Laura of The Great White North

Starting July 8th and Preparing for All the Suck

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Hello!! My name is Laura and I will be starting my first Whole30 on Monday July 8th. My ultimate goal is to finish and my other goal is to take the first steps towards truly changing my relationship with food. Food has been my drug for almost my entire life. I know that in order to be successful I will have to learn how to be uncomfortable and so I am gearing up to deal with all the suck that is going to come with it. I am looking forward to and dreading this experience all at the same time. I appreciate any suggestions or advice anyone might have. Thank you!

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Posted (edited)

Hey Laura! 

Really excited for you and your Whole30 journey! I commend you and your ultimate goal for doing Whole30 - to not only finish but take steps toward truly changing your relationship with food! Bravo! That's what its all about! 

Couple of thoughts.

Having your WHY very clearly outlined is so powerful and serves as that "true north" you can go back to on the tough days. 

Mentally preparing ourselves is as important as preparing our kitchens and prepping food! If you take the time to think ahead about what you'll do and how you'll handle tough days (call someone, hop on the forum and share where you're at, have some fool proof options to fall back on, etc) will be super helpful.

Focus on all the gains Whole30 has to offer rather than focusing on what you're giving up for the 30 days + reintroduction. 

Know that there will be days that you may literally have to boss your brain! Its not uncommon to find ourselves mentally battling as our brains will do everything they can to convince us to give it what it wants. 

Focus on savoring experiences beyond food. Sometimes we can be far too focused on the food and forget to incorporate an attitude of savoring and seeing the abundance in the whole experience of life and what we're accomplishing in taking steps toward changing our health!

And definitely plan to do reintroduction! It will help solidify all the hard work and fresh new healthy habits you've developed!

Best! 

Edited by SusanMarks
grammar

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I plan to start Whole 30 July 8th as well! I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in February and have gained 15 lbs in the past 6 months. For months I've been trying and failing to lose this weight with methods that have been effective for me before and have become increasingly discouraged. I have continued to gain weight no matter what I do. I feel lost and like no matter what I do my body is working against me. I recently had blood drawn and it seems my thyroid is now under control and I'm ready to take on this challenge in order to stop the destructive patterns I see forming and heal my deteriorating relationship with food since my diagnosis. Hopefully, during the reintroduction, I'll be able to discover what foods I should avoid to manage my thyroid disorder (of course while continuing my hormone replacement therapy).

I am looking forward to the challenge and finally feeling like I'm in control again! 

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Hi there! I am finally committing to start the Whole30 on July 8th and looking forward to sharing with you all.

This will be my second Whole30, although I have unsuccessfully started about 5 times in the past year. I completed a Whole30 two years ago and it was the best thing I have ever done for myself.  I had struggled with depression for years as well as inflammation , poor sleep , and low energy. Anyway, it really worked and I was able to keep myself on track most of the time.

Last summer we relocated - in a period of 9 months we committed to retiring south, bought a lot, sold our house and made the long distance move!  I foolishly thought it would be easy! Needless to say all that stress and change threw my eating habits for a curve! 

Whole30 #2 - here I come!

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Hi everyone!! I would love the company on this journey. I'm looking forward to challenging myself during this time. I believe now that my issue won't be with the restrictions on food as much as my tendency to rely on food during times of stress and emotional upheaval. We'll see if that's what I believe in a few weeks!! 

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On 6/26/2019 at 6:21 PM, Laura of The Great White North said:

Hello!! My name is Laura and I will be starting my first Whole30 on Monday July 8th. My ultimate goal is to finish and my other goal is to take the first steps towards truly changing my relationship with food. Food has been my drug for almost my entire life. I know that in order to be successful I will have to learn how to be uncomfortable and so I am gearing up to deal with all the suck that is going to come with it. I am looking forward to and dreading this experience all at the same time. I appreciate any suggestions or advice anyone might have. Thank you!

Hi Laura!

Congratulations on deciding to start a Whole30 in July! If you stick with it until the end the process can truly transform your life, I am so excited for you!

SusanMarks had some fantastic tips, so I second all of those! In addition, I always stress to my coaching clients to go into the experience thinking of the 30 day elimination as just phase ONE...it's not the end! As you mentioned, in order to see a lasting change we have to truly change our relationship with food, not just what we put in our mouth. Part of that requires that we take the reintroduction period after our elimination seriously. I can't stress enough how valuable it is to take your time in systematically reintroducing the things you've eliminated, and paying attention to how each makes you feel, starting on day 31. Do not skip this part! Once you know how individual foods/food groups make you feel physically/emotionally/mentally it becomes much easier to make conscious, informed, and deliberate decisions about whether or not those foods are worth bringing back into your diet and if so, in what quantities/how often.

