The whole what now? The Whole30, labelled as such because it’s an eating plan to follow for thirty days. Several of my friends have accomplished this goal, but I kept putting it off. When we returned from our vacation I decided it was time — a mostly-empty fridge at home, no longer-term houseguests on the horizon, no big events upcoming, done by Halloween. Sold! I had been trying to get Matt to follow along with me but ultimately decided to go it alone rather than force it on him.
If you’re on the Whole30 you are not eating dairy, grains, added sugar of any type, alcohol, legumes, carrageenan, MSG or sulfites — and you can’t eat those crazy Paleo faked-foods like Paleo waffles and Paleo ice cream. It’s all about real food. I have cut out dairy in the past, and figured that part would be ok to handle, although I used dairy alternatives, then. Alcohol? I can handle that, though I miss wine. Legumes didn’t seem hard until I realized I couldn’t have peanut butter. Grains and sugar are my lifeblood, so, I knew I was in for a challenge no matter what.
Why eat like this? It’s supposed to be like a reset for your body, freeing you from sugar addictions (hi, I love gummies), giving your body a break from foods that hurt it, etc. I will admit to wanting a good way to shed some of the booze-and-sugar-overindulgence pounds I packed on in August. And also, I wanted a challenge, and to feel like I could take ownership over something.
I’m on Day 5 today, and so far I am not dying. I kind of hate eggs, though. Breakfast is the most challenging meal for me, because I am a cereal/yogurt/toast eater. Eggs take time. I tried a bowl of fruit this morning but it wasn’t quite the same. So, I’m going to keep trying to figure it out.
Lunch is also a bit of a conundrum, if I haven’t planned well. Snacking is discouraged on the Whole30, though I could give myself a tiny bit of a pass given that I am still occasionally nursing M, and nursing mothers are allowed to snack. What this means is that each meal is supposed to keep you full enough to get to the next — contrary to my usual grazing ways. Lunch has to be substantial, now. I’ve had a lot of chicken salads!
If it weren’t for Cook Smarts I would probably be curled up in a ball in my kitchen. I just switch all of our dinner meals to Paleo on the CS interface and kick out/replace any forbidden ingredients with Whole30 compliant options. Even if I am bored with breakfast and lunch I know I have a good dinner waiting!
This is just the beginning, although I’ve heard it’s one of the more challenging aspects of the 30 days. I am feeling good, less bloated, less stomach pain, but I’m not noticing any energy boost or anything like that, yet. Still, it’s nice to feel like I am accomplishing something — yesterday brought a lot of emotional stress that I normally would have soothed with ice cream, but I stayed away. I think the true test will be Matt’s upcoming overnight weekend shifts, when I normally snack with a glass of wine after M goes to bed!
I will keep sharing my Whole30 updates as I have them. Hopefully I’ll be back mid-October to tell you about my success!