So yesterday was the final day of my #whole30 experiment, and I’m happy to report that I feel amazing. Sure, there are a few things that could use improvement – I’m still experiencing the weird fibro Charley horses in my legs, and the arthritis in my hips still makes me hate mornings – but overall, I feel great.
I’m sleeping through the night – I’m talking about six hours, uninterrupted – which is something I haven’t done in a long time. My skin, which has always looked healthy, looks even more clear. I’m not tired throughout the day, and I feel well rested and have a ton of energy.
Also, I lost some things. A lot of things:
A pants size.
A bra size – although I’m happy that the cups stayed the same, the band measurement is down 2″.
Six inches off my hips.
Two inches off my waist.
And that’s after just thirty days with no sugar, no dairy, and no grains. I eat meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruit, and tree nuts, and I legitimately cannot remember the last time I felt this good. And the thing is, doing Whole30 is easy if you take the time to be mindful about what you’re actually putting in your mouth.
I know a lot of people get to the end of it and celebrate by eating a bag of candy and a bottle of wine, but I just can’t break my streak at this point, because I feel so damn great.
So now I’m finished with week two of my #Whole30, and I’m pleased to say I haven’t killed anyone yet. I know this is where I am supposed to start feeling that whole Eat All the Things and Murderous Ragey stuff, but honestly, I’ve never felt better.
This week’s meals included curried chicken, portobello mushrooms, chorizo sausage, and tuna salad made with Ahi and homemade mayo. I legitimately think I might be able to not just pull this off, but also continue eating this way on a long term basis.
Things I’ve learned this week:
Coconut milk in my coffee is actually really good.
Just because I see a candy bar doesn’t mean I’m obligated to eat it.
A five-dollar burger press is a worthwhile investment, because I have a dozen perfectly shaped burgers in my freezer right now, waiting for me to eat them.
So I’ve just completed my first week of my #Whole30 challenge, and I’m not gonna lie, it was a hell of a lot easier than I expected. I truly believe that the advance prep work helped me through it.
A few observations:
1. I was worried I’d be hungry all the time, but I’m not. I’m sort of re-learning how my body does respond to its own signals, and now I’m eating when I start to feel growly, instead of when I’m bored.
2. I’m eating good stuff. Lots of chicken and fish, a ton of fruits and veggies, and of course, eggs. It’s never boring, because I have a metric fuckton of herbs and spices in my pantry – last night I made Indian curried chicken, sauteed in ghee and dumped over a plate of garlic roasted cauliflower. The other day, for breakfast, I had a spinach and turkey fritatta. I am eating well.
3. I miss bacon – believe it or not, nearly all commercial brands of bacon include some sort of sugar or sugar byproduct. There is a Whole30-approved bacon, but it’s incredibly expensive and I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay out the wazoo for a pound of bacon. That said, I’ve asked the nice lady at the Meijer butcher counter to order me a few pounds of pork belly, and I’m going to drag out the smoker and try making my own bacon. More on this later.
4. I’m seeing non-scale victories already. One of the things that Whole30 emphasizes is that you DO NOT step on the scale while you’re doing it. So I haven’t. And yet, I’m noticing a couple of things just one week in. My jeans are fitting better. And today, for the first time in I don’t know how many years, I needed to use the second row of hooks on my bra strap rather than the first one. Also, I’m sleeping better – that change happened within the first two days.
5. I have more willpower than I thought I would. My kid had a bag of candy hearts on the table the other day. It would have been SO easy to cheat, and just take one or two. But I didn’t. And once I didn’t, I felt really fucking GOOD about the fact that I didn’t, which made it even easier to pass them by the next time.
Week 2 looms on the horizon, and I’m already planning and prepping. This coming week is a bit crazy, so it’s probably going to be crockpot meals, but I’m okay with that. After just seven days, I’m feeling a lot better than I was in January, and it’s entirely possible I might be able to do this all the way to the end.
