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Cheaty McCheatface

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This was my first-ever attempt at Whole30. My SIL broke after two days, my husband broke after two weeks, and I'm very sad to say that on day 26 I broke as well. My company, which is located on the top of a mountain, had it's annual picnic last Friday. The menu included fried catfish, fried chicken, hush puppies, french fries, THE END. There's typically a salad bar, not sure what happened, but as it was a Friday I had no reserves left in the fridge and was chasing my toddler up and down obstacle courses in summer heat so I didn't really feel like I was in a place to healthily fast for the day. I had a big scoop of what I'm sure was non-compliant coleslaw, a scoop of pickled green tomatoes I'd bet were sweetened with sugar, and peeled off the fried breading and nibbled on some chicken. The entire meal was a big no-no and I paid dearly for it that night.

I finished off the last couple of days 95% compliant, but that one meal kind of knocked all the spirit out of me.

THAT SAID. Aside from fried-food-meal-from-Hades I feel great, my number-one-goal of kicking the sweet tooth I acquired during my last pregnancy was achieved, and I lost the last eight pounds I needed to ditch from that pregnancy as well. Overall Whole30 was a positive experience that got me back on track, and I want to do it again in a few months to see if I can finish for real.

What I'm wondering, though, is if I'm really capable of doing it. I'm pretty type A and generally a rule follower, but even with that mentality I feel like I bent the rules during my first run. Literally every time it happened as I was trying to eat out, which we generally try to avoid but we also have a large family that gets together often at restaurants, so it can be tricky to skip out on. I also think this may be more difficult in the South, where a house salad is FOR REAL iceberg lettuce, cheddar cheese, and croutons.

My question to you: at what point would you have said, NOPE. Start over. Or are some of these acceptable nuances to completing the program realistically?

Week one:

- Had grilled corn on the cob with no butter, condiments, etc. because my nephew picked a BBQ place for grad night celebrations with corn being the only veggie that wasn't sauteed in butter and grease. I genuinely didn't realize until a few weeks later that in that form it was still a no-no.

- Ordered an omelette full of veggies and didn't think until half way through it about the bacon in it not being compliant. It was from a local farm and organic, but seeing as how there is exactly one grocery store that sells compliant bacon in my Southern city, I could see sugar being involved.

Week two:

- Same deal with bacon coming on a salad I ordered and straight up BROUGHT MY OWN DRESSING FOR. That sugar is a tricky beast...

- Went to Chipotle because I had been told by a friend that it was compliant, ordered and ate steak before my husband actually read through the forums and pointed out that only the carnitas were really compliant.

Week three:

- Ordered a salad that came with mandarin oranges. I told myself that maybe they were in water, but let's be honest...

- The only instance not at a restaurant! I sent my husband a Whole30 approved recipe for some delicious Korean BBQ ribs. He told me after the fact that we only had 3/4 cup coconut aminos so he added 1/4 cup soysauce to the marinade to get it up to the 1 cup the recipe called for.

Week four:

- Had three kale chips my SIL swore were compliant before realizing there was buckwheat powder in the ingredients.


That's it. My full confession of cheats. Are they all really deal breakers? Or were some just a part of living in a world full of food that is crazy bad for you and trying to make the best of it? It might be I'm not cut out for doing this 100%. Or at least not on a month where I may have to eat at a restaurant...

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Here's the article we direct people to about whether or not to start over: https://whole30.com/2014/06/really-start-whole30/

If you choose to try again, know that you can do this. Lots of people do. And many do it while eating at restaurants -- although admittedly that does make it harder. The bottom line is that you are the only one who can choose what you eat. If you want to choose to do a Whole30, you can do it. You can do it 100%. Even if you go out to eat. 

Go back and read the rules: https://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/

Check out these tips for dining out: https://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-dining.pdf

This download with tips on traveling has a lot of options for things you can easily take with you -- many of them would last a few hours unrefrigerated in your purse or a small insulated lunch bag, so if you know you're going to be out and aren't sure you'll be able to get something compliant, you can take something with you so you don't go hungry: https://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-travel.pdf

I'd also strongly encourage you to read through all the other information you can find on the website about what the Whole30 is, how to do it, and the other support information: https://whole30.com/  Whenever possible, get your information straight from the official Whole30 site or the official Whole30 social media sites. You are responsible for making sure you know all the rules and making sure the food you eat meets those rules. 

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