stealthstitcher

Whole30 Through May

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Wow, it's been a while. I successfully completed Whole30 years ago and it was amazing and helped with so many things ... but I didn't have a good exit strategy and now I'm back where I was and a little past. When you hit the point that you think "MnMs are an acceptable breakfast as long as you have a glass of milk with them" you should maybe do something about that. 

I tried a second Whole30 a few years ago but had a completely wrong mindset going into it, and so it was doomed to crash and burn. 

I've been thinking about, when do you get to the point that your body can't compensate for poor choices any more? Like, when you're younger, you can consume a diet that is really not good for you but your body manages to kind of keep up so that the damage you're doing isn't really noticeable. Well, I have hit that point where the inflammation and joint pain and tiredness and so on are constantly present. A few months ago I ran into a copy of It Starts With Food on the clearance shelf at the bookstore so I bought it and read it, and remember how much better I felt after finishing Whole30 before. I waffled for a while, but now seems like the right time.

Today, meal planning. Tomorrow, any grocery shopping I need to do. Friday, begin a May Whole30 focusing on planning and mindfulness. 

 

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I'm right there with you! I haven't done a Whole30 in years but I'm really feeling the effects of unhealthy eating now that I'm over 30. I've attempted rounds after and failed as well. I'm starting my May Whole30 tomorrow - I've already ordered my groceries to be delivered today. It's a good idea reading It Starts with Food, maybe I'll re-read this week to keep myself on track. 

Good luck! 

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Day 1 - so far so good, one meal in.

I had eggs and broccoli for breakfast, a packed lunch of tuna salad, cut up vegetables, olives, and grapes with me, and a meatloaf in the crock pot for supper. Day one is not usually a struggle day, so all should be well.

My housemate is making anpan and has apologized four times. I finally had to break it to her that sweet red bean paste does not tempt me that much.

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Busy weekend! I made ketchup, mayo, pickles, and prepped lunches for the week. Stayed on track with all meals. Had a slight but persistent headache the last two days, but woke up this morning with that gone. Had some mild cravings for sweets, but nothing I couldn't ignore. I recall the last time I completed the program, the first two weeks were pretty easy. It was after that that the cravings started to be more difficult to ignore - and weird. We shall see what happens this time.

I eat a lot of the same meals over and over, so rather than report that I had eggs and broccoli for breakfast for the fourth day in a row, I'll focus more on my mindset and how I'm feeling.

My roommate is being as supportive as she can while being completely bewildered about the whole thing. We usually have dinner together a couple times a week, so she's worried that either she'll make something I can't eat or I'll make something she won't want to eat. I found it more helpful to show her the meal template than try to explain what isn't included. Although she was worried about the suggested portion sizes. "But my hands are too tiny! I'll starve!" I explained that the palm of this, handful of that is just a rough guideline - if you are still hungry, you just eat more. Also that I will not have a meltdown if she has rice with her meal. 

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I know a lot of people love instant pots, but for me the crock pot is the star of Whole30.  (Though that may be because I've never used an instant pot.) Pop meat in in the morning, possibly with root vegetables, have perfectly cooked supper at the end of the day. Roast chicken awaits me this evening.

Continued on track yesterday. Went wild with all fresh veggies in my stir fry. Usually I just toss in frozen vegetables since they're convenient but yesterday I got home from work early and took the time to chop up fresh. It really does make a difference in the texture, especially. 

One thing I'm relearning is that it is okay to feel hungry. Sometimes I feel almost panicked when I start getting hungry, like I have to deal with that immediately with a snack (usually an unhealthy one like candy or chips), even if I'm going to eat a meal shortly. The last few days I have to keep reminding myself that it's perfectly normal to feel hungry when it's about time for a meal, and that another 20 minutes while it cooks isn't going to do me any harm. That hunger is not some kind of emergency but rather my body metaphorically tapping me on the shoulder and saying "Hey, when you get a chance, I'm about ready for some more nourishment."

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Another day done. Almost to a week! 

Still going along with only mild cravings. Haven't hit a rough patch yet, although I'm sure I will. Wondering how the potential meat shortage will affect things. I've got enough for a week and a half or so in the freezer. But as long as there are eggs and canned tuna, I'll manage one way or another.

