5280sarah

Binge eating and re-starting Whole30

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Hi there, I had a pretty epic experience with my first whole30 and I loved this way of eating. I think that i was undereating slightly but over the course of several months as it triggered some major bingeing behaviors in me that were left over from a previous eating disorder. I have not been able to get back on track for several months and will start to eat whole30 again and then will convince myself that I shouldn't restrict my food choices as that *could* make me binge but in reality the none whole30 foods that I eat appear to be gateway foods for me which inevitably lead me to binge on other foods which are a bad choice for me. I'm reluctant to label foods bad and good but I have come to accept that there are foods that make me feel bad and foods that make me feel good and the choices that I am making are not making me feel good. Despite the fact that my first whole30 was seemingly pretty easy and I continued to eat that way for several months I haven't been able to even get past day two of doing another whole30. Has anyone else experienced some post whole30 bingeing? Any tips or tricks from others who have come to Whole30 after an eating disorder. I know that research would suggest that restricting food choices leads to bingeing but I feel that I was led back to bingeing as a result of my calories being low rather than my restriction of foods. For a while I was very comfortable with exercising my Food Freedom Forever and did eat non-Whole30 foods when it felt worth it. If anyone has any personal experience relating to this particular field I would be really grateful for some advice. Thanks!

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I finished my Whole30 on August 4th and have done horrible since then. It started with rewarding myself with french fries and snowballed from there. I did my Whole30 in order to overcome my love of dairy (which I did - haven't had any since the beginning of July). Sugar has never been an issue for me but I now eat a candy bar almost every night. I've never liked candy but it has some weird hold over me now. I've tried to start another round every week and the furthest I've made it to is Day 5. I don't have any advice or answers for you but I wanted you to know you're not alone. 

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7 hours ago, scoakley13 said:

I finished my Whole30 on August 4th and have done horrible since then. It started with rewarding myself with french fries and snowballed from there. I did my Whole30 in order to overcome my love of dairy (which I did - haven't had any since the beginning of July). Sugar has never been an issue for me but I now eat a candy bar almost every night. I've never liked candy but it has some weird hold over me now. I've tried to start another round every week and the furthest I've made it to is Day 5. I don't have any advice or answers for you but I wanted you to know you're not alone. 

Oh gosh, sorry to hear this... how about instead of starting a new Whole30 every week, you take it one day or meal at a time?  I think you've also got some good insight that you're 'rewarding' yourself with these foods so maybe some brainstorming in how you can reward yourself with non food related items?

It's REALLY hard, believe me, I get it...I often ask myself 'Is this going to make me feel good'.  The answer is often yes AND no... yes, it will temporarily make me feel great emotionally and no, it will make me feel emotionally terrible later and physically right away... if the yes wins over the no, eat the item... but if you're being honest and the no wins over the yes, then find something else to do, go to bed, get distracted, have a tea etc... both answers are actually great teaching moments... if you ate the item and suffered later, then you might think of that next time... if you didn't eat the item, that's one point in the bank of knowing that you have control over food and not the other way around.  I think the biggest thing for a lot of people is taking the mindlessness out of eating; when we really think about it there's a whole thought process that can be run through but when we don't engage that, we're just prisoners to old habits and the cycle we're tryiing to get out of ... 

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I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I just remembered that I went through a similar situation when I decided to give up gluten four years ago. I had a couple of months after that where I ate a lot of candy. I think my brain was trying to compensate for the new dietary restriction but I eventually got back to where I had no need for it.  

And I did meet my goal of defeating my Dairy Demon (not sure if that's a thing either) during my Whole30 so I try not to beat myself up about the start/restart cycle I'm now in. My three meals are always compliant so I'll do what you suggested and distract myself when I start craving candy. I can't think of a single time over the past six or so weeks where it's been worth it. :)

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@5280sarah

Hey Sarah,

I just found this topic and am curious how you have been doing since your first post? I have almost the exact same scenario as you... previous eating disorders, binge eating problems for years, did a whole60 and felt incredible, then went downhill after I finished and cant seem to get back on track. I feel the exact same way about the "good and bad" foods, and that it was triggered from low calories, not the restricted foods. I've been bingeing since I finished my whole60 a few weeks ago. My body is finally screaming at me to stop, and I have committed to starting another whole30 tomorrow. i feel like its going to be even harder this time because of the drastic change after so many days of binges. Just wondering if you have had success and how its going? 

