Whole 30 – COMPLETE!

My Whole 30 is done!  I went 30 days with no cheats, no sugars, no processed foods, no dairy, no grains, NO EXCEPTIONS!


Hard to believe I completed it, and harder to believe that I’m not munching on a celebratory donut & large double-double right now…

I wouldn’t say I have food issues any more than the average person, but I would definitely say that I do emotional eat, and I do make food choices based on taste rather than purely as fuel for my body.  When I transitioned to a Paleo based eating lifestyle, I felt better about my choices, had cheats semi-regularly, and overall felt good.  What I wasn’t doing though, was paying attention to the details.  And in those details, I believe, is the key to eating healthy, feeling great, and performing at your best.

I thought that Whole 30 was a lot of hype when I read “It Starts With Food”.  I loved the book, I thought it was extremely well written, and discussed a lot of points that I wholeheartedly agree with.  But, I didn’t think the results they were claiming were typical, and I thought that because I was already on the bandwagon, that the “tweaks” to my diet that I was making would not be very substantial.

In all honesty, I was wrong.  These tweaks brought me to a whole other level of feeling good.  Instead of feeling mostly good all the time, I feel mostly great all the time.  I have always felt awful in the mornings, I’m just not a morning person.  I feel better after having caffeine, but I’m still just not a great morning person.  I’m not ready to say that I’m a morning person, and I doubt that will ever happen, but, I am able to say that I am more awake, not just in the morning, but all day long.  And my energy levels are high.  I never crash during the day, I never feel like I need a nap or a super early bedtime, I’m just awake, and alert, all day long.

I’m never snacking.  I’m never hungry for lunch before 12, or even 1pm.  I’m never reaching for a snack after dinner, before bed.  I chose figs, or a kiwi as a “dessert” if I’m feeling like it.

I’m running up to 15 kms on no fuel – just scrambled eggs with veggies before.  I’ve done 26 kms on road with just figs at km 16.  I didn’t crash.

**EDIT** I totally forgot to mention that I’m down between 4.5 – 5.5 bs total over the last 30 days.  I guess it just shows that since I forgot to write about it, that it wasn’t the most important thing, just a nice result that happened to happen for me!

And I guess the most important thing that has changed, is that I never thought that I could go 30 days without a treat.  And now that I have, and I’m not starving for dessert, it’s just a testament to my will power, and the lack of sugar addiction.  Today’s day 31, and I’m not dying for ANYTHING.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m never going to have treats again, that would be ridiculous!!!  But, I am going to make my choices matter.  I am going to eat/drinks things that I LOVE as a treat, for solely that reason.  I am not going to emotional eat (as best as I can), I’m going to really enjoy those treats, knowing that I don’t need them, but chose them.

So, what’s next?


  • I have yet to find a fuel for road racing.  I have a race on Saturday, and I’m going to have 1 gel during it.  I hope this is what was missing at the First Half earlier this month.
  • I miss sushi.  I am going to have sushi this weekend.  Already, I have cut down hugely on the white rice intake of my sushi order, but there’s still some, and then there’s soy sauce, and gomae peanut sauce which I’m sure has added sugars.  But, I love sushi, so I’m going to re-introduce it, just maybe not as often as before?  We will see.
  • Bacon & Sausages.  I have found a good sausage brand that is ground turkey, and contains 2% or less of added sugars.  Technically, Whole30 could allow this, but I wanted to go full speed for my 30 days.  I am re-introducing these sausages.  Bacon has added sugar.  I hated bacon until I discovered Paleo, and now I love it.  I think I will re-introduce as a treat, ie. bacon & poached eggs for post long run meal, but not as an everyday breakfast choice.
  • Coffee.  Such a tough choice for me.  I feel like I don’t need it in the mornings anymore, but I really love the taste.  So, I’m going to only re-introduce it as a treat.  Again, another post long run love.  I’m going to be picky when it comes to drinking as well – no more crappy coffee if I’m out for brunch, just the coffee I really enjoy, as a treat.
  • Desserts.  I love desserts, but I feel like after just 30 days I have a better grasp on when I really want something sweet, and when I can take a pass.  Of course I’m going to have desserts on special occasions, but I’m going to be smarter about them.
  • Eating out.  We don’t do a ton of it, mostly it’s sushi, if anything, or a birthday dinner out.  Obviously Whole30 and eating out are not friends, and I’m ok with that.  I prefer knowing 100% of what’s going into my body, but again, as a treat, I’m ok with it.

Overall, I’d like to move forward living my life as closely to Whole30 as I can manage on a regular basis.  I’d like to actually do another 30 days on top of this one, to see if that makes it even better, BUT, I have to try to go for my 1:45 half marathon goal this weekend, which involves a gel.  Whole 30 is not a 95% program, like Paleo often is, and so having ANY cheats, means that you didn’t complete it.  Sounds harsh, but really, it’s about 100% compliance.  So, I can’t just have a gel and continue on with Whole 30, it just doesn’t work like that.



PS – I’m going to do a separate post on tips for completing your own Whole30, this post is long enough as it is!

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5 Responses to Whole 30 – COMPLETE!

  1. Dot says:

    I’m curious to know how your “weening” off/cravings were the first few weeks and how you handled them! Loving ur blog recent follower from Abbotsford whose very new at running and found ur blog lookining up tough Mudder information…I’m doing it this June in whistler. My running is getting better :) i can almost say i enjoy it, but my eating is out of control. :(.

    • Solana says:

      Welcome! When I first transitioned to a Paleo diet, the first 2 weeks were really tough. I had craving for things I never even ate on a regular basis, but it’s the sugar addictions. Fortunately for me, my diet before starting Whole30 was good enough that I didn’t go through a huge withdrawal. But, that being said, I didn’t really notice much improvements until 2-3 weeks in. For me, it’s about making a commitment for 30 days, and there is no choice to cheat. To distract myself when I did first change over, I drank a ton of water, I experimented with different herbal teas, and I found recipes that I would never try before, and many of them have turned into staples. Food isn’t boring or missing flavour, but it does take a commitment. I’d highly recommend taking the challenge yourself. Worst case, the minimum is that you’ll be paying more attention to what goes into your mouth, which can’t be a bad thing.

      Good luck with Tough Mudder – my best advice – focus more on the running than anything else.


  2. Congrats on finishing! I feel the same way about snacking as you. I’m rarely hungry and I only get hungry on days when I have tons of carbs and not a lot of protein. It’s amazing what proper nutrition can do!

  3. Amber says:

    I would like to try Whole30 but I don’t eat meat and I’m not willing to start so I’m not sure if it would work for me. I have read a few posts about Paleo Vegetarians though.

    I would love to see a breakdown of what you eat in a typical day and also what you eat on a long run day (20 km+)!!

    • Solana says:

      Hey Amber,

      Did you see this post with pictures of what I typically eat? http://www.solanaleigh.com/2013/02/07/week-1-30/ Or, more detail?

      They do have a chapter in the book for vegans & vegetarians specifically, and a shopping list as well. They encourage vegetarians that only made the choice for health (don’t have ethical or religious reasons) to give their program a try for 30 days as a self experiment, but they do provide info for those not willing to change.

      As for longer runs – the things I’ve tried were dried figs – about a handful at 16 km of a 26 km run, raisans, homemade fruit & nut balls, and an apple. None of these options work great for road running/racing, but are great trail running options.


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