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Just Finished My Mermaid Whole30


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My Spin on My First Whole30


Turning it into a Mermaid Whole30

I'm getting married in August, and am going to offer myself to my fiancé as a healthy, happy, beautiful bride. I live on the coast of California (and grew up on Disney), so I thought to myself: what could be more beautiful than a mermaid?  Eating, swimming, thriving, living.  I'm not actually swimming in the ocean (yet), but you'll see from what I've written below the changes that I have made to put this aquatic spin on my first Whole30.





In My Toolbox


Wild harvest: we fish and hunt (because this mermaid still has legs).  The cases of canned albacore stacked in the garage are suddenly getting a lot more attention from me (not just for tuna noodle casserole anymore), and I've made quite a dent in the venison in the in the freezer.


Remembering the hand and the fish: my most vivid mental images were of the portion sizes, (thumb of fat; palm of protein, etc.) and that fish from the newsletter.  You know, the one that says “If you're hungry enough to eat this fish with broccoli...â€


Duck eggs! Luscious, rich, ginormous, delectable duck eggs!  I have two laying ducks who provided me with the most decadent breakfasts.  Thank you, ladies.


Fresh seafood: we have excellent fresh seafood markets, so I've taken full advantage.


Baths: long soaks in the tub in Dead Sea salts and essential oils; they really help with muscle aches and stress.  


Wearing the right gear: you know how putting on an apron changes dinner?--well, putting on the right clothes for each task makes all the difference.  I wore my special one-piece swimsuit to water aerobics, and my specially ordered water shoes.  I also wore my under armour cold gear for jogging, and real running shoes.  No schlubbing out of the house in what doubles as pajamas.  


Prayer: continually checking in with God for repentance, strength and guidance.


What Went Well


Good, encouraging people

My fiancé and my mom were so very encouraging, even going so far as explaining the Whole30 (as best they could) to others.  


Energy equals exercise  

I started going to water aerobics about 5 days per week with my mom, and now I've finally found a kind of exercise that I really enjoy.  And it's hard--not just for little old ladies!  I also went back to a walk/jog app that I like called Couch25K; it's for non-runners like me who need a little bit more encouragement to get out and try to jog.  I like to do my C25K next to the ocean; there's something refreshing about the spray and steeping in all those negative ions.  


Where are all my nasty allergies?  

I'm not out of the woods yet, but this past 30 days have been disturbingly itch- and sneeze-free.  I say disturbingly because being terribly allergic has become part of my identity.  What's going on here?  Normally I'm a mess from tree pollen, grasses, dust, cat dander, dog dander, etc. etc. (I've been tested for allergies and my list is very long).  I tested negative for food allergies, but perhaps cleaning up my act with food has affected my “everything else†allergies. 


Skin, Hair & Nails

Lookin' good, Jennie.  Lookin' good.  I've tried to be better with daily face wash, moisturizer, and treatments, and my skin has cleared up considerably.  


Sizing Down

I had to go buy a suit for a special event, so my best friend (and Whole30 vet) and I went shopping.  I asked for an 8, my tried and true norm, but it fit . . . terribly.  The saleswoman brought me a 6 (there's no way I'm a freaking 6), but sure enough, it fit beautifully.  That was day 14.  Now none of my pants are fitting right.  Day 31 weigh in revealed that I lost 8 pounds.


Food Tastes Good 

Red lettuce, purple cabbage, olive oil, vinegar, and tuna?  Oh my gosh, num num num num!  So many foods taste so much better than before.  My sugar cravings have morphed into meat cravings.  I feel like my canines are sharpening! 



Social anxiety and hermity-ness seem to be subsiding a bit.  After all these good things going on, how could they not?  I'm not claiming that my depression is gone, but life is certainly moving better for me.


A New Pair of Lenses

A surprising additional insight I've gained--a new pair of lenses as a restaurant critic.  When it comes to service and food, the little shortcomings about a place that I once considered “minor,†are now blazingly blatant.  Simply asking questions about the food now tells me so much more about the businesses I patronize (or used to).  I've gained a much greater appreciation for the restaurants that go out of their way to accommodate me.  Now that food tastes more flavorful, I can also tell who's serving the best fish in town.  And those that don't?--I can't believe I wasted my time and money putting up with bad service and consuming sub-par food.  Dining establishments in my neck of the woods better step it up a notch.


What could have gone better


That time of the month totally sabotaged me.  I had my hopes up that all of my healthiness would take care of that whole “little evil gnome in my stomach with a knife that lays me out flat†thing.  Nope, he still showed up just as malicious as ever.  Totally knocked me off my exercise momentum for a week.


Sleep cycle: I've yet to get a handle on this.  My brain is abuzz in the evenings, even with the lights out, lying in bed.  Getting up early ruins my day, and does not seem to help me with changing my bedtime.  I need to establish a better routine for this.


Close call: on one of the evenings of the first week, my body walked me over to my fiancés wine glass, with every intention of downing it in one gulp.  It was like riding passenger, only no one was in the driver's seat--a very scary feeling.  This attraction to alcohol, especially red wine, was a struggle throughout my Whole30.  My Whole30 experience could have been much better without the constant temptation.  


What I'll do in the future to keep doing better


Exercise and Food Gathering

Fishing and hunting not only brings home dinner, but doubles as darned good exercise.  Diving is up next for me: it's incredible exercise, and a source of delicious, wild protein.  These activities also keep my food bills low.  If you're interested in this mer-twist on the Whole30, I have a "Mermaid Whole30" board on Pinterest with some fun things.



Now that it's springtime, I can do a bit of gardening with more of a focus on the healthy foods that I'm eating on Whole30.  In the past, I've been of a mind to follow John Jeavons Grow Biointensive model; however, now I see that the GB model is heavy in grains, potatoes, and legumes.  I need to consider a new gardening model, tailored for me that takes into consideration the proteins I provide from hunting, fishing, and keeping animals, while still nurturing the soil in which I grow my food.  And again, it also keeps my food bills low.  


Keep Checking in With My BFF

She's an inspiration.  I wouldn't have (and couldn't have) done it without her.


I'll certainly be sticking with this lifestyle.  The framework of where I live and how I live was already there, I just needed to dive into the bounty surrounding me.  I really don't feel like I'm missing out on anything, and when I look over all that I've written about concerning these past 30 days, I know that what I've gained is worth so much more, not just for myself, but for the person I am for others, and for my community.  What a blessing; all glory goes to Him.


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