Noelle

Relax. Eat. Repeat.

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Very wise! We sometimes feel like we need to keep changing things up, but that is just exhausting!

It's true—exhausting and unnecessary!

I'm (still) always looking for that magic ONE thing that's going to make all the difference, but such a thing doesn't exist. Unless that thing is patience.

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Things I Know Work

  • hydration - start the day with a big glass of water, and aim for 2.5-3 liters daily
  • vegetables at every meal
  • fat - 2 servings per meal
  • ballet
  • other movement - aerobics, weight-training, elliptical, walking
Interesting side-note: the things that throw me off-course all start with S: stress, sweets, snacks, seconds, starvation, sleep(-deprivation), social situations, and special occasions.

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- Thursday -

B: half-decaf coffee

Breakfast bowl: canned salmon, shredded romaine, cooked carrots, fermented pickle, diced avocado, lemon-flavored cod liver oil

L: Cracklin' Chicken (Nom Nom Paleo), sautéed kale, pumpkin seeds

Almond milk matcha latte

P.M.: pineapple kombucha

D: delicata squash, slow-cooked turkey wing meat, spinach, ghee

***

SERIOUS shoulder pain today. A delayed reaction from sugar and oats, or just tension-related? Times are stressful right now.

Today is Day 2 of my WholeWhatever-It-Takes-to-Feel-Good-Enough-To-Reintro. And I really want candy, naturally. I'm anxious, feeling spread very thin, and under-carbed for the day. I could emotionally-eat a big cup of rice right now.

I also took "progress pictures" today. No progress. On the one hand, at least I'm not looking any worse. On the other, I'm definitely not looking any better. I'd like to make some aesthetic progress before vacation, which will undoubtedly involve upping my exercise game. Not thinking about it tonight, though. I'm wiped out.

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-

I also took "progress pictures" today. No progress. On the one hand, at least I'm not looking any worse. On the other, I'm definitely not looking any better. I'd like to make some aesthetic progress before vacation, which will undoubtedly involve upping my exercise game. Not thinking about it tonight, though. I'm wiped out.

you might not see the progress.....  maybe show the pictures to someone else.  I know I felt the same way but my daughter was like "absolutely - you can see a difference."   don't forget the NSV - looser clothes, maybe more energy, better sleep.

 

Just a thought-  and you are doing great !! :D

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It's Saturday morning as I'm logging this, so I've had time to reflect.

- Friday -

Breakfast was not big enough: salmon, romaine, kale, avocado, pumpkin seeds, half-decaf coffee

Lunch was also not big enough: bacon, lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, delicata squash, ghee

Snack I: almond milk matcha latte, fermented pickle

Snack II: pineapple kombucha, baked sweet potato, almond butter

Dinner, eaten in courses, because I didn't pack a big enough picnic: garlic-sage turkey patties, baked sweet potato, sunflower seeds, coconut flour snickerdoodles, watermelon, cantaloupe, almond butter, banana

Snack III: tortilla chips, half a Seattle Chocolates Birthday Batter truffle bar, granola (oats, sunflower seeds, coconut oil, maple syrup)

***

So that's what a sub-optimal day looks like. My daughter was sick (throwing up and wanting to nurse constantly), my son was in a play (fun, but also challenging), and I caved to the stress. So I *~!#ed up my reset for reintros. Again.

I woke up feeling extremely guilty (and congested—yuck), and then I realized: I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't eat according to my goals, but there's a big difference between that and doing something to harm someone else. (That's what guilt is for. Not "I ate grains and sugar when I was aiming to avoid them.") And if organic corn tortilla chips and gluten-free rolled oats and grade-B maple syrup and high-quality, local candy candy are the worst things in my diet, so be it.

I'm great at telling other people, "Eat more. Eat more carbs. Don't restrict." But following my own advice is hard.

But I'm owning my choices. I chose to under-eat. Then I chose to overeat. I chose munchy, carby things because I need carbohydrates to support my hormones, make breast milk, and boost serotonin levels in my brain. I wanted happy-brain chemicals and comfort after a hard day with a busy kid and a sick kid. None of that makes me a bad person. None of that means I "failed."

