5/7 Start - Reintroduction!

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That is such an amazing story, @Susabella627! Your life seems so interesting - topsy turvy perhaps - but interesting. Maybe you should write a book. :) 

Yes, that makes sense about french fries. I guess since reintroduction started I have allowed myself to have them even on days I'm not reintroducing anything because I saw it as the added sugar rule - that we can take it easy on that rule after Day 30. I wonder if that is not right? Hm. I am in a better place with french fries right now, so I guess I am not going to worry about it. (In a better place, meaning, they used to be food-with-no-brakes but I am feeling more in control with them lately). 

I would definitely think long and hard about that cake. I've never really loved cake (I didn't even eat cake at my own wedding - in insisted they give me chocolate covered strawberries) so I feel like much of the reason I had it in the past was social pressure, not actual desire. I run into this problem a lot at the weekly dinners at my in-laws as they ALWAYS prepare some sort of dessert and in the past I have found myself eating it even if it was one of the ones I didn't really like. And sometimes eating a LOT of it, even when I didn't like it. What the heck, right? I currently feel much more empowered to just say "No, thank you," unless it is something specific that I really enjoy so I hope I can put it into practice at our next family dinner (we have been busy lately so haven't had one in a while). As you know, I chose margaritas over cake for my birthday! So I would highly recommend it. :D 

It's interesting to me that food is our go-to for celebrating ANYTHING. And people just stare at you when you don't want to participate like you must be very upset. I wonder where that came from, culturally. I guess probably that if times were good, food was in plenty. This weekend, we are going home for my sister's birthday and to just generally visit family and those weekends almost always revolve around food and beer. I am really trying to encourage my family to do something else as a group - sounds like we MIGHT get to go on a long bike ride, so that will be an exciting change!

I was totally bored with my lunch options when leaving the house this morning so I grabbed some frozen ratatouille and meatballs on my way out the door, but when it came lunch time, I could not bring myself to eat it. What's funny though is that I'm not craving something off-plan or wishing I could have some off-plan ingredient. I just didn't want that specific thing. I ended up ordering a bowl (no pasta) at Piada - chicken, pancetta, arugala, spinach, peppers, cucumbers, and red pepper sauce. I'm not sure exactly what was in the sauce but the color didn't suggest any sort of cream and, even if it did, I'm doing dairy tomorrow so I'm not worried about it. It was REALLY good but much too small and probably not heavy enough in fat so I am still hungry and craving sugar now big time. Argh. I am feeling a little tired today, also, which is probably contributing to my body wanting a quick hit of sugar. I managed to get up for a quick trip to the gym this morning, but was very tired afterward on the drive into work. I think I just went to bed a little too late. Honestly, if there was something around that had JUST dairy in it, I would probably eat it and count it as dairy reintroduction but generally sweets around here have a bunch of other junk, too, so I guess I am, "safe," if that's what we want to call it. Haha.

Hope everyone is having a good day. I so appreciate this outlet to talk through this process!

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@emilyelowe I also am not a big fan of cake, cupcakes, cookies etc with a few exceptions. I make whoopie pies around here for special occasions (everyone's favorite) and definitely my favorite as a kid. After my first whole 30 I made them for Christmas maybe and they were so sweet I couldn't even eat them. I think what was so interesting to me was my daughter (she is 15) really felt strongly that I had to have cake on my birthday - partly because she wants to make me one but in general I guess it's just what we (and by we I mean humans) do. I am going to really focus on changing that within my own family so they realize you don't have to eat cake just BECAUSE it's your birthday!!

Non gluten grains went well, though I am not sure I really had enough of them as I only tried corn. So ate clean yesterday and today and will retest tomorrow. Gonna try rice and maybe oatmeal. Also plan on having some popcorn (popped in coconut oil of course YUM) for movie night with daughter. Then gluten Monday... then I will have tested all the groups and I might just continue on this pattern testing specific items. 

Hope your dairy day is going well Emily


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Exactly, @Susabella627! I run into the same thing with my family and it's such a hard perspective to change. I'm sure being a good example for your daughter is a great place to start for her, though! I had hope when my mom said she was doing a Whole30, but she only made it to Day 21 before she decided to stop. I think she associates alcohol with relaxing so not having it was really hard. It's the same idea as having sweets on your birthday, though. It's just different associations for every person. 

I ended up testing dairy on Tuesday for a number of reasons and confirmed the headache and allergy/mucus/inflammation response. Luckily, I incorporated within an hour or two of going to bed, so I got to sleep through most of the headache. :P I also had way more cravings yesterday after dinner, though, so I'm wondering if maybe the sweet version of dairy is also a gateway food? It may just be that I am anticipating going off-plan this weekend (gluten!) and am always wanting to start early. So not sure about that... Since Tuesday, though, I am having a really hard time with cravings. I am craving sweets and realizing that everything I ever counted on at work has dairy and/or gluten in it. This is probably a good thing because, now that I know how dairy affects me, I have a very good reason to avoid it, which is what's best for me. But I'm also feeling a little overwhelmed by the idea of avoiding chocolate and allthingsfrosted for the rest of forever. And then of course I go into the spinning cycle where I am first disappointed about not having dairy and then I am even more disappointed in myself for even thinking that way. Why do I want to give myself things that are bad for me!?! :wacko:

I've also had some extra itchiness on my scalp since starting reintroduction, so I'm wondering if something off-plan is contributing to my psoriasis/dandruff. I'm not sure exactly when it started, though, so it's hard to say. Starting last night I also have an itchy/painful irritation on my ring finger knuckle, which has now moved down under my rings as well. My husband and I weeded Tuesday night, so I'm wondering if maybe I just got into something? It's so hard to tell when you're trying to pay attention to every little thing! I also probably WANT it to be the yard work's fault because I HATE yard work... :lol:

I am still feeling pretty good when I wake in the morning and made gains at the gym every day this week so far, so that is really exciting. That is feeling like my primary motivation to stick with it, so I hope after I'm done reintroducing things I can just go back to eating almost Whole30 all the time. I feel like I have to reintroduce everything so I know (since the last time I tried to do a slow roll I totally botched it), but I think thinking about those off-plan foods and when I can/can't have them is what's making me think about them at all. So I'm hoping after my final reintro (legumes sometime next week), I will stop thinking about it and truly start feeling like I'm free. #foodfreedomforeverplease 

Thanks for checking in Susabella! Hope everyone else is doing well, too! Have a great rest of the week and weekend! :) 

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Hi All! I'm back from Montreal. I had a great trip! I NAILED my talk and even did some networking. The networking was kind of accidental, but it's possible that I could get another postdoc interview out of it. :) I'm usually terrible at both things (public speaking and networking), so this felt like a very successful trip.

