Eyechip

The Three Weaknesses I Worry About...

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On Monday I will begin my first Whole 30. This week is all about shopping, reading, and building a strategy.  I am imagining myself to be labeled by others here though as “the most likely to fail.” 

 

Why?  

 

Even though I am very active at 56 and have been for years (I whitewater kayak, Kiteboard, workout regularly, and try to eat relatively well) there is no doubt that my lifestyle is one that gives an extra bit of challenge to this “restart.”

 

1.    First of all, I have to travel 250+ days a year. There is no escaping it.  Both domestic and International.  While I can probably navigate this well at restaurants, it’s the in-between awkward times that I am still trying to imagine. Overseas flights of 10 hours. Domestic flights with fast connections and landing in Dubuque at 10PM, etc etc. These will be the most difficult examples. I have ordered two dozen of the freeze-dried dinner packs and am hoping these will serve as a stop gap at awkward times.  I would love any other suggestions/hacks for those that travel a great deal for work.

2.    I don’t cook. At all. Ever. My current plan is when I am home to order take out at Zoe’s which is close by and has Whole30 options. Or eating out like when I travel….finding steaks etc. Or chipotle. Or sashimi at my local Japanese. My normal routine is Whole Foods prepared foods, but they are hardly compliant…even the basic chicken breasts. Breakfast is a real challenge. Starbucks is my go-to each day while at home (this is less a problem at hotels as I can just order eggs). So, I need some quick ideas for breakfast especially that do not involve anything more than a fast microwave heating and run. 

3.    Alcohol is very much a part of my evening routine. In that sense I will go ahead and say I probably have a dependency problem. First, I do not drink ever during the day. That’s not an issue and I hate how it makes me feel during the day.  But I have a routine at night, every night, that is as my relaxant after a stressful day. Martini pre-dinner. Glass of wine or beer with dinner. Post dinner second martini. It’s clockwork for me and has been for years. While the process of removing alcohol is easy in concept  (just don’t drink it) it’s the one thing I feel I am going to struggle with the most. Both out of sheer habit and from the perspective of mildly self-medicating to get me to relax at night. Let me finish by saying, no…I never drink to get drunk, or EVER binge drink. I am very disciplined in that sense. But it is a routine. Any others out there like me that were similar and succeeded? What did you do? How did you manage it?

Sorry this is so long!

 

 

 

 

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@Eyechip The fact that your post is long is actually a good thing from this Whole30 coach's point of view; it means you're taking a serious look at your lifestyle and looking for the places/times where you may face difficulty doing your W30. Many people don't do this work, and they get caught off guard. I applaud your planning ahead and your honesty. You don't say what is motivating you to do the Whole30; always staying clear on YOUR why is one of the best motivators you have. 

As far as the issues you bring up:

1. It sounds like you have ideas such as the freeze dried dinners already in place. This pdf has some info https://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-travel.pdf as does this article about business travel https://whole30.com/business-travel/.  While I do not travel for work, I do travel for pleasure, and have been mid Whole30, just starting or just finishing while traveling. The most helpful foods for me have been DNX bars, Epic bars, Chomps, New Primal, or other compliant meat sticks coupled with nuts, fruit, a Lara bar or a combination which is portion controlled. I also have a small pack of olives with me if I come across them (Trader Joe's has small packages) or chopped up bell peppers or small Persian cucumbers depending on what is in season or in the frig.

2. Not cooking could be a challenge, but it sounds like you're not on a budget. When you say you do NOT cook, will you boil eggs? Will you mix tuna or chicken with mayo to make tuna/chicken salad? If you will make any of those things, you have an easy option for breakfast. Another simple option is a compliant lunch meat (I like Applegate turkey) grabbed from the package and a Persian cucumber grabbed from the package- eat out of hand. Eat more if still hungry. Eat an apple or other seasonal fruit along with it. Trader Joe's has a compliant grass fed beef sirloin roast that is ready to go and makes an easy protein for any meal. 

3. Oh, alcohol. You are not alone in having alcohol as a part of your evening routine. I've heard from many people that it was the one thing they were worried about giving up. Actually, I've encountered people who just refused to even start a Whole30 when they realized booze was off the table. So, good for you, for undertaking the Whole30 even though it includes taking a break from alcohol. The first thing I always recommend is that one start reducing or changing your routine around alcohol BEFORE day 1 of Whole30. What does that mean? For instance, if you always have the martini in a certain chair, doing a specific activity, make a different (alcohol free) drink and sit in a different chair and do an activity. Perhaps still have the wine at dinner, but make a cup of herbal tea for after dinner. This will feel weird at first, but it's often the routine of sitting and relaxing that is offering much of the relief. Obviously, the alcohol has its effects, however, one can relax with a non-alcoholic drink or a cup of herbal tea. One side effect that you will find is improved sleep. While alcohol makes it feel like sleep comes easily, it leads to waking in the night and less REM sleep.  Strategies that greatly improve this aspect of Whole30: don't have alcohol in the house; have a selection of non-alcoholic drinks that you find refreshing or tasty such as compliant kombucha, sparkling waters, herbal teas. When the urge to have a cocktail is strong, just go to bed! Likely you won't be yearning for a morning cocktail!