There it is. Good vibes only for the rest of today. The past is in the past.

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- Saturday -

Breakfast: Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup (Well Fed 2) with salmon

Half-decaf coffee

Lunch: macadamia nuts, almond milk matcha latte, kombucha

Dinner: lean beef patty, cooked carrots with ghee, dandelion greens, romaine, heirloom tomato, avocado, square of Go Raw super raw chocolate

***

Happy with how that went.

---

Update: All right, it seems worth mentioning that I've had stiffness in my hips all day, I'm a little congested, and this evening, I'm having some lower GI discomfort (to the tune of pain and "pressure," I guess you'd say. It feels like the kind of "blocked up" I often get when I travel).

I'm still feeling really positive and good about today, though.

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- Sunday -

Breakfast: "leftovers hash": ground beef, a tiny bit of ham (2/3 oz), bacon, green pepper, sweet potato, ghee

2 small mugs decaf coffee

Snack: sardines canned in olive oil, homemade taro chips

Lunch: macadamias, almond milk matcha latte, kombucha

Dinner: salmon, green beans, yucca mashed with almond milk and ghee, kombucha

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- Monday -

Breakfast: hamburger patty, zucchini, kale, sweet potato, ghee, fermented pico de gallo, kombucha

Almond milk matcha latte

Lunch: slow-cooked pork shoulder with Sunrise Spice (Well Fed 2), green beans, delicata squash

Dinner: pumpkin seeds (ate these while preparing dinner), buffalo meatballs with kalamata olives, spinach, HUGE baked potato with ghee, cantaloupe

Exercise: 20 minutes or so of weightlifting, inspired by the home program in Live Young Forever by Jack LaLanne

***

An acquaintance started Whole30 today, and I decided to mostly do it with her (save the sugar in my home-cured corned beef). I cut out eggs a few days ago, and I'm going to stick with that, to see if my digestion evens out a little.

I'm also doing something very not in the spirit of Whole30, and tracking my nutrition—carbohydrates in particular. I'm convinced that some of my cravings and urges to binge come from not just under-eating, but under-carbing. I did lots of research into how much carbohydrate I should be eating in a day, and I got wildly different answers. I know from previous experience that anything under 100g total carbs leaves me feeling underfed, regardless of how much fat I eat. The Paleo experts on women's hormones suggest 100-150g daily, which is still pretty low, I think. I'm aiming for around 175g total carbs daily, which I decided on based on that recommendation plus the fact that I'm still breastfeeding.

I shook my fat-phobia sometime around my 2nd Whole30; now it's time to shake my carb-phobia as well.

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- Tuesday -

Breakfast: cooked carrots blended with bone broth, pork shoulder, kombucha

Almond milk matcha latte

Lunch: pumpkin seeds (ate these immediately after walking in the door, nursed my daughter, then sat down to a proper lunch), baked potato topped with green beans, salmon, and olive oil; 1/2 cup diced watermelon with 3/4 cup fermented pico de gallo; plum kombucha (plum-bucha?)

Not the Most Balanced Snack: plain baked potato

Dinner: sardines in olive oil, cucumber-and-pickled-onion salad, olives

Total carbohydrates: 177g

Exercise: 30 minutes elliptical (intervals)

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- Wednesday Morning Thoughts -

I bonked out so hard last night. I'd planned to stretch and maybe foam-roll, but after my elliptical intervals I just wanted to REST. So I did.

I love how easy it's getting to prep W30 meals in advance. I don't even think about it much. Just: what's my protein? What's my fat? What's my veggie? And now, What's my starch?

I realized that my current 30-day elimination period ends on the last day of summer, which seems beautifully symbolic. I'll also have time to test 7 foods before vacation. I'll probably do: eggs, dairy, gluten, corn, rice, soy, and peanuts. I'd also like to test oats at some point, and legumes other than peanuts (I do enjoy some black beans with my Mexican food!). I might also drop one of those (peanuts, maybe) and do whites and yolks separately. Except I think I'm unlikely to eat them separately in my WholeNoelle WholeLife. And before you say "mayo," I should mention that I'm that stressed-out person Melissa Hartwig claims doesn't exist: I will come home from a hard day and drown my sorrows in a jar of mayo. So mayo is off the menu for now.

