Kristi, Whole 30 Memoir

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The next Paleo Challenge starts January 3rd, 2011! More info to come in the newsletter.

A. Snatch(squat): 8 x 1, rest 90 sec-2 min
Weekly Challenge 2k row

If you have completed the challenge, do the following:

Muscle-up skill work +
L- sit practice”


2 Rounds:
Wide Stance Good mornings: x 10 + 10 sec hold
Single Leg KB Deadlifts: x 10 + 10 sec hold

No hiding from the rower this week.

Kristi’s Whole 30 Experience

I have been paleo for about a year. Paleo for me included 1 grande, 1 pump caramel, non fat latte every morning. From the start of paleo I refused to give my morning latte up and always felt that it was “just 1” and “how bad could it really be”. Paleo also included the occasional glass of wine, piece of dark chocolate, and the occasional baked good (usually made with almond flour or coconut flour and maple syrup and usually off of the web site I attended the Whole 9 workshop at Crossfit Ft. Vancouver in October because I was curious as to what they (Melissa and Dallas of Whole 9) had to say and interested in hearing about their tricks of the trade.

The workshop was centered on the idea of the “Whole 30” which is a more restrictive eating program then paleo and a program that people commit to for 30 days at a time. The idea is that you eliminate certain things from your diet in an effort to really clean and repair your system so that it works the way it should and you get the maximum benefit out of all of the good for you do eat. When Adam Neiffer asked a question about a paleo birthday cake made with coconut flour and Melissa said “what is coconut flour, we don’t bake” I knew I was in for it!

Whole 30 is very similar to paleo (lean meat, veggies, limited fruit, nuts and berries) but also eliminates all forms of alcohol and any sugar at all (so no dark chocolate, no maple syrup, no agave, etc). Whole 30 also focuses on “good food choices” so making a “paleo” pizza from almond flour or a “paleo” cake from coconut flour is not allowed as pizza and cake are not the best food choices to make. It is restrictive but the idea is that you stick to the plan for 30 days and then at the end of the 30 days you add food groups back in to see how they affect you. By doing this you can then decide what the best long term plan is for your body. You can also decide what your body can handle either on an everyday occasion or as a “cheat”. This idea is similar to the Robb Wolff “look, feel, perform” test as you add items back in.

I was interested to see what would happen if I eliminated certain things and then added them back. I was especially interested in the morning latte and wanted to see if “just 1” really was OK. I was also interested to see if this would help me lose the last 10 lbs I wanted to lose and I was tired of being “paleo but….” (paleo but I have my latte and wine and dark chocolate, etc). I started my first 30 days the Sunday after the workshop and it ended 2 days before Thanksgiving. I then was off the Whole 30 plan for Thanksgiving Day and the 2 days after before I got back on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

The first 30 days:

The first big adjustment was the morning latte. This was hard, but within 3 days I noticed I lost any bloating in my stomach that I had previously and didn’t have any of the mild stomach irritations I was having after the latte and certain foods. In terms of the “look, feel, perform” test I am fairly certain that even though it was “just 1” it was affecting how I looked and felt.

Week 1

Right away it hit me how restrictive this was. While I didn’t think I was eating dark chocolate a lot or having a glass of wine that often it was hard to resist these when the person next to me was enjoying them (thanks Brian!) I found myself thinking about chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. This wasn’t happening while just paleo in the days prior. However, overall I was feeling good, feeling more lean and

Week 2

I was frustrated and thinking about cake non-stop. There were actually a few nights I sat with the computer looking up pictures of cake. I wasn’t doing this when just paleo a few weeks earlier and think it was more the idea that I was doing something really restrictive that was causing the cake craving and not just because I was “whole 30” now or really craving cake. Also this week, overall I wasn’t feeling too well
and was sick for a few days. I did notice that when I was sick for 2 days and all it really did was make me tired and sleep for 2 days straight. My husband was sick for 2 days and he had it worse than I did and got really sick, with a fever and throwing up. Maybe we had different bugs but maybe it was the same bug and it affected us differently because of our gut health and what we were eating.

Week 3

I was still thinking about cake and found it hard to leave the house while on Whole 30. Cory’s tee-shirt party was during this week and I made paleo brownies for everyone and didn’t even have one! They looked really good and it was really hard not to eat them. It was also hard not to drink when we all went out to the bar. I think I even said “this is stupid” to a few people who asked me about how the Whole 30 was
going when they saw me in the gym that week. I didn’t want to slip because I didn’t want to have to start the 30 days all over and knew that I needed a clean 30 days to really see what was happening. And even though I wanted treats and cheats because they were around I didn’t feel a strong craving for them like I have in the past at times on paleo.

Week 4

I felt good and started noticing the difference in eating before and after a WOD. Whole 30 does suggest eating before a WOD (protein and a little fat) and post WOD (good carbs and protein). Because of when I have to leave work to get to the gym and the commute home to Beaverton this means I have to eat in the gym right before the WOD and right after to eat within the suggested time frame to get the benefit.
Not sure if anyone noticed but in doing this sometimes I was eating baby food after a WOD. The guys of Whole 9 suggested it as an easy, portable source of clean carbs (baby food squash or sweet potato). I felt more in control about what I wanted to eat and treats around the office or at home didn’t
phase me.