Have you read Melissa Hartwig Urban's book Food Freedom Forever yet? I absolutely love it and I think it is one of the most helpful resources available and definitely worth the investment...or borrowing from a friend/the library! It gives so many real-life examples and tangible tips for navigating food freedom and life after Whole30 and is just super inspiring. Highly recommend reading that one during your Whole30 so you can begin to see the big picture and what's possible with food freedom!

Finally, if you expect something to suck, it probably will :) There is no doubt that completing a Whole30 is HARD! It's normal to feel a little anxious before you begin, so I totally understand that you're dreading it AND looking forward to it at the same time. Change is always difficult. But try to go into it with a positive attitude and LOOK for blessings along the way, things to be grateful for, reasons to be PROUD of yourself, and non-scale victories (even the teeny tiny ones!) each and every day...I think you'll be surprised at how joyful the experience can be depending on your perspective. Headaches from sugar withdrawal on days 2-3 mean IT'S WORKING! Your body is already responding to the big changes you're making. Woohoo! Digestive "issues" around the beginning of week 2? Unpleasant, but a sign that your body is flushing out all the junk! YAY! Just take things one day at a time and remind yourself that nothing worth having happens overnight.

Food freedom is a process and healing our relationship with food takes time, but it is so worth it.You are worth it.

Best of luck! You're going to do great!

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Hi Erinn! Thanks for the suggestions and support! I am reading Food Freedom right now. I am inspired by the idea of feeling that freedom. I am also scared of the work that I know I have to do to get there. But the unknown is always a bit scary and I know that I can do this! 

I like the perspective of the uncomfortable parts of the Whole30 being signs of success and not failure. I am also looking forward to the reintroduction phase. I feel like I know how food effects me physically but I've never truly done an elimination/reintroduction program before so I have no idea what I might discover. 

I am hopeful that this Whole30 will set me on the path that I have been trying to find for many years now.

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You're absolutely on the right track! Reading your response made me think about how reintroduction provides an opportunity to pay close attention not just to how food affects us physically (bloating, tired, skin reactions, etc) but maybe even more importantly -- how it affects us mentally and emotionally (cravings, anxiety, feeling depressed, feeling out of control, guilt, shame, etc.) It is super hard to lean into that process in the moment and really be present and willing to be honest about that with ourselves, but I think it's so valuable! 

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I have followed a previous student, who has found such personal success after starting and maintaining a Whole30 lifestyle transformation. After meeting with her this week, I immediately bought the Whole30 book, which arrived today, and I am reading, taking notes, finding resources (including this group), and wish to jump right in. This seems to be especially perfect timing, as I have just over 30 days on summer vacation before returning officially to school. Since July 4 is 15 minutes away, and I have read that it may take a few days to get prepared, a start date of July 8 seems perfect! So glad I found this site and this group! 

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I'm also starting on July 8th! I've never done Whole30 before, but I'm in need of a reset. I've gained 20 pounds in 2 years, when I moved from Colorado to Boston. I was more active in CO, and it's really easy to make poor food and beverage decisions in Boston and at my job. I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia in April 2018, which explains my daily heart burn. Between May 2018 and June 2019, I was traveling a lot to care for my father. He recently passed away, so now I have the time to dedicate to getting my own life on track. I know I will struggle with Whole30...the Sugar Dragon and I are very well acquainted. But my body is telling me that I need to make it a priority, so I’m ready to give this a try!

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I’m starting on 7/8 as well. I am excited to see what it feels like when I actually finish something. I figure I can do anything for 30 days and eating whole, anti inflammatory foods sounds amazing! 

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I started on the 6th...can I join you guys with just a few days difference? :) I haven't even done my big grocery run yet! (Planning to go today though! It was just the timing.)

I have a few reasons for doing Whole30. Primarily I struggle with low energy  I could get 10 hours of sleep and still feel tired. I know sleep issues can be complex so I've addressed it in a few other ways, but I want to see how my diet might also be playing a role. 

Also, I'm only 31 but I'm on the border of high cholesterol. I'm told it's genetic, but I want to see if I can lower it and learn how to manage it now without resorting to statins later in life. I have a yearly blood test and checkup coming later in August so I'm hoping the results are good!

Usually I'm a pretty independent person and I like to do solo challenges, but for something like this I'm glad there's a community available for support! Looking forward to journeying with all of you!  -Angela

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A successful Whole30 friend suggested to me that I may start better prepared and be more successful if I hold off a few more days before starting, so I’ll be prepping this week and starting just after the bulk of this group. Hope that’s fine to stay with you! Wishing everyone well and looking forward to teaming through this together! After reading several recipes today, I decided to buy an instant pot and meat thermometer. An air fryer has also been recommended. Any other info about helpful equipment to have on hand?