OMG you guys, my #Whole30 begins in less than 24 hours.
Wait, let me backtrack. Recently – and by that, I mean over the past few weeks – I’ve started researching the concept of clean eating. I eat pretty healthy for the most part… or at least I thought I did. I don’t eat a ton of bread or pasta (hello celiac!) and I try to eat vegetables regularly and all that stuff. Then I started thinking about all the other not-wheat grains I eat. And the candy. And the ice cream. Before I knew it, I realized that while I wasn’t exactly shoveling carbs and sugar into my face 24/7, I could definitely do better.
So after looking at several different types of clean eating plans, I’ve decided I’m going to challenge myself with the Whole30 for the entire month of February. I’ve been working up to it for a week or two now, and I’m starting tomorrow, January 31, which will give me a full 30 days of eliminating all the things that could/maybe are/possibly might be not as good for me.
No grains. No dairy. No added sugars. No legumes (buh-bye, peanut butter). On the other hand, lots of meats, vegetables, fruits, and healthy oils. Oddly enough, I actually think this is doable, and here are the reasons why:
1. I’m ready for it. I spent an hour or two the other day mapping out my first week’s menu. I’m one of those people who tends to make meals on the fly, which means if there’s something within reach, I’ll cook it and eat it. On the other hand, if I know exactly what I’m going to be making in advance, then that’s what I am going to make. Plus, it helps with grocery shopping – which, incidentally, did not cost me any more today, buying Whole30 meal stuff, than it normally does.
2. I like to cook. No, seriously, I love to cook, so a month’s worth of meals is way less of a challenge for me than it would be for someone who eats out five nights a week. Also, I already use a lot of the recommended items in the Whole30 plan, like ghee and coconut oil.
3. The payoff. I’m hoping I’ll feel better physically, sleep easier, and overall be in better condition once I’m done. I don’t care so much about losing weight – although dog knows I could drop some poundage – so the numbers honestly aren’t my end goal. In fact, the founders of Whole30 are big fans of OH NO DO NOT STEP ON THAT SCALE.
And guess what else? I’m not going to be living on salads for the next 30 days, either. Salads can get boring eventually, and lettuce is mostly just crunchy water and for Pete’s sake, how many ways can anyone really make vinaigrette interesting (the answer is three)? Nope. I’m planning on eating well. I am a well fed woman who plans to continue being well fed, simply with a shift in the input.
So, what did I do today to get ready? All the same things that I normally do, just not all at once. Bought groceries, using my handy dandy list. Cut up carrots and celery for snacks later in the week, hard boiled some eggs, roasted a pan of garlic, made a batch of mayo and a batch of ketchup, browned some turkey and added a bit of fresh sage to it for tomorrow’s breakfast, and baked two pounds of chicken breasts. This way, on days when I’m busy (in other words, any day that ends in a Y), I’ll have some of the work already done. On Monday, when I work until 430 and then don’t get home from class until 9, I can just pop a chicken boobie in the microwave, warm it back up, top it with some roasted garlic and a bit of avocado, and I’ve got a meal.
I. Can. Do. This.
And in a week, when I’m feeling depressed and angry because I really really REALLY want to eat an entire bag of SweetTart Valentine’s Hearts when they’re 50% off on February 15, I’m gonna need y’all to talk me down, mmkay? Because eventually, it will pass.
Also, a final note: I’m doing Whole30 for ME. I’m doing it so I can feel better. Not to be smug about my food superiority, not because I think I’m fat (I’m chubby, but I’m still pretty damn hot), and not because I’m planning to tell you that you need to do it too. I’m sure as hell not doing it because I think the foods I eat are better than the ones you eat. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU.
It’s all about me, because this is my Year of Living Awesomely, and if I feel better physically, I’ll sure as hell enjoy my Awesome a lot more.
Did I mention I’m excited? I’ll be posting more as things progress – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Stay tuned, and if I start making candy noises, remind me that I got this.