Final days

I thought I would be counting down the days until I could have a glass of wine or some dark chocolate but I wasn’t. I actually counted incorrectly so when I thought I was on day 30 it was actually day 31! I wasn’t craving things like I was in the earlier weeks. . I then started thinking, “why not do this again after Thanksgiving?” I was also down 5lbs and noticed changes in my body composition.

I am back on for another 30 days because I wasn’t able to really isolate foods and treats to phase them back in slowly or one at a time for the “look, feel, perform” test and want to be able to do that. Thanksgiving provided too many choices and resulted in eating a big mix of the foods I just spent 30 day taking out. I don’t think the first 30 days was for nothing though and didn’t even feel sick or get any bad side effects
from eating feely on Thanksgiving which tells me I have good gut health!

Overall when I look at what I pulled out of what I was eating I noticed I looked and felt better without the latte. I am not sure there is any look, feel, perform change for wine and dark chocolate, but I will see for sure after my next 30 days.

If someone is on the fence about paleo or currently doing a version of paleo but wants to change things up I would suggest doing Whole 30 or some other type of paleo challenge. It is only for a period of time and if you hate it you can go back to eating how you were before you started but chances are you will learn something new, even if you learn it is OK to eat certain “treats” and “cheats”.

24 Comments on “Kristi, Whole 30 Memoir”

  1. Thanks Kristi for the review!

    Snatch: 63# (worked on form today)
    Row: 9:23 (adjusted score 8:14)

  2. Kristi,

    You rock. It was very motivating to read that!


    I’ve been obsessed with that video for a long time now. Anyone want to create our own jump rope team?!

  3. 2000 m Row –

    Actual time – 6:58.1 (PR)

    Adjusted time – 6:48.05

    (I’m a heavier guy and I’m not sure how my adjusted time is actually faster)

    I can proudly say that I beat the 75-79 year old world record of 7:22.3. Unfortunately, I got smoked by the 70-74 age group by 2 seconds – 6:56.2. My conclusion is that I have a lot of improving to do in order to compete in my own age group with a world record time of 5:36.6 🙁

    Just in case you are wondering what I’m talking about:

  4. I am exhausted after watching that video! They make it look it so easy 🙂

    Great info Kristi. It’s motivating to know that you were able to stay committed despite many temptations. Great job!

  5. Snatch
    154, 176, 187, 198(f), 198, 198(f), 198, 198, 198

    2K row – 6:59, adjusted 6:36

  6. Did that just post? Wow!!..this is shocking considering it was the first time allowed to post on this computer in over a month.
    Kristi, I hear you on the struggles and temptations. Perhaps you can tell me on the side or answer on this blog, but curiously, after changing to this diet, in the beginning, how would you feel during WOD’s? How about at the end of the 30 day cycle? Were there moments of chumminess or being lethargic during any of the WODs? Overall, great insight. Thank you for sharing.
    Thomas, great to see you back at it.
    Looks like the challenge from the results of the gentlemen is becoming a blow out. Perhaps time to go to a jumprope and situp wod.

  7. Thanks Kristi. It is so helpful to hear other people’s experiences with the challenges of eating “right.” You made huge gains and hit some major milestones in the gym this month and I am sure your commitment to nutrition has had something to do with it. Way to go! I really admire your dedication. 🙂

  8. Holy crap, I can’t believe I read the blog today – and your experience was so inspirational that I had to reply! Great work Kristi, thanks for sharing!!

  9. A little chocolate and wine every day won’t hurt.. indulge yourself! 😉

    Nice work!

  10. Thanks for sharing, Kristi!

    Row 7:40
    Weight factor: 0.922
    Adjusted time: 7:04

  11. Great write up Kristi. I have a friend or two who may be joining the paleo challenge this January, and this will help them .

    Row – raw time 7:39.1 @ 185lbs, weight adjustment of .919 for an adjusted time of 7:02.

    75×4, 95×4

    45lbs bar for the good mornings
    1 pood KB for the dead lifts

    4×3 120lbs squats

  12. Great write up Kristi. I have a friend or two who may be joining the paleo challenge this January, and this will help them .

    Row – raw time 7:39.1 @ 185lbs, weight adjustment of .919 for an adjusted time of 7:02.

    75×4, 95×4

    45lbs bar for the good mornings
    1 pood KB for the dead lifts

    4×3 120kg squats
    1×2 140

  13. Great write up Kristi. I have a friend or two who may be joining the paleo challenge this January, and this will help them .

    Row – raw time 7:39.1 @ 185lbs, weight adjustment of .919 for an adjusted time of 7:02.

    75×4, 95×4

    45lbs bar for the good mornings
    1 pood KB for the dead lifts

    4×3 120kg squats
    1×2 140

  14. Row 7:57 @ 135
    Your weight factor is 0.857
    Adjusted Score:
    Your adjusted time is: 06:49.0

  15. Thanks Kristi! I wanted to go to that workshop in October, but couldn’t make it. Hoping they have a workshop her in Portland sometime. I too struggle with the “little” cheats: wine, dark chocolate, dried mango, half and half in my coffee … the list goes on. Great job! I’ll be interested to hear how the next 30 goes!

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