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A Recovering Sugar Addict's First Whole30, COMPLETED


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Hi there! I am a recovering sugar addict and snacker who started a Whole30 to reduce my sugar cravings, lean out, and gain more energy for grueling workouts. As of tomorrow morning I will have successfully finished the program!

Secrets to my success….

  • It Starts with Food, the Whole30 Daily Email, Well Fed, Practical Paleo, Robb Wolf podcasts, Everyday Paleo podcasts, Balanced Bites podcast, recipe ideas on Paleo-friendly Pinterest pages (and deleting non-Paleo pins on my own Pinterest page), recipe ideas on Paleo Instagram sites, doing Crossfit regularly, sharing my feelings with my husband (who does not eat Paleo but supports me in my efforts)
  • I read Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project and Happier at Home and started journaling about other things I'm excited about.
  • Melissa Joulwan's “The Best Chicken You will Ever Eat†from Well Fed and Diane Sanfillippo's “Quick and Easy Salmon Cakes†from Practical Paleo are my new favorite go-to dishes.
  • Making my own dressings and spice blends such as balsamic vinaigrettes, Melissa Joulwan's Moroccan dipping sauce from Well Fed, Melissa's chicken spice rub from Well Fed, homemade taco seasoning, Diane Sanfillippo's Rosemary sea salt blend, my own guacamole, etc.
  • Making my water sexier by adding fresh squeezed lemon juice, mint, and/or cucumber slices, and drinking LOTS of it.
  • Drinking lots of tea - my favorites are green tea, decaf peppermint, and acai blueberry.
  • AVOCADOES. ‘Nuff said.
  • Learning to eat and LOVE whole eggs, not just the whites. Tried to eat Omega-3 enriched eggs as much as possible and organic eggs when O-3 eggs were not available. Even getting my husband to give up his morning bagel and replace it with scrambled eggs and fruit! (Tiny victory!)
  • Cooking with coconut oil – changed my life!
  • Meal planning and regular trips to Trader Joe's
  • Tuning out of TV or the computer or my iPhone while eating, making meals as zen-like as possible. Lit a candle, sitting down to dinner with my husband, and getting as romantic as possible with my food. (butt, there were still detriments, see below)
  • Avoided questioning during a recent cocktail party my husband and I threw (I didn't want the Whole30 to stop me from enjoying the holidays!) by drinking sparkling water with a splash of organic no sugar added pomegranate juice and raspberry garnish in a champagne glass – looked exactly like champagne! No need to explain my Whole30 to 25 people and my husband supported me through and through! Felt great the next day and did a 90 min workout while others were hungover in bed! Hah.
  • Ate out to dinner 1 time and drank sparkling water with lime wedges and politely passed on dessert and had decaf coffee instead.
  • I stopped keeping treats in the house and obsessing about eating them or not eating them.

Detriments to my success….

  • Snacking/grazing between meals. I'm just SO wired to snack between meals from my pre-Whole30 days. Snacks were usually healthy like grapes, almonds, brussels sprouts, sweet potato cubes, turkey slices, olives, or carrots, but I still snacked. Even worse, sometimes I would snack standing up in front of the refrigerator! This is bad, I must stop this. But sometimes I legitimately get so hungry for the several hours in between meals – I feel helpless! I just need to nibble on something! I have to give myself credit that at least I'm snacking on W30-approved things and not chocolate chip cookies, cereal, non-fat yogurt, and peanut butter like I used to do.
  • Eating too much fruit and nuts. It was easy to eat fruit because I have it around for my husband and it's easily available. Not that fruit and nuts are bad, but for me, a as a recovering sugar addict, I need to just buy the apples and pears that my husband eats and nothing else (no tangerines, no grapes, no strawberries, no cantaloupe, etc.). I'll think it's ok to allow myself to have a small piece while I'm cutting them up for him though? As for the nuts, I need to buy those in small quantities and just keep them in my car for emergencies, not as a regular snack in my cabinet.
  • Eating Larabars are a huge carb trigger….I think I have to stow these up high in the top cabinet only for emergencies.
  • Told myself I would tune out of my iPhone 1 hour before bed but I would catch myself still sneaking in some updates on Facebook or Instagram before bed. I need to not do this. My internet friends can wait until the morning!!

What feels great about my success?

  • While I haven't lost the weight I wanted to lose (probably because I was already at a healthy weight and I ate fairly healthy pre-Whole30 and I was still ingesting a lot of calories?), my pants do generally fit “better†so to say and I feel a little leaner due to doing Crossfit several times per week.
  • I am no longer afraid of fat. I used to be the kind of person who would eliminate fat at all costs. Now I'm not afraid of eating a marbled grass-fed steak, the yolk from omega-3 eggs, or dark meat from a free range chicken. Now I know that these are healthy sources of fat that I NEED to stay healthy and satisfied! I'm also not afraid to drizzle olive oil or homemade balsamic vinaigrette on my salads anymore!
  • I feel fuller from eating more protein. I used to go meal after meal with no source of protein (i.e, all-fruit smoothies for breakfast, green salads with a tiny sprinkling of nuts and cheese for lunch, a tiny bit of chicken for dinner). Now I'm REVELING in creating meals around healthy sources of protein and I'm excited to try new cuts of meat and types of fish.
  • My sugar cravings GREATLY diminished! SCORE!!!!! I didn't even WANT the desserts laid out at Thanksgiving or the cookies I had put out for my guests at my recent holiday cocktail party. I don't even really look at them as "food" anymore.
  • I have controlled my cravings for Splenda, Crystal Light, Diet sodas, and other fake sugar products. I used to put splenda on EVERYTHING, i.e., my coffee, tea, yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, fruit, even my baby carrots (!) and I would drink a handful of diet 7-Ups and crystal light waters a day (Hello hormonal damage!). By starving my Splenda/Sugar dragon I have effectively killed him and I can now taste the natural sweetness and flavors in fruit, coffee, and tea. Score. (That's not to say that I don't shake organic ground cinnamon on EVERYTHING now as a substitute!)
  • Feeling a sense of calm not needing to “try†a million unhealthy non-Paleo entrees and desserts that I had been lusting over and bookmarking on my list of “recipes to make†(I am a big cook.). I feel so much more calm and in control just limiting my recipe planning and meals to meats, fish, eggs, and vegetables from trustworthy sources.
  • No urge to snack late at night after dinner (this is also partially because I am ASLEEP late at night and not up screwing around on the computer and raiding my fridge!)
  • No urge to lick the spoon when making apple and peanut butter snacks for my husband. Haha this seems silly but it used to be a problem for me.
  • Not obsessing over calorie counting and focusing more on creating balanced meals with healthy ratios of protein, fat, and carbs.
  • Have more energy. And sex drive is improved too.
  • Perioral dermatitis around my mouth is greatly reduced, skin is brighter and clearer (this is rare in the winter!), my skin is soft and supple.
  • Sleeping like a baby and generally rocking it in the sleep department – getting ready for bed at 9:00 most days and asleep by 9:30 or 10. Used to go to bed at midnight. Go me.
  • More exercise stamina in my Crossfit classes. I am setting new personal records every week.
  • Wedding bands come off and on without my finger swelling.
  • Overall sense of general well being.
  • Lowered stress, generally feel happier not being controlled by my food.

What I'll do in the future to increase my success…

  • Eat more fat at mealtime to reduce craving to snack between meals and drink lots of water and tea between meals.
  • Perfect my Paleo "Elevator Pitch" so that I can quickly and easily explain to others why I'm eating the way I am without stumbling over my words.
  • When I feel the urge to snack, I will drink water, wait it out, do jumping jacks, clean/organize something, take the dogs for a quick walk, etc.
  • Limit and/or omit fruit and nuts – save them only for emergencies, or while traveling on roadtrips.
  • Keep trying to eliminate electronics before bed. Try to check social media only 1-2 times per day and tune out for 1 hour before bed.
  • Keep trying new delicious Paleo and Whole30-friendly recipes and following more Paleo blogs.
  • Doing more reading on the subject of happiness.
  • Continuing to go to Crossfit and making myself stronger and fitter.
  • Slowly start to integrate and sneak more Paleo and Primal meals into my husband's diet, and stop buying him unhealthy cereals, granola bars, and other junk foods at the grocery store. Stop giving in to grocery store coupons for “$2.00 off†some crap junk food that's not good for us anyway. I want so badly for him to join me in this journey but he's not interested nor does he have any psychological problems with food to have the desire to change his eating habits. He likes the Paleo meals I make for dinner but he's still hooked on his turkey and swiss sandwiches on wheat bread and Dannon Light n Fit yogurts for lunch (gross) and pasteurized skim milk in his coffee (bleck). I offered to start making him salads with grilled chicken for lunch but he wouldn't have it. Suggestions?
  • Most importantly, I want to focus less on what I look like and more on the great things I am accomplishing and just getting my head screwed on straight. I know I am valuable to and loved by my family and husband and I am worthy in life in general. That being said, I want to focus more on the things I love like hanging out with my husband, entertaining, cooking, my faith, training my two beautiful golden retrievers, Crossfit, my volunteer fundraising work for the local hospital, decorating my house, etc. I want to focus on what I'm going to accomplish throughout the day goal-wise rather than what I'm going to eat next. In general, I want to make myself happier so that I can influence the happiness of others around me.

Thanks for listening!. Now I'm just really looking forward to my Chocolate Coconut LaraBar and my grain-free, dairy-free pumpkin pie in my post-Whole30! ;)

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Yes! I just have to keep making crazy delicious Paleo meals for his breakfast and dinner and he will learn to love how he feels! ;) I've also been thinking, I'm really glad I discovered the W30 before I had kids, as my habits will be in place once I do have kids and I will be able to feed them strict paleo easily.

Would love to hear if anyone else has any insight/personal experience with regards to my snacking/grazing problem referenced above.

Thanks for reading. Appreciate all the support!

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THis was great! I feel like I can relate to a lot of the things you mentioned (grazing, watching tv while I eat, always on social media in some form or another, snacking, nuts/fruit, love of coconut oil, the egg yolk, all those recipes etc). I feel like I am reading what will hopefully be my success story in another 14 days :) I also feel like I ill not see the weight loss that I was secretly hoping, but again, had been eating very healthy/clean before hand and am at a normal body weight. Maybe it'll just take some more time to shed those last 5 lbs? Thanks for the write up :)

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Thank you for your post! Very inspiring :)

I also have a trouble leaving my iPhone alone, I want to play Wordfeud or check instagram all the time. I am addicted! And living alone it is a good dinner company, so this has actually been the hardest part for me..

Good luck to your post-W30! :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

This write-up is completely inspiring, especially because I feel I'm facing some of the same challenges that you faced! (Needing to cut out technology time before bedtime, husband is supportive but not on-board himself, etc.) Thanks for sharing your journey!

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  • 11 months later...


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