A few months ago I thought all you people cutting out chocolate and wine and sugar and gluten and grains and legumes and cheese…..were nuts. So what do you eat? Now I’m finding out the answer by expereince. I really can’t say what made me do it. A friend invited me to a Whole 30 Facebook group and all the sudden I was making cauliflower rice and eating sweet potatoes for breakfast. I’m no expert on the Whole 30. I have not read the book. I just found the mecca of inspiration on Instagram. And yes I know I’m about two years late to the party here. Right now I’m more than halfway through my 30 days and dare I say…. I like it? Shhhhhhhh.. Because it’s true.
What’s left to eat? You’re might wondering if you are late to the party too. Meat and vegetables, and nuts and ghee and avocados and the creamy coconut milk out of a can that goes in my coffee.
People! I even doled out smores around a backyard campfire in the snow and did not indulge. I have had a few cheats here and there when I’m downright starving and get in a bind due of my own poor planning. My toddler is still nursing on demand so I am always hungry. I’m used to always being hungry because I don’t take the time to feed myself during the day. Whole 30 takes a lot of food prep and thought. If you don’t cook you don’t eat. Dinner leftovers have been my saving grace. I just ate leftover potatoes, mushrooms and prosciutto for breakfast. I even heated up a third bowl of root vegetable chili Tuesday night while watching This is Us. Where’s the ice cream? Nope. If I’m doing this I’m really going to do it.
Next to the soup above, is cauliflower patties instead of bread. I haven’t figured out how to edit photos very well since not using iPhotos anymore (since it went obsolete with my phone). I have photoshop but I’m not very good at it. So I apologize for the dirty plate. I’m sure I was rushing to eat before my 45 second window was gone. But every food post needs a photo. And food is not my favorite thing to photograph. Plus it hard! So I’m going to play the keeping it real card here.
Guess what? This is a lot of work but I feel great. During my Whole 30 I’ve gleaned a lot of personal insight about my own relationship with food. When we stop eating sugar, everything tastes better. Flavors are more rich. My mind still wants to treat myself at the end of the day. Mothering is hard. But I suppose I can do it without patting myself on the back with a glass of wine every night. I did it pregnant, so I’m an old pro at being a teetotaler. If I add up all those months up it’s three and half years. (Why did I just do that math?) But I like my sweets.
Sugar is sugar. I eat well already. I buy all organic sugar, pure maple syrup, put granola in my homemade yogurt, bake my own cookies from scratch. You get my drift? It doesn’t mater. I’ve learned all that is still junk. There are a lot people buying a lot of healthy junk food that is still junk. It’s not Little Debbie twinkies but sugar is sugar.
Therefore I’ve learned to like fresh blueberries and a squeeze of lemon in my homemade yogurt instead of vanilla granola. Oh yeah the Whole 30 is no dairy. I’m also ready to be a vegetarian again because meat is grossing me out. I’m learning there is a reason I was a vegetarian for 20 year. I like vegetables! When I was pregnant my body needed meat to keep up all the life inside and around me with all these kids. I started eating meat again out of desperation and a void my body was trying to fill. But I have lots of meat peramiters. They are weird and I can not explain it. I’m okay with good, organic, local, humanly treated (expect the killing part I know) meat except I don’t like the taste of meat. I want to make homemade broth and use it my soups but I don’t want to eat the chicken. OMG I like bacon now! I’ll EVEN saved the grease and cooked my brussels sprouts in it. But I do not want to eat a slab of pork. No bones at the table please. Gag. Then I want to go hug all the chickens.
My long winded point is that the Whole 30 is too much meat for me. So I am following the vegetarian compliant list which includes “good fermented yogurt,” lentils and tempeh. It says lentils are best and I assume it’s because they are less processed and don’t even come in a can. I make yogurt from local milk so I’m going to count that as fine too. I don’t ever eat soy, which is a big no either way. I think tofu is pretty gross. I can’t live without humus.
I’ve learned I’m fine living without cheese. Which is really surprising to me! I only miss it a tiny bit.
I have been having tendenitius in my elbow. Plus general arm and shoulder aches from picking up my 23 pound toddler 92 times a day. Truth is…I was just feeling kind of old and not my best. The Whole 30 cuts out most all the inflammatory foods. On January 2 I had enough holiday fun. So why not save some dollars by not buying wine? Eating deserts when it’s dark outside is really never something I’m thankful for the next day. So I just went cold turkey. Like