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A Vegan Whole30

May 26, 2016
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I’ve done it; i’ve officially finished Whole30 the vegan way! I wanted to take a minute to sort of give my review and share some of my experiences. Last week I did an update on how the first 3 weeks went for me and if you haven’t had a chance to read that yet, you can now [Click Here] because I’ll most likely be referring to that post a lot.
So, I’ve told you all about how the first 3 weeks of Whole30 went for me and even how the beginning of week 4 was going for me, so I want to pick up where I left off with that and explain how the last few days have been.
My Last Week of Whole30!
The first two days of my final week were rough. I had a weekend prior to that where I binged on all the food, healthy foods, but still binged and that is just not a great thing to do whether you’re binging on healthy foods, or unhealthy foods. Anyways, so the days following that were not great. I was grumpy, impatient, tired, and definitely wasn’t feeling Tiger Blood anymore, but literally the day after I shared my last Whole30 blog post I was feeling MUCH better! The glorious Tiger Blood returned and I was feeling fantastic! On Thursday night I impulsively decided to run a mountain trail half marathon with only one day to mentally and physically prepare. In order to prepare for the race and to have sufficient energy, I did carb loading on Friday, which was a little difficult to do while doing Whole30 and being vegan, but I was able to do it with lots of sweet potato and banana smoothies. The next day, race day, I was feeling great and luckily had lots of energy for the race! It was amazing and I did way better than I thought I would!
Did I ever have an “I’m over this” moment?
I never really felt like I hit a wall at any point during my last week of Whole30 where I just wanted to be done. Honestly, I have loved Whole30 and it hasn’t been as difficult as I anticipated it being, other than being extremely tired and moody more than I normally am. I feel like I am now finally feeling all of the energy and good things people talk about when you do Whole30 and because of that, I don’t want to stop! However, I know that a low carb diet isn’t necessarily good for me because of how active I am and I do much better on my runs when I’ve had more carbs.
What’s my plan now?
The main thing I want to do now is to continue doing no sugar for as long as I can because it makes me feel better, I feel like I can control my cravings now (for the most part), and I have found over the past 30 days that I can still have what feel like indulgences to me through fruit, unsweetened dried fruit (mangos, YUM), and banana smoothies.
We have a family camping trip in California in a week and I’m a little nervous about that because it is going to be a longer vacation where I’m not 100% in control of what meals are being prepared. My parents, some of my siblings, and their spouses will all be there and each couple is in charge of doing one meal. Meaning, I am only in charge of preparing one meal over our entire camping trip. So, that is going to be extremely challenging, especially while living out of an ice chest and cooking over a campfire.
How do I plan to do the Reintroduction Phase of Whole30?
For those of you that don’t know much about Whole30, there are certain things that aren’t allowed while you are doing it. For the non vegan/vegetarian: no legumes, no added sugar (real or artificial), no alcohol, no dairy, no carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites, no recreated baked goods, junk foods, or treats using ingredients that are Whole30 approved, so that meals no banana pancakes or paleo muffins! The rules are pretty much the same for vegans/vegetarians, only we do get to eat some beans, tofu, tempeh, and edamame for protein purposes.
Over the past 30 days I have basically only been eating vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, edamame, some beans and tofu, but now that it is over I am now in what’s called the Reintroduction Phase, which is sort of like the part 2 of Whole30. The first thing I want to do is to slowly incorporate grains back into my diet. As it was, I only ate brown rice, quinoa, oats, and sometimes I would have a slice of whole grain bread, so there won’t be much to reintroduce from that category.
Since today is my first day of the Reintroduction Phase, I wanted to start out with the thing I have missed the most: overnight oats. They’re just too good not to miss! I had them this morning after my workout and they were even better than I remember them being, even without any added sugar! I felt amazing afterwards too, thankfully! So that is one thing I can check off of my list. Next for grains, I think I’ll try brown rice.
What have I had so far and how has it made me feel?
One thing I have been super nervous about with doing Whole30 is that of the things I had to eliminate and when it came time to reintroduce them back into my diet, I wouldn’t feel good after eating them anymore, which would force me to either put up with the discomfort of eating them, or I’d have to cut them out of my diet now. Thankfully oats didn’t upset my body in any way because that would have been a HUGE bummer to me! However, one of my other favorite things is peanut butter, which I tried today and it left me feeling not so great. Because I want to be 100% that the peanut butter is what is causing me to feel icky, I’m going to try eating it again tomorrow to see if it happens another time and if it does I will be sad but also okay with not eating it very much anymore, because I do happen to like almond butter a little better than peanut butter nowadays anyways.
Summary!
Overall I am very happy with how Whole30 went for me and I’m even happier that I finally decided that it was time for me to try it. Now that I have done it, I feel like my relationship with food is different because I realize that I don’t NEED to have that chocolate at the end of the day, add sweeteners to my foods, and have the other comfort foods that I’m used to indulging far too often in. I’m still working on the impulse to binge when I’m stressed or bored, but I’m grateful for Whole30 because it has helped me in controlling that urge and it has also helped me to have a healthier relationship with food in general. I’m also grateful because I now have the desire to live a life that is mostly Whole30, which has made me happier, more confident, and more secure with who I am and why I do the things that I do. I strive to live a healthy lifestyle and to have a wholesome relationship with food and Whole30 has helped push me down that path even further. This has been an incredible journey and I am excited to use this momentum in other areas of my life. And who knows, maybe I’ll even do it again in the future!
If you are on the fence about whether or not you should or could do it, you CAN and you SHOULD! It isn’t something that you will ever regret doing and it is easier than you even think it is! Take it from a girl who did it while also being vegan!

As always, thanks so much for reading and if you have any further questions about my experience, please email me at naturallyjulia@gmail.com :) 

Xoxo,
Julia

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