Ha- you thought your post was long! What about this reply? :)

Best to you as you embark on your Whole30! You are giving yourself a gift.

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@Amy  Ok, you are longer! Phew. 

Thanks for this.

Yes, you have given me some great ideas. The travel thing is still daunting but I think I have it down in planning to making it work. I am not as worried about it, really. I have lived off freeze dried bagged food for days on my other endeavors so I will be fine.

Breakfast, yeah, I realized today that there are a few compliant microwave sausages so I am good to go on the days I can't feast on eggs etc.  

As far as my evening martini ritual it is a good suggestion and you picked up quickly on my habit of place and time. 

Thanks so much for such a helpful response.

 

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Day One!

Yesterday I did my Whole Foods shopping and discovered the other parts of the store that do not involve prepared or frozen items. There's a whole different world of items out there! :)  I did not even know what Coconut Aminos were until yesterday, or where to find them, but I did. I never imagined two hours in a grocery store and I must have looked clueless staring up at the shelves of Ghee. And It felt so odd not being in the express lane at checkout.

I threw out all wine and liquor in the house last night. Bye Martini for a month! My new martini is La Croix water with lime. I will pour it into a martini glass and pretend. Already planning on a movie tonight to get out of my flat and somewhere that I can distract myself alone.

My first NSV was this: I made breakfast! My local Starbucks called to make sure I was ok. Not really, but... I actually made scrambled eggs (yes, I watched tutorials) with avocado and sugar free bacon. It was surprisingly easy. I know, I know, you are thinking, "how can a grown man not know how to scramble eggs?" Well, I have never cooked in my life anything that did not involve a microwave. I am the consummate bachelor who never evolved in that regard. I once even warmed up one of those plastic bear containers of honey in the microwave thinking that you could (bad mistake).  I can though navigate any menu in 14 different languages! 

I also dusted off my never used Keurig and made my own coffee so as to avoid Starbucks Almond Milk with sugar.  I figure in the end I saved around $6 off my usual Starbucks spending. Breakfast went really well. 

I have lunch planned at the new Chopts that opened up nearby. And am going to figure out how to make a steak, veggies, and potato tonight. More tutorials!

Next week my real test will happen as I get back in to travel mode. So this week is about learning to function at home as I prepare my strategy for airports and late night landings. My 36 Elements freeze dried dinners arrive today!

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5 hours ago, Eyechip said:

My first NSV was this: I made breakfast!

Congratulations!  This is huge!  Keep up the good work!  

If you want a super easy way to make veggies, try roasting them... preheat oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or waxed paper or tin foil or nothing).

Cut your veggies into similar sized pieces (so you don't have some huge thick pieces and some tiny thin pieces) and then toss in some cooking fat (the ghee you got would be great here).  Season liberally with salt and pepper and throw those bad boys in the oven... Don't wander off but it takes about 15-20 min depending on the size of your veggies... check them and when they're starting to brown and smell delicious, they're probably done.  If you want say... broccoli and potato, you could do those on the same sheet, just cut the potato smaller than the broccoli pieces and keep everything to a single layer on the pan, nicely spread out.

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14 languages! Wow you know your international menus quite well!  Just think after you master a few techniques in the kitchen you will be quite the renaissance man.  Thank goodness for YouTube tutorials!  If you are on Instagram check out the whole30recipe account.  The two guys they just featured for recipes Abe and Isaac have some fantastic tips for long term or extended traveling.  In fact they just packed up their house to travel full time.  Best of luck to you on your Whole 30 adventure!  

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Thanks, BabyBear and Sugarcube! About to head to bed and fully survived my first day. Good news is that I didn't burn the building down cooking! The food part was easy and I am not (at this point) missing anything. I do miss my evening martini though. I made it through by reminding myself that to be healthier one must be comfortable missing something. Eventually learning that you really don't miss it at all.

Oh, and my lunch was the highlight after my breakfast adventure. I never ate at Chopt before and their Whole30 compliant salad was the bomb. I highly recommend!

 

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Hello @Eyechip

The alcohol routine was an issue for me as well. I had planned to do the W30 about a year or so before I actually began. But I didn't follow thru that first time BECAUSE of my evening cocktails. It was simply something I eagerly anticipated at the end of each day & it helped me relax as well. I wasn't drinking in excess, just enjoying the routine. But this time, something was different in my resolve to feel better (multiple health issues were getting worse). I had my mind made up that I was going to do this 100%. I have not had a single cheat NOR a single desire to cheat. I'm feeling the improvements already at only day 16. I know, without a doubt, that I am going to finish this program. What has helped me with the alcohol "ritual" was pretty much what you are already doing. I have LaCroix in a wine glass, sometimes add a little chopped fruit. And I have also made the drinks in the back of the W30 book. My favorite is the Blood Orange Paloma (with the lime garnish!) I slowly sip it from a cocktail glass & focus on the flavor of the fruit juice. So I still get the satisfaction of the "evening cocktail" without breaking the rules. One final thing that I've been enjoying is making some fresh ginger tea to sip in the evening. It has bold flavor as well as digestion & other benefits. Since my start of the program, I have no nasal congestion & my sleep has improved tremendously! I hope this helps. Keep up the great work Eyechip! If I can do this, ANYONE can. Seriously. 

