2017 Whole 30 Launch – First Two Weeks Check-In
As Robert Burns said in his poem “To a Mouse”, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. When I began the 2017 Whole 30 Challenge, my intent was to post each week about my progress. Then, along with the new year I received a few more unexpected challenges: readjusting to our regular schedule after the LONG holiday, helping my young tribe with some of their challenges in the new year, the significant snowstorm which also brought quite a few younger tribe snow days, all topped off and intermixed with Mackdaddy Mike giving with me a late Christmas gift of a horrific and never-ending respiratory virus (yeah, I know – lucky ME!).
Well I am happy to say – despite all these unexpected curve balls – I STUCK with my Whole 30 commitment (GO ME)! Thus, I will compress what I intended for two blog posts into one, and give you a midway update on my Whole 30 Challenge …
If you read my prior Whole 30 post, I am excited to use the year of 2017 to build a healthy relationship with food, where I am able to build health and wellness for myself while eating real food (i.e., no prepackaged fads and gimmicks — I go into a bit more detail on this in the prior post). I truly believe that Whole 30 is the answer I have been searching for for … well … forever! My goals for the January Whole 30 Challenge include:
- improve/ eliminate allergies,
- improve/eliminate inflammation,
- improve sleep,
- eliminate joint discomfort, and
- build a healthy relationship with food
First, let me explain a bit about Whole 30. This is not a “quick-fix-eat-this-packet-of sawdust-food-for-X-days-and-lose-a-crap-ton-of-weight” diet. In fact, it is NOT a diet at all, but a “reset” – a return to whole healthy foods for 30 days while eliminating certain foods temporarily that may be having a negative effect on you. It is actually much easier to follow and very straight forward than some bloggers/commenters state. See the picture below for the Do’s and Don’ts:
Honestly, this will be the third time I have done the Whole 30 reset, and I have NOT found the rules difficult, and for the most part once you get past about day 8, you really don’t miss most of the things you are restricting. Within just a few days, I notice that I no longer feel the need to snack between meals (take that Sugar Dragon!), but that first week I would crave a date or two (or three) after dinner (OK ~ so the dragon is injured but not completely slayed yet). The hardest part for me is not getting on the scale … at all … for THIRTY DAYS!!!!! I am, unfortunately, an avid weigh-er, and so this really is difficult – not knowing that dreaded number. Also, I had purchased a copy of the book before I did my first Whole 30 about a year and a half ago, and it has been an invaluable resource along with the website. Lastly, I also signed up for the daily emails, and have saved them so I can refer back to them as needed.
As of this blog post, I will be on Day 17 of my Whole 30, and I have been able to stick with it – even through all the unexpected ups and downs of the first two weeks. I definitely felt some withdraw symptoms, especially since this started immediately after all of the holiday celebratory feasting. My first hurdle was around Days 5 through 7 when we experienced our winter storm snow days over the weekend. Typically, I would cozy up under my favorite blanket while my house was snuggled in its own blanket of snow and enjoy candles, cocoa, and some wine while we enjoyed the view and peacefulness the storm brings. I did the candles, and didn’t miss the cocoa, BUT … boy did I miss having a glass of weekend wine in the storm! I have to admit, I needed to use the “phone a friend” option and call my eldest to talk me off the wine ledge (thanks Em!), and with her help I left me bottle corked and made it through the storm. My next hurdle came about Day 10 (which is also considered the hardest days according to the Whole 30 Timeline) when Mackdaddy shared his respiratory bug with me and I started jonesing for some illness comfort food, like pizza, ginger ale, and noodle soups. Now, my Day 3 email talked about feeling pretty crappy as your body detoxes and adjusts to all this healthy food, so at first I thought I was just feeling that and not really sick. The email read “your immune system is working hard right now to help you heal, and it may be too distracted or overworked to be able to fight off a bacterial or viral invader.” Luckily I had signed up for the daily emails, so I went back to the aforementioned email and instead used sparkling water, bone broth, lemon tea, coconut oil, and sweet potatoes get me through my bug – and I lived to tell about it! 😉
At this point, a little over half way through the 30 days, I am reaching the TIGER BLOOD stage!!!! This is when you are starting to reap some of the benefits of healthier eating habits (better sleep, more energy, brain fog gone…). This weekend into Monday were especially emotionally challenging and difficult for our family, but I can truly say when my head hit my pillow Monday night, I had one of the best sleeps I have had for a LONG time. In fact, one of the reasons I started blogging voraciously in November and December, is at 48 years old I tend to wake up in the middle of the night from about 2am-4am, and I was using this sleeplessness to write. On Day 15 (Monday night), I easily slept 8 hours with no long wakes other than my typical restroom jaunt for me and the dogs (ever since my pregnancy with child #2 who apparently sat too long on my kidneys, I get up at least once to use the restroom each night [thanks Lolo], and so the dogs pull the Brady-Bunch-road-trip thing and need to go outside as well). I even really wanted to start doing some sort of exercise this week to go with my eating habits, which is not something I typically look forward to. So, I started adding a 15 minute morning yoga break into my day (more on that in another blog post as my Orthodox Sister Sue turned me onto an awesome FREE yoga app), with the intention to add a 15 minute evening piece as well!
As for that sugar dragon, it seems to be asleep and possibly even slayed. I am not wanting the dates, or any other sweet treat after dinner anymore. In fact, my fruit consumption is really only at breakfast now that I have gotten past the first week. I can see a huge difference in my palate when it comes to the sweetness of foods also. The other day, I opened a jar of mango, avocado, and apple baby food (don’t judge – it is easy to pack and whole 30 compliant), and I ended up throwing it out after eating 2-3 spoonfuls because it was disgustingly sweet! Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected that to happen!
A definite tip I pulled from the daily emails that has helped is having a list of about 5 “go-to” quickie meal ideas that I keep posted on my fridge to help when I am in a hurry. My list includes:
- taco salad (ground beef, lettuce, onions, salad veggies, salsa, and avocado),
- tuna or egg salad with home made mayo and capers over lettuce,
- sweet potato “hash” topped with an over easy egg,
- Scrambled eggs with sauteed onions, salsa, and avocado, and
- Monkey Salad
If you are up for the Challenge, here are a few resources I have found during this Whole 30 that I have been enjoying:
- Kale and Cigarettes has a daily blow by blow of their progress on the Whole 30 Challenge, which is hilariously funny. Be ready for a few expletives….
- Recipes resources:
- Wellfed blog site has menus available for each week along with shopping lists.
- Historically Engineered has a lot of great and easy recipes, with many of them whole 30 recipes compliant. I really liked the slow cooker herb chicken!
- Meatified is like the mother-load of whole 30 recipe ideas, and it is organized into categories, like slow cooker, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners!
Also, be sure to check out my Road Leading Home Pinterest page for lots of whole 30 pins!
If you are doing the Whole 30 Challenge, let me know how your “reset” is going – I would LOVE to hear from you!