I’m going to start this thing off with a few confessions. I’m really not that bad… I actually like fruits and vegetables and overall I have pretty healthy habits, but this holiday season was an exception. The word “exception” is putting it lightly… I went IN. I’m talking cookies, candy, fast food and plenty of booze. I even got in the habit of eating s’mores for dessert every night and to top it all off, the gym became a very, very foreign place. I was resorting back to my Pre-Tessemae’s habits. You know, the ones that led me to gain my “Freshmen 15” a few years back… And let’s be real it was the freshmen 30.
By Christmas, my pants were tight and I knew my nightly s’mores parties had to come to an end. Melissa’s challenge literally came at the perfect time. I had always wanted to do the Whole30 and what better time to do it? Plus, I really didn’t want to buy new pants. With the support of the Tessemae’s team and even my fiancé, Gates, at home, I was all in.
I started on January 4th (yes, a few days late). I know myself and I would have never stayed with it I didn’t take the time to prepare, so I took the weekend to before to prep and shop. The Sunday before our January 4th start date, Gates and I went to Trader Joes and bought virtually everything on the Tessemae’s meal planner and Whole 30 list. I highly recommend going in with a list. It can get overwhelming very quickly and the lists make it simple. We went home that night and didn’t eat any of it… instead we bought a large pizza and a large bottle of wine as our Last Supper. Listen to Melissa, this is a terrible idea.
The next day was the big day. By noon on Day 1 I felt really great. I followed Lauren Hartman’s “Lazy Girl Whole30” advice and started off simple: 1 fried egg over mixed greens for breakfast. I added a little bit of Tessemae’s Zesty Ranch for a kick. I prepped a huge batch of tuna salad the night before so that was a super easy lunch. For dinner, I baked chicken coated in Tesse Dijon and almond meal. Piece of cake, right?
Not so much. Days 2-6 were payback for everything I have ever done to my body over the past 23 years. I’m serious. I had terrible headaches, body aches and could not wake up in the morning. Smiling people made me angry. My fiancé was one of the smiling people… he was feeling great while I was virtually dying. This brought on great frustration given his typical breakfast pre-Whole30 was a bowl of Reese’s Puff. Shouldn’t he be suffering too? He was full of energy and I was chugging La Croix’s like Natty Light at a frat party just to get through the day. It made no sense.
On the bright side, we made some amazing meals during week one. Some of my favorites were mini burgers with Tessemae’s Slow Roasted Garlic Spread and pork tenderloin marinated in Matty’s BBQ Sauce (made in the crock pot & so, so easy). I would have never made it without sweet potatoes, cucumbers, mini gauc cups or Tessemae’s mayo (on everything) either.
*Don’t worry it’s not wine. I’ve been drinking Synergy Kombucha-Triology flavor in a wine glass at night to help me cut my usual daily dose of red wine!
The food I was making was great but I still found myself feeling awful. By Day 6, after my third fit of tears, I came finally came to an important realization: My fiancé and several other coworkers might be feeling so much better then me because they were working out. Hm. I declared that this must be the reason I wanted to kill everyone. Maybe sugar withdrawal impaired my brain function because looking back this seems so ridiculously obvious. That day I ran a few miles and started feeling a little better, no more tears at least.
I really thought I was in the clear until the following day when the cravings got significantly worse. It was a Sunday and I decided to go to the movies. Big deal, right? Yes, actually it was very big deal. Between the smell of the popcorn and the girl sitting next me eating nachos smothered in cheese sauce, I was losing my mind. I wanted dunk my face in cheese sauce. I’ll admit it. It took every cell in my body to make it through the THREE HOUR movie without attacking nacho girl and sprinting to the popcorn machine. I left feeling very proud of myself. If I could make it through that, I could finish this thing.
Fast forward to today, my Day 11, and I really do feel incredible. The digestive issues I was experiencing throughout December have vanished. My acid reflux (which I have battled for 5+ years) is doing much better and I have even started weaning myself off my daily dose of preventative medicine. I’ve started to slowly get back into an exercise routine too. I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to the next 19 days. It’s only up from here, right?