 

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4 hours ago, beachbaby said:

And I have also made the drinks in the back of the W30 book. My favorite is the Blood Orange Paloma (with the lime garnish!) I slowly sip it from a cocktail glass & focus on the flavor of the fruit juice. So I still get the satisfaction of the "evening cocktail" without breaking the rules. 

 

Great suggestion, beachbaby! I am so focused on the food that I forgot there are suggestions for "mocktails."

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Day Two Thoughts

I survived last night without an evening cocktail. I can't even remember the last time I came home in the evening and did not sit down to a drink. Typing here now at 6:30PM on Day Two, normal cocktail time, and instead drinking a hot green tea. 

Last night It was, hmm, how do I say, "slightly uncomfortable." Not difficult. Nor tempting. Just a tad odd feeling. I had my dinner (it was meh...need to practice more!) and after went to see 1917 to distract myself. Came back at 10PM and was perfectly fine by then. So the "craving" was primarily time constrained to when I normally would have a drink...somewhere in the 6PM-9PM range. This tells me that for the "routine" drinker it is about habit, time, and place more than anything else. I was expecting a bit more of a physical pang - but it was not at all there. 

Tonight, sitting here now, it's even easier...the formed mental habit is dissipating already. I am sure there will be new challenges like when I start to travel again. But I feel surprisingly at peace and will keep reminding myself of the rewards my mind/body will thank me for later.

And, made breakfast yet again! I am a kitchen machine now. Ok, not quite, but trying! Chipotle Whole30 bowl for lunch (Chopts Whole30 salad is much better imho). Went to the gym and worked out longer than usual as I did not have the lure of the evening cocktail waiting for me at home. You might say that's a NSV!

Now to make my salmon, veggies, and sweet potato....tutorials at the ready!

 

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Day Three...

Holy freight train in my head! The Whole30 Timeline is no joke. Woke up feeling like I went to a bachelor party in Vegas. I actually opened my eyes to look around and see if I really WAS in Vegas and if there were strewn tequilla bottles lying around with strangers asleep on the sofa. Phew, I was ok.

Glad I read the timeline and know what this is. I made breakfast and am out the door though. It's doable. I got this. 

 

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Oh Day 3 detox headaches are awful.  Anytime I do a detox I would make an infusion of stinging nettles or take magnesium supplement.  I find the stinging nettles more effective but either one help reduce the effects of the headache immensely.  Just know it is toxins dumping from your body, it will be over in a few days and you will feel so much better and not to mention a brighter focus. 

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Wow such an interessting read! I am facinated with the discuccion about nighttime cocktail.. I dont drink, but I have developed a habit with painkillers in the evening to help me relax. i recognice the pattern here with my own habit...

I need to quit, but the one time I tried not to take any I had the worst night with little sleep:( So plan is to take less, before stopping completely. I think this will be my biggest challenge.. 

will keep on reading this thread, keep ut the good work! I start sunday!

 

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Day Four....Hanging in! I am tired of tea and water though. So I found a new pleasure. Coffee at night! 

Have been rushed today as was so busy at work - so both lunch and dinner were compliant carryout. Chopts (again!) and Sashimi for dinner. Not a big fan of Coconut Amino as a substitute for Soy sauce but, I need to keep trying to get used to it.

Today's meetings were all about business contingencies in case of a severe outbreak of Coronavirus in the U.S.   All I could think of is, "I need to stock up on bacon and eggs!"

I slept last night for 10 hours. Can't recall when I ever did that over the past years. I mean, the horror, I fell asleep at 9:30 catching up on the last Bill Maher. I am sure he'll understand though.

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Eyechip said:

Not a big fan of Coconut Amino as a substitute for Soy sauce but, I need to keep trying to get used to it.

I like Frank's Red Hot on sushi in place of wasabi and soy... it's a bit salty, spicy and got that good umami flavor (in my opinion).  Just make sure you read the labels cause some of the Frank's is not compliant... pretty sure the original still is... I buy in bulk from Costco so I haven't bought a bottle in a while.

Keep up the good work! Maybe get some frozen veggies for the outbreak ;)  I work inside a hospital so I understand the concern first hand... I'm not worried tho... :) 

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Day Five....Uh oh, I got a cold. To make it worse I am now traveling as a last minute meeting came up in New York. But not giving in. 

Headed out now for my first full on dining Whole30...it's a steakhouse at least. Pretty sure the server will hate me in the end. Between sneezing and informing him of my "allergies" to just about everything they use it should be interesting!  Maybe I can say, "See my sneezing? The last place didn't listen!

 

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