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So far loving my Whole30. On day 12 and I finally had a good run. I ran at regular speed but my HR was significantly lower than pre-Whole30, which is awesome for a distance runner.

My concern is this, I'm recovered(ing) ED gal who has for the past 4 years had on and off bouts with stumbling back into bad restriction habits.

The 4 days of my Whole30 I totally failed at the no snacking thing, even though my snacks were typically pre-workout they weren't template (normally a banana and some chicken or an epic bar).

For the last 8 days I've been following the no snacking rule to a T. Except for once when I was at a work conference and lunch break wasn't for another 2 hours and I broke down and had half a lara bar because my breakfast had been 6 hours before and I totally couldn't concentrate. Other than that, no snacking.

Anyways, I'm noticing that I'm starting to *enjoy* the empty feeling between meals and crave it, therefore my meals themselves are getting smaller and I'm getting anxiety about eating anything at all. For me, this is a trigger into a pattern of bad behavior. Just to verbalized it is a step and hard.

Any advice? And yes I see a ED psychologist. I really really want to continue my Whole30 because I finally feel the tiger blood coming and I'm never bloated, no GI issues running, energy galore, sleeping like 9-10 hours a night etc.

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First, please read this article about the Whole30 and eating disorders, and understand that sometimes Whole30 as it is written is just not right for every single person out there, or it may not be right for you right at this moment in your life, although it may work great for you at some other point. You need to sit down with your ED psychologist and figure out what you need to do to make this work for you.

 

I'm not saying that you're not capable of doing a Whole30, or that you should go back to eating whatever you were eating before Whole30. Just that your particular Whole30 may need a little tweaking at this point. Maybe you can find a way to continue eating Whole30 compliant foods, but without the focus on the meals/no snacks stuff.

 

Second, I want to address the no snacking thing. Yes, ideally you'd eat three meals a day with no snacks. HOWEVER, if you snack on compliant food, you are not a failure. If you are hungry, we want you to eat. We would never expect anyone to go six hours or more between meals, and it makes sense that you couldn't concentrate at that point and needed some food. Was half a larabar the best possible thing you could have eaten? No. Did you ruin your Whole30? Absolutely not. Were your banana and chicken or an epic bar ideal pre-workout snacks? No. But they weren't horrible. All these things are still healthy foods. The idea of not having snacks is really a recommendation. It's not a rule. You could graze all day on Whole30 compliant foods and you would have done a Whole30, even if you never fixed up a plate of food that matched the meal template even once. This article explains the difference between the Whole30 rules and the recommendations.

 

You really need to talk to your psychologist about how you're feeling about that "empty" feeling between meals. I'm not really sure what to tell you on that one, but I think your instinct to bring it up and try to address it is a good one, and you need to talk to someone who has the knowledge and experience to make sure you address it in the best possible way.

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Hi MerAnne,

 

I'm not sure I have any advice for you, but just wanted to say that I know exactly what you're talking about, come from a very similar background, and am also a runner. I am only on day 3 and haven't really started feeling any benefits yet, but my mind is already working overtime on ways to make my meals as small as possible while still technically fitting the template. And while I'm coming into the Whole30 at a fairly low body weight and definitely don't have weight loss as a goal, I'm not gonna say the idea of dropping a few pounds isn't altogether unappealing. So, yeah, I get what you're saying.

 

Anyway, I just keep fighting back against those urges like I've done for so many years, only now I just repeat to myself: "Protein, veggies, fat; protein, veggies, fat."

 

I will say that I attempted a couple of Whole30s about a year ago and at that time was really not ready, in terms of my eating disorder (I have a long history of b/p type anorexia) and other life stressors. So I put it aside for awhile, did a lot of work on my coping skills, my sleep habits, and my relationships, and now I'm coming back to it from a stronger place. So if you end up deciding that that's what you have to do, that's totally okay too! And if I end up doing that again this year, I'm cool with that as well. But hopefully we both make it through the thirty days and come out healthier and stronger.

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Went to bed hungry and shaky last night because I didn't want to snack before bed. Woke up incredibly nauseated. I choked down a quarter of a sweet potato and one of my pre-made egg/kale/Zucchini soufflés. Seems to be helping the nausea.

But now I'm so annoyed to be dealing with people's judgments! Why are other people so interested in critiquing healthy eating? My mom started CRYING last night when I brought my kids over to see her saying that I look too thin and why am I doing this. I tried to reassure her by commenting that I'm eating significantly more good whole food than I was prior to WHOLE30 and that it is only doing positive good things for my metabolism and body. I haven't weighed myself (on day 16) and I'm not trying to lose weight, really just get my body fine tuned for running performance and become fat adapted. I just wish people weren't so judgmental!

