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First W30, second attempt to eat clean


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I have been addicted to carbs for as long as I can remember. Desserts, noodles, rice, french fries, cereal...just about any form of carb-based foods. I considered myself to be very active and fit through much of my teens and early-to-mid 20s, then I got my first "real" corporate desk job and my lifestyle changed for the worst. I tried to continue working out regularly, but I was often too drained after very long days of work and too stressed during the weekend to even think about anything but my couch and TV on the weekends. And wouldn't you know? I gained an average of 5 pounds for each year that I have been working. I knew something needed to change before I was 30 pounds heavier, longing for my 20-year-old body.

So what finally pushed me to first start eating clean/lead a paleo lifestyle? My father, who began the paleo lifestyle almost three years ago and continues to maintain it. He is now the same weight that he was in high school and he is just as healthy as he was back then. Inspired, I decided to try out this "lifestyle"--as he calls it--and I was successful for about a month before slipping back to my old ways. It was rough trying to eat paleo when my boyfriend was scarfing down all of the carb-based foods that we both love.

Fast-forward 10 months to late last month. I was telling my father about how my eczema had flared up and my environmental allergies were bothering me. I wanted to see an allergist and once and for all identify all of the allergens that affected me, but my father suggested trying this program called the Whole30. I was intrigued, so I immediately downloaded the book on my Kindle and educated myself on the program. Within the first few chapters, I was sold. I had already experienced the benefits of eating a paleo diet the year before, such as boundless energy and alertness, so I knew what I could look forward to by trying the Whole30. What really sold me was the idea of re-introducing banned foods after the 30 days (or however long I choose to do this).

I'm on day 11 and I feel more alert and in control of my cravings than I have ever been (even more so than last year). Here are some of my addictions/habits (which I have made it my goal to eliminate during my W30):

1) Snacking between meals: I struggled with this for a few days last week, but I was able to resist most of the time. When I knew I was truly hungry between meals, I would eat some grape tomatoes or cucumber slices (not the most satisfying mentally, but definitely filled me up).

2) Craving sweets/carbs: I also craved the taste of something sweet quite a bit last week, so I did indulge in a handful of grapes or a few slices of a pear.

3) Coffee: I was a full-blown coffee addict, drinking a triple-shot americano every morning (sometimes twice a day). For the first few days of the W30, I felt well-rested, but I found myself wanting the satisfaction of going to the coffee shop and tasting that yummy, splenda and dairy infused drink. I wasn't tired and I didn't have the caffeine-withdrawal headaches that I was expecting. This made me realize that I didn't NEED coffee; I was rewarding my brain/body with another dessert/treat.

I have made goals to help me eliminate all of these addictions/habits throughout the course of my W30, and I have already cutback tremendously or eliminated the habit all-together (replaced coffee with tea). It has taken a whole lot of willpower to stay on track, but I love a good challenge!

My only concern is: How can I maintain this lifestyle? Some of my favorite foods just can't be replaced or paleo-fied, and I can't imagine a whole life without them. How do I stay on track, but still have an occasional treat?

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