Any stories of long term W30/Paleo success?


jpketz

Recommended Posts

While on a walk the other day to stretch out the achy muscles from my first Crossfit class, and just as a kind of walking meditation, I started to put together a vision for what life/health might be like 5 years from now.

I completed my first W30 on Feb. 10 and have continued with W30 eating with rare exception since. I could list all the benefits and positive outcomes I've experienced in the past few months, and there are many, but the purpose of this topic is to elicit comments and stories from anyone who has been doing this long-term. Like 6 months or longer.

I'm just really curious...what's life like after doing this for a while? Do some things get better? Worse? Do sugar cravings return? If so, are they more or less manageable? In the book it talks about the fact that several revisits to W30 is the norm and that breaking lifelong eating habits requires more than one 30-day challenge for most people. I assume that's true, but are subsequent W30's different?

In recovery circles there's a phenomenon called a "Pink Cloud" which is used to describe the first few months of sobriety, where everything seems idyllic, possible and "I got this". It's normal, predictable and usually evaporates after a few months and things inevitably get harder. I'm wondering if W30 is similar. I'd love to think that the "healing" process I've experienced during W30 is the beginning of a never-ending upward trajectory of good health and resulting happiness, but I've been around the block too many times to buy that outright.

So I'd love to hear from anyone who's been on the journey but may be further down the road. Maybe some Mods? Any wisdom would be appreciated and hopefully useful for the wider community.

Thanks, Forum.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a mod but I am on my fourth or fifth W whatever. I am currently in the middle of a W100. It has been close to 3 years for me.

Life for me after W whatever is similar to being on that W whatever. I off road when it's worth it. If I loosened those parameters, it would be a slippery slope. So, when someone offers me a skittle, I say no thank you. When my friend fires up her wood burning pizza oven, I say yes please to one slice.

The pink cloud analogy is good. It took me a while to get here. The demons still exist but they are quieter now. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I'm also curious about this JP

I was dairy and legume and gluten free before my whole30 and whole100. After my whole30 I decided to stay gluten and dairy and legume free and see if I could stay mainly grain free (maybe an occasional foray into fresh corn or popcorn when the occasion suits). At the start of my whole100 I was planning to keep to maple syrup and honey sweeteners only after, and the occasional serve of lollies/chocolate etc. During my whole100 I decided to try to continue staying off all sugar except fruit and amounts at less than 1% in bacon, condiments etc. I also plan to keep limiting nuts and coffee too.

Hope it works!

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Juzbo. Exactly what I'm looking for and thanks for sharing your experience. I know it's a work in progress for everyone, but it sounds like you're well on your way.

Just curious though, are you running into recipe boredom at all? I'm finding myself at W30 +40 days wearing out my favorite 4 or 5 recipes. I've always been the cook in the family and am feeling a bit confined after cooking this way for a while now. Maybe it's just a creative rut or the recent string of bland, uninspired meals I've produced lately.

Link to post
Share on other sites

jpketz, what have you been cooking as your standards? I have found some fun ideas lately from a few of the blogs. I can gather you a few sites to peruse if you give me an idea of what you have and might want. Tom's site comes to mind, but I am running short on time just this moment and will write later today.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nico. Whatever you got, I'll take it!! Thanks, so much. Just need a culinary kick in the pants.

It's mainly main dishes and the first meal of the day in particular. I use nonnonpaleo.com blog a lot and the ipad app and have probably had the most overall success there. I've also been to Tom's site and various other blogs. I usually start with my ingredients and do a search to see what the Paleosphere turns up. I'm trying to collect my top 30 or so faves so I can spread the joy around a little more but so far I probably have 10, tried and true main dish recipes. Especially would love to get some good slow cooker recipes cuz so far, either epic fail or just unspectacular in that arena.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jp, I have an ground lamb and eggplant ragou recipe that I adjusted for W30. I will come back and post it. I love it over spag squash.

Two of my favorite nomnom recipes are the Green Chicken and the slow cooker recipe she calls best chicken ever or something like that.

Another family favorite is Cupcakes Paleo Shepherds Pie. Love it.

Also try Tom's Mexican Beef made in a slow cooker. I forgot to buy beef so I used lamb instead and it was fabulous.

Oh one more idea for the slow cooker. Lamb shanks (apparently I am really into lamb right now). I just seasoned with salt and pepper, browned them and put them in the slow cooker with sliced onions, garlic and a can of San Marzano tomatoes. 12 hours on low. Fall apart tender. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been doing regular W30s for almost two years and improving my eating between W30s for the same amount of time.

The biggest thing for me that has not gone away is this: I am no longer constantly fighting with, frustrated with, and hating my body. Now if I feel bloated or fat or moody or tired I usually know why (I ate something) and I know what to do to fix it (string some good food days together).

I have a much stronger feeling of control. In the past, I could see myself slowly gaining weight over the years no matter how much I was exercising and watching what I ate (low fat/high carb style) and it made me feel like I was failure... why couldn't I keep the weight off?