I definitely didn't stick 100% to the plan while out in Montreal, but I think I did pretty well in some respects. I avoided most dairy and found that some of the really embarrassing GI symptoms did not reappear. YAY!!! :D Gluten was very hard to avoid as were the desserts. But most of the desserts I had were totally worth it, so I'm not sorry! I ate more french fries than I meant to while I was out there, but they were a way to get extra fat into my meals. @emilyelowe The reason I was avoiding/disappointed that I ate french fries was partly because of the whole30 rule against commercially prepared french fries, but also because of the explanation behind it. I think we can all agree that deep fried anything no longer counts as healthy food and especially when eating out, ordering french fries will usually mean that the less healthy food is pushing healthier food off the plate. For example, I could have had a side salad instead of the fries with most of those meals. Additionally, french fries are typically made in the less healthy oils, so I didn't want to get too much exposure to those sorts of things. And french fries are definitely still a food-with-no-brakes for me. 

Turns out I was wrong about which meal the conference was providing for us. They provided breakfast this year and let's just say the options were disappointing. Fruit, muffins, bagels, and pound cake were standard. One day they provided very hard-boiled eggs, but the other days they gave us cereal or oatmeal. Only the eggs had protein. 

All in all, I am very glad to be back and am looking forward to getting back to whole30 eating. I'll admit that I ordered some Chinese food yesterday when I got home and hadn't eaten in 8-ish hours and was tired from the conference and travel and I'm eating the leftovers for breakfast right now. Honestly, this food is SO not worth it. I really feel crappy after eating it, which didn't happen to me at the conference. Tomorrow I'll be back at it!

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Welcome back, Amy! So happy to hear the trip went well! :) Congrats! It sounds like you still practiced a lot of awareness while you were eating on the trip, so I still think that is a victory!

That explanation of french fries TOTALLY makes sense! I am really going to have to think harder about french fries before the next time I eat them. They are a go-to restaurant food for me (when not W30'ing, obviously). Thanks for sharing!

That breakfast sounds super lame - I'm so sorry! Particularly because I know how important it is for me to start the day out right. My team at work takes turns providing breakfast every Pay Day Friday and I like the team bonding aspect of it but I really don't want to participate in the food because once I start off in the wrong direction, the whole day is more likely to go off track. It happened today actually. I'm reintroducing gluten this weekend so I told myself I could have something at breakfast if it looked good, but all that sugar and carbohydrate in the morning seems like a disaster waiting to happen. I did set part of one aside and am going to come back to it if I still want it with lunch. (or so I am telling myself in this moment)

Chinese food is the worst! I often crave it (particularly on weekends or after getting home from travelling) but it always makes me feel terrible! I'm sure you will be feeling better soon after a few days of wholesome, homemade food. For me, it usually takes at least 3 days to recover depending on how long I was gone and how far off I wandered, so I always set a goal for myself for how long I need to stay on track before veering again. Otherwise, I will lose motivation and spiral into the food abyss again. I hope you get lots of rest and relaxation this weekend! :)

I am definitely nervous about this weekend. I am reintroducing gluten while visiting my family and could easily go completely off the rails. I've asked my husband to help me and I've tried to prepare myself but we will see how it goes. At least I feel more confident now that every meal is a chance to start over, you know? I no longer have the "My diet starts on Monday," mentality. In the past, that mentality quickly results in the "What the Hell?" effect, so I am hoping this time I only eat gluten if it's really worth it/a good experiment and don't just EATALLTHEGLUTEN because I think it is my last hoorah or something.

My husband and I were actually THIS close to getting pizza yesterday and then didn't, which was amazing. I can't even believe it. It's like, "Who ARE you?" I ended up having a big bowl of veggies and ground chicken that was so delicious and satisfying and I was SO happy. I still think I need to avoid doing non-plan things in combination since I'm still not totally sure what symptoms are gluten-related, so pizza would have been terribly unwise. 

Hope everyone enjoys the weekend! I'm sure I will have something interesting to report on Monday. Prayers I don't turn the weekend into a carb-a-palooza please! 

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Hey @NoneOtherThanAmyWelcome Back!! Glad to hear you had a great trip!! Sounds like you managed your food choices well and the trip was a win-win! We missed ya. 

@emilyelowe I haven't reintroduced any  combo foods yet either but am anxious to try pizza once I do gluten on it's own on Monday. I repeated legumes yesterday this time adding some at each meal. Even had Corn, black beans and rice at dinner. Perhaps I was bit gassy:wacko: but other then that no real symptoms. I don't eat a lot of legumes so knowing I can have it once in awhile is good enough for me. Good luck with gluten and staying in control this weekend. 

The thing that is bothering me is the very first whole 30 I did which was pre cancer, the weight just fell off. I lost close to 50 lbs in 6 months eating the whole 30 template. I added back most foods, but kept everything clean - nothing processed and no junk food (even if it was from scratch). This time the weight isn't really budging. I haven't lost any more since reintroduction started. I feel good and I know it's not about that but I can't help wondering why it's so different this time. I know what I've been thru and the darn meds I have to take are probably a big reason but I wish that scale would budge just a little....Think I'm going to have to step up my activity ... I am certainly not sedentary, but I think I need to do more aerobic type stuff to get the heart rate up and "feel the burn"!! Sorry, just venting. 

Have a great weekend everyone!! 