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Went to bed hungry and shaky last night because I didn't want to snack before bed. Woke up incredibly nauseated. I choked down a quarter of a sweet potato and one of my pre-made egg/kale/Zucchini soufflés. Seems to be helping the nausea.

 

Hi MerAnne, you definitely could have eaten something last night, you obviously were having legitimate hunger.  In light of what happened last night, what are you doing today to ensure that you eat enough throughout the day so as to avoid this?  If you want to post a few days worth of typical food consumption (include portions) and fluids, sleep, stress, exercise etc, we can take a look and see if there are any suggestions for you.

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MerAnne,

  as a runner, you probably need to make sure you are eating starchy veggies a couple times a day. I ate so much food during my first Whole30, and was not trying to lose any weight, but still lost about 8 lbs. So make sure you eat your post-WO protein and starchy veggies, and more at dinner (I find starchy veg at Meal 3 is extremely helpful with getting good, sound sleep at night).

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Definitely eating more at dinner time tonight. Dinner is the hardest meal for me because I'm typically hungry around 5:30/6 and eat with my 2 toddlers. Which is a very distracted and quick meal (I know I am most likely not eating enough due to chasing kids).

Sunday

M1: couple bites of chicken and avocado (pre run)

10 mi run at 8-8:30 pace (had 1/3 Lara bar during run)

post workout: elk burger (had sweet potato baked in it)

M2: 4oz Grilled chicken breast + avocado + cauliflower and broccoli

M3: 4oz salmon, avocado, 1.5 cups of veggies

Monday:

M1: 2 eggs and veggies

90 min hot yoga advanced class

PWO:epic bar

M2: Salad with avocado and 5oz chicken breast

M3: Turkey burger made with kale + avocado and veggies.

Tuesday:

M1: Egg soufflé (eggs, kale, chicken apple sauce)

And 1/4 cup sweet potato (4:30am)

M2: Turkey burger and veggies (10am)

M3: avocado, 1/4 cup spaghetti squash and 3oz sliced turkey (12pm)

run (6miles)

M4: chicken breast, veggies with coconut oil

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Hmm, it's hard to tell what your timing is but you seem to be using pre and post workout food as actual meals when in fact they are in addition to the three meals a day you should be eating.  Sunday for sure you are missing an entire meal in your day.  Should look a bit more like this (changes shown in blue):

 

PRE workout: couple bites of chicken and avocado (pre run) 

10 mi run at 8-8:30 pace (had 1/3 Lara bar during run)

post workout: elk burger (had sweet potato baked in it) 

 

M1: full template meal

M2: 4oz Grilled chicken breast + avocado + cauliflower and broccoli

 

M3: 4oz salmon, avocado, 1.5 cups of veggies 

 

How much is 4 oz chicken or 4 oz salmon as it relates to your palm? Length, width and thickness.  I would recommend you stop weighing your food and start eyeballing it based on your palm/thumb size.  You could probably also afford to be eating more veggies overall.

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On Sunday timing was def a challenge. I had gone to bed late due to a kid with the stomach flu and slept in until 8:30. Ate pre workout at 9:30. I did my run during nap time 10-11:15. PWO 11:30. M2 at 1:30 and M3 at 6. In bed by 9. Missing a meal on a high caloric burn day is probably what left me shaky on Monday.

4oz is about 3/4 of my palm and 6 is my full palm. I'll stick to palm sizes from now on thank you!

I need to work on dinner though as that is probably my smallest and most hurried meal of the day thanks to kids. My husband is in law school at night so I have zero help with kids-dinner-baths-bed. Maybe I need to just add another template meal around 8-8:30 with some starchy veggies to see if that helps, especially if one of my meals was really a post workout.

I haven't been doing any nuts or nut butter (except for the 1/3 of a Lara bar on my run) but should I add them in? When I eat veggies with a meal it is always at-least 2 cups, I'm a veggie lover.

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I haven't been doing any nuts or nut butter (except for the 1/3 of a Lara bar on my run) but should I add them in? When I eat veggies with a meal it is always at-least 2 cups, I'm a veggie lover.

Your revisions sound good.  Adding in nuts and their butters isn't necessary.  Nuts are notoriously hard on so many people's digestive systems, they are imbalanced in their fatty acid profiles and they can be a food without brakes (hard to stop once you start) for so many people.  If you aren't currently nutting, don't start now. ;)  If you are looking for alternate fat sources you can try ghee, olive oil drizzled on food, guacamole, homemade mayo, fattier cuts of meat, salmon with the skin on, sunshine sauce, hollandaise sauce, olives, ranch dressing etc.

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I think the sauce thing is hardest for me, I'm so used to an incredibly bland diet (sauces of all kinds have always upset my tummy-always had allergic reactions to soy and dairy since I was little). It's a change for me to add an additional flavor to veggies of meat. I am enjoying coconut oil with my veggies, something totally new to me. Thanks for the advice!

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