As I mentioned before, either in my first post or on my about me page, I’m making a commitment to being healthier, and I personally believe that to make any real changes to health, you have to start by looking at your diet. You can exercise all you want, but at the end of the day, if you’re feeding your body junk, you will feel and look like junk.
When I first made the commitment to myself that I was going to eat better, I researched several different methods to figure out the best plan for me. I knew I wanted to eat “clean” and get away from all the processed foods, but just do a search for “clean eating,” and you’ll get approximately 2.5 million hits. I started looking at some of the results, and a lot of them are pretty contradictory-“no sugar, only use agave nectar,” “No! Don’t use agave nectar it’s terrible for you!” “Don’t eat any carbs because all carbs are sugar which isn’t ‘clean'” “Make sure to get plenty of good, whole grains like quinoa and barley…” It’s enough to make even the most savvy foodie’s head explode.
Then a Facebook friend posted an article about Whole30. I read it, and at first I was really skeptical. I thought it was another fad diet promising quick results by just restricting what you eat. Then I did some more research and realized it’s not about that at all.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Whole30 program, it’s basically a restricted eating plan that focuses on meat, vegetables and fruit, and good fats. No grains, no legumes, no dairy, no added sugar, no processed foods, etc. It’s called Whole30 because you’re supposed to do it for 30 days. You can go longer if you choose, but that’s not the point. It’s very restrictive because you’re eliminating most groups of problematic foods. The idea is that you cut out all of those foods and your body basically resets itself and works as it’s intended to. Then after 30 days are up, you can slowly reintroduce some foods to see how your body reacts to them. (This isn’t a great description, so if you’d like more information, I highly recommend visiting whole30.com to learn more about it. They obviously do a much better job at describing the program and why it works.)
This made a lot of sense to me. I was actually eating a bagel when I was reading the article, and then later on I started to feel really bloated and congested and just overall not great. It was something that I wouldn’t really have noticed had I not just read the article, but I started to think about it. Was it the sugar? The grains? The dairy? I had no way of knowing because I had had all of those things, so because of that, the idea of doing an elimination diet seemed intriguing. I’d be able to see exactly how certain foods affect my body and know which foods were ok to reintroduce and which foods I should continue to avoid.
I first started reading and researching back at the beginning of August and had planned to start in the beginning of September. The only problem is that my baby sister was getting married in the middle of what would have been my 30 days. Obviously I wanted to be able to have fun at the bachelorette party, rehearsal, and, of course, the wedding, so I decided I would wait until the day after to start. Then the day after came, and I hadn’t done my planning or shopping, and money was a bit tight, so I gave myself one more week.
Today was the day I finally started! I planned out my meals for the week, but I didn’t do a very good job planning ahead for today. I normally go grocery shopping on Friday nights (because I’m really cool, obviously), but I didn’t have my meal plan done, and by the time work was over on Friday afternoon, the last thing I wanted to do was sit down for another hour or so coming up with my meal plan. I figured I would just do it on Saturday, completely ignoring the fact that I already had plans and probably wouldn’t have time to do it. Of course, that’s exactly what happened… I ended up making my meal plan yesterday while I was doing laundry at my parents’ house. Then I went to the grocery store, and by the time I got home, it was after 8, and I really didn’t feel like spending the next couple hours prepping food.
So today was pretty boring food wise. Breakfast was 2 eggs and a banana. I was really hungry around 10, so I had a package of dried fruit and nuts (Whole30 approved in small amounts) as a snack. For lunch I had some baked chicken and green beans from the cafeteria. I was feeling a little hungry again in the afternoon, but I didn’t really have anything else to snack on, so I just made myself some herbal tea. I was still kind of hungry after that, but I’m guessing part of it was just because I normally have some sort of snack around 2-3, so I was listening to the time cues and not necessarily hunger cues.
Dinner was the really exciting part of my day. 🙂 I had been planning this meal for several weeks, and I finally made it tonight! In reality I totally could have made a Whole30 approved meal even though I wasn’t technically Whole30 yet, but I wanted to save it, so I could have something tasty on my restricted plan. Anyway, I made the Ham, Apple, & Sweet Potato Scramble from Paleo Newbie, and it was SO GOOD! I never would have thought those flavors would go together so well, but let me tell you… it was like fall harvest in my mouth. The sweetness of the sweet potatoes and apple paired nicely with the salty ham and sauteed onions. There is just a hint of a kick added in with some cayenne pepper, too, which rounded out the flavors beautifully. I always like it when I make something really good for dinner because, as a single person, I’m usually stuck with a lot of leftovers. When I’m looking forward to my leftovers, you know it was a good meal!
So how do I feel after day 1? Honestly, no different yet. It’s only been one day, so there really hasn’t been any significant change. I do feel the day 1 “So what’s the big deal?” delusion they talk about, though. I had a good day of eating, even if it was somewhat boring, and I’m definitely feeling like it is doable; however, I know what’s coming. I went low carb before my sister’s wedding to try and drop a couple pounds quickly, and I very vividly remember my sugar detox period. It wasn’t pretty. Hopefully since I’m able to have some carbs with Whole30, it won’t be quite as difficult… hopefully…
If you’ve ever done Whole30 and have any tips or suggestions to get me through or would like to share any recipes with me, I’d love to hear them!