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Full confession here: I was planning to go 100% back to Whole30 eating starting Saturday, but I ended up buying some treats while I was out grocery shopping on Friday. One was some lemon square snacks from Trader Joes that was totally not worth it, but I kept eating on it through Sunday even. Ugh. I did pretty well with my meals though, it was just the snacks that got me. Learned my lesson and will not be buying snacks this week while out grocery shopping. So far so good for today. I'm hoping I'm not going to have to go through sugar withdrawal again, but I am already a little more tired and achy today than I have been in previous days. <_< I know I haven't lost my fat adaptation because I almost accidentally skipped lunch on Sunday and didn't eat until 2:30 or so in the afternoon. I haven't weighed myself lately, but I have been noticing that I feel more bloated and swollen, especially around the middle. That's definitely a warning sign that I need to get back on track. 

I'm setting a goal to keep added sugars to a minimum (i.e. none other than condiments) and eating to the template today through Wednesday. Thursday is my birthday, so I might allow a treat or a drink that day. Or maybe I'll do a non-food treat and take the evening to finally get a good start on the skirt I want to make myself.

I'm still not really sure what my food freedom will look like. I have a feeling it'll look a lot like a whole30 with occasional desserts thrown in, hopefully just while I'm eating out so I don't bring back a package and eat it over several days. :P 

@Susabella627 I hear you on the weight loss thing. It can definitely be discouraging to not see progress where you would like to be seeing progress. I think you've said before that one of your drugs keeps you in menopause, and I'd bet that would be one of the big reasons for the dramatically different weight results. You already said that you know all the other reasons you are doing this, so I won't belabor the point that you're doing something awesome for yourself and the weight loss will surely come, just probably at its own pace. 

@emilyelowe I agree, breakfast is so important and it's hard to believe they provided such terrible options. No protein, really people?!? I skipped the free breakfast on the day of my talk and paid for breakfast at the hotel restaurant so that my day would start off well. They had some pretty decent choices there, like a veggie omelette with no cheese and eggs benedict. Hope your gluten reintroduction weekend went well! I love your comment about every meal being a chance to start over as opposed to "the diet starts tomorrow" effect, which is probably part of what was going on when I bought those snacks on Friday. 

Hope you're all having a great start to your week!

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Happy Monday, team! Boy, did I have quite the nutritional off-roading weekend. :o

Let's just say, my plan to reintroduce gluten on its own did not really pan out. Planning things around my family is always borderline impossible, so I think I just need to re-adjust my expectations for next time I am with them and have a better "if/then," plan. To summarize: dinner location on Friday was a complete surprise and a very difficult menu to navigate (at least if I was going to like the taste of any of my food) so I had gluten and dairy combined. Again. It had happened before so I made a conscious decision to just go with it. I didn't have any alcohol, but the next morning, I FELT HUNGOVER - stomach ache, headache, tired. Definitely think it was the gluten, as I had eaten on plan other than gluten and dairy. Saturday I got up and was very intentional in eating as close to a compliant, meal-template style breakfast as I could manage (my dad and husband aren't hungry first thing in the morning so I had a mini breakfast - 2 eggs, guac, beef jerky and then later had breakfast WITH them). Tummy got SUPER bloated and crampy after the mini-breakfast, but I'm thinking that was leftover processing from the night before. Breakfast/brunch with family was potatoes, eggs, and a side salad (go me, good choices!) and then I opted to try a bite of my husbands empanada (dairy and gluten) and pancakes (gluten). I only had a few bites of each, which was enough to satiate my interest and was including gluten (as planned) and dairy (because I already had at that point, so it seemed silly to differentiate now). After this is when we went really off-track - we decided to ride our bikes around the city and stop at some different breweries and things. I was prepared to do this (I don't drink beer) and then get a compliant, meal-template lunch whenever we decided to stop for lunch. But then my family decided to get snacks/apps at every place we stopped! So I did not have a single template meal the rest of the day, which made my body SO CONFUSED. I basically wasn't hungry or full all day, I just went back and forth from feeling bloated/crampy to not-bloated-but-still-fat. 

Amazingly (and probably very much because of the support of this group), I'm not really all that discouraged about this. It happened and I feel like I know how to move on. In the future, I just need to remember that (1) I don't have to eat just because everyone else is eating, I can wait until I'm hungry and then say, 'Hey, I need some lunch.' This is a little tricky for me because I LOVE trying new and different foods, so the idea of snacking and having a little of this and that all day is very appealing, but ultimately doesn't work. (2) I really need to put food down when it's not that good. Trying something is one thing (and ONE BITE). Eating two pieces of pizza is not "trying." That is just eating pizza. 

In addition to the hangover-like symptoms I had Saturday morning, I've also confirmed that enough gluten and dairy kicks off my Sugar Dragon (hello, ice cream), eating straight cheese (like cubes) is a TERRIBLE thing to do to my belly, and the way that I feel in my clothes is so not worth it.

What's really ridiculous about this whole thing is: remember those donuts I told you all I was so looking forward to? Didn't even get to have them. We never went all the way home, but ended up staying in Cleveland. And the craziest thing, is that one of the major signs to me that I think I've actually made progress in my relationship with food is that I'm not that mad about it. They're just donuts. < That right there is a CRAZY thing for me to say. 

As far as getting back on track, it will be slightly delayed. My husband and I are going to New York and New Jersey for a wedding this weekend, so that will be a little tricky as far as a STRICT return to the plan, but I've done some research on good, paleo-friendly places in NYC, my friend getting married is vegan so I should have options there, and I have mostly on-plan foods planned between now and leaving on Friday. I am eating hummus this week because I bought it planning to reintroduce legumes so it needs eaten. I didn't formally reintroduce legumes by themselves, but so far they haven't given me any trouble so I'm just going to eat it and see how it goes. 

I think I'm basically done with formal reintroduction, as I've experienced all of the food groups in one way or another and really just want to eat compliant foods unless something is really special and delicious (which generally means there is more than one ingredient) but I would love to stay in touch with this group to see what else we can all learn as we continue to navigate Food Freedom. Having this accountability, processing, and venting space has really been a life-changer for me.

OK, end rant. I'm so sorry you all have to hear about my crazy family. I promise I tried to summarize as best I could. Haha! I'm excited to hear from all of you and what you have been up to on this reintroduction journey! :)

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@NoneOtherThanAmy - I was typing at the same time you were, so hello! :) Snacks are so tricky! I did the same thing with those stinkin' Snackaroons after my birthday. I agree that it is better just not to have them in the house at all. Even things with compliant-ish ingredients can throw your whole day off if you're not eating them as part of a meal according to the meal template. If you are still struggling with feeling your best on Thursday (happy early birthday!), the non-food treat might be a good idea, but I would just feel the day out and see what you're really wanting. Don't decide ahead of time and cheat yourself of that in-the-moment deliberate decision-making process. 