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Hey! I've tried a few things, none of which have worked 100% but things that have made things better and I feel like I'm moving in the right direction. 1) I've been taking some amino acids that can assist with binge eating desires (5-htp and tyrosine). As a side note you cannot take 5-htp with certain anti-depressants so do research this further if you need to. 2) Rather than planning and thinking about 30 days of whole30 eating I have tried to focus on my next meal being Whole30 as someone suggested above. 3) I've tried to be more mindful about eating and making those food decisions and trying to get out of the habit of bingeing (which I truly do believe becomes a habit rather than something that's fun to do). I did also speak to a professional about the juxtaposition about eating for your health and wellness (whole30 approach) and being mindful about foods that negatively impact your health and the eating disorder professional advice which is "don't restrict calories or food types". It's a tough one to navigate. I believe that it's possible to go against the eating disorder advice not to restrict and to eat for our health but I think when you have suffered from an eating disorder you do have to constantly check in with yourself to make sure that you eating habits and behaviors are not going in the wrong direction. I also think that food freedom might look a little different for us in that it's easier for us (with our all or nothing minds) to just avoid non-whole30 foods altogether and I think the issue may be more how to enjoy certain foods in social situations which may make them worth it. If you would like to contact me privately I'd be happy to chat further about this. I still want to do another whole30 and feel the tiger blood. 

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I have enjoyed reading the posts above. I am struggling (fell off the sugar wagon) and have wanted to get back to a Whole30 approved life, but "I'll start today" keeps turning into "I'll start tomorrow". I am going to use all of the good advice listed above, but I remembered something from the book (The Whole30: 30-day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom) that might help us all...the average craving usually only lasts 3-5 minutes

Good luck to everyone.

Sarah

P.S. @Alisha Alexander, I liked this thread...read it if you have time.

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On 10/15/2017 at 11:52 AM, SarahSun said:

I have enjoyed reading the posts above. I am struggling (fell off the sugar wagon) and have wanted to get back to a Whole30 approved life, but "I'll start today" keeps turning into "I'll start tomorrow". I am going to use all of the good advice listed above, but I remembered something from the book (The Whole30: 30-day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom) that might help us all...the average craving usually only lasts 3-5 minutes

Good luck to everyone.

Sarah

P.S. @Alisha Alexander, I liked this thread...read it if you have time.

The original poster is Sarah, you're Sarah and I'm Sara - maybe there's something with the name? ;)

I am still compliant 75% of the time but do have candy and chips here and there. I've thought about starting another 100% compliant Whole30 a couple of times but have yet to do it. I put a lot of thought into why since I did finish/thoroughly enjoyed my first one. I came to the realization the other day that it's because I know I'll have to do more than 30 days in order to gain complete control over my eating habits and that level of commitment scares me. But October 23rd is the day. I'm going to go until the end of the year and will figure out what to do after that on January 1st.

And now that I've put this on the internet, I have to do it. :) 

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Hey there, I wanted to chime in because you guys are speaking my language. Like you guys are talking about, when I went off my whole30 it went bad fast. I was able to recover after a couple weeks but it's been on and off since then ( I finished mine at the end of august). I want to get back to that almost magical feeling near the end of my whole30 when it was no problem to say no to foods that previously had a hold over me. It was so nice to not have to deal with the mental struggle, and all the excuses I tend to tell myself. But, I'm also not really wanting to do another whole30 because I feel that the restriction might lead to the same thing happening again. I want to find a way I can eat for the rest of my life without being on or off "the wagon". So how do we find middle ground between binge eating and thinking "oh well I'll start tomorrow", to total abstinence? 
This is the question I've been struggling with and trying to figure out for myself.

