Whole 30: Love It or Loathe It?

There are less than 24 hours, less than 24 hours left on my Whole 30 journey! By the time this post is published I will be on Day #30.

the.last.day!

***throw confetti***

***do a happy dance***

Matt and I began our journey on July 11th right after we wrapped up our family vacation. You can read the previous posts here, here, and here. Basically though, Whole 30 is about eating whole real/natural foods.

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So, how has it been?

Truthfully it’s been an emotional roller coaster for me. Love, hate, tolerate is where I’ve been with this journey. But, I made a choice, I took a chance, and I definitely saw a change – a change for the positive no matter which way I look at it.

Whole 30, while it’s about food, I believe it’s about much more. It’s about self-control and a mindset, a growth mindset. It’s about planning and being prepared. It’s about setting expectations, making a commitment, and wrapping your mind around a challenge.

Yes, I missed cheese. Yes, I missed a glass of wine at dinner, and yes I missed ice cream. But, what I know for sure is that all of these foods will be consumed in limited quantities from this point forward. I am currently in the best shape of my life after completing Whole 30. While it wasn’t about weight loss for me, I did lose a significant amount of weight and so did Matt. I am truly amazed at how my body has changed. My sleep improved to a certain extent. It’s still not consistent, but it is improved. And, I do have more energy.

On the other hand, there were days that I didn’t want to eat another scrambled egg for breakfast. I didn’t want chia pudding as a snack. And, I certainly didn’t want to eat another daggone salad for lunch. I mean in the last thirty days we have had National Ice Cream Day and National Chocolate Chip Cookies Day…seriously!  I never even knew there was such a day and of course they had to fall during my Whole 30 journey. But, motivation is what got me to look the other way and stay committed to the goal I set out to reach. It became a habit, a healthy habit.

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I’ve been committed to my fitness journey for the last five years. I run half-marathons, marathons, and cross-train. These activities burn serious, serious calories, and I have reaped the benefits of my exercise routine. It has taken time. Time I’m willing to spend to stay healthy. But this, Whole 30, is a definite game-changer. By day number 22, I was feeling calm, confident, and strong. The Whole 30 gurus call it “Tiger Blood” and it is a great feeling!

You hear so much about calories in, calories out, but I truly don’t believe that’s where you get your bang for your buck.

It.Starts.With.Food!

Real food, folks. Real whole food. Not protein shakes, not cutting back your calories so that you’re starving. I didn’t count one single calorie on this journey. Not one. I ate real food and I ate it whenever I wanted. I now realize how powerful food is, and unfortunately how much garbage food is out there. And, it’s out there! I read all the labels now. And so much of it is junk and overrun with sugar and mysterious ingredients. But, there is good stuff out there and you can find if you take the time and make the commitment.

So, Whole 30…do I love it or do I loathe it?

Yes, I loved it at times…

Yes, I loathed it at times…

But most of all I learned from it-the power of my mind, the power of my body, and the power of food. It does all start with food! While Whole 30 won’t be my day in and day out daily lifestyle, it has changed my thinking about what I will and will not eat from this point forward.

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Note to Self

Tomorrow is the kickoff of our Whole 30 journey. As I embark on the next thirty days there are some points I want to keep in mind.

Note to Self #1:

It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell yourself this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black is.not.hard! You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only 30 days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth-the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime. (The Whole30, p.16)

Whole30 will be a challenge, and yes, challenges are hard! But, when I read this I think: Cancer vs. Whole30 – I choose Whole30, seriously! Then I think, look at what you have done – 4 marathons, each one 18 weeks of training. Yep, that was a challenge, and yes, hard, but that was longer than 30 days of eating healthy. Then, I think of Matt and his IRONMAN training. Which would I choose: IRONMAN vs. Whole30 – sign me up for Whole30!

Note to Self #2:

Don’t even consider the possibility of a “SLIP”! Unless I physically trip and my face lands in a box of donuts, there is no “slip”. I make the choice to eat something unhealthy. It is always a choice, so do not phrase it as an accident. Commit to the program 100% for the full 30 days. Don’t give myself an excuse to fail before I’ve even started. (Whole30, p.16)

This is important to me. Setting expectations allow me to wrap my mind around the challenge journey. And, my personality compliments setting expectations. If this is the rule, I follow it.

So, here we go! I can do hard things! Yes, I can!

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Cleaning Out to Clean Up!

Yes, I’m starting to wrap my mind around my Whole 30 journey that will begin Monday, July 11th. I’m in the “I have to eat it so I don’t eat it” mode.