Ah, trigger foods. I have so much trouble with that idea. Calling something the "trigger" really takes responsibility off of US and our habits: "I can't help it, I was triggered!" It puts all the power on the food (or the situation), and divorces us from our very real power to say, "No."

Not that I'm any kind of expert here. I hope to master the One Bite Rule. One of the reasons I'm quietly W30-ing over here is my habit of continuing to eat something "not worth it" just because I told myself I could.

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- Wednesday -

Breakfast: buffalo burger, sweet potato, carrot, kale, ghee, kombucha

Almond milk matcha latte

Lunch: pork shoulder, baked potato, olive oil

GIANT salad with cucumbers, pickled onion, fermented pico de gallo, and watermelon

Kombucha

Dinner: hidden liver meatloaf, delicata squash with ghee

Total carbohydrate: 175g

Exercise: nothing, but I cleaned out a good chunk of the garage this afternoon

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Well, THAT was no fun! I woke up at midnight, hungry. I got up, used the bathroom, went back to bed. Woke up at 1:00 AM, with my body screaming, "I need fuel...now!" so I ate a meal in the middle of the night and went back to bed.

What the-? I can only assume I'm inadvertently undereating. In fact, I'm certain my body thinks I'm undereating, because I've only ever gotten the "eat now!" signal when I was intentionally starving myself.

I feel a little...emotionally tender this morning. I understand things like this happening when I'm doing something to hurt myself, but when I'm actively trying to heal? I feel...misunderstood, I guess? By my own body. That's so odd.

Not to toot my own horn, but I think I give pretty solid advice to others on the forums; if I were replying to my own thread, I'd probably say:

  • you didn't do anything wrong. You ate some food—good food, in fact.
  • your body needs more than you're giving it, and that's okay! it's probably more than okay, because it means your metabolism is alive and well, and your body is trying its best to heal.
  • weight-maintenance, just like weight-loss, is a.) not linear, and b.) not one-size-fits-all.
  • yes, you're not an athlete, but you mother a spirited preschooler full-time, you're on your feet a good chunk of the day, and you're still breastfeeding often! You're breastfeeding right now! You're allowed to be hungry!

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Not to toot my own horn, but I think I give pretty solid advice to others on the forums; if I were replying to my own thread, I'd probably say:

  • you didn't do anything wrong. You ate some food—good food, in fact.
  • your body needs more than you're giving it, and that's okay! it's probably more than okay, because it means your metabolism is alive and well, and your body is trying its best to heal.
  • weight-maintenance, just like weight-loss, is a.) not linear, and b.) not one-size-fits-all.
  • yes, you're not an athlete, but you mother a spirited preschooler full-time, you're on your feet a good chunk of the day, and you're still breastfeeding often! You're breastfeeding right now! You're allowed to be hungry!

 

 

All of that is really good advice! It may be that your body is now so happy you're feeing it truly nutritious food it had a moment of freedom and wanted a bit more. And that's okay!  And yes, if you are breastfeeding you most likely are under fueled.  Everything I've read on the boards says you should be having snacks or even a 4th meal in addition to your 3 mains if you BF.   You listened to your body and gave it what it needed. this is a thing to cheer about!

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- Thursday -

Midnight Snack: pork shoulder, sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds

Breakfast: hidden liver meatloaf, delicata squash, ghee, almond milk matcha latte

Lunch: salmon/pico de gallo/watermelon salad, baked potato, kale, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, kombucha

Snack: more kombucha

Dinner: Cracklin' Chicken (Nom Nom Paleo), salad with romaine, cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, and sugar snap peas, yet more kombucha (my home brew has really taken off, and it's absolutely delicious!)

Total carbohydrate: 240g!