One of the hardest things for me was giving up dairy, and I have actually stuck to that. 

I think the biggest reason I'd be tempted to do another whole30 was the support of our little group on the forum @SarahSun, it really helped keep me on track.

One thing I heard on a podcast is to focus on the solution not the problem. - I find it helps me stop the internal debate when I'm feeling tempted, rather than arguing with myself I know the solution, I know it's what I want. I focus on how to do it, get past the problem or distract myself from it.

I hope you guys don't mind me joining in, I just know how helpful joining in on these forums can be.

 

 

 

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Hi ladies.. I just wanted to write a little note here because like @Alisha Alexander, this really speaks to me. I'm on the last few days of my first proper full W30 (Day25) and I'm increasingly worried about when it ends!!!! For me, I was driven to start this to i) slay my sugar dragon, ii) actually finish a full W30 before turning 30 (I've tried a few over the last few years but never got to the end!) and iii) to feel more in control of my eating as I tend to binge BIG time on sugar and candy.

Getting this far was really helped by one of the groups on the forum that I joined.. but I was 7 days behind them and they are all starting their reintro at the moment. From listening to that, I've started to panic about mine. I'm worried about falling back into bad habits - especially as even on Day25 I really feel I want to eat candy again (but it's more of an emotional/psychological craving than physical!)

Some of these tips are really helpful, thank you! But I am worried about the limitation of being "good" vs "bad" or being "on" or "off" the wagon/program/track. 

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I can't tell you guys how comforting it is to see that others struggle with this just as I do. My binge eating disorder recovery has become such a huge part of my life but I have never had anyone I felt comfortable talking to or relating to at all. I talk to my boyfriend, but it's tough when he's trying to be supportive but I know he just doesn't get what it's like. So I really appreciate you all sharing your stories and thoughts. I'm on day 6 and I'm feeling great. My biggest help thus far that I am focusing on is making sure I get enough carbs each day, whether I get exercise or not. It seems to really be helping with the cravings and calming the dragon down a bit. It's still hard, but doesn't feel like a horrible battle. 

One thing I wanted to share is my evolution from my previous whole30. It was actually a whole62, and I learned a lot. So throughout the entire experience, each week when I got the urge to binge, I set a realistic goals for myself to get better and better each time, so I felt like I actually accomplished something and not like I completely "failed." For instance, the first week, I said, "ok, I know I am going to binge, so this week, I will only allow myself to have compliant whole30 foods with no sugary foods like dried fruit. So even if I lost control, I only let myself eat things like nut butters, compliant sweet potato chips, etc. Then, the next time I felt the binge coming on, I set a new goal. "Ok, this time, I will only let myself have whole foods, and nothing in a package (like whole fruit, whole sweet potatoes, whole almonds, etc.) I set these small goals every time and when I actually accomplished them, it felt really good like I was actually making improvements and gaining mental strength. I still binge now, but its been 2 months since my Whole62, and throughout the whole time off the plan, I still continued setting these small goals and I am constantly improving. I just started my 2nd whole30 this week (I am on day 6) and I decided it will be a whole100 for me, because I know that is how long it's going to take me to work on and conquer these binge and eating habits. Anyways, I just wanted to share that strategy because it's really working for me, and it's making the entire experience much more "doable." I think people with binge eating issues have to cater the whole30 to their own habits and needs, and even if we aren't following it "by the book", any little improvements are a major success. I find it's most important to set realistic goals for yourself that you know you can actually stick to. So don't lie to yourself, but also challenge yourself to take it one step further every week or so. 

I am feeling so great on day 6 already, and I am so happy I am finally getting back on track to continue my recovery. I always remind myself that this process is not linear. It will be a few steps back sometimes, but then many steps forward. Hard times after easy times, but also vice versa. It's just important to focus on the improvements we are making and the progress over time.

I don't know any of you, but I feel like we all know the exact emotions and feelings we all feel in the tough times and what its like to have this disfunctional relationship with food. A lot of people in our lives have no idea what some of us go through, but having support and a place to talk like this forum is really refreshing and I hope we can all learn and grow from each other. 

