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I'm rather frustrated with myself lately for my ever-expanding definition of "special." I'm hoping if I define it publicly it will help me rein it in. Feel free to add what is special to you! Or to tell me I should quit my job. I should quit my job. But that should probably be tackled on another forum. Ahem.

Dear Self,

The following count as special days or items when "anything" food-wise goes. Note, that with the exception of the first two, they are only one day, not days...

the week between my fiance's birthday and mine

my wedding day/weekend



food cooked by my Mom (this is a twice a year experience)

local food unique to an area when traveling

our kids' birthdays perhaps (grocery store cake does not count; )

our anniversary

The following do NOT count as special:

being really tired and candy/junk food available at work

being bored and candy/junk food available at work

feeling down and wanting to treat myself

Feeling excited and wanting to treat myself

"Homemade" treats at work that clearly came from a box

samples in the grocery store (I'm embarrassed to admit this has happened!) :ph34r:

... I will add to this as necessary.

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Before I started w30 I had a long list of special occasions too. I ate pretty clean, was off gluten even. I have a pretty delicate digestive system though and what I noticed was that these special occasions were every month and sometimes more and by the time I healed from the inflammation (not that I ever had a chance to do that fully) it was time to "celebrate" all over again. I use the word celebrate in quotations because for me, getting bloated, tired and brainfogged doesn't feel very fun. W30 has changed my attitude towards food and my well being so much so that I am redefining our family's celebratory traditions around food. I can't change how the matriarchs in my family do it, but I have my own kids and family to guide and I know how I'll be doing that going forward. My 6 year old got pretty excited about a birthday "cake" made out of tiers of watermelon decorated with fruit instead of actual cake. I'm not saying any of this to judge your list (which is pretty good) or to sway your opinion, only to offer a viewpoint.

That being said, the one "special" day where I would branch out of my comfort zone is eating traditional foods when traveling abroad. But

even then, I would do it sparingly. I dang near ruined my honeymoon by having a celebratory fancy cheese tray before the wedding. I won't elaborate, but it wasn't pretty and there are ongoing jokes about it. Looking back- that is the time I wanted to be my absolute healthiest.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Those are very special occasions! Okay, maybe the entire week between birthdays is a little overboard... but it's one week out of 52. I'm sure it fits into the 80/20 rule on a grand scale. I'm sure you are an amazing person and if any of your friends heard someone coming down on you for not fitting yourself into the box you built, they would be very upset with that person and stop talking to them. So how about you do it for them and stop talking to that negative nancy who's raining on your parade. If you're doing your Whole 30, and it's your birthday, if you're eating the "paleo-fied" cake to feed your sugar dragon or because you're the guest of honor at your party - well, those are two very different scenarios. Plus, your belly will do the talking for you the next day when you feel like poop, don't let your brain get in there and gang up on you :)

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