Whole30 (Motivation and Experience)
Today is January 19th, 2018, and it is the 19th day that I have been on Whole30. My Whole30 has been far from perfect. Obvi, my life hasn’t been perfect either. I’m going to wait until the end of my Whole30 to discuss all the indiscretions and deviations, but in the meantime I wanted to discuss why I chose to start 2018 with a Whole30 and what I’ve learned thus far:
Motivation and Intent:
Heal my relationship with food—This is by far the biggest reason I decided to give a solid go with Whole30. I’ve tried a lot of diets, programs, “lifestyles,” etc. but as my self-control with food diminished, my short-term “diet” mindset amplified. It’s simply an unhealthy place to be both physically and emotionally. It wasn’t always this way for me. I used to enjoy food without ever feeling guilty. Moderation came naturally to me. I feel determined to get back to a healthy mindset that focuses on self-growth. Would I like to shed some pounds in the process? Of course. But it isn’t the focus this time. Healing my relationship with food is a process; journaling and self-reflection have been daily rituals for me this month.
What I’ve learned thus far:
“Healthy” foods can still trigger unhealthy habits– My first week on Whole30 I had to get used to eating breakfast again. During the first week they were rather small, I would eat a smaller lunch, and when I arrived home to cook dinner I found myself snacking heavily as I prepared dinner. What did I snack on? Well cashews and pistachios of course! Aside from raw sliced veggies and boiled eggs, there aren’t a lot of convenient and accessible whole30 friendly snacks, so I leaned on nuts. Nuts are delicious but they are also super calorically dense and I quickly realized the “pre-dinner” snack was a trigger for me. If I continued to indulge in this behavior, it only perpetuated the same unhealthy behavior from before. I tried to work around it during the first week but the self-control wasn’t there. Fortunately for me, I ran out of nuts at the end of the week. Come Sunday of Week 2, I refrained from restocking on nuts at the grocery store. I’m not yet at the place where I can have them in the house and enjoy them on occasion, but I do have the awareness to realize they are a trigger food as well as the willpower to avoid bringing them in the home altogether. Right now, this is what works best for me. I’m approaching Week 3 of Whole30 now and I still haven’t had any nuts in the house. I am happier for it.
Eating breakfast (even if I’m not hungry) really does make a difference– Whole30 recommends eating three balanced meals each day. Eating breakfast doesn’t come naturally to me. Occasionally I’ll wake up hungry but I typically don’t feel hungry until close to lunch time. But since I’m really giving this thing a go I decided to try it out. Eat breakfast within the first two hours of waking, even if I’m not hungry. First it started with just two boiled eggs. Then I added an avocado. And now my regular go to breakfast is two boiled eggs, an avocado, and some Primal Kitchen’s Ranch. I guess you could consider it an avocado egg salad? I throw a bunch of Trader Joe’s seasoning on it and eat it with a fork. It’s delicious. Because of this, I’ve realized that breakfast is a big deal for my energy and willpower throughout the day. If I don’t eat enough at breakfast, I probably won’t eat enough at lunch either. And then come 5:00, when I’m leaving work but it’ll be at least an hour (or two) before dinner is on the table, I’M STARVING. And what to do? I don’t have nuts in the house anymore. It’s no Bueno. What is the remedy? EATING A PROPER BREAKFAST, duh. It evens everything out for me. I’m into it.
A dear friend bought the Whole30 Day by Day guide for me for Christmas. Journaling has been invaluable to me. Not only does it serve as a food log that isn’t tied to macros or calories, but it also gives me the opportunity to reflect on the decisions I’ve made and the impacts of those decisions. The book also covers daily topics such as cravings, motivation, etc. Some of the topics really haven’t applied to me (Oddly enough, I haven’t had intense cravings for anything off plan) but it’s still been great just to have daily literature to keep me focused. If you’re considering Whole30 I highly recommend the Daily Guide—it’s a great investment.
Anyway, Happy Friday Folks! My weekend will include exercise, yoga, rest, and trying out at least one new recipe in the kitchen. Whatever you plan on doing this weekend, I hope you do at least one thing that promotes self-growth.
Peace, love, and self-growth,