Meatball stew in the crockpot for tonight. Breakfast every morning has been eggs cooked in ghee with broccoli and sometimes a banana. Lunch every day has been deviled eggs, cut up raw vegetables, olives, and fruit. I really am good with eating the same things over and over for a couple weeks. I could probably repeat dinners as well, except my roommate is traumatized by the idea of having the same thing twice in one week. But there will definitely be left over stew, because there seems to be no way to make a small amount of stew. 

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Week one, success!

Had an odd craving for, specifically, tortillas. Not tacos or burritos ... just plain tortillas. Ignored it, which is easy enough when there are none in the house and I don't want to go out. 

Feeling pretty good, overall. Had some trouble sleeping for the first half of the week, although I don't know if it's related or not. But I had really good sleep the last two nights, waking at 6 without an alarm which is always nice. I hate waking up to an alarm!

Now for week 2. Haven't been to the grocery store yet, so I don't know how severe the rumored meat shortages are. 

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Today was a bit of a struggle. Headache is back, although that may have more to do with how crowded the grocery store was, and the glare on the computer screen. Roommate got herself a fancy cookie sampler and while I don't feel tempted to actually eat any, they do look good ... 

Meals are on track. Made a very attractive chicken shepherd's pie (though chickens are rarely herded) out of left-overs. The meat situation at the store was not as dire as some people painted, although there was a two package limit on beef. But that's plenty to sustain one person some time. 

Trying to stay strong on not snacking. As in, not having an apple and almond butter just because it sounds good, when I'm not genuinely hungry. 

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Day 11 and still here. At the moment I'm still kind of cruising through without any major issues. It doesn't have the exciting new discovery feeling of the first time doing Whole30, but I think I have a better mindset than the second time I attempted it and failed. The first time I tried a second Whole30, I had the attitude that since I knew what I was doing it would 1. be easy and 2. be okay to cheat a little. Neither of which was true. So this time around I'm doing it for real, no cheats. 

That said, I gave into the lure of Larabars yesterday and had one with breakfast. Which is not exactly the end of the world, but also not a good trend to start since sugar is one of my biggest dietary problems. 

I'm not having any problems with food boredom, but I am having problems with boredom-boredom. The weather teased us with spring and then took it away again, and we're back to cold and gray. Having trouble focusing on work or on things I need to get done at home. Books and tv don't sound interesting, but I also don't have anyplace I'd want to go if I could. I think it's just the weather. 

On the plus side my skin seems to be clearing up, which is nice. 

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Day 11 done, onto day 12. Not much to say really. Meal planning with my roommate is going well - I'm a little surprised about that as we have such different tastes. I've been doing all the cooking, which I prefer because then I have control and she still seems pretty confused about what is and is not part of whole30, but I feel a little badly about that because she does like to cook. However, it's not like I'm stopping her from making her own meals if she prefers. 

Two mild frustrations - people keep telling me that whole30 is "too complicated" to figure out. I feel like it's actually really simple, especially compared to some weight loss diets where different foods have different points or you only eat certain things on certain days of the week or something. I feel like "meat and eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts" is not that hard to understand. But people have a lot of confusion about what certain foods are (legumes and corn are vegetables, eggs are dairy) and confuse whole30 with atkins, keto, etc. But the fifth time someone says, "Your diet is so complicated, I can't even understand it" it gets tiring.

And then two, the assumption that I'm doing this in a very temporary way and good for me, but soon it will be over and I can go back to "normal" eating. My roommate was definitely picturing day 31 as a no-holds-barred junk food feast with donuts and pizza flowing like water, and she was very disappointed when I disabused her of that notion. It's a bit frustrating when you're surrounded by people whose attitude is "When will you be done with eating healthily so you can go back to eating lots of junk and having joint pain and headaches and digestive upsets like a NORMAL person?!?"

Oh well, such is life.

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The pressure that others put on us to eat “normal foods” again is tiresome.  Good for you for journaling about it (and bringing it to mind for all of us who are feeling the same way). When you look back on your notes and realize that you overcame what others expected from you, for your own good, you will have gained real strength, the kind of strength that others notice about you but can’t really figure out what it is that makes you so sure of yourself. You’ve got this, keep on going... 
 

