor issues here and there this week has really driven home the point that you have to be a detective with your diet. Having something to look back at and say “oh yeah, definitely did not eat enough yesterday” or “my carbs this week were lacking” is helpful for identifying why issues occurred. I know I will constantly be having to tweak my diet here or there to help accomplish a particular goal, fix a problem, etc. and having the level of awareness that Whole30 has helped me cultivate will be critical. The analytical approach that I’ve taken with my Whole30 will pay off in dividends in the future because I’ve learned to be more in tune with how my body feels, my sleep, my energy levels, and how my diet impacts my gym performance. I’ve become a better detective.

 

Happy Monday everyone! Is there such a thing? Maybe, with enough coffee.