The first week of the 30 WHOLE Days Challenge (#HH30) is behind us and I think I can speak for everyone when I say it's been an educational and eye-opening experience full of surprises. For me, I've noticed that attitude is every thing. If I look at the challenge as this wonderful thing I'm doing for my body, I have a great time doing it. However, if I look at it like a diet or a test, I feel frustrated and it reflects in my day and attitude (see my daily log on Hey, Lindsay!).
The first few days were bumpy for me, and for several other participants, as many of us learned that planning is crucial for success. Many of us also experienced headaches and other withdrawal-like symptoms mid-week from the absence of sugar. That was a real awakening -- and shocker. Even though I, and many other participants, do not normally use added sugars or eat sugary foods like candy, we apparently still get enough sugar through processed foods (like condiments or whole wheat breads) to trigger a withdrawal when we went without it.
Collectively, it seems almost everyone is having smoothies for breakfast -- and really enjoying them. Lunches and dinners are are varied but tend to be a mix of vegetables, grains and legumes.
(photo by Lambzilla)
Several participants have lost weight (upwards of 8 pounds!) while others have not and are hoping to. I appear to be down 2 pounds, which could be part of my natural fluctuation or a result of decreased calorie consumption.
As the first week was wrapping up, I asked participants to share there experiences:
"The challenge has helped liven our tastebuds as we've been trying new veggies! My husband is also down 7 lbs!" - Manda
"HH30 has made me realize my diet is relatively healthy and the change hasn't been too drastic. I think the best thing I've realized is that oil for frying is very overrated. Onions are SO much sweeter when cooked in a little water. I'll definitely be reducing my intake of cooking fats drastically in the future!" - Kelly Monster
"The first week has been easier, in that I'm satiated and feel fine, but also harder, in that I need to plan meals to avoid using non-HH30 foods on hand." - Danielle
"I'm getting more veggies and fruits than ever before and I'm really enjoying whole grains as opposed to quick-fixes like processed veggie burgers. I'm also trying and experimenting with new foods. I cut my first avocado this week! I really thought I'd miss cooking with oil, but so far it's been okay. I'm also sleeping deeper and I've lost 2 lbs!" - Jess
"I've learned that I like some foods that I previously thought I did't and I'm eating less because of the foods I've been choosing; I certainly snack less. The hardest part has been telling others "no thanks" when they invite me to eat out. Though declining has taught me it's a reasonable thing to do, not rude. Everyone has been more respectful of my choices than I thought they'd be." - Lambzilla
"I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I don't miss processed foods." - Katie
"This week I've been working 60 hours and studying non-stop, but I didn't feel sluggish or tired. I've actually felt lighter and more energized. I also feel I lost a pound or two and I didn't exercise! That's a pretty big deal!" -Yoginidan
"I've learned about how my body interacts with food, some of which surprised me. I had always thought I had trouble digesting raw vegetables and it turns out I don't. What I really have a problem with is wheat. I have a sensitive digestive system so I was surprised when most of my digestive problems had disappeared by the third day." - Haley
"I'm just now having my first cup of coffee since the challenge began and I'm loving the fact that I no-longer have a cup just because it's the thing that I always do. That's true of everything in this challenge. I consume it because I need it or I want it, not out of routine." - Saydee (who is in Mexico City!)
By the way, Happy Herbivore was mentioned in the latest Vegan Mainstream newsletter!