Life is life... there are still struggles in other arenas and good days and bad days and frustrations. But in terms of fuel and my body I feel much more at peace than I did before I started this journey.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Emily. Thanks so much for this. This is exactly the kind of "real-word" feedback I'm looking for. I tend to be Mr. Short Attention Span a lot of the time, and I guess I'm just trying to hedge my bets against the inevitable novelty-wearing-off syndrome.

Knowing it's possible to manage one's eating two years down the road is very helpful and hopeful and exactly why I started this thread. It's all part of my cunning strategy to be successful in the long term and hopefully spread some wisdom from experienced W30'ers like you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are a few that I have tried or want to try.

http://whole9life.com/2011/08/the-dish-on-paleo-comfort-foods/ (I just ordered this, but can't say anything about it yet.)

http://whole9life.com/2010/09/stm-roasted-apples-and-pork/ (Awesome. I added green beans on the side.)

http://whole9life.com/2010/08/steal-this-meal-crock-pot-carnitas/ (On my to-make list.)

http://nomnompaleo.com/post/4807547385/slow-cooker-roast-chicken-and-gravy (I did this overnight last night in the crockpot for this morning. I also love to buy good turkey legs and cook the same way. I love carrots cooked in the crockpot, so I added some of those, too.)

http://everydaypaleo.com/creamy-pumpkin-curry/

http://paleomg.com/chicken-pumpkin-curry-sliders-paleo-recipe/

http://paleomg.com/pumpkin-cashew-coconut-curry-coconut-rice/ Maybe with...

http://forum.whole9life.com/topic/4183-ah-mazing-coconut-shrimp/

For meal one, I love to have steak and eggs with salsa and any kind of veggie. Some sort of guac would be nice, too. I also love chicken apple sausage with a hash made of mushroom, apple, and sweet potato over some baby spinach. I can cook the hash ahead and heat it all in the morning. Crockpot meals overnight are one of my favorites, though!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have another favorite crock pot recipe that is regional. (It can be done stovetop with ground beef.) So, if you have access to green chile, here you go. I put some chicken in the crock with onion and garlic (fresh or dry). I add tomato (paste, fresh, canned, crushed) and salt and cover with chopped green chiles. Oh, and add some of your favorite cooking fat to keep the chicken moist. Just before eating, I add sliced zucchini to cook to my preferred done-ness (which is barely done). For meal one, this is awesome with egg and avocado and is great for any other meal.

Oh, and when you make crockpot meals, add at least one serving to the freezer with a date and a label. Those meals are awesome to have on hand later and to stretch the variety.

Have you done any of the frittatas in the book for meal one? Mine often have different ingredients. I have discovered that I love canned pumpkin in them. Compliant sausage had been a common ingredient and salmon is also nice. My veggies almost always include spinach and mushroom and anything else I think will complement the protein. I just bake the whole mix of protein, eggs, and veggies in a big glass dish. I eat some and freeze some wrapped in plastic wrap and labelled.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Again. Thanks! I just upgraded my slow cooker to a bigger one with a timer so I can make extra servings so I'll try this next. I last tried a chicken dish with most of the ingredients you listed but it wasn't tomato based, so it was really more like making chicken broth and eating the meat and aromatics. Blech. Adding fresh veggies to the pot toward the end is a good idea.

Frittatas are a staple and I have referred to the book for ideas, but I just attempted to make coconut milk-pumpkin ice cream so I have lots of canned pumpkin leftover, which is now frittata fodder.

I know there are eleventy-bazillion Paleo food blogs out there but I've always been tempted to start another one that features more inventive, out-of-the-box (so to speak) recipes. Sort of a America's Test Kitchen for W30/Paleo but without the huge budget and facilities. And Christopher Kimball. Whaddya say, wanna be a contributor?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a friend who did the whole30 autoimmune protocol for SIX MONTHS in order to heal from Lyme Disease. That means six months of meat, fowl, fish, veggies, berries, coconut oil, ghee, and olive oil. No nuts. No nightshades. No eggs.

She is doing great after years of suffering from neurologic symptoms and fatigue. She is just now after six months adding in foods, carefully, slowly and one at a time.

She looks amazing---trim, glowing, energetic, resilient.

She's quite the cook, too. She makes a mean lemon chicken. I think this time of year, the lemon flavor might wake up the tastebuds. I don't know what recipe she used, but I think it would be pretty easy to find one or improvise. A little coconut flour to brown the chicken pieces, and then braise in a sauce of olive oil and/or ghee, lots of fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper, and chicken broth to deglaze the pan and make the sauce.

She's an inspiration to me!

Pea

Link to post
Share on other sites

Again. Thanks! I just upgraded my slow cooker to a bigger one with a timer so I can make extra servings so I'll try this next. I last tried a chicken dish with most of the ingredients you listed but it wasn't tomato based, so it was really more like making chicken broth and eating the meat and aromatics. Blech. Adding fresh veggies to the pot toward the end is a good idea.

Frittatas are a staple and I have referred to the book for ideas, but I just attempted to make coconut milk-pumpkin ice cream so I have lots of canned pumpkin leftover, which is now frittata fodder.

