a few months later


dana

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Greetings all,

so happy to have this forum!

i completed my first no-cheat whole30 in january--prior to that, i was already eating "primal" for the most part, except for weekends--which in general were food-health disasters.

the whole30 was so incredibly worthwhile--totally shifted my diet and food preferences/cravings around in ways "just" eating primal had failed to do.

after finishing on jan 30, i initially experimented with adding things back in, but soon found myself settling back into a whole30 diet. since then, any rare "cheats" are usually foods that are primal but not whole30-compliant. and they almost always happen on special out-to-dinner occasions.

oh, one thing i should perhaps note so far as following the whole30 guidelines during and after jan: very early on, i started deviating from the whole30 meal schedule plan. typically (then and now), i eat two meals--brunch & dinner--with no snacks. for "breakfast" and sometimes again in the late afternoon, i have coffee/tea with 1tsp of MCT oil and 2Tbs coconut milk. i usually work out (CF or bikram) fasted except for that version of "bulletproof coffee". i've found this arrangement ideal for my lifestyle/workouts and for keeping me totally sated but out of "weight-gaining mode".

while on my "official" whole30 and now, in the months after, i honestly don't find sticking to whole30 foods and the above meal schedule difficult. i can eat food i really enjoy in big portions and not feel gross afterwards. it just took a month of "no choice" about this in Jan for cravings for new, whole30 comfort foods to replace cravings for old, unhealthy comfort foods.

BUT...there's ONE major exception. i'm now drinking red wine with dinner on a pretty regular basis. i loved being totally alcohol free during the Jan Whole30 and part of me is super-frustrated with myself for not returning to that now, seeing as i liked it so much. i'm not getting drunk on wine, but do notice easier weight gain and fluid retention. plus, i just feel gross about going off the full whole30 plan. unlike in Jan, i'm currently staying with family and wine with dinner is part of the pattern (though, with the rest of food/beverages, i've managed to easily and effortlessly "hold my own" regardless of what others eat/drink).

any thoughts? thanks!

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Dana: Thanks for posting! I seem to be the only other one who struggles with this. I'm happy to be in such fine company! Going back to the habits post of a few Mondays ago, I have tried to determine what my triggers are for drinking in the evenings. I have noticed two things: 1. My husband is often gone and we really enjoy our evenings together on our patio 2. I like sweet wine and was using this as a replacement for removing other sugars. I recently stayed alcohol-free for 12 days to determine my triggers. I'm not sure where to go from here! I could use some help with this too! Thanks!

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hey Suzie,

glad to know i'm not the only one sorting this out! for sure, part of it for me is that, plain and simple, i just really like red wine, particularly when it's cold outside.

but the other thing is i tend to be all or nothing--when it comes to food, i find it way easier just to stay fully whole30 compliant rather than add in this or that. less choice = less stress/preoccupation--plus i just love whole30-compliant food, so why mess with it. with alcohol--choosing to stay off of it while on an "official" whole30 was easy, because i took the choice away--so again, never had to think about it--all or (in this case) nothing. BUT once i'm in the pattern of having wine with dinner, it's hard to break that pattern without giving it up completely and NEVER having it with dinner. for me, that's WAY easier than having it every once in a while. but i don't want this to be the case--i'd much rather be able to enjoy wine with dinner a couple nights a week and that's it.

because red wine--and dark chocolate, for that matter--are considered "ok" in the wider primal community (i'm thinking Marks Daily Apple, for instance), it makes giving it up completely that much harder (particularly since otherwise, i'm still whole30 compliant months after completing a real whole30).

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So, my first question is whether or not you've read this post yet? http://whole9life.com/2012/01/ride-your-own-bike-2/

Yes, it is a scary place out there without rules and guidelines. Yes, it's a lot easier to live in a world of black or white food choices, but I wouldn't stay there any longer than you need to. If you can't trust yourself having free reign on red wine post Whole30, try setting up your own rule about it. "I'm only going to have one glass every other week" or something like that.

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Dana:

I too am all or nothing! Haven't had gum in a year and a half because it is a direct link to immediately drinking Dr. Pepper! So I stay away completely. I am pondering doing the same with my wine. Setting my own rule is just too slippery a slope. Please let me know what you come up with! It sounds like we are definitely on the same page!

Renee Lee: Yes I read that post. Just reread it in fact. Starting a shorter version (weekend, week, etc.) really resonated with me!

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hey Renee Lee,

Yes, i read that post toward the end of my whole30 and really appreciated it--probably is about time for a re-read, so thanks for the reminder.

