I started writing about trying to go a month without beer using the Whole 30 diet. I intentionally cheated. A friend had a Groupon to Strange Land Brewery for a tour and some pours. The date was moved around a bit and ended up only making the sense for the group to go during the month.
I do not regret the decision.
After 30 days, except for one evening of beers, without alcohol, grain, dairy, sugar, etc, I felt great. Perhaps it has been the consistently best I felt over any time. In the weeks since, we generally keep to a similar diet but with travel—including a beer conference—we haven’t kept it up.
I’m torn, as I enjoy cheese. Eating it, making it. Obviously alcohol is a part of my personal culture. 100% Whole 30 isn’t feasible—nor is the diet intended to be used forever. We realized that while we won’t go whole hog always, there are many things we don’t need. Bread all the time. Everything with added sugar. Snacks anytime I thought about food. These are things that we don’t really miss all that much.
We went off the wagon, after the diet, one night. Chips and queso, then some amazing chocolate thing from Torchy’s. It tasted amazing. I felt like hell the next day. Was it worth it? No, but it was worth it to realize that it wasn’t worth it.
The diet isn’t intended directly for weight loss, but I did lose about 15-20 pounds.
How does beer fit in to the new normal we are looking to? I’m going to continue to drink. But, when I drink, will it be worth it? The crummy macro beer at a wedding because they have nothing else? I’ll pass. A beer every night out of habit? No, thanks. Something unique? Sure. Meeting up with friends for a beer at a brewery? Bottoms up.
While I was not excited about the Whole 30 when Vanessa pitched it, I’m very glad we did it. It gave us a chance to try a radical change to relatively unhealthy eating that has opened our eyes that things can be different.