Shadow

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Day 13 - I had a meeting that started at 10:00 this morning and went on FOREVER with only one short break. Just had my lunch break at 3 pm. But the plus side of not relying mostly on sugars for energy - I didn't get crazy hungry or dizzy or feel sick as I would if I'd had a breakfast of muffins or donuts. I was definitely ready for lunch by the time we finished, but I didn't have that feeling of "I must have food right this second or I won't make it!" Ordinarily it's really hard to get through the afternoon without a snack or two (usually chocolate), and last week was a bit of a struggle but I powered through with cups of tea. This week I'm not feeling like I need a snack in the mid-afternoon, either out of boredom or hunger.

Really pleased with the lack of cravings thus far. I'm pretty sure they'll hit me at some point in the next week or two, but at the moment I'm not having any problems. Oddly enough, given that sweets are usually my problem, the strongest ones I've had have been for tortillas and rice. But neither was particularly strong, more of an "ooh, that sounds good ... oh well, whatever". 

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Day 15 - the halfway point! Latest on the list of unusual cravings, oatmeal. Apparently it's grains I'm desiring more than sugar this time around? Weird.

Roommate cooked dinner for the first time since I've started Whole30. I was a little nervous since she's not much of a label reader and I didn't want to be too intense on the interrogation about ingredients, but she made a chicken, tomato, and pepper stir fry with no seasonings because she was afraid she'd use the wrong one, so all was well. Just me doing this is stressing her out - can't even imagine how stressed she'd be if she attempted it. I feel like a lot of people see Whole30 as you subjecting yourself to some kind of torture or punishment because you've been "bad" about food. It's not always the easiest thing, but it really doesn't feel like a punishment. I guess it depends on with what mindset you go into it. If you're thinking you have to do this and you're not allowed to have all your favorite foods it wouldn't be a very positive experience.

Speaking of positive experiences, I need to start thinking about how exactly I want to continue after 30 days. Despite the lack of sugar cravings, I think if I don't continue to exclude sweets I could very easily get back to the point where half a package of cookies is a light snack before bed. It's not like I want to just go back to where I was, either, but it's going to be an uphill battle against friends and family to continue healthy eating in the future. I suppose they'll get used to it eventually, but friends are worried I'm going to be no fun and we won't be able to go out together because of my "weird diet" and family members are either annoyed by the need to try to figure out the oh-so-complicated rules or (in the case of my parents) worried that this can't be healthy! You need low fat dairy and whole grains to be healthy!

I'm not actually all that down about it - my personal experience is very positive and I'm not that worried about what other people think or say. It's just something that needs to be considered so I'm prepared when I have to deal with it.

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Congrats on making to the half way point.  I had read in FFF that the rounds after the first round are harder because of the yeah I’ve already done this mentality so this won’t be hard.  It can be a little trickier to navigate the thoughts and feelings, but you are rocking your whole 30.  

Something that might assist your roommate when she cooks for the both of you is to mark the condiments and spices  that are whole 30 friendly with a W.  I did this for myself so I didn’t feel like I had to check every single time.  I used a sharpie and just made a big W on the label or cap.  It gave me a lot more confidence in the kitchen my first round.

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On 5/15/2020 at 8:17 PM, BabyBear said:

Something that might assist your roommate when she cooks for the both of you is to mark the condiments and spices  that are whole 30 friendly with a W.  I did this for myself so I didn’t feel like I had to check every single time.  I used a sharpie and just made a big W on the label or cap.  It gave me a lot more confidence in the kitchen my first round.

Fun fact - my roommate has a collection about about 25 - 30 various sauces and marinades she uses for cooking. The entire door of our fridge is her sauces. We went through them and literally the only thing that was Whole30 compatible was mustard. So much corn syrup! I understand some things have a sweet-and-savory taste, like barbecue sauce or teriyaki sauce, but why does EVERYTHING contain corn syrup? 

