Yo yo yo. As some of you may have seen, I am currently taking on Whole30. I started it the day after Christmas because Holiday food. I typically maintain a pretty heathy diet but between being home for my family Christmas and starting a new job at Cafe Gratitude (a hippy dippy vegan restaurant) I was eating all of the baked goods, vegan or not. I am blessed with a body that is EXTREMELY sensitive to sodium and grains. Meaning if I eat too much of either of those, I wake up and can’t get the rings off my fingers while simultaneously looking like I got punched in the eyeballs and can’t open them all the way. Aka I AM PUFFY. Man, is my future husband lucky. So picture that times about 2 and a half weeks plus limited activity. I was ready to get back to #health.
Since I had to spend Christmas away from my family (I went home the weekend before for my family Christmas) due to work and dancing at the Clippers game the 26th, they took it upon themselves to send me some fun little gifts in the mail so I had something to open on Christmas morning. Well they tried to send them for Christmas morning but most of them arrived well after New Years day…..you might say that procrastination runs in the family. Moving on. One of the gifts that did arrive on Christmas Day was the official Whole 30 guide book. Lit. I’ve been talking about how I wanted to try it for over a year now so I was pumped to finally have the book in my possession. I read through the info right away and started planning.
If you’re reading this like “what the f is Whole 30???” I’m about to explain a bit. More or less, its a 30 day guide of food elimination to find what they call “food freedom.” It’s designed to eliminate certain foods that may be causing cravings or weird things to be happening (like inflammation, energy crashes, acne, fatigue, etc.) in yo body. For me, I looked at it as a step beyond the Paleo diet, which I already know works extremely well for my body. Paleo basically means eating like a caveman. Anything that comes from the earth is a go minus grains, legumes and peanuts. Where Whole30 differs is that it is a strict “off-limits” type of situation that not only is great for your body, but is also designed to change the way you view food. Meaning they cut out things like honey, coconut sugar, vanilla, natural sweeteners and anything random and unnatural that you may find in your “healthy” products. Aka to do whole30 you have to get GOOD at reading labels and throw out anything that has weird stuff like xanthum gum, agave, maple syrup or any ingredient you can’t pronounce. They also don’t want you to snack, but since I’m so active, I have to. Which can be hard.
My go-to snacks for pre-rehearsal or work out downtime are raw unsalted, W30 approved nuts, Lara bars, Rx Bars, sweet bell peppers, raw veggies and my “treat” of banana and almond butter. There was one afternoon I was having a bit of a sweet tooth attack and so I heated up a Lara bar and slapped some almond butter on it. So. Good. But since the point of W30 is to train your body that it doesn’t need sweets and food rewards, I didn’t make a habit of that. I also have a hard time controlling myself when it comes to almond butter so I try not to buy it too often.
So here I am, day 17 and I’m feeling absolutely amazing. I can see more muscle definition, feel more energized, have noticed a change in my skin and am sleeping so much better. I also have not really had that difficult of a time saying no to certain foods and asking for modifications at restaurants (I do, however, feel extremely annoying and extra). I think so far the hardest part as been the honey thing. I didn’t realize how much of it I consumed until I cut it out. So many of my coffee drinks I sweetened with honey and many of the granola bars I was eating had honey as a main ingredient. Which is fine, honey isn’t the worst thing you can eat. But your body treats it as sugar.
DISCLAIMER: Whole 30 also forbids alcohol. And if you’re doing the math right, you’re like “wait a minute, that means she was on W30 during NYE and she was definitely hammered…???” YOU RIGHT! I will be revisiting W30 in the near future and doing it minus the alcohol but this time I gave myself 3 alcohol passes. One of those being New Years Eve because it’s New Years Eve and I deserve to get drunk on Champagne and run around until 4 am. I’m not a psychopath and I don’t believe in depriving myself of stuff like that (although the next day I was wishing I would have refrained).
For those of you that are hardcore Whole 30ers you probably hate me right now and would tell me I should have started over. Like I said I will do it with out alcohol soon. But, I wanted to change my eating post holidays ASAP. Even though I’ve given myself 3 passes, I haven’t even wanted to use the other 2 because of the way my body has been feeling. That being said, I do kind of hate how restrictive W3o is. I mean, it works for me because I love a challenge. My parents gifted me the guide, recipe book and journal so I have all the tools necessary for me to succeed. But on the flip side of it, I imagine people who 100% restrict themselves from foods they love (or alcohol that they also love) have a hard time with guilt at the end of their 30 days. Maybe I’m wrong?
We’ll see in the next 13 days how I’m feeling but this is what I’m planning on as of now. I don’t think I’ll be reintroducing much of the food that is “off limits” on Whole 30 once I’m finished. In fact, I probably will try to eat as close to this as I can for the rest of forever. But what I will do is let myself live. Enjoy a cocktail (or 15) with my friends, have one of the cookies at work (seriously go eat them they are insane), sweeten my latte with honey…whatever. But only from time to time because if any of those things was making me feel the way I felt before this experience, I don’t really wanna reintroduce them. There’s no point.
Not to mention, I have tried out some pretty bomb recipes throughout this process including buffalo grilled chicken and roasted cauliflower (CHECK IT OUT ABOVE HOW SEXY – and also #SAUCY – IS THAT?!)
So. In conclusion. I’m checking in at this midpoint to say I’m loving it, still alive and have not had much difficulty thus far. Which scares me cause maybe that means my W30 breakdown is coming in the next 13 days. And if that’s the case, lucky you cause you’ll get to read about it.