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@Dragonslayer Thank you so so so much for sharing this... Congratulations on your journey, you should be very proud. 

To be honest, as I feel I can share here, I have not had one binge since I started my W30 26 days ago and it's a very good feeling! Like as you said, we do need to be prepared that this may not be the same way forever, and so i'm so grateful that you could share your tips and insights for moving forward. I really like the idea of setting realistic goals.. and also, I think the recognition of saying how far we have come can also help stay motivated. For the last few days when I've really wanted to binge, I've reminded myself how far I have come, i have given myself permission to binge if I really wanted to, but then also distracted myself for a few minutes to remind myself that there are other things I can do to make myself feel better. 

The support of this forum has really really helped me to see that clearly, and also is a place where I can feel like you understand the same feelings and emotions. Thanks so much

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@Dragonslayer it's so true that it's hard to find people who understand what it's like to have a dysfunctional relationship with food. I said to a friend the other day I was feeling "out of control" with my food choices and she looked at me like I was an alien! I realized she had probably never felt that way about food in her life, meanwhile I've struggled with it ever since I can remember. Also that's awesome you've been making small goals, that is such a good strategy. I often tell myself it's about progress not perfection. I also kind of came to a realization reading your post and how you plan to do 100 days of whole30, that maybe something like that is what I need to do. Maybe I wasn't ready the last time I came off of my whole30 and that's why I went back to bad habits. So maybe a period of total abstaining could lead to a more balanced future, If I stick to it long enough. Maybe I should do a whole100 with you hehe (nervous giggle). I would have to modify though as there are certain aspects of the whole30 that I can do without. 

Anyways hope everyone has a great weekend!

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@Alisha Alexander You should TOTALLY do 100 days with me! We can be accountabilibuddies :P! The reason for the long time is that from most research I have done, it takes the average person 66 days to either develop or erase a habit. Knowing that my habits are so engrained and so emotionally driven, I figured I would go all the way to 100 assuming I need that long. 30 days is great to come to some new realizations, and detox and feel the effects of the changes, but the habits wont really stick for most people unless you continue to do those new things for a long time afterwards. I too have a few modifications with my whole100, but it's foods I know either do or don't work well for me. I think it's just all about the progress. I've learned it's ok not to beat myself up if I realize I ate something at a restaurant that had butter or sugar. I dont need to "restart" after that at this point. I was super strict about my first 30 days of my whole62, but for 100 days, its just a little more realistic to let those small slips go, especially if you aren't eating them on purpose and or can't really control how they are cooked. 

Anyways, seriously think about the 100 with me. I would love a buddy!

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@Dragonslayer If you would like some company for a W100 I am in.  I too struggle with binge eating and W30 seems to be the only thing that helps.  The past couple of years have been a roller coaster of successful periods and then a spiral down.  It's getting old and I want to get and feel better.  I am on day 1 but it's my fourth W30.  Just out of curiosity, what are your modifications?  Thanks!

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Well I'm feeling a little hesitant but I'm going to say yes and join in. I will do tomorrow as my day 1. I think I'm a little overwhelmed by the thought of a hundred days, but I just want to get started and I will take it one day at a time. I guess the biggest thing making me hesitate is Christmas, but hey If i make it that long I will deal with it when I get there. I know I need to commit and say this here so that I actually do it!!

I know this is what I want, I'm sick of having the same problem for the last ten+ years. I've made progress but I'm ready to work harder at it, and I think 100 days outta do it!  

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@hmg1993 I would LOVE someone to do this with. I did a whole 60 a few months ago, and like you, realized this way of eating is the key to my success. (I've also been on a roller coaster for years). I think at this point even if I didn't have binge issues, I would still switch to a Paleo/Whole30 ish lifestyle just because of how much better I feel when I eat this way. Through my whole60, I was pretty strict but still had some compliant binges that I wasn't happy about. And then after I finished, I had a few really bad weeks where I went back to terrible binge habits. So I'm committing to 100 days in hopes of eliminating even compliant binges and really working on my mindfulness and relationship with food. 