I know there are eleventy-bazillion Paleo food blogs out there but I've always been tempted to start another one that features more inventive, out-of-the-box (so to speak) recipes. Sort of a America's Test Kitchen for W30/Paleo but without the huge budget and facilities. And Christopher Kimball. Whaddya say, wanna be a contributor?

Link to post
Share on other sites

JP I have successfully made sugar free chocolate and a sugar and grain free egg with dried fruit muffin now and together with plain potato chips i am really confident I don't NEED to add sugar or grains back in......

I was a grains for breakfast girl before. Now I have a huge variety of soups with different sliced cooked meats, breakfast mince with different ground meats and veges, some with tomato flavour, some with added berries, some with spices, frittatas with veges, bacon or mince, meat loafs, stuffed squash, curries and the occasional casserole. These are my staple dishes.

I bought a new 16 space spice rack stand which gives me inspiration since I can't use onion or garlic for flavouring.

I have made a few dishes from the Internet, pork carnitas, chicken pot pie, cauliflower rice, meatza, stuffed mushrooms and squash... too

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is great topic. I'm only on day 8 of my first W30- I know I want to continue. But I tend to go full out on new projects then get bored and sidetracked at 2-3 months. Planning, recipes, support - I think they will all help with that.

Thanks for starting this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a really helpful thread. I just finished my first W30 yesterday, so I haven't had any long term experience yet. I'm mostly worried about the slippery slope - letting one slip turn into many, but I am hopeful and determined to stay the course.

JP - lamb is the king of meats! Or at least that's how we feel about it in my house. I like beef just fine, but we usually go for lamb when eating red meat. It is more expensive, which is too bad, but I think it's worth it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops looks like I sent the same post twice. My bad.

@Juzbo - as I read the list of dishes and food options you listed in your post I found myself actually salivating. Same with @Nico. I'm not sure if that's just me or a common phenomenon—but it definitely has the effect of shaking me out of the food rut I seem to be in. I know studies show in terms of what lights up in our brain, there is very little difference between imagining we're doing something and actually doing it, so maybe that's it. But it does speak to power of food...at least "real" food and in my particular brain. A few years ago I read a cookbook review in the New York Times where the reviewer described in exquisite detail some of her favorite gourmet vegan recipes. When I got to the end of the column I immediately became a vegan.

So part of the unanticipated result of starting this thread is that when you guys share what you're eating, fave recipes, etc. it makes me wanna get up from my chair and bolt to the kitchen and start cooking. Seriously. It's really great.

@Avalanche. @almcc. - I know exactly what that "worry" is all about. I've heard it chalked up to many causes but I share it—that initial burst of enthusiasm followed by reality setting in and the eventual return to "default" mode. So it's about redefining "default", I suppose. And from everything I've gleaned from this forum, et al, it's a work in progress for everyone. Knowing that the W30 I completed on 2.10 is most likely the first of many is helpful for setting real-world expectations. I haven't checked out the lamb options where I typically shop but when grass-fed beef is up around $20/lb., I'm used to expensive. But as a lamb newbie, I'm just curious about grass-fed vs. conventionally processed lamb? Is lamb even subject to factory farming? Any good sources to look for?

@pea. I just read your post to my wife who's about to tackle the AIP to address hypothyroid/chronic migraines. Love to hear those AIP success stories!

Link to post
Share on other sites

My impression of lamb is that it's usually grass fed - but I could be way off on that. I either buy it at the farmer's market (where it's pastured/humane, etc) or I buy Icelandic lamb at my whole foods when they have it, which is entirely free range. The Icelanders literally let their sheep loose all summer to graze throughout the countryside. They shelter them in the cold winter months - I'm not sure what they are fed during that time, but I would guess hay. Personally, I think Icelandic lamb is the MOST delicious. My dad (who is american) lived there for several years, and has many Icelandic friends, so I've been lucky enough to go to Iceland several times. It is not uncommon to see sheep roaming all over the place.

A lot of the time the lamb in the stores is from New Zealand, and I'm not sure what their policies are on raising sheep.

ETA: I found this link w/video from WF about Icelandic lamb http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/tender-story-icelandic-lamb

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Avalanche. Thanks for the lamb primer! I'll look at Whole Foods and see what I can find. I know Trader Joe's has lamb as well but I haven't been impressed with their sustainably-raised options these days, so I'm not hopeful.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I got lamb at Whole Foods yesterday. It was my first time and I enjoyed it. Grilled it with some zucchini and tomatoes on skewers and served with some cucumber and mint that soaked in apple cider vinegar. Makes me want to drive back to Whole Foods today, but it is about 35 miles each way.

Thanks to the Daily30 e-mails, I had a list of local farms, ranches, and dairies. I think I found a lot through localharvest.org. Anyway, internet searches for organic farms and CSAs can prove useful. I found a farm that has lamb, duck, and chicken - with eggs. They have an interesting CSA that is more of a debit account and they have most products year-round. I am super excited to head down there on Friday or Saturday when they are open.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.