Sadly, my roommate got very frustrated about not being able to use any of her favorite seasonings. I could tell she was very annoyed that I was making cooking so difficult, even though I've said we can just have separate meals or I can get some compliant sauces. It's hard to convince someone when they see no reason for Whole30 in the first place.  And of course, I'm fine with just salt and pepper whereas she likes a lot of complex flavor. Honestly, I'd rather just cook my own meals but that would hurt her feelings quite a bit. But this is just one of the difficulties when sharing a space with someone. 

Still hanging in there, but today was the first day I've had trouble with wanting SNACKS. And no, not mini meals. I just want SNACKS. I added a banana and almond butter after lunch to try to quell the cravings - not sure if it helped or made it worse. I don't even crave anything specific, just nothing healthy. 

I've thought before about how difficult it is while eating healthily to give yourself something your brain recognizes as a treat. A candy bar or a cookie is cheap and fast, and my brain is conditioned to recognize that as "yay, treat!" Getting a special fruit or vegetable or even cooking a favorite dish doesn't have that same impact. Buying a book or other item is often too expensive, and suggestions I've seen such as, do yoga or take a walk, at this point in my life feel like "sigh ... exercise". I guess what I'm saying is that there's a lot of retraining the brain that has to happen. It's very much like learning to like a new food. You just have to keep giving it a try until your taste buds start recognizing it as a familiar and good thing. (Still working on sweet potatoes and squash ... I want to like them, but I just don't.)   

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15 minutes ago, stealthstitcher said:

I've thought before about how difficult it is while eating healthily to give yourself something your brain recognizes as a treat. A candy bar or a cookie is cheap and fast, and my brain is conditioned to recognize that as "yay, treat!" Getting a special fruit or vegetable or even cooking a favorite dish doesn't have that same impact. Buying a book or other item is often too expensive, and suggestions I've seen such as, do yoga or take a walk, at this point in my life feel like "sigh ... exercise". I guess what I'm saying is that there's a lot of retraining the brain that has to happen. It's very much like learning to like a new food. You just have to keep giving it a try until your taste buds start recognizing it as a familiar and good thing. (Still working on sweet potatoes and squash ... I want to like them, but I just don't.)   

I feel this in my soul lol. I have conditioned my brain to treat food as treats and rewards and essentially the answer to everything. Im really trying to figure out another option at this point that wont make me just dream about all the junk ill def want to eat. Sorry about your roommate- that can be frustrating on both ends though in the end. Fingers crossed and happy thoughts for it working out :)

 

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I feel your roommate in my soul!  I love condiments.  And yes EVERYTHING has corn syrup or soy or both.  I have a kiddo that has 12 different food allergies including corn and soy.  I get probably a little too angry when a sauce or condiments that we use gets canceled at our local grocers.  

As far as the reward my brain aspect I can come up with hundreds of ideas that would be compliant ingredients and totally satisfying (thanks to my son’s allergies) but then I don’t trust myself ... am I making this healthy treat to enjoy it for what it is, or am I making it in replacement for other things and do I really need it... I have a tendency to over think these things.  So learning where “healthy treats” fits into my food freedom is a goal I have.  I lean more towards denial of treats due to years of diet mindsets so trying to find a balance is a challenge to be sure.

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Day ... what day is today? Day 22. Things are still proceeding just fine. I feel a little disturbed by how easily this is going this time ... 

I did have dreams about eating chocolate the last two nights. In the dream I had last night, I thought, "Oh no, I shouldn't eat this!" and then thought "No, wait, this is just a dream, might as well enjoy it ..." and did! Dream chocolate was oddly satisfying ...

I do find the results I get from Whole30 both good and disappointing. On the one hand, I have steadier energy, fewer headaches and joint paint, probably losing some weight that needs to come off, skin tends to be a bit clearer ... but on the other hand, my energy isn't through the roof, I still have occasional headaches, don't lose a ton of weight, skin is not perfect ... It's not like I'm unhappy with my results, just sometimes a little part of me sighs over the lack of unrealistically spectacular results. Sadly, it is not possible to achieve results in a four minute montage with Eye of the TIger playing in the background. Things take time and patience. If I don't do anything, then a few months from now I will be in the same place or worse. If I make healthy changes, in a few months I will have noticeable results and will be glad I did it. 

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