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26 minutes ago, Darcy18 said:

A successful Whole30 friend suggested to me that I may start better prepared and be more successful if I hold off a few more days before starting, so I’ll be prepping this week and starting just after the bulk of this group. Hope that’s fine to stay with you! Wishing everyone well and looking forward to teaming through this together! After reading several recipes today, I decided to buy an instant pot and meat thermometer. An air fryer has also been recommended. Any other info about helpful equipment to have on hand?

New kitchen stuff is fun, and if you've got the budget for it and space in your kitchen for it, go for it -- but please don't feel you need these things. It's easy to look at all the food bloggers and think you need a bunch of gadgets, but you really don't.  Focus on the basics, see what kind of meal prep works for you each week, and then think about which items will work well for you. I say this as someone who has bought some of the cool gadgets, and some of those purchases I'm still happy with, but some were just not as neat as they sounded.

The meat thermometer is a must for me -- I'm super paranoid about undercooked chicken and pork and use the thermometer all the time to double check that it's really done.  Other than that, if you have pots and pans and knives and cutting boards and storage containers for leftovers, you probably have everything you really need, anything beyond that is bonus. If you want to make your own mayo and other dressings and sauces, an immersion blender is nice, although if you have a regular blender that will also work. Make sure you have a good chef's knife that is comfortable for you to use -- sharpen it if it needs to be sharpened, you're going to be using it a lot -- and at least two cutting boards (one for vegetables, one for raw meats). As far as pots and pans and such, I use my rimmed baking sheets a lot, because I roast a lot of vegetables. I have a big (like 12 inch maybe)  stainless steel straight-sided saute pan that I use for browning ground meat and pan-frying burger patties or chicken pieces, and then two non-stick skillets, the ceramic coated ones, one's probably 10 inch and the other 6 or 8 inches, that are great for eggs and stir-frying vegetables. I have a big soup pot I use a lot in the winter when I cook a big pot of soup pretty much every week. A crockpot can be nice if you already have one, but I don't know that you ought to go buy one if you don't, I suspect that if mine died tomorrow, I wouldn't be in any rush to replace it.

Those items got me through my first few Whole30s. I have since added a spiralizer (which I hardly ever use, could totally live without), a really nice food processor (I go through phases with this one, sometimes it's faster just to chop the vegetables by hand, but when I do want them more even or want the onions sliced super, super thin, the food processor does a much nicer job than I can do, but it does take a big chunk of counter space), and an Instant Pot (which I used a bunch over the fall and winter, using it to cook a whole chicken almost every week, and then make broth from the carcass, but which I haven't touched in weeks now -- overall, I don't regret buying it, but I could also have lived without it).  

Obviously, everyone is going to have different opinions, and there's no wrong answer. There are people who use their spiralizers every week and love them and eat lots more vegetables because of them -- that's great! There are  people who depend on their crockpots so they have hot meals ready when they get home from work -- also great! Just, not me. A lot of deciding what you need is figuring out what kind of meal prep you do to fit with your life. If you already cook most of your meals from scratch, you may have a good idea of that, but if you currently do a lot of takeout or even things like sandwiches that don't require a lot of prep on your part, Whole30 may be a huge change and you may not really know what is going to work best for you yet. It is okay to just use what you have and decide later what else would be helpful. 

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I definitely agree with what Shannon said above :) 

Part of the beauty of Whole30 is that just about everyone can work with what they've got. Sure, you'll find things that you think might make it all a bit easier for you, and that's great... but there's no need at all to jump in and outfit a kitchen with a bunch of new gadgets and appliances just for the sake of having them, "just in case". With the cooking appliances, too, most recipes that are written to use one can be adapted to use a different one instead. There are plenty of times when I'll find a recipe that calls for cooking meat in the oven (or on the stove) and I just adapt it for the pressure cooker so I can keep the flavor profile but use a method that's easier for me.

For cooking, most of what I make uses your run of the mill skillets, pots, roasting pans, and baking sheets... and my electric pressure cooker is used at least a few times every week ("boiled" eggs and homemade broth, if nothing else).

