Crafty Can't Count! - Whole32 and still going...


CraftyCarnivore

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Just realized that MONDAY was my Day 30 – today is actually Day 32! D'oh! I started on St. Patrick's Day, and plan to go all the way through dinner on Orthodox Easter, May 5, so when all is said and done, it will be a Whole50! We leave for Disneyworld on May 6, and while I intend on staying as close to the line as possible, I do expect to have a few treats here and there. But I wanted to check in and announce that I completed my first Whole 30!!

A little bit of background: I lost 65 lbs from July 2011-April 2012 on a calorie restricted Zone-type diet. (Zone is 40% carb, 30% protein, 30% fat, approx 1200-1400 calories). I lived on Greek yogurt, eggs, sushi, etc. – nothing labeled “unhealthy†-- but I found that once I lost the weight and started working full time (mainly desk job) last September, old habits crept up. :( I let 10 lbs sneak on in a matter of 6 months, and knew that I had to get things under control. I tried to go back to the Zone diet, but found that the damage was done. I was sneaking in foods that I knew my body didn't like, and just felt guilty every time I put something in my mouth that I knew wasn't good for me.

On a non-weight loss issue, I have had this horrible condition called hidradenitis supprativa – HS for short. If you are not familiar, it is a dreadful condition that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Basically, it's an overproduction of the sebaceous glands, leading them to clog, and causing painful, unsightly boils. I had a surgical resection of both my armpits in 2009 that never fully healed on my left side, and the boils kept occurring, even after the massive weight loss. Doctors really didn't know what caused it, other than “sometimes you just get itâ€. I decided to google “hidradenitis diet†and came across this article from Primal Girl. From there, I researched the Paleo diet. Meanwhile, two girlfriends were doing Whole 30, and posting about their cook-ups and how they felt amazing. I bought ISWF, and actually loved that the rules were so black and white. There is so much conflicting information on Paleo diets with regard to anything not obvious (grain/dairy). I do much better with a restrictive diet. It's better for me to know I can't have something, than to somehow find a way to cheat a brownie into a 40-30-30 plan (“I'll just have more protein later…â€, no, I'd have popcorn later…). So, after five days on a business trip to San Francisco, where “trying to be good†meant eating sourdough bread only once a day :/, I came home on Saturday, March 16, shopped for W30 that night, started my cook-up on Sunday, March 17 and the rest was history.

I found the Whole30 plan very easy to follow. I kept up with regularly scheduled cook-ups, and planned out what I was going to eat in a restaurant. We have been eating like royalty! Usually I prepare a recipe from one of the well-known Paleo sites or a cookbook, but sometimes, just a steak or eggs and veggies suited us just fine. I always have leftovers, and I only eat eggs for breakfast if I am home to make them, or if I make a frittata during my cook-up. Otherwise, dinner leftovers, canned salmon, chocolate chili, and other non-traditional breakfast things work just fine for my prepared breakfast at the office.

High points:

  • My HS – it's not gone, but the worst of the abscesses is way down in size, and it is virtually pain free. Yay! I don't flinch when I put in a bra or when I shower. I think either soy or dairy is the culprit, as these were things I had never given up before. I probably should reintroduce them at some point, but I kind of don't feel like I have to, y'know?
  • I love the food. I never felt deprived. Yes, a bagel and cream cheese or pizza sounds delicious. No, I am about to knowingly cheat during W30, because I am feeling too good!
  • I have not lost weight in numbers, but my clothes fit better. And, I don't have Flour Face. I am hiding the scale for the remaining days (and when I return to W30 on May 13), and am taking measurements.
  • Skin and hair – amazing!!
  • Energy – through the roof! I think I hit Tiger Blood around day 15, and I just sailed through it. The only thing downside was that I felt like Tiger Blood was wasted sitting at my desk all day.
  • By Day 24 or so, I kind of forgot what day it was, as evidenced by the fact that I mis-counted my days and actually completed my W30 a day earlier than expected. I don't feel like marking the days until I can eat XXXX again. W30 has just became so routine that I don't think about it.
  • I tried so many new (to me) veggies: parsnips, Brussels sprouts (which I'd had prior, but had never prepared myself), spaghetti squash, sauteed kale (which I actually like way more than spinach).
  • I found that my existing cookbooks offered plenty of W30 options. Some of them required a few tweaks, but particularly my Moosewood and vegetarian cookbooks offered some really great ideas for vegetables so they weren't the same old same old anymore.
  • As much as I had sticker shock with my grocery bills, this was money that was not going to restaurants anymore. Also, I found that the groceries got cheaper and cheaper once I purchased the meat and staples. It was basically down to produce and to replenish pantry items like coconut milk and fire-roasted tomatoes. I also wasn't wasting food like I did when I would buy cheaper food in quantity. I would buy less of a more expensive food, and use it smartly.
  • Funny, but I actually preferred eating at home to a restaurant. With the exception of a local, family-owned Brazilian steakhouse that we go to (it's cheap – like $20/person, and kids under 10 are $5!) I really thought my own food was better, and I ate it without the slightest wonder of whether something was compliant.

Fave foods:

  • A good steak
  • Fave breakfast ever: Sweet potato hash (I discovered I preferred cubed to shredded potatoes), SSU eggs and avocado topped with Trader Joes roasted tomatillo salsa for breakfast
  • Roasted chicken
  • Zoodles! J
  • Chocolate chili from Clothes Make the Girl
  • Brussels Sprouts with proscuitto (I use Barefoot Contessa's recipe)
  • Creamy butternut squash/apple soup
  • Johnny M's homestyle meatloaf
  • Coffee with coconut milk. OMG.
  • Trader Joe's Ruby Red Chai Tea

Tweak for next time, and for the remaining 19 days:

  • Really, really work on the snacking.
  • More exercise – easier to do once the weather is nicer.
  • No scale. I just couldn't walk away from it.
  • Package my cook-ups in single serve containers so I'm not rushing before work each morning.
  • Be better about taking supplements. I tend to forget to take them; not good.

So thank you W30 community for your advice and support and ideas, and thank you to my two girlfriends who introduced me to the program in the first place!! Here's to the next 18 days.

Cheers!

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Congratulations! Sounds like a great experience for you. That condition sounds very challenging, and I wish you the best as you continue to work with it. And yes, coffee with coconut milk = OMG. Funny, I always drank my coffee black before!

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