Saturday, September 21, 2013

whole 30 (alternate title: why I haven't had milk, sugar or bread in 14 days)

My and my husband's favorite foods include milk, cheese, bread, alcohol, and any form of sugar.

But we're on day 14 of being gluten free, alcohol free, dairy free, legume free and sugar free.

Thankfully, we're only going to 30.  :)


It would take a long, long time to explain everything about Whole30, so I'm just going to do my best to summarize.  Whole30 is a 30 day challenge focused on eating whole foods and rewiring how your body and brain approach food.  For instance, my body spent a couple days detoxing (not fun).  And my brain is learning that I don't really need to eat when I'm stressed and especially don't need to reach for sugar to make me feel better.

I knew I needed to give this a try because I knew I was too dependent on sugar and milk (along with basically every other food on the list).  Also, I was really interested to see if it would help my migraines and fibromyalgia.

For 14 days now we've been eating a lot of lean meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits and nuts.  In some senses, it's easier than I thought it would be.  I was DREADING beginning this, but once we got started, I fell into a routine.  On the other hand, there have been a couple times when I cried over food.  Like this week when Hadden was really ill and I was so busy taking care of him (and falling into bed the moment he went to sleep) that I honestly forgot to eat lunch.  Cue mini-meltdown.

Here's What I Love About Whole30:

No Cheating
For some reason, this make sense to me.  Maybe because I like rules??  If there wasn't a "no cheating" rule, I would probably find myself cheating on the first day.  But I'm on Day 15 and, to the best of my knowledge, have been fully compliant.

You aren't allowed to weigh yourself
I love this.  I love that it's not about weight-lose, it's about a healthy lifestyle.  We can already feel our clothes fitting differently, but I like that the focus isn't on that. 

It's called Whole30 and not Whole365
I can do 30 days.  I like knowing there's an end.  Of course, many people say that at the end of Whole30, they don't WANT to go back to their old eating habits and instead learn to indulge occasionally.  I know myself and there's no way I'm going to be eating this strictly for the rest of my life.  But I am hoping to be more conscientious in the future and especially consider the way my body reacts to certain foods.  If they make me sick, why eat them? 

I don't have to be hungry
I'm not doing any counting of calories.  I don't have to walk around with a growling stomach.  We try to make sure we eat meals with plenty of protein and vegetables.  And if I need a snack during the day, I eat one.

Here's What I Hate About Whole30:

Losing food as a connection point
Yes, yes, yes, I know that it's good to eat healthy.  Yes, I'm sure I could learn to cook Whole30 compliant meals for guests (and I did last week).  It doesn't change the fact that for these 30 days I have felt very anti-social.  I HATE that.  I love to cook.  I love to have people over. for meals  I think food is a way to bring people together.  It is HARD to lose that.  During these 14 days, we have eaten before we've gone to someone's house and, another time, brought our own food.  Of course we explained about Whole30 ahead of time and our hosts were more than gracious, but it was still unpleasant. 

In Bread and Wine, Shauna Niequest talks about her four months of eating limited foods by saying "I felt like I wasn't living in the same world everyone else was living in."  That's exactly it.  Entertaining is one of the major reasons I know I won't eat this way forever.

Giving up sugar, bread, alcohol and dairy - obviously!
I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that I hated it!  I know it's for my good and I know that i chose to do it, but STILL! ;)

Have you ever tried a restricted diet?  Did you stick with it or was it just for a season?

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