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Whole30 as a Couple: How Whole30 Helped My Marriage

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Doing Whole30 as a couple helped my marriage.

Dramatic? Yes.  Untrue?  Definitely not!  Doing Whole30 as a couple really helped my relationship with my husband.

Let’s back up a few steps and cover the basics of the program.

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What is Whole30?

Whole30 is a program created by Melissa (and Dallas) Hartwig that explores the relationship between your body and possibly inflammatory foods.  You are not allowed to consume refined sugars (including alcohol), dairy, grains, soy, or legumes.  If there are any foods that are technically “Whole 30 compliant” but a possible food trigger for you, those are also banned for the 30 days.

Their website describes it as a “short-term nutrition reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.”

And that’s exactly what it did for us.


Why Did We Do Whole30 as a couple?

Nothing makes me happier than a list so let’s do one, shall we?


Montoya [Wife]:

  • I am overweight.  Just by a little.  OK, a lot of little.
  • I’ve been in a lifelong battle to control my glucose levels.  My mother, grandmother, and father have Type 2 diabetes.  That nice little cluster of genes has cursed me since the beginning of time.
  • I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) about two years ago and it has caused an array of problems with my lady junk
  • I’m recently wed and babies aren’t too far from my brain but that whole PCOS thing is really messing with my shiz
  • I’m allergic to everything.  Everything.  EVERYTHING!  My sinuses were constantly inflamed and frequently infected.  I was taking Zrytec every single day for just a smidgen of relief.
  • My body just felt completely out of whack.  I was always queasy or irritable or tired or bloated or all of the above.


Phil [Husband]:

  • Montoya made me.

Gotta love his honesty!

Phil has Myasthenia Gravis, an autoimmune disorder where his body is constantly attacking his nerve endings.  I read several articles linking a Paleo diet to a marked improvement with the symptoms of MG.  Also, Phil’s been on a medicinal steroid for years to help combat MG.  The symptoms from prolonged use of this drug are almost as bad as the disease itself.  Less inflammation had to equal less MG symptoms, right?  I figured it was worth a try.


What We Ate During Whole30

I don’t think we were particularly revolutionary in this aspect.  The World Wide Internets has plenty of links to recipes, meal plans, and that type of stuff.  We can both comfortably say that we never felt hungry or deprived.  Even my sugar detox wasn’t as bad as expected.

Since we were doing Whole30 as a couple, we ate the same as each other most days.

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We did discover several new products that will remain in rotation at our home.  My favorite of the favorites: Tessamae’s Creamy Ranch dressing.  Carrot Cake Larabar’s are definitely a close second.  Chomps Beef Snack Stick a close third.

Whole30 food

We did quite a bit of cooking and meal prep but we did not cook all 2, 347 meals at home.  We often relied on places like Snap Kitchen and Whole Foods to carry us through in a pinch.  They were lifesavers — especially when the time/energy just wasn’t there.  But they also introduced us to a number of dishes that we wouldn’t have thought of ourselves!  Definitely a win/win.



Post-Whole 30 Thoughts

Melissa Hartwig and crew are very big on Non-Scale Victories (NSVs).  You are encouraged not to weigh yourself during the program because the 30 day protocol isn’t a numbers game.  But let’s be real, scale numbers matter, amiright?

At the end of the 30 days, I lost 9.8 lbs and Phil lost an even 18.  Pretty good for 30 days!

The question I’m sure everyone will ask is if we worked out.  I exercised minimally — probably 3 gym visits in the 30 days.  However, I had a ton more energy than usual so I definitely moved around more.  Phil started to feel light on his feet and began hitting the gym about halfway through our 30 days.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s get to the NSVs (and more handy dandy lists).

NSVs for Montoya:

  • My skin is much clearer.  Acne is a horrible side effect of PCOS and for the first time in almost two years, my skin is blemish free.  In fact, an employee in Sephora complimented me on my skin on day 23.  I was so happy I almost kissed her on the mouth right then and there.
  • My environmental allergies have just about disappeared.  I went from taking Zrytec every day to about once a week.
  • I ovulated!  Two weeks of Whole30 did what that [horrible, rotten, no good] Metformin couldn’t do.  This might sound minor to some people but it was a super big deal for me.
  • I have so much energy!  As a result, I spend more time playing with the girls, partaking in activities, and enjoying life.  I knew I was tired before this program but I didn’t realize how tired I was until I wasn’t anymore.  My quality of life is so improved.

NSVs for Phil:

  • I have much more energy throughout the day!  One of the main symptoms of MG is fatigue so I was always tired – at home and at work.  It often felt like I was sleeping the entire weekend away to allow my body to recuperate which impeded on my family life.  But now I can get through the entire day without feeling fatigued or bogged down.  I get more time with my family and I’m way more productive at work.
  • Steroids do horrible things to your skin.  Blemishes, dry oily patches, you name it.  My skin is now balanced and my blemishes have significantly reduced in frequency.
  • For the first time in a while, I can work out in the gym with quicker recovery after my workouts.  I now feel #MyastheniaStrong!
  • I’m sexy slim.  I know this is a scale victory but it seems worth mentioning twice :)

NSVs for our marriage:

  • Phil stopped snoring!  [throws confetti at the screen]  Hallelujah!  MG relaxes muscles including the chin and the tongue.  At night, his chin would fall open, his tongue would fall back and the snoring would commence.  Besides the obvious, which is that I couldn’t sleep, I was sincerely concerned for his health.  He woke up achy and unrested and so did I. We were *this* close to going to a sleep specialist but now we both wake up bright and springy!  It has done wonders for us both!
  • Montoya’s PMS symptoms have vanished! Before her cycle, Montoya often turned into a gremlin.  A tall, angry one.  This month neither of us felt the effects of her impeding cycle.  That alone made the entire program worth it!
  • Phil gets stronger erections!  [Note: there was nothing wrong with his erections pre-program BUT I’m not complaining about the upgrade.]
  • Montoya isn’t as gassy!  No one likes to talk about digestive issues but it’s nice to be able to breathe fresh air in the house again.
  • We are both more health conscious which not only benefits us but our girls.  We cook better meals, we eat more at home, we invest in more fresh produce, and have swapped out snacks in our house with healthier options.  We’ve also made it a mission to teach the girls about the new food items in the house in an effort to set them on the path for a more secure Food Freedom as they get older.


Kid at Whole Foods


Most importantly, we worked together, planned together, and completely smashed Whole30 TOGETHER.  We didn’t think it mattered but it has reinforced a bond that was already strong.  Neither of us feel that we could have gotten through this without the other one.  Ever look at your homieloverfriend, realize how awesome they are, and feel glad to have them?  Doing Whole30 as a couple did that for us.  And THAT is how Whole30 helped our marriage.


Life After Whole30 as a Couple

We’ve decided to adopt these eating habits full time.  We will slowly reintroduce things that we missed (which isn’t much) and things we think we will have to eat on our next trip.  Otherwise, things will stay the same.  We also think we will do this again in April after our next Spring Break Trip!

Have you done Whole30 or something similar? Please share in the comments below!

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