If you have been following me, you know that I completed the Whole Living Challenge at the beginning of this year. As I participated, there were a few questions I continued to ask myself, which served as a sort of reflection. I thought that those who are thinking about doing something similar might find them helpful, so I compiled them below. If you have a question I didn’t answer, feel free to ask it in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer it.
What are the pros of the Whole Living Challenge?
I began this challenge during the last week of January, which was the perfect time. As I’m sure many of you can relate, my eating had gone off-roading during the holidays, and this challenge definitely helped to get me back on track. In turn, it also helped me lose those last 5 pounds of baby weight that wouldn’t seem to budge.
In addition to eating better and losing weight, I was surprised at how much healthier I felt. I mentioned here that there were quite a few illnesses going around and between me working in a school, Jared working in a school, and Bug going to daycare, we usually bring everything home. I don’t know if it was a coincidence or not but I managed to not get sick and would even go as far to say that I felt healthier than I did all winter.
Finally, this challenge inspired me to try new foods, some of which I’ve continued to eat. For example, Yellowtail Ahi Tuna is now a part of our regular meal rotation. By eliminating certain foods for a short time, I also discovered that I may have a slight allergy to dairy and gluten.
What are the cons of the Whole Living Challenge?
The first con of this challenge that stood out to me right away was the cost. Our grocery bill each week was close to double what it is usually. Of course, this can depend on what you choose to eat and I went with many meals off of the Whole Living Challenge Action Plan. Since I had never made these meals before, we didn’t have even the basic ingredients in the house, although eating organic is more expensive in general.
Another con I found was the prep work involved. Dusty advised us before the start of the challenge that “Preparation is key!” and while I completely agree that it is necessary in order to be successful, it is time consuming. This led me to be a little more lenient with what I considered processed food. I also don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I don’t cook. As in, I rarely step foot in the kitchen. Obviously, this was another obstacle for me, and although I did try my hand at a couple of meals, fortunately, my husband Jared was supportive and did most of the cooking.
Will I participate in the Whole Living Challenge again?
This is a question I keep coming back to. While the pros outweigh the cons, I’m honestly not sure. I’ve recently come to realize how important protein, in the form of meat and dairy, is in your diet, and I’m not sure if cutting it out for three weeks is the best choice for me. I also feel that I’ve maintained a fairly healthy level of eating since the challenge and may not need it. We’ll just have to wait and see how I feel when the next Whole Living Challenge rolls around.