The modifications I have are pretty minor, but they just help me a bit with feeling like I have more options. I  discovered in my whole60 that I don't do well with tomatoes unless its in very small amounts, and I'm not eating any dried fruit, whole fruits with high sugar content like pineapple, and nuts or nut butters during my 100 because those are all triggers and "foods without breaks" for me. I will have them if its in a dish at a restaurant or somewhere where the portion is controlled and I don't have the opportunity to binge, but not keeping them in my house at all. Without those foods, I was feeling pretty restricted, so I am allowing myself to have these "coconut flax waffles" I make made with coconut flour, flax meal, eggs, cinnamon, almond milk and a few other spices. They are a good source of fat and fiber and they don't fuel my sugar dragon. I'm also eating homemade cassava tortillas because I am very active they are a good source of carbs when I get sick of potatoes. The last thing I'm allowing is compliant crusts made of cauliflower, cassava etc. Like tonight I made a cassava pizza with a spinach and artichoke creamy topping and crumbled bacon on top. They take a pretty good of time to make/bake, so it's impossible to eat them impulsively. Those 3 modifications are really the only things I added that aren't "by the book" since you aren't supposed to bake or make anything resembling a bread, baked good, etc. I have more of an issue with the sweet tasting stuff, and I'm better able to stop overeating with those 3 foods because I only make them in small batches. Aside from that, I'm strict whole30 about everything else. 

Feel free to message me if you want to keep in touch. Or we can just keep writing on here. But having someone to help keep me going through this 100 days would be soooo awesome! I'm only on day 8, so we are close enough to keep going together. I hope you decide to do it! 

 

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@Alisha Alexander YAY! I'm so happy to have new friends to help us all stay accountable! The 100 days is really intimidating, ESPECIALLY with the holidays coming up, but I really think the important thing with this challenge is being consistent and getting rid of bad habits and developing new ones. That being said, I think we can be easy on ourselves in situations where maybe a food is slightly not compliant. Social situations during these next few months will be difficult, but as long as we make the best choices possible/available in those situations, we are still practicing mindfulness and eating with good intention. 

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UGHHHH. So last night I stayed up super late waiting for my fiancé to get home. All the sudden I got crazy cravings and I must have just been so tired because I honestly didn’t even try to stay strong and started snacking. My sugar dragon kept saying “well those other girls on the forum are starting tomorrow so you can just restart with them!” I eventually caved and ended my 8 day streak :( very unlike me to give in so easily once I’ve started and made it a week, not sure what came over me. Anyways, I’m at day 1 again! And I’m so upset about it that this will definitely be the ONLY restart I have in this 100 day challenge. 

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Hey guys!

I think this group is great and I love how supportive you all are of eachother!

I wonder if instead of calling this a W100 you guys call it your Food Freedom... I say this because if you're making small modifications, allowing foods you know don't affect you and basically making your own rules, that's exactly what Food Freedom is!  In your particular context (your= plural) it's possible that you may make a Food Freedom program that is stricter than others and more based on Whole30 rules than some people but that's what we want you to do.  Take the rules and recommendations that work for you going forward and make a plan that can last 100, 200, 500+ days... If you look at it this way, when your 100 days are over, you're not out there in the world wondering what to do next, you're just you with a great eating plan that works for your particular context... 

Sometimes doing this is hard because then your accountability is to yourself instead of to rules of a program, but you can also be accountable to eachother and work on engraining your own chosen habits around food in a group for these hundred days...

May I suggest that you all list out exactly what your own rules are goiing to be (I see some of you have done that, but maybe more specificity would be helpful?) and then report back as you would with a Whole30 by the book but using your own rules as the benchmark for what is 'on plan' and what is 'off plan'. 

Does any of that make sense?  

I should also add that I"m not in here with this suggestion as a mod but just as a participant in a program and someone that has struggled with control over food for as long as I can remember :)  

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Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that @Dragonslayer, there's no point beating yourself up about it! It has happened to me a lot the past few weeks (albeit I wasn't 8 days into a whole30 :( ), where I wake up feeling so crappy about my choices the night before. But rather than beat myself up about it, I journal. I try and look at it objectively. I take out the emotion and analyze where I went wrong, and what I could have done instead. And then I let it go. I'm just saying this because if your anything like me the next day would be all about restriction and guilt. AND I am also dealing with this today. I had planned to cook dinner after I got off work but instead I kept thinking to myself that I should have a blow out since "I'm starting tomorrow". This is also unlike me. I've been pretty good about not having this mentality because I know I'm not on a diet, I'm on a path to how I plan to eat forever. But last night it got to me. So I ate a pizza. Then a couple hours later, my boyfriend brought home take out, and I ate some of that too.

@SugarcubeOD I really like your Idea of calling it what it is. Food freedom, I had been thinking about this myself when I was hesitant to commit to a 'whole100' but I realized, really I'm jumping to the way I want to eat in the long term, I just wanted the mindset of a whole30 going into it, and I know I need to stick with it for longer than 30 days. I also think it is a good idea to have our rules laid out, so I will get to work on that and I will post them later. 

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@SugarcubeOD I totally agree with everything you said. Thank you very much for the insight. Thinking of it that way almost makes it better for me mentally I think. I also think I just need something strict at first to keep me focused and dedicated so that was why I said it would be a “whole100.” Changing it to Something like Binge Food Freedom is much better. I too will come up with my list of rules today and post later. Thanks again for your thoughts, and @Alisha Alexander we got this! Day 1. Probably not easy for either of us after a night of too much indulging, but I’m stronger getting through today knowing I committed to this with other people. BFF (binge food freedom). Still my goal to stick with my plan for 100 days, but with possible food freedom evolutions along the way, posting to stay accountable, and then continuing to evolve afterwards. 

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Ok, I did my list of rules! I'm posting them below, so now I'm really being held accountable. Might sound restrictive or strange to some, but this is what works for me and what I think is best at this point in my food freedom. Every 30 days I will re-evaluate my rules and decide if I need any changes. Here's to the next 100 days and my journey to a binge free food freedom! ... 

  • YES Whole Foods: All non starchy vegetables, low sugar fruits (berries, grapefruit and cantaloupe), sweet and red potatoes, parsnips, all squash, All non or minimally processed meat, Eggs, Avocados, Olives, Coconut, 100% Cacao
  • YES Drinks/Liquids: Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Kombucha, Coffee, Tea, All Vinegars
  • YES Oils: Avocado, Coconut, Olive, Sesame, and Walnut
  • YES Flours: Coconut, Cassava, Arrowroot, Tapioca, Flax Meal
  • NO Whole Foods: All Grains, Dairy, Peas, Corn, Soy, Plantains, High Sugar Fruits, Peanut Butter, Sunflower Butter, Honey, Maple Syrup
  • NO Other Foods: Added sugar of any kind, anything made with peas, corn, or soy, any processed or refined oils, restaurant breakfast potatoes or fries (even sweet potato), restaurant dressings (only olive oil and vinegar)anything packaged that would technically be compliant (ex: sweet potato chips, dried fruit, fruit and nut bars, mary's crackers, etc.), smoothies, anything resembling a baked good, bread, or dessert.
  • EXCEPTIONS: Homemade coconut/flax waffles, cassava tortillas and crusts, homemade fries, packaged coconut flakes, 100% cacao bars.
  • NEVER ALLOWED IN THE HOUSE BUT YES AT RESTAURANTS OR SPECIAL OCCASIONS: Butter or Oils cooked on foods that are unavoidable (ex: burger grilled with non compliant oil, this does not mean wings are ok because they are deep fried in oil- that is avoidable), nuts, nut butters, seeds, sauces made with fruit, coconut butter, higher quality bacon
  • #1 Overall Rule: No matter how bad the cravings, even if I give in and binge, NEVER binge on anything but YES foods. 

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