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Every time it gets easier


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I just completed my third or 4th Whole30, after doing my first one about a year and a half ago.  I don't have any big health challenges that I overcame, mine is a small by typical story, I think.  I lost weight, I feel fantastic, I sleep better, I have no hunger issues, I almost never feel a need to snack between meals, all the usual results.  I bought a car after week 2, and ended up stuck at the dealership until 4PM without any food (no lunch was had that day), and even though I was hungry, I sure as heck wasn't hungry enough to eat something from the vending machine.  I waited until I could get to a grocery store and ate some hard boiled eggs to tide me over until I could get home and cook dinner.  That's what it means to be free of food issues, in my mind.  I appreciate it when my hunger mechanism voices its opinion, but *I* decide when I eat, thankyouverymuch. 


Each time I've done a Whole30, it got easier, but I crashed quickly upon completion.  I almost gave up entirely because if you can only live an extreme existence, and you clearly can't live it all the time, then that's not right for you.  But this time I have reintroduced legumes (that went great), alcohol (followed by a raging cold which I'm trying to separate in my mind, but emotionally seems consequential!), dairy, corn, and last night I had teriyaki salmon which I know had sugar and soy in it in some form.  These re-intros were each one day long or so, and I did not fall apart.  When I reheated some lasagna for my family for dinner tonight I did not eat it, but instead roasted a spaghetti squash for myself and doused it in a healthy portion of meat sauce (old me would have said "I'm not on a Whole30, so bring it on!").  I told myself that if after my squash and the broccoli side I still wanted lasagna, then I'd eat it.  Of course, I didn't.


I've learned:


- Force yourself to eat something compliant before you can have the noncompliant food. It's not that you can't eat it, you just can't eat it first.  On a full stomach, the non-compliant food just doesn't look that tempting.


- Have your own go-tos, which will be different from other people's and might take a long time to figure out.  Mine is some type of ground meat sauteed in italian sausage seasonings and marinara sauce, which I can throw on spaghetti squash, zoodles, sweet potatoes, or as a last resort in an omelet.  I also relied on green smoothies, which I know are discouraged, but having about 2 per week with no sweetener, very little fruit, and some protein on the side made this a great experience for me.


- I once heard an a TV show director say that if an episode wasn't working, he took out his favorite thing about it and it would usually work, the idea being that if it's his favorite part, he's blind to the fact that it's ruining the episode.  I love Asian food.  This time around, I faced the fact that I do not like asian food without soy sauce and hate all substitutes for it, so I decided my entire Whole30 had to be asian-food-free.  Worked like a charm.  Better fantastic Mexican or Italian than crappy Asian.


- Make healthy meals be your fast food.  I discovered mason jar salads and made them by the batch at the beginning of the week.  Even my autistic stepson started taking them to work (this is a guy who's adamantly refused to eat "leaves" his whole life, but Mason Jar Salads look so pretty he gave them a shot).  If you can have a gorgeous salad within 2 minutes of walking into your door, you have no excuse at all not to eat well.


Tomorrow I'm going to a football game, and have decided that if I want something in the stadium, I'll get it.  Of course I'm bringing my own food for the main meals, but after over a month and a half of near perfection, something really bad won't be an instant killer.  However, I have a sneaking suspicion that once I get there and see / smell that food, I'll decide I don't want it.  That's the great thing about going Paleo. I feel and healthy and in control enough to something make bad choices, knowing I'll be back on the wagon again.

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Eating compliant foods first is such a good idea!!!! I finished my first whole30 18 days ago and since then I've been mostly compliant but sometimes I eat before giving myself a chance to think about it. From now on I will try to eat compliant foods first THEN see if I really want the non-compliant food I had been craving =) And congrats on your success!!!

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