@Susabella627 - I forgot about your post up there! I read it this weekend in the car and was so busy talking about my weekend, I forgot to respond. Sorry! I totally know how you are feeling disappointed about the weight and it's so hard to convince ourselves that it shouldn't be the important thing. I can relate a little bit in that I feel like I am really killing it at the gym and starting to get a handle on properly fueling my body (my first 3 meals of the day - preWO, postWO, and Meal #1 are consistently good), but the number is going back up! I even did some more research on pre/post WO last week and am going to tweak that this week, but I can definitely feel myself starting to think about the number on the scale and get a little panicky/desperate. (It sounds like you are not there yet, which is good. :)) I can't imagine how much more complicated it must be when you have drugs that are supposed to keep you healthy making you feel not your best, too! Ugh! Like you and Amy both said, you know what you're doing is good for your body, so I would continue to take it slow and just see what you can handle and what works for you. It is different for everyone. Having you in this group has really been a blessing - you continue to remind me to keep perspective and never underestimate what we can do when we put our minds to it. So thanks! :) 

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I'm feeling a little better today. No signs of sugar withdrawal and I managed to run for a full mile yesterday with some walking and running intervals afterwards. I was hoping to run 3 miles with a half mile of walking between each mile, so I'm not quite there, but I am pleased I made it for the first full mile. The heat and humidity have really thrown off my running lately, so it was nice to feel like I've made some progress. I'm  not where I want to be with running, but that's ok. I am still doing it and am further along than I was back in March. 

I've started to get annoyed with my salads this week because they take so long to eat. I'm thinking I need to change up my routine and start bringing non-salad food items to work. So I think I'll start contemplating alternative lunches. Does anyone have suggestions?

@emilyelowe That sounds like a tough weekend to navigate. The surprise restaurant sounds especially tricky and it's always a difficult choice to decide between liking the taste of your food or getting enough to eat and eating to the template. The all day apps also sounds like it was a tough spot to be in, but I'm glad you made it through and have processed it to now come up with a strategy if that happens again. Hope you have fun at the wedding this weekend! It sounds like you've already got some options scoped out that will make your stay a little easier than last weekend.

I appreciate your advice about my birthday as well. I like the idea of leaving the decision about the treat until the day of my birthday. I'll leave my options open and may decide to try a freshly-made local donut or a fancy cupcake, but right now I'm enjoying being back on track and I think my health is a better present to myself rather than hours of sluggishness and aching. 

I still haven't weighed myself since I got back and I really think I am going to toss my scale. I know if I get on it and see a higher number than before I left for Montreal I'll have that sinking feeling in my stomach and I'll feel bad about it all day or week and wouldn't feel better until I started to see that number go back down. On the other hand, I could tell that I needed to get back on track after the Chinese food and the all day snacking that made me feel swollen, bloated, achy, and sluggish all weekend. Now I'm back on track, feeling better, and feeling somewhat empowered because I was able to get back at it after a small detour. I know it's a different situation for me than it is for either of you, but that's where I am on the whole scale and weight loss issue.

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Good job sticking it out with the exercise, @NoneOtherThanAmy! It is really easy to get discouraged and just toss out the whole idea when you're not feeling your best so I think any exercise is a victory after your trip. Mondays are SO important when it comes to setting the tone of my week, too, so I try to make it a priority to always get some kind of workout in. 

My go-to lunches are generally just leftovers or food I purposely made in bulk and refrigerated or froze. There are very few foods that I refuse to microwave. :) I like to keep it simple, so I will make a ton of ground chicken and have it with sweet potatoes, greens and buffalo sauce; the ratatouille, chowder, and carnitas in the Whole30 book bulk cook really well and are still delicious warmed up. I'm also really digging frozen vegetables lately - my grocery has frozen, steam-in-the-bag cauliflower rice - so that would be really good with carnitas, peppers, and avocado on top. (Mmm... now I want to make that! :lol:)

If you're still feeling the cold food thing, though, (or don't have a microwave, I guess) I bought some lunch meat for the first time in a long time and have been eating that with plantain wraps, sprouts, greens, peppers, cucumbers and hummus and/or avocado and/or ranch and/or hot sauce. Obviously this meal is not totally compliant (lunch meat has a bit of sugar, plantain wraps are against the rules, and I already mentioned I was kind of reintroducing the hummus) but none of those off-plan things negatively impact me. Really, this is still a salad, though, just wrapped up, so not sure if it will really be mixing it up for you. Haha.

Ugh... the scale. <_< The days it says what I want, I feel good (but usually not that much different - it's just a confirmation of my hard work) but the days it doesn't say what I want, I question everything I'm doing and start to panic and worry. So dumb! When I explain it like that, the cost to benefit ratio really doesn't seem to favor the scale, does it? Hm. 

I'm feeling pretty good today, though I am thinking about cookies A LOT. I'm just trying to work through the "Worth it," questions and navigate this food freedom thing. On a better note, I definitely think carbs at dinner help with my morning workouts, as I've been having lots of energy in the morning and performing well at the gym despite the weekend off-roading. Energy is mostly stable throughout the day, even with the few non-W30 things that are on the scene at the moment, so I am pleased. Also, in one of the Whole30 Daily emails, it said something about habit research and how it probably really takes 66 days to create a habit. As I was looking ahead at my calendar for next week, July 4 will be 66 days for me! I remember marking it on my calendar as a reminder to check in with myself. I feel like the fact that I am still on the forums and thinking daily about what I'm putting into my body is a good sign for cementing these habits! Little victory!

Have a great day, ladies! (Also, does anyone know what happened to the rest of our posse?)

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Hi, I am still here reading along.  I've re-introduced all items.    It seems dairy is not be my friend.  A little cream in coffee is how I started with no issues.  That was it for a while (no cheese or yogurt).  Maybe my acne flared a little but no other symptoms.  Later, when I introduced milk (1-2 glasses), I had a killer headache the next day.  This happened 4 out of the 5 times.   I'm not sure why the 1 of 5 times I didn't get a headache the next day.   