Exercise: slow walk with my daughter, a little under 2 miles total

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Such an odd, non-W30 morning. I was up to nurse at 6:something AM, and then had to fast for a blood draw with plans to go directly from the lab to Trader Joe's (it's grocery day, two days late!). I'm not a smoothie person, but I blended up some coconut meat, hempseed, and cantaloupe to take along for afterwards. Then of course there was a long wait at the lab. Two hours fifteen minutes after waking up, I got my smoothie down. It was not bad, but kind of grainy and definitely not my preferred breakfast. I felt fine. Shopped, had two wee Trader Joe's cups of coffee...and say what you want about coffee being an appetite suppressant, I was famished by the time we got home, and my stomach was a little upset. A banana, an ounce of plantain chips, and 20 oz of water helped, plus I got to take my morning supplement, which is forgotten to bring with me.

I didn't eat anything non-compliant, but going against the guidelines makes me feel like a big cheater. Oh, the food mind-games we play with ourselves...

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- Friday -

Breakfast: smoothie with coconut meat, hempseed, and cantaloupe

Snack: coffee, plantain chips, banana

Lunch: salmon, fermented pico de gallo, romaine, delicata squash, garlic-infused olive oil

Snack: lemon-ginger kombucha

Dinner: tablespoon of pumpkin seeds and bite of sauerkraut (ate these while prepping), roast chicken, baby Yukon gold potatoes, asparagus, kombucha

Total carbohydrate: 178g

Exercise: 20 minutes circuit training

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I've been off my routine for a few days, and it already shoes in my mood, energy, and body composition. My "fat pants" are too tight today. I understand that's not necessarily indicative of fat gain, but I'm uncomfortable in my "comfortable" clothes. Things stick out more than they used to.

I keep making these really long-term goals for myself—"I will work out every other day...forever!"—and then getting overwhelmed when life gets in the way, and then feeling like a failure. No good.

Instead, I'm going to start taking it one week at a time. I have my workouts (three of them) planned and on the calendar. I'm eating three balanced meals. I'm not going to listen to podcasts or read books or look at Instagram feeds that make me feel like I should be "tweaking" things. I'm doing what I know works this week:

  • No slacking
  • No snacking
  • No "hacking"

One week at a time.

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Yesterday went off without a hitch. No problems at all...except my intense desire for a snack or some "fun food" while watching TV at night. I thought I'd slayed my Snack Dragon during my recent 60 days, but old habits! They're persistent, to say the least!

I didn't cave, but man, I was cranky about it.

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Okay, no eggs = no diarrhea.

My bowels have been surprisingly happy on this not-quite-Whole30-minus-eggs. I'll reintroduce eggs later this month, but man, I'm enjoying having almost-normal bowel movements.

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sounds like you are on your way to figuring out what works for you !!!!  Hang in there.   I also was snacking and had to stop - cuz it was leading to mindless hand to mouth - with no hunger involved.  Keep up your hard work.

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sounds like you are on your way to figuring out what works for you !!!!

Definitely! I haven't been logging my food here because I just got kind of tired of doing it, honestly, but I'm coming to a place where Whole30 eating is really natural and...intuitive? Maybe?

The keys right now seem to be: no snacking (i.e. Eating enough at mealtimes that I don't NEED to snack), eating enough (but not too many) carbohydrates, and chilling the eff out. That last one is easier said than done, but the more I take pressure off myself, the easier this way of eating seems to be.

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It's been a while. I fell into a chocolate-covered starvation-diet depression hole. The nutrient-dense-food binge weeks that followed weren't pretty, either.

The good news is that it only took me about a week of Whole30 eating to start feeling a little less crazy, mentally. I'm on Day 9 of a Whole12, and feeling pretty good. I'm still working on dialing in my portions, being mindful of my hunger (actual body hunger, not "mouth hunger," or "I'm used to eating at this time" hunger), and exercising when I feel like moving, and not as a way to "purge" my food.

I'm encouraged that my periods have been regular since September, even through all this nonsense, and based on my fertility signs and symptoms, my hormones are actually doing really well! I'm starting to enjoy food again—as in, being around food is no longer upsetting and stressful in and of itself.

I'm experimenting with having a large serving of carb-dense foods (vegetables and fruit) 2-3 times a day. That still feels scary. But I know from (way too much) experience that when I under-eat carbs, I "find" them in the form of binges. Carbs, it seems, work for me—but Mark Sisson's "anything over 150g a day leads to insidious weight-gain, blah-blah-blah" warning echoes in my head every time I load my plate with potatoes or reach for a banana.

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