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Feeling Discouraged On Day 19


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Long one ahead, fair warning! Maybe it's because I ate a lot of processed foods and sugar before I started the Whole30, and not just as a lifestyle, but immediately in the couple of days leading up to it as well, or maybe I'm not doing something right in my diet, though I've been very careful to read labels and prepare compliant foods. Whatever it is, I don't really see any major changes or anything resembling "tiger blood" and I am just feeling very discouraged. I do plan to finish, as I would be pretty silly to come all this way and give up, but I guess I'm seeking advice/similar stories/encouragement.

In the few months prior to my Whole30 that began on Nov 1, I would eat out roughly 4 or 5 times/week. Not always the worst thing on the menu, but definitely not the healthiest choices either. I ate a lot of gluten and dairy and sugar (in the form of Reese's.) I was actively trying to eat better, including more veggies and home-cooked meals, but never seemed able to quite commit. Finally, I got tired of feeling like crap all of the time. I work overnights at a hotel Thursday-Sunday and go to school at my university during the weekdays. My sleep schedule is a disaster, especially over the last three days for various reasons, and while I've been trying to lean into the night shift hours even on my days off, it's difficult not to make plans with family and friends and sleep at "normal people" hours. Because of all of this, my meals don't fall into typical B/L/D time slots (maybe this is a problem). Here is what I've eaten over the last 3 days:

Friday Breakfast (9pm): two fried eggs and half of a russet potato, broccoli, glass of OJ
Friday Lunch (1am): serving of homemade tomato soup, mixed veggies with carrots and broccoli
Friday Dinner (9am): other half of the russet potato with ghee, half of a piece of New York strip from dinner the previous night
-I probably snacked on some cashews and cherry tomatoes, and frozen blueberries; two hardboiled eggs around 4am

Saturday Breakfast (8pm): can of tuna and some cooked green beans, glass of OJ, handful of cashews-- not my best, but I woke up late for work.
Saturday Lunch (12:30am): one large chicken breast, riced cauliflower, handful of cooked plantains
Saturday Dinner (8:30am): half of a flank steak, zuchinni and yellow squash noodles and broccoli with homemade teriyaki sauce
-Probably snacked a bit on some celery and tomatoes, and frozen grapes; two hard boiled eggs sometime around 4am

Sunday Breakfast (9pm): chicken breast, veggie mix of sweet potato, yellow bell pepper, and tomato with salsa
Sunday Lunch (1am): chicken breast with veggie mix of carrots and green beans with ghee
Sunday Dinner: not eaten yet, I get off work at 8am, which is when I would eat my last meal. I was thinking another serving of tomato soup and some cooked potatoes.
-Snacked on grapes, celery, and tomatoes; glass of GT's kombucha

I stopped eating cashews two days ago with my little can ran out because I thought I was relying on them too often for snacks. I also am trying not to eat eggs first thing in the morning as they make me pretty nauseous for some reason. I am still experiencing general fatigue (though like I said, my last three nights especially have been rough with noise from neighbors and restlessness). I am not really sleeping soundly when I do rest, I still experience headaches, and (TMI) I still have diarrhea. These are all issues I had 20 days ago that I hoped would resolve or at least improve. I feel very bloated today especially, and I've had a hard time focusing all night at work. I HAVE noticed however that my acid reflux/heart burn that was starting to occur almost daily has not happened since day 3 or 4, and I haven't had nearly as much gastrointestinal pain that I would usually treat with Tums- it's only happened at the very beginning and then again early last week.

Do you see anything I could be doing better? I try to eat a green veggie with every meal, as well as some kind of protein. I am not always hungry at the "designated" meal times, so I don't know if I should be forcing myself to eat, or if the light snacking is enough. I am worried that if I eat a big meal right in the middle of my 10 hour shift, the temptation to grab unhealthy food from the snack shop will be much greater. I haven't had as many cravings as I thought, though this last week especially I have been specifically graving sour cream and cheesecake almost daily.

Any thoughts or ideas are welcome, and I'm sorry to write a novel. I'm just feeling very disappointed that I seem to be missing out on some of my favorite foods (see: Thanksgiving) for almost nothing. Thanks, everyone!

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Morning, and sorry you aren't feeling great. A few things stand out to me so I'll list them in point form:

  • give up the orange juice altogether. We don't recommend drinking juice and it will slow or prevent you from becoming fat adapted as well as cause uneven blood sugar leading to cravings and false hunger.
  • Eat within an hour of waking no matter when that is. Then eat every 4-5 hours, a regular template meal that includes protein, veggies and fat. It seems that some of your between meal timing runs very long (8-9 hours)
  • If you do need to snack, focus on having a mini-meal snack that contains at least protein and fat or protein and veggies. Raw veggies alone or fruits alone aren't doing anything for you.
  • I don't see any included fats besides the ghee you're putting on your potato. Every meal needs at least one serving of fat.
  • Your Friday lunch and proposed Sunday last meal don't include any protein.

As for sleep, when you are working on night shift, that is an automatic stress on your body and it's in your best interest to treat that with the respect it deserves. This is an excellent post from Michelle Tam who is a friend of the program: https://nomnompaleo.com/post/55156756199/surviving-the-night-shift

Also remember that if you were eating less than optimally on a regular basis, expecting to see full-scale change in 19 days is a bit optimistic. The fact that your acid reflux and gut pain is resolving is a high sign you're on the right track. Try making some of the changes I've noted above and see how you do.

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