The dairy is such a surprise as I've been a big milk drinker and yogurt/cheese fan all of my life.    I have acne constantly and it has really flared up again now that I have dairy back in my life.   I had alot of headaches but the worst were 'monthly' so I thought it was due to changes in hormones and the others seemed to be due to stress   So, I am going to remove all dairy (cream, milk, cheese, yogurt, etc) and see what happens for the month of July (starting now).  Hold me accountable :-)  

Here is my other realization.  I can't have cookies/bars in the house.  I justify by buying for my kids (growing and very active teenage boys that can and do eat anything/everything).  On the W30 I could avoid them (things were so black and white if you know what i mean) but now it's too hard.  If they are in the house, I will eat them.  I need to figure this one out - do I just not have in house at all or do I work in some plan of moderation.   

hope all of you are doing well.   what a journey!  

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Welcome back, @AB_MN! I have the exact same thing with dairy and I can't believe it - I grew up with real butter and milk in the house at all times! 

I am with you on the cookies particularly (I can't even have them AVAILABLE - work was tough this week) and definitely not in the house. If you can keep them out of the house without family mutiny, that's what I would do. Then if you are really craving something specific and it is really going to be worth it, you can make the effort to go get. Why spend precious dairy/sugar/grain risks on something that comes out of a box? If you want a cookie, go big and go to the bakery, you know? That's what I've been trying to tell myself, at least, but I am definitely having much more of a Cookie Monster week than a Whole30 kind of week, so it may be the sugar talking. :blink:

@NoneOtherThanAmy - I just have to tell you, your post inspired me to run last night! I am loving having all of this energy and I thought to myself, If Amy can run, why can't I? I just did a short jog to the playground near my house, did some stuff there, and then ran back home but having the motivation to run at all (especially by myself) was really out of the ordinary. So thanks!

I've also discovered a walk station at work (I can book a room to walk on the treadmill at like 1-2 miles per hour while I work) which I have been taking advantage of and yesterday I decided to walk from the hospital to my office instead of taking the shuttle. It is really encouraging to me that I am keeping this energy despite my off-plan choices, so that has been a big motivator for me to stay on track the last few days. I'm not feeling like I am looking my best and have had some headaches related to off-plan choices but the energy is helping me to not go completely off the rails. I think the better mood also helps. 

Definitely having fun continuing to learn and trying not to be too hard on myself! Have a good day! :) 

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Good to hear from you, @AB_MN! Glad things are going well and that you're making some new discoveries around food, even if they're not what you were expecting or hoping. I agree that it would be tough to have cookies or granola bars in the house. That's what happened to me with the snacks that I bought on Friday and then kept eating all weekend long, even though I knew I didn't need them and they were not at all worth it. I haven't eaten any snacks lately, but I'd bet that's because I didn't bring any home with me from the grocery store. I had a close call with some triple chocolate mini bundt cakes, but I resisted. I was trying to convince myself that I'd just eat a little of one that night and save the rest for my birthday, but I knew I'd eat more than I intended if I brought it home. 

@emilyelowe It's so great to hear that my running story has been an inspiration! If I can start running, anyone else definitely can. :) I have to say I'm a little jealous of all your extra energy. I never made it to the extra energy stage and I am definitely dragging today after a long day in lab. I made it through food prep for today and tomorrow, but I am so done now. 

Thanks for the lunch tips Emily! I'm still avoiding deli meat for the careenagen (I don't think that's spelled correctly, but I don't have the energy to look up the proper spelling :P). At some point I need to reintroduce deli meat on its own, because I got some nasty GI effects when I ate that sub. It could have been the cheese alone or the combination of the deli meat + cheese, so I still have some experimenting left to do. The recipes you mentioned sound good! I always forget about actually looking up and using recipes. You reminded me that I have some favorite recipes, but I'm just not using them. I made an "Egg Roll in a Bowl" recipe today and it was very yummy! I also *heart* the Mexican Salmon Cakes that were posted on the Whole30 blog, although I kind of cheat on those and buy compliant mango salsa from Whole Foods instead of making my own.  

I have an NSV for the day...I may need to do some shopping for new jeans soon. I put on a pair today that was almost comically large. They were a little big before starting the Whole30, but now there is at least 6 inches of extra space in the waist. That's one of the major things that makes me think my body is back on track from my trip!

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Hello Ladies, 

Sorry I was MIA for a few days. Monday was a rare day in that everyone had a day off - hubby plus 3 teenagers - so we got to spend the day on our boat together. It's been a long time and I miss the days where we could do it more often. What is also great about the boat is everyone is unplugged so I get my teenager's full attention. I packed lunch and snacks so was able to bring cut fruits and veggies. It was my gluten day so I did have a sandwich at lunch. I stayed away from the sweets (licorice and cookies)... I did have some corn chips and salsa but overall didn't overdo anything and like Emily said didn't feel like I missed out on anything. That is hugh for me too! We brought home pizza for dinner and I had 1 slice... felt fine, more full then usual and a big "draggy" the next morning but overall I think I tasted food freedom. I have also reintroduced all the food groups and will now just really try to pay attention to any combo of foods that trigger something. 

Thank you for those encouraging words about the darn number on the scale... It helps to hear that reinforcement from you all!!

Love that you gals are running, I NEVER liked running, but plan on starting daily walks with daughter for accountability.

Welcome back @AB_MN glad you are doing well and still on this Journey with us! I get the whole cookies in the house thing, but when I'm in a motivated state like right now i can refuse anything. The trick for me is stay motivated lol. In fact I might be rubbing off on the kids because there is a package of chocolate chip cookies on the counter that has barely been touched since last Sunday.... hmmm

@emilyelowe I love that you are feeling good about your choices and sounds like you have enough energy to share! I also feel very special about this group and know that this accountability is so important for me and has kept me honest throughout this journey

@NoneOtherThanAmy I really get the whole sick of salad thing. Sometimes for lunch I will eat a few hard boiled eggs, sliced veggies (I dip in guac) and maybe a piece of fruit. I'm also keen on leftovers and actually don't mind a lot of food cold or at room temp. GREAT news on that NSV!!! I am finding that lots of my pants/shorts are getting very loose which I know is more important than that number #throwawaythescale

Have a great day Everyone!!


