When people ask me where I got my blog name from, I always tell them it’s because I love hummus SO much. So what happens when THE Chickpea in The City stops eating hummus…? Isn’t that kind of awkward? Maybe, just a little bit. But it happened my friends and here’s why and how I surprisingly don’t miss it. *Gasp*
If you haven’t heard of Whole30, it’s a 30-day elimination “diet” (I am using the term diet because that is simply the best word I can find but it is in no way, to me, a diet in order to lose weight) where you go without grains, dairy, sugar and legumes for 30 days to see what you are intolerant to and to stop your sugar cravings.
For 30 days, the plan is to eat WHOLESOME (hense WHOLE30) real foods that are almost identical to a Paleo/primal diet. There’s plenty more to it than that but that’s the gist and quick summary. To learn more check out the Whole30 site here.
Whole30 was co-created by Melissa Hartwig, a Certified Sports Nutritionist, who recently wrote a follow up to the Whole30 book entitled Food Freedom Forever, which is what originally drew me into trying a Whole30 reset. I met Melissa this past fall at an event with Vital Proteins, read FFF on a flight that following weekend and the whole time thought how I needed to try this thing. ASAP.
The problem with Whole30 is that takes away from any social life you’re trying to have because alcohol is off limits (which I normally don’t consume that much of anyway), it’s harder to eat out at restaurants (a food blogger’s life), requires a ton of meal prep and meals can get a bit boring and repetitive (if you don’t know how to prep right).
Another issue one might have with Whole30 is the amount of meat and fish you must consume to keep your energy up, as you’re not allowed to have common plant-based protein options like quinoa and beans. So for those who are vegan and or vegetarian… it’s a little tricky.
I always told myself I could never go paleo or do a Whole30 because How could I live without HUMMUS?! But towards the end of 2016, especially with family hardships and traveling constantly, my eating patterns were getting out. of. control. I knew something had to change.
During the end of the fall and beginning of winter, I would experience gas and bloating almost every single day. It got to the point where I wouldn’t want to go out or even be in the living room with my roommates because I felt so uncomfortable, and I knew it was because of the food I was eating.
I was overeating hummus for sure (and have since I can remember), among other “healthy foods”. I started to think that maybe the over consumption of the hummus was getting a bit out of hand. Along with that, for those who have followed me or know me well enough, you’ll know I love yogurt. I literally LIVED for Siggi’s yogurts with globs of granola. And while I eat a very healthy diet on the regular and choose natural sugars like maple syrup and coconut sugar over refined sugars, at the end of the day, I knew I was overeating these snacks, making high-sugar smoothies after dinner because I wasn’t “satisfied” and always finding myself wanting chocolate or fruit. Plus, the excessive dairy was getting to me.
That’s where Whole30 kicked in.
I had heard that not only was Whole30 a good way to reset your cravings and binging for example, but it would help get me back to real, simple food like wild caught salmon, grass-fed turkey and fresh, organic (when possible) vegetables and low-sugar fruits.
While I started it the day I left Colorado (January 1) and have been sticking to it since for the most part, I have had a few slip ups. For example, a week in, I became very sick and the thought of eating meat, a salad or eggs for breakfast made me feel even more ill. So I caved and had toast (you’re technically not supposed to have any form of bread, even if it’s gluten-free on Whole30).
That same weekend, I ended up traveling home to Kansas and had toast once more because there was literally no food to eat in my step-dad’s house. And trust me when I say when the nearest store is an hour away, you’ll eat whatever you see (within reason obviously).
I also believe that if you really listen to your body, it will know what’s best and for me, that meant eating toast, almond butter and a banana. I think my body thanked me for that one.
But I will admit that since I have been back in Chicago (January 10) and making my own meals, I have truly never felt better inside and out. I still have not had hummus since New Year’s, tempeh (fermented soybean product similar to tofu for those of you who don’t know), beans, rice/quinoa or any dairy whatsoever. So far the results just within almost 3 weeks? I feel less bloated, I don’t remember the last time I had gas and what I noticed especially this week… my face is SO clear. I could easily go out without makeup on and feel good (which I normally would do anyway). I also have primarily just been eating three larger meals instead of three meals and 2-3 snacks throughout the day and I feel more content and less focused on eating every two seconds. The hassle that is.
But because my birthday is next Saturday and I know I’ll be out with friends, I’m going to let the Whole30 go and just try to maintain a Paleo diet from here on out. I think by doing Whole30 (or most of it at least), I’ve truly found what works for me and my body.
That’s not to say that eating paleo is for everyone but I’ve found that when I’m eating a lot of protein (fish, meat, eggs), tons of vegetables and most importantly, MORE FAT, I feel so much more alive and full. I’m not constantly snacking and eating whatever is in front of me. I’m taking the time to prepare my meals and be conscious of what I’m putting into my body and to me, that’s the most important takeaway of Whole30.
So yes, for right now, I’m the Chickpea in the City that doesn’t eat chickpeas. I feel good and balanced right now but that’s not to say that I’m done with hummus forever because let’s be real… it’s too damn good. Balance is key, moderation is everything.
In the next few weeks I’ll be posting and trying out more Whole30 and paleo-friendly recipes on my blog like the ones I’ve posted on Instagram, including turkey meatballs and spaghetti squash or wild-caught salmon salad with avocado-oil mayo (so so good). So stay tuned for that!
That’s all for now. Happy Friday, friends!