Archives for posts with tag: Whole30

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Well, today was supposed to be my last day of the Whole30. I was looking forward to crossing that day off my homemade calendar, doing a happy dance, and then having a drink and some ice cream as early the next day as possible.

 

But best laid plans began to crumble a bit last week.

 

I loved how the Whole30 made me feel. I really did get the magic energy they claim it will give you. Not quite tiger blood perhaps, but certainly the toddler mother equivalent.

 

I need all that energy to be a good mom, but the truth is the diet was starting to interfere with my ability to parent well. Cooking from- scratch, compliant meals three times a day for 30 days in a row was hard. And expensive. And time-consuming. I reached a breaking point and no longer felt that doing it up to the bitter end was worth losing my sanity. I was no longer able to use my energy productively in mothering because I was so distracted by how all-consuming the diet was. I do not believe in sticking to a good thing when it’s no longer serving its purpose, so I threw in the towel a couple days early.

 

There are no plans to go hog-wild and eat crazy food. The Whole30 taught me a lot about food formulas that give me energy. I will need to experiment with how to add in less expensive and easier to prepare foods into those formulas, but I can’t imagine abandoning them all together. The before and after pictures are startling. I feel strong, energetic, and beautiful. I did not change sizes or probably lose much weight, but my body regained proportion, my skin is brighter, and I just generally feel wonderful.

 

But, I need to be able to eat a nice (not-fast-food) hamburger without worrying how it was cooked. I need to be able to have a sauce that has added sugar. I need to be able to eat deli meat sometimes. I need to have a restaurant as an option on a crazy day. And I need to be able to have a drink at the end of a long non-holiday-ish holiday.

 

I also have to get my grocery budget under control. This Whole30 was seriously expensive. It worked out OK because we couldn’t eat out or drink alcohol so those budget lines were added to groceries, but even with that it was expensive and not doable long-term.

 

I’m still processing what I learned so I think I’ll post again some further thoughts on the experience when I’ve had time to think a bit more.

Things I’ve learned (so far) on the Whole30:

  1. Doing the Whole30 together as a couple is good for your relationship. You become teammates, fans, encouragers, etc. Plus you have something new to talk about and be excited about together.
  2. My husband can cook! Technically I knew this, but also technically, he didn’t do much cooking. We’ve had to pull together to make it through this week and he’s had to do his fair share of cooking to get his meals ready for the workday.
  3. Doing the dishes isn’t that bad! I’ve maligned dish-washing for years. It’s always been Jason’s job to do the dishes and I would occasionally pitch in when necessary. Lately I’d been trying to do more, especially on his long work days, but this week I’ve washed at least as many dishes as he has. Sharing the load is really working for us. I wonder if that will continue post-Whole30?
  4. Sweet potatoes can be tasty. I’m not a big sweet potato fan. I would eat them as a kid at holiday meals, but let’s be honest – I was eating them because they were essentially dessert with their marshmallows and butter and brown sugar, etc. etc. This week I’ve needed them for energy and hormone stability and I’ve discovered that I really like them with coconut butter. By the way, don’t bother with the expensive store-bought coconut butter (see below for “recipe”). Make your own!
  5. It’s hard to do the Whole30 on a small grocery budget. It would be possible for sure, so if you’re in that camp go ahead and do it. But make sure you plan ahead! Calculate how many ounces and cups and such of food you’ll need for all your meals for the week and make sure you only buy what you need. We are happy to invest money from other areas of the budget (the unused liquor and eating-out budgets), plus other money if necessary. In the end it’s cheaper than doctor’s bills and medicines.
  6. I do not like eating meat very much. I sure hope I find that some of the plant proteins don’t bother me in the reintroduction phase because eating this much meat is a beating.
  7. I’m not an alcoholic. I really did know that already, but that nightly whiskey sure was nice to have. It turns out I was drinking it just because I like it. I’ve had no cravings for whiskey after dinner and without afternoon caffeine I haven’t even been stressed out. Now that afternoon Dr. Pepper or Coke on the other hand…

Coconut Butter

1 Bag of Shredded, Unsweetened Raw Coconut

Pour the bag of coconut into your food processor. Turn it on. Set the timer for 10 minutes. Find something else to do for those 10 minutes. Or stand and watch in awe as that blade transforms your coconut into butter. When the timer goes off, pour the coconut butter into a jar or container. Lick the spoon. And the food processor bowl. And the blade. Just kidding on that last one.

Besides mashing into your roasted sweet potato, coconut butter is delicious mixed into homemade almond butter (which you make the same way) and makes it easier to spread. You can leave it as is or also add in some unsweetened cocoa powder. If you’re not on the Whole30 you could add in some fair-trade chocolate chips or dark chocolate.

         

I’m on Day 5 of the Whole30 now and am firmly in the “I Just Want a Nap” phase with an occasional lingering “Kill All the Things” moment like at breakfast when I could not get a bite in without my son wanting me to look at him and explain what something or other was – or give him a bite of my food. I’m passing more quickly along the detox timeline than what seems to be the average and I’m thankful for that. But that’s not what’s really on my mind.

What I cannot stop wondering at is something the Whole30 is showing me that came as a complete surprise. I never realized how much I was solely relying on my sense of taste, through food and drink, to comfort me. It’s not like I was gorging on fast food or even eating every time I wanted to. I do have pretty good self-control, especially since I went gluten-free 7 years ago. But, still, the sense that I was satisfying when needing comfort was my sense of taste. I was ignoring all my other senses and their ability to provide the same level of comfort without the poor health side effects.

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To fill in my late afternoons when I would usually have a soda or coffee in hand and my energy would be flagging, I’m now turning on music – everything from Gershwin to the Black Eyed Peas. Music is an amazing mood lifter! As a lifelong pianist I should know that, right? Plus it gets me up and dancing which is a little extra exercise. And speaking of extra exercise, I’m also moving around the house, doing more chores, and cleaning all those pots and pans I’m using to cook meals. It feels great to be touching water and clean towels and food, and using my hands to work in my home. I think some of this comes from the real energy I’m starting to see as opposed to the fake sugar energy I was used to relying on.

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I was dreading the after-dinner hours when Nathan is asleep. Usually it’s my put-up-my-feet-have-a-drink-and-dessert time. Instead, I’m finding that I’m not hungry at all, and my thirst is quenched with sparkling water. To fill the time we’ve been playing games as we watch interesting movies which engages our minds, eyes, and ears. And we go to bed earlier.

Today I plan to light candles so I can find comfort through my sense of smell and I’m thinking of ideas for what to look at so I can use my eyes well also. Maybe some art books? Pictures of nature?

Taste? You’re a good friend. But, Sight, Smell, Touch, Hearing? I need you too!