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Quick post...I have been SO hungry for the past few days. I thought I'd been eating well, but I'm guessing I'm under eating fat or possibly just under eating in total calories. I went to to grocery store just now and was thinking about getting a treat for my birthday, but I kept wanting to buy 3 packages of sweets and eat them all for dinner. I decided that was not an impulse to yield to, so I left the grocery store without any sweets. I'm going out later and may try something then instead.  

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Happy birthday, @NoneOtherThanAmy! I've been waiting ALL DAY to get on and tell you! Good job with the bundt cakes and the packages of sweets, too! I hope you found the most perfect birthday treat today - food or not. :)  That is funny, @Susabella627 - June babies are the best. :) I LOVE having a summer birthday. My poor hubby was born January 6 - his birthday stinks.  

To be fair about the energy, I'm a pretty high energy person in general. (there's a lady in my Bible Study who just calls me "Big Energy," and she only every saw me at 6 p.m. on a Friday pre-Whole30). I've never found the need for coffee and haven't had soda for years, I'm a great sleeper and consistently got 7-9 hours even before Whole30. So I feel like my baseline is higher than most people, making optimal-Whole30-energy-Emily almost too much to bear for some people. I literally have a reminder in my work cube that says "Not everyone has the same enthusiasm for morning." Everyone has their thing, I guess. Haha.

I managed to find some lunch meat that didn't have carageenan (I'm just spelling it phonetically, haha) but if you're not missing lunch meat or think it's a no-no for you, it's probably not worth the effort. I really like to be low effort in the kitchen (honestly, I don't enjoy cooking, thus, lunch meat, which I don't have to cook), but I've found quite a few pretty simple Whole30 recipes through different places on social media. oliveyouwhole is good and nomnompaleo are usually simple, though the ingredients are generally not things that I have. I also made that thing a few weeks ago that was kind of like pizza but not - cauliflower/egg fried with red sauce, ground meat, and lots of veggies on top. That was delicious. I actually was craving it today but we're going out of town tomorrow so it didn't make sense to buy all the required ingredients and have leftovers.

Whoo hoo on your NSV, Amy! Despite the fact that jean shopping is usually the worst, that is exciting! :lol: 

@Susabella627 I LOVE that your family got to spend unplugged time together. That is just amazing, and so rare, I'm sure. It's cool that you might be rubbing off on your family too. Part of my motivation in all of this is definitely getting a handle on it and creating good habits for if/when my husband and I start a family. I feel like kids now are exposed to SO MUCH SUGAR and Frankenfood so early, that we're totally setting them up for failure and going through this same struggle. So scary! Being unplugged was kind of how last weekend was with my family, which was nice, except for the whole this-kind-of-off-roading-should-require-a-Jeep situation. :lol:

Speaking of that, I'm wondering if I was a little too confident too soon. I have had sweets every day this week. :blink: Like, more than once. And while I have been thoughtful and intentional and I have thrown things away when they weren't delicious and I have tried to take my time savoring the treats, I for sure over-did it. I am definitely feeling bulky and not my best, which is especially stinky since we're going out of town and to a wedding this weekend. I tried on like 4 dresses today trying to figure out what to wear. <_<Plus it's just going to be compounded by eating out all weekend, even though I am really excited about the Paleo-friendly options I found. I just know there will be more temptations. I think the combination of last weekend's off-roading, this weekend's upcoming travel (i.e. brain being in vacation mode), my upcoming T.O.M., AND this week being my first week really trying Food Freedom were just the perfect storm (also now known as THE COOKIE TORNADO - seriously, every sweet I had was a cookie - this is why my husband calls me the cookie monster). Obviously, I'm pretty disappointed about this. This is where I always start to struggle with the "Is it worth it?" question - my brain is like YES IT'S WORTH IT, IT'S SCIENTIFICALLY ENGINEERED TO TASTE WORTH IT and then I struggle... My mindset is definitely better than it has been in the past, though, as I there wasn't really any mindless eating, so I am going to try to stay focused on that and take my own advice about every meal being a new opportunity/choice. Trying to get excited for a healthy, meal template breakfast tomorrow and lots of compliant snacks on the road trip!

So much of me just wants to go back to rules and I'm really trying to make myself figure out self-control and Food Freedom. I want that Food Freedom so bad! 

I'll probably be M.I.A. this weekend since we're travelling, but hoping to come back with good news and a positive attitude! Happy Fourth of July!

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Thanks for the birthday wishes ladies! I ended up over-indulging when I went out and woke up this morning with a migraine, probably from the ice cream that went along with the chocolate cake and the strawberry-rhubarb pie. :blink: Oh well. Moving on. I'm still working through when something is worth it or not, and that off-roading provided useful information. Milk products may be a never worth it scenario for me, whereas the others might be occasional splurges. 

@emilyelowe One of the questions I've started asking when deciding about a treat is: "Is this item worth sacrificing my health?" The answer to that question is often a resounding "NO!" So that helps a little with the day-to-day temptations, like cookies. Big occasions are still obviously a struggle. I've always celebrated with sugar, so its hard to think that my special day doesn't necessarily need to include sugar. 

I also didn't mean to make you feel bad about the energy thing. I am very happy for your NSV in that department! I was just throwing a pity party for myself. I've been training on a new procedure at work that has required me to stand for about 6 hours, but not move around much. I find it extremely exhausting and it has been throwing off my evening routines because I've been getting home later than I had been. :( 

@Susabella627 That boat trip sounds awesome! Amazing that you got your teenagers' attention for a good chunk of time. Glad to hear you've started your food freedom and that you're not experiencing too many symptoms from the off-plan food. I honestly don't love running, but I do LOVE walking. I've been trying to run because of the length of time walking takes. It takes me over an hour to walk my 3-4 mile loop, so I can't easily add to that length for a daily walk, but I'm hoping with training I'd be able to run the 3 miles in 40 mins. Occasionally maybe even increasing the length of the run.

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It sounds like you're having a good attitude about your off-roading, Amy, so that is a victory in itself. Like I said, my state of mind has probably changed more than anything, and for that, I am grateful. That question would definitely make me think a little harder about everyday things - thanks for that suggestion!

