Typically, at the start of the new year, my husband and I like to do a round of Whole30 — it leaves us feeling great, sleeping well, and ready to take on our exercise goals of the new year. This year, with illness nipping at my heels, we’ve chosen to forego the Whole30 for the first few weeks of the new year.

We did our first round of W30 after our first failed cycle/miscarriage with IVF. I was in a point where I felt everything spiraling out of control and just desperately needed to gain control of something, anything. As most know, hair cuts & dieting seem to be two way a lot of people gain control of things. I don’t recall if I’d cut my hair but I just really needed a change and I needed to feel better, too. IVF left me bloated, bruised, and frumpy; I hated it. None of my clothes fit properly and I just felt all-around terrible.

The first round went really well, for the most part. We found a lot of recipe inspiration on Pinterest. I bought tea that had orange rind in it so that I could compensate for flavor since I could no longer use honey; my husband found NutPods worthwhile but didn’t mind black coffee. We made simple meals; they were loaded with vegetables (which I loved) and meat (which I did not love).

For me, the toughest transition was the emphasis on meat. I am not a huge meat eater and I love beans as my chosen protein, so this was an adjustment. That being said, there were many benefits that came from our month long elimination diet.

There’s a whole timeline posted about how you feel when you do W30 — I don’t remember much of it, except that I definitely had sugar-withdrawal headaches and later sugary-fueled dreams (Twinkies and cookies and cakes, oh my!) which were so realistic that I honestly thought I’d binged on sugar through the night! I have always had great skin, so I didn’t see any difference there. The biggest parts for me were: My anxiety seemed much more easy to manage and I no longer needed a sleep aid.

Not everything was peaches and cream, though. At around day 25, I was done with meat and basically went on a hunger strike. This has been my overall downfall each W30 round we’ve done. The Whole30 experience, overall, worked well for us. We both felt great during it and have found that we’ve been able to carry a lot of the habits through the years with us, especially around snacking and going by the rule — if I’m hungry, I can eat some raw vegetables or maybe I am not really hungry at all. It’s a great gauge to figure out WHY I want to eat at the time.

This year, since there is no January W30, I’m considering a February partial W30 inspired blitz, but ultimately I’ve decided to take a more deliberate approach to cooking and meal planning.

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