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I’m glad to report that the Thomas’ English muffins and waffles are now gone. GONE! NO MORE! But the bagels are still lingering and there is some yogurt. Regardless, I will start to transition my breakfast. The Hershey’s dark chocolate kisses need to go too. As we get ready to leave for vacation I think we will pack some of these snacks and other items with us so when we return they are GONE too. The wine is gone. I’ll have some on vacation, but no more will enter our house until after August 9th. I usually don’t gravitate toward soda but we better take the few cans of Sprite that are hanging around. There is no sense in having temptation waiting for us. Perhaps I’ll replace it with La Croix sparkling water when I feel that need for a little extra oomph or zing of taste. Fortunately, I believe I will have success with my beverages. I’ve been enjoying my cucumber infused water in my glass water bottle and I already drink my tea “straight up” – no sugar or honey added.

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Let’s just get it out there! Here’s what I’ll miss:

  • mozzarella cheese
  • yogurt
  • English muffins
  • ice cream – boy will I miss this!
  • Hershey’s dark chocolate kisses
  • croutons on my salad
  • brie cheese
  • butter
  • mayonnaise
  • burritos
  • Jasmine rice
  • risotto
  • pasta
  • Chinese take-out
  • a glass of wine with dinner

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Again, Matt will be my saving grace. I know with proper food planning I will be able to forget about these items. Well, maybe not ice cream! Possibly this won’t be so bad. I already know that rice can be replaced with cauliflower rice and pasta can be replaced with spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles. How about tomato sauce? That will need to be replaced. Guess, I better go read some more, but I am glad I’m already on the path of cleaning out to clean up!

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thirty days, just thirty days!

So, I said, “yes”! Yes that is to the Whole 30 challenge journey. While it’s been in the back of my mind, I finally decided to make the commitment. The commitment to eat whole foods that taste good and that are good for you-for thirty days, just thirty days. I have asked myself why do the the Whole 30 challenge and honestly I’m not quite sure. So then I replied with a why not. I mean why not do the Whole 30 challenge. Perhaps it’s the fact that Matt will be doing the challenge and I don’t want to be left out. Seriously though, I have nothing to lose and much to gain; I hope!

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What I’m really hoping is that it will help with my sleep, or truthfully, lack there of. I have absolutely no problem falling asleep, but staying asleep is another issue. You see my body only seems to want to sleep for about five hours and then I’m awake, wide awake. By the time I’m ready to fall back asleep, well, then it’s time to rise & shine. Topple that with the fact that I would love to take a nap at about 4:00 pm everyday makes for a very nerve-wracking sleep pattern. That’s my biggest goal for the challenge beside the fact that I want to eat healthier.

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Now that I have said “yes”, I do have some concerns so I want to get them out there. They need to be out there so I can start to wrap my mind around them. My first concern is what am I going to do when I need a quick meal? Pasta is just about always my go to meal when I need something fast and easy. Yes, I LOVE Easy Mac, and I’m not going to lie! I also enjoy cheese and yogurt if I want to pretend I’m making a healthy choice. I’ll be okay giving up bread, um…I think, and I love a bowl of ice cream before I go to bed so I’ll need to find a new night time snack. Perhaps, bananas. I tolerate them but never really look forward to eating them – a bowl of ice cream vs. a banana? Hummm…what would you choose? Well, maybe an apple with some almond butter. That’s a possibility too.

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What else is on my mind? I guess I’m worried about what do we will do when friends want us to go to out to eat. I know… invite them over to eat at our house is what we’ll do. That would be a good alternative. I know that our saving grace will be Matt’s culinary skills. I am so fortunate to have a true chef that studied the culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America. As Matt and I go through our Whole 30 journey, I’ll be sure to share his creations here on the blog!

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Then there is the fact that I do have a conference scheduled only three days into my Whole 30 journey. Thankfully I have some time to think about this and plan accordingly. Also my friend Holly has already completed one round of Whole 30 so I will be seeking her guidance and expertise for those initial days and throughout the thirty days.

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The last issue on my mind is meal prep. As I alluded earlier, I’m concerned about what to do for quick and easy food. This is where meal prep will be important. It will help when when I think there is nothing to eat and it will help me for when I need to eat something quick before a workout or before a run. I’m thinking Sunday, of course, to make sure snacks are prepared and to make sure meals are planned for the week. Breakfast will be easy and Matt will be able to whip something up for dinner lickty-split. I’m just not sure about lunch yet, but I still have a lot of reading to do so I’m sure I’ll come up with something.

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So it’s official! He said “yes” and she said “yes”! The start date for our journey is July 11, 2016, and our journey will end on August 9, 2016. We got this…thirty days, just thirty days!

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we got this!