In terms of gadgets, I'd say the ones I use most are:
-- stick/immersion blender for things like mayo, creamy cauli-sauce, creamy soups made from chunky veggies, etc.
-- bullet-type blender for quick and easy blending of dressings and some herb blends, or for lazy scrambling of eggs
-- spiralizer because daikon radish noodles are amazing in Asian-inspired dishes and we love basically any veggie noodle
-- food processor to rice fresh cauliflower, shred veggies to go in meatloaf or salads, and so on
-- food storage containers (I've got a set of prep boxes that make it easy to see how much I'm putting aside for leftover meals)

I have an inexpensive little meat thermometer that I rarely use but am glad to have at hand when it's needed. The very next gadget I'll buy for the kitchen is a julienne peeler, because it'll give me straighter noodles than what comes off the spiralizer. I have a mandolin slicer that hardly ever sees any use because I honestly hate washing that thing (always scared I'll cut myself).

Regarding the blending of mayo...
NomNomPaleo has a pretty neat mayo recipe that calls for a whisk and elbow grease, for anyone who doesn't have a workable blender or immersion blender. I haven't tried it myself, but everything I've gotten from there has worked well for me, so I'm assuming this would also.

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Good evening everyone!! Tomorrow is the day! I will be honest and say I am not as well prepared as I would have hoped. We had my father's memorial service this weekend and we have been host to a lot of family from out of town. I am so grateful to see them but I didn't get the meal prep done that I was hoping for. It will be okay though. I work the late shift this week so I will definitely have time for breakfast and it will also give me extra time in the morning to pack my meals for the day. Good luck to everyone on the first day tomorrow!

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Hope everyone is doing well on their first day! 

I was refilling my weekly pill case last night and realized that most of my supplements are soy based or contain some form of dextrose. Wild! And I don't even take those "adult gummy" vitamins. I read about it in the books but didn't pay much attention til last night. I do have one prescription I can't avoid for right now, but the rest are supplements that hopefully I won't need anymore (iron, garlic for cholesterol, etc), although I might have to go back to the Vitamin D in the winter since I live in the northeastern US.

Check your labels on even the little things! :D

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Hello everyone! I started ... something ... today. I'm not sure yet if it will be a Whole30 or a mini reset. I've completed two, complete Whole30 rounds and have done several other mini resets and partial rounds. I've done formal reintroductions so I know what foods do and do not bother me. But, I have been eating terribly and feeling terribly and want to get back on track. So, here I am!

My goals are two-fold. First, long-term health. I love the outdoors and aspire to be that 80-year old women out hiking a hard trail later in my life. Second, sustainability. I'm still trying to figure out a way to eat this way and make is sustainable so it becomes a long-term lifestyle change. So, I'll be going with very simple meals and focusing on what would be realistic for a lifetime of healthy eating.  

Anyway, I hope you don't mind if I join you, even if I'm unsure whether I will do the full 30 days. I have a business trip, a three day backpacking trip and a full week long camping trip during the next 30 days. But it's actually the business trip that has me most wary.  I've done and know I can do camping and backpacking on Whole30. So, I'll see how I'm feeling after a week and re-evaluate my aspirations for a mini reset or a full Whole30. 

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2 hours ago, masonjar87 said:

Hope everyone is doing well on their first day! 

I was refilling my weekly pill case last night and realized that most of my supplements are soy based or contain some form of dextrose. Wild! And I don't even take those "adult gummy" vitamins. I read about it in the books but didn't pay much attention til last night. I do have one prescription I can't avoid for right now, but the rest are supplements that hopefully I won't need anymore (iron, garlic for cholesterol, etc), although I might have to go back to the Vitamin D in the winter since I live in the northeastern US.

Check your labels on even the little things! :D

Thanks for the reminder! I looked into my 5 medications/vitamin, but there's only one that I'm willing to ditch for 30 days (hair, skin, and nails vitamin). One of my goals of this program is to get off the daily heartburn medication, or to at least see if it's possible. I have a small hiatal hernia, but I'd like to see if dietary changes can eliminate or greatly reduce the heartburn. 

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Midday day 1 update: So far so good for me. I was dismayed to learn this morning that the rotisserie chicken that I bought and was counting on to ease my  meal prep stress has sugar in it. But then I saw that Walmart has compliant frozen meals so that made me very happy! I enjoy cooking so I don't plan to rely solely on convenience options but it was a lifesaver today! I've discovered I like RX Almond Butter better than regular peanut butter and I may end up skipping my morning coffee altogether. I have both Nutpods and Better Half creamer options at home but they just don't do it for me. Maybe I will feel differently in a few days. Have a great day everyone!

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End of Day 1: I did really well today, but I didn't feel satisfied after dinner. I made the Pork and Pepper Stir-fry, with some baby potatoes. I probably didn't eat enough, but it didn't have much flavor. I hope it tastes better tomorrow, because I have leftovers! Maybe I'll add more red pepper flakes. Also, watching the Food Network isn't a good idea for me right now!

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