For the most part, i feel good about things in that area. i simply like eating whole30 food most of the time--feels good, tastes good, best for my body-mind-emotions overall. i do give myself leeway when going out to eat every 2 weeks or so, and i do buy a dark chocolate bar from time to time. but, the day after eating out, i'm very aware how sub-optimal i feel physically, so why not just stick to the "rules" most of the time if that's what makes me feel the best AND i love the food anyway?

But drinking wine is different somehow, and i do think it can be a slippery slope. the amount i'm drinking is considered "healthy" by most, including in the "primal" crowd. Still...it's just that i'm also aware how incredibly clear i feel after going weeks or months without alcohol. being aware of that difference, i find it hard to settle on some other place--for myself (i'm certainly not talking about anyone else and what works best for them).

Suzie,

i agree--sounds like a good idea to pick a shorter timespan and do another totally clean, but abbreviated whole30 about now. maybe i'll plan on next monday thru friday...perhaps as a "practice-run" of limiting wine with dinner to weekend nights in the future. we'll see. work in progress, and all that:)

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Maybe instead of buying a $10 bottle of wine and having a glass every evening, buy a $25 really nice organic one and have it over the weekend? I know I am less likely to open a bottle "just because" if I've only the really good stuff at home.

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Thanks for this....and not just because you share my name ! *squeal*

I struggle with binge eating, a very different thing than you are talking about...but it really resonated with me when you talk about how much better you feel on W30, and how aware you are of feeling sub-optimal when you deviate. I have found this to be true for me...but one day of eating sugar can really set me back, I'll be interested to know how you do...thanks for the post.

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Maybe instead of buying a $10 bottle of wine and having a glass every evening, buy a $25 really nice organic one and have it over the weekend? I know I am less likely to open a bottle "just because" if I've only the really good stuff at home.

thanks for the suggestion, Dervalc. it's a very good one--normally, that's exactly the sort of thing i'd do (or, regardless of the cost/quality, i just didn't keep it or any other "treat" in the house--instead buying day-of with specific intentions to treat myself that night/weekend). but i'm temporarily staying with family who always have wine on hand and drink it at dinner. eventually, i'll get back to my regular ways...but since i might be here a year, i'm afraid of falling into un-helpful patterns meanwhile.

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Thanks for this....and not just because you share my name ! *squeal*

I struggle with binge eating, a very different thing than you are talking about...but it really resonated with me when you talk about how much better you feel on W30, and how aware you are of feeling sub-optimal when you deviate. I have found this to be true for me...but one day of eating sugar can really set me back, I'll be interested to know how you do...thanks for the post.

hey danago!

one thing i will say--that might offer you some hope--is that before transitioning to a primal diet, i had a major sweet tooth (i was also a vegetarian for about a decade, until my mid-20s or so--i'm 37 now). getting lots of animal-meat protein and fats&oils made a tremendous difference. but...i'd still crave baked goods because they were "comforting"...before my whole30 in jan, i ate a muffin for breakfast every single day. during the whole30, my cravings totally shifted because i was "forced" to find new comfort foods (though i did transition with larabars--the kind only containing nuts and fruit). what i found super-surprising was that once the whole30 ended, i didn't want to go back to the muffins...and the vestiges of my sweet tooth have been disappearing more and more ever since (to the point that i'd much rather have a second helping of meat for dessert than something sweet, and i don't even like to eat too much fruit). for someone who used to be hooked on muffins--and before that cookies, and before that donuts, etc., etc....this has been a wonderful benefit of first, going primal, and second, doing the whole30.

i do go out and buy a really good, organic, expensive dark chocolate bar sometimes (kinda along the lines of the quality wine suggestion above), but otherwise keep focused on the other stuff i've come to love eating.

good luck to you!

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Dana, thanks for replying. I'm definitely a carbs/bread girl. Gimmie the bread! That said, I find when I eat clean my cravings are way, way, way down. (In fact, since I've been binge eating this week, I realize I've set myself up for a fall/energy low for the next couple of weeks)

I'm looking forward to reading more about your journey. (Is there another word besides "journey?" I want a synonym but nothing sounds right! It just seems kinda over-used, ya know?!)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I feel like if something is causing you a problem and making you unhappy (or makes you feel unhealthy), then maybe it is something you should just completely avoid. For me, even eating a small amount of dark chocolate makes me feel out of control, irritable, and it messes with my sleep. There is no simply way for me to "have some now and then" and still feel good. For some, that is alcohol or other foods.

For someone who used to drink and now doesn't, but lives in the freaking beer capital of the country, you can get to a place where you don't miss it and people don't react because you're not having a drink. I go to bars with friends a lot, and just don't drink because I'm not willing to give up my good night's sleep and the whole next day for one drink. Nobody even cares.

I think you just have to make a choice about how negatively this is affecting you and what keeping it around is really worth. If it's not so bad, then make a stand and only have it now and then.

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