Hahaha, I don't feel bad about my energy, so no worries there! I am what I am. :) I feel super blessed that I get to wake up in the morning and get going, I just wanted to give you a little context, hoping it would make you feel less discouraged. I keep trying to figure out ways that I can get my husband on the same page as me because the first like 15 minutes we're awake together getting ready for the gym I'm like a puppy and he's like a grandpa. :lol: 

Ugh, I think standing is way more exhausting than walking! That stinks. That's always how I feel like after a day at an amusement park or something - standing is hard. Do you have good posture at least? I'm like a double hot mess when I have to stand a lot because I slouch and lock my knees. Hello, chiropractor. So I hope that's not you!

Have a good weekend, ladies!

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I hope everyone had a good weekend! I'm in the middle of prepping for moving as well as still trying to keep up with exercise and eating to the whole30 template. I'm realizing that I may have to lower my expectations for cooking/prep/eating and exercise if I want to be able to move on time. I swear those  activities take up about 50% of my time on weekends. I'm thinking about planning out my meals for the next few weeks, taking a few days to prep most of the food and then freezing most of it so that I have meals ready to go while I'm running around packing and cleaning. 

I've been feeling pretty good lately, so I decided to try reintroducing corn. I just had some totally worth it locally made tortilla chips, but I've learned 2 things: 1) I had some digestive reaction to the chips almost immediately. I can't be certain it was related to the chips though because it seemed too soon after eating, and there are some T.O.M. issues to keep in mind. But It seems like corn may be similar to milk for me. 2) Tortilla chips are definitely food with no brakes territory for me. I ate them after I finished my supper and I pulled out a handful to try, but even though I wasn't hungry, I kept finding myself pulling more chips out of the bag. I caught it pretty quickly and put the bag of chips away, so I didn't eat half the bag or anything. This just makes me realize that even if the digestive issues aren't from the corn, I don't think I'll be eating tortilla chips often. Good information to know!

I have been craving a treat again on and off for the last few days. Nothing specific; I just wanted a good treat, none of the packaged not worth it cookies or cakes. I almost picked up a treat at Whole Foods while I was there, but as I started thinking about it, I remembered telling myself that a random day was not an excuse for a treat, so I put it back. I feel like I'm still struggling a little with that part of food freedom. I seem to be good at resisting the call of the sweets, but what IS a good excuse for a treat? A dinner out with a friend, maybe? Or should I give in to my cravings rather than resisting them so that I get the associations between sugar = not worth it?

@emilyelowe I'm pretty sure I have terrible posture when I stand because I ache all over, especially in my hips and back after standing for long periods of time. I'm with you, I could really use a chiropractor visit after all that standing. I have one of those days lined up again today, so hopefully it'll go faster as I learn to be more efficient. Hope your friend's wedding went well this weekend!

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Hope everyone had a great holiday!

I definitely did some offroading over the past few days. I'm working on processing through it though and I think I've learned some things. Monday was one of those weird days. I ate breakfast at my normal time, but I think it was low on protein (I only had 2 eggs and 2 pieces of bacon and bacon doesn't really count as protein), so I was hungry again at about 9:30 or 10. I had a spoonful of guac and a few spoonfuls of sloppy joe meat (ground turkey). I went into lab and didn't get another break until about 4:30 when I ate some salmon cakes, guac, and part of the salad that went along with them. I got home around 6:30 or 7ish and all I could think about was SUGAR. Not just a mindful craving for a specific thing, but a mindless craving to stuff my face with an entire package of donuts. <_< I struggled with it and went out for my walk before eating dinner to think about it, but I ended up at Whole Foods (it's both a blessing and a curse to live within walking distance of that place) and bought a package of 4 cupcakes. When I got home, I plated up a cupcake immediately and realized I still had ice cream left, so I dished up some ice cream to go with the cupcake. At this point, I paused and forced myself to heat up and eat the food I had planned for my evening meal. Perhaps not shockingly, the craving to stuff my face with sugar vanished as soon as I started eating my real food. I'm guessing both my meal 1 and meal 2 were low on protein  that day and that led me to crazy sugar cravings. Of course, I still had a cupcake and ice cream staring at me, so I ate them...and then a 2nd cupcake. :rolleyes: I pretty much inhaled the first one and didn't really enjoy it, but I slowed down on the 2nd one and as soon as I took the time to enjoy the flavors of the cupcake, I found I did not want to finish it. Turns out all that advice they give us actually works, who would have thought? ;) Not surprisingly, the cupcakes and ice cream made me feel pretty crappy for the rest of the evening.

Yesterday I ate a good breakfast, but the cupcakes were still there, so I ate half  of one. I really took my time and enjoyed it, and put it down when I was done, but then I felt off for the rest of the morning. I was working on packing and organizing for moving, so when lunch came around I really did not feel like cooking, chopping, or doing any sort of prep. I think part of the reason was that I didn't want to take all the time away from my moving prep to make a good meal. So, I ate the last bit of salmon cakes and the tortilla chips with salsa for lunch. Not really a good combo and my stomach was just not happy with me. Later in the day, I finally had enough of not eating well, cooked up a bunch of meat for the next few days, and after reading some advice on the forums here, I pre-chopped some veggies for the next few days too. I still ate the final cupcake after supper and it made me feel off again. So, I learned that I should not keep sweets in the house (again), because I will keep eating those things when I'm not hungry for them and they make me feel less than my best. :wacko: I woke up with an enormous migraine this morning and with GI issues, so more consequences from the offroading for the last few days. 

So all in all, I learned that I need to eat good template meals and that skimping on protein is a terrible idea. Not that I did the protein thing on purpose, but I need to be more aware of protein amounts when I'm making my meals. Next, I learned that if I have the urge to eat ALL THE SUGAR it probably means that I am hungry and a good template meal will take care of the craving. Note to self: Do NOT go out and buy sugar when the urge to eat all the sugar is strong. Eat real food first, then see how the craving is doing and if it's still there, just buy a single serving of something sugary. Finally, I have learned that while I am busy with moving and work I am going to have to make sure I have easy to throw together meals and veggies on hand. Maybe go buy some more steam-in-bag veggies and make sure that other veggies are chopped and ready in the fridge. I'm planning to cook up the rest of the protein I have on hand so that I'll always have something cooked over the next week and a half as I get ready to move. 

This approach has been so useful for me! I feel like rather than beating myself up for screwing up, I can take the emotion out of it, objectively analyze what happened, and in doing so learn some new things about myself and what may or may not work. They really aren't earth-shattering new revelations (like eat good meals to avoid the fire-breathing sugar dragon and enjoy  your treats slowly & and mindfully), but I think a lot of this process involves us learning how these principles play out in our own lives and diets.

Have a good rest of the week everyone!

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Hey Ladies, 

Amy I love your revelations and the way you approach things. I think that the not beating ourselves up and taking some of the emotion out will really help put an end to the vicious cycle... Eat poorly...feel bad and eat more unhealthy choices... until I completely spiral out of control. Your objective analysis will definitely be something I should make a habit of!! 

I did some off roading myself this holiday weekend. Didn't go crazy off the rails but have not been following the template as closely as I would LIke to and I can definitely tell I don't have as much energy today. Also getting ready to head out of town for a few days to spend some time with extended family. Will be mostly unplugged because the area we are headed to has lousy service and I won't even have access to a computer. Will also be harder to stay on plan there because I am at the mercy of my cousins and meals are often take out or BBQ but will do the best I can and learn from it all and not beat myself up!

Will hopefully check in before I go. 

Hope things are going well for you Emily!! 

Have a great Day!!

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@NoneOtherThanAmy I definitely think this sounds like a good time to meal prep and freeze food. It really helped keep me on track during the Whole30 I did before this last one - it was the first one I had done on my own and I was nervous I would fall off the wagon the first time my husband made himself a pizza or something. I prepped for two days and ended up with like 50 days worth of food. :blink: So I'm sure you can manage to get through moving with one day of food prep! Especially if you do things you can make in the slow cooker and just dump in bags - I have made and frozen carnitas, cauliflower rice, cauliflower mash, red pepper sauce, ratatouille, meatballs, ground chicken, sausage bangers, mashed sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, tikka masala - you name it, I've frozen it. The only thing that did NOT freeze well was uncooked zoodles which, in retrospect, was a pretty dumb idea in the first place.  Also, I think the frozen asparagus and green beans from Trader Joe's are super convenient - we microwave them directly from being frozen and they taste fine. 

I was truly blessed by reading through the way you processed your choices, Amy! I am teetering on the edge of beating myself up/panicking vs. trying to just be OK and learn, so your post was so comforting to me today! Thank you! :) I too struggle with what Food Freedom looks like with treats. If I had a treat every time I felt like it, I would have one every day! But if I use the questions like "Will this make me healthier?" then I'd never have one. So WHAT DOES THE MIDDLE LOOK LIKE? I guess that's why they offer the matrix/decision tree. I should probably try to use that in real life. 

I hope you enjoy the unplugged time, @Susabella627! Just remember we will be here when you get back so you can process everything you learn! Try to enjoy yourself and just regularly check in with your body and what it really wants. I find when I'm with others I eat crap because I can and it's there, but if I pause and ask myself if I want it, I can often say no, depending on what it is. 

So this weekend was a mixed bag. I was pretty thoughtful and intentional without being stressed out, so I am proud of that. However, I feel pretty terrible. Energy finally took a dump yesterday and I knew for sure something was wrong when my husband very gently asked if he could do anything for me in the car this morning - I didn't say anything, it's like he just knew something was off. Poor guy is probably panicked. Haha. I'm sure starting my period today isn't helping with my energy and mood but I definitely think it is mostly food choices. I kind of wonder if I would have been OK based on the weekend alone, but combined with last week's Cookie Tornado, it was definitely too much. I was already feeling it before we left on Friday. 

I did a pretty good job in NYC with my hubby by planning some of our meals, bringing good snacks for the car/mornings, and also only including things that don't agree with me if I really wanted them. I also didn't overeat, which has historically been an issue when vacationing or off-roading for me. Even at the wedding I managed to turn away stuff at the cocktail hour and dinner that just didn't look good or that weren't totally awesome once I tried them, which is also a change of pace. There was a LOT of gluten involved with the Monday morning brunch, so I did over-do it there. It was one of those situations where I was kind of uncomfortable so I was just eating to have something to do. Not good. The main thing I learned was probably around alcohol - i.e. don't drink it if you don't want it. Duh. On Saturday night and at the wedding I found myself having drinks that weren't good. It's not that I didn't want alcohol, I was looking forward to having a drink at the events, it's just that none of what was available tasted good but I ended up drinking it anyway. I didn't overdo it in the sense of getting drunk (which I didn't) but they just weren't things that were worth it and combined with all the other off-roading left me feeling pretty yucky. I feel/look what I call "tubby," I weighed more this morning, I think my seasonal allergies are acting up, my digestion is off, and my face is worse than it's ever been ever. 

Even though I know I can get back on track with clean eating (if I can ever get the motivation back - where are you hiding motivation? :ph34r:), I think I'm in the mourning phase. I'm mourning the loss of my favorite foods and my favorite part of vacationing. I LOVE trying new foods and restaurants, it's the one part of vacation planning I participate in. So I'm just struggling with how I'm ever going to get through a vacation that is more than a day or two without feeling terrible or loathing all the food I eat while I'm there. My husband and I are going to Europe for two weeks in the fall and this weekend basically has me dreading that trip. I genuinely tried to be thoughtful on this trip and still ended up feeling this way so I can't imagine how much harder it will be in another country for two weeks. Plus, while the trip should and will be primarily about the people I'm with and the experiences, I think part of experiencing a culture is the food. So I am feeling pretty down about that and unsure of what I'm going to do. I am hoping I just have lots of time to practice Food Freedom over the next couple of months and get better at it. (And I will say, if any of you ever visit NYC, DEFINITELY check out Hu Kitchen - it was very cool and completely paleo - hallelujah!)

We have friends in town Saturday and possibly dinner with the family Friday, so really hoping I don't end up straying too far from the path. The sooner I can recover, the better! I really struggle to make good choices during that T.O.M. If you haven't heard from me by next Monday, I've strayed from the path and need you to tag me in something to call me back home! :lol:

Have a good, short week ladies!

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