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Emelless

Should We Quit?

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My boyfriend and I are doing the Whole30 together (I am on Day 12, he is on Day 11).  While we have both seen some positive changes, there are several issues that are pushing us to the brink of quitting. 

1) Food Boredom - I have read the forums extensively on this topic, but can’t seem to break out of this rut. We have eaten a wide range of seafood/meat, different cuisines, sauces, etc., but even though it tastes good, we are left feeling totally unsatisfied. I made my boyfriend’s favorite pre-Whole30 meals of steak and chicken wings, but he didn’t even enjoy them. I think this is because we feel like we “have” to eat this food, instead of choosing it out of a variety of options. I also ate vegetarian meals about 80% of the time pre-Whole30 and this is not conducive to that.

2) Time-Consuming - I am spending hours a day cooking, washing dishes, and grocery shopping. I have eaten dinner at 11:00 p.m. twice this week because that’s how long it took to prepare my meal that was supposed to take under an hour.  I have had no time to do any sort of relaxing activity or hobbies, because this has taken over my life.  We wanted to go out to eat to give ourselves a break, but we are terrified of them not preparing it how we ask and inadvertently undoing our efforts.

3) Not Eating Enough - I know we are not eating enough, partly because of #1 and #2, but also because I don’t have time to make multiple components for each meal (protein, vegetable, other side), so sometimes I will just serve a partial template. My boyfriend was not much of a breakfast eater before Whole30 and he doesn’t really like vegetables/salads, so he declines to eat a lot of the things I offer. 

4) Cost - I have spent over $500 in groceries for the food so far. I realize that good food costs money, but I just can’t sustain this level of cost.

5) Depression/Stress - I have pre-existing depression/anxiety, and the stress of this is exacerbating it.  I’m miserable most of the day and my boyfriend is constantly complaining.  

We both did the Whole30 for different reasons.  I am 108 pounds and I’m generally a healthy eater. I do not have a “sugar dragon” and I will open a bag of chips, eats 7 or 8 chips, and put the bag away. I did the Whole30 because I felt a lot of bloating after meals and my energy level wasn’t very high.  My boyfriend frequently skips meals and then binges on an entire bag of chips or a pint of ice cream. He loves fast food and pretty much any food that is fried and unhealthy.  He did this with me to support me, and he was absolutely loving it the first week. He felt great, his heartburn was gone, and he had energy. Now, he’s bitter and hungry all the time and the glow has worn off.

Is it worth doing if it means being miserable for 20 more days?  I am hoping someone can offer some advice.  Thanks.

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Only you can decide if it's worth it or not. Some of the things you've mentioned you will figure out if you do stick to this -- you'll get better at food prep and planning and find what works best for you, which may mean crockpot meals so you get home to something that's been cooking all day and is ready to eat, or it may mean batch cooking once or twice a week so there's food in the fridge that is ready to either be cooked or reheated or eaten cold (here's a description of how that can work:  http://meljoulwan.com/2010/01/14/paleo-kitchen-the-method-behind-my-madness/

Your grocery bills can go down too -- if this way of eating is very different from what you did before, you may have spent a lot on oils, spices, and other staples that you shouldn't need to replace very often. You might also have gotten caught up in looking at recipes and trying new things, but it is absolutely okay to have scrambled eggs and vegetables for dinner sometimes, or to buy canned tuna or salmon to use, or to buy whatever meat is on sale and build your meal around that. Produce that's in season tends to be cheaper than what isn't, and frozen vegetables are also a good way to stretch your budget a little farther. Recommendations for organic, pastures, free range, etc are just recommendations, if that's not in your budget, buy what is.

Batch cooking a bunch of food should help with having enough food. Even if you don't do a big batch cook once a week, always cook extra of everything so you have leftovers for another meal. If you're having baked potatoes with dinner, cook several. If you've got the oven on to roast vegetables, roast as many pans of vegetables as you can fit in the oven. 

If you're struggling with depression, be sure you're eating at least one fist-sized serving of starchy vegetable each day, and it's fine to have more. Also be sure you dont skimp on the fat in your meals.

As for feeling like you have to eat this stuff, that's something you're going to have to work on yourself. The truth is, you can eat anything you want to. You're an adult, we're not forcing you to eat this stuff, you're choosing to, and you can choose not to at any time. You just have to decide if it's more in line with your goals to keep going on whole30, or to eat whatever off plan stuff you're wanting. There's not a right or wrong answer to that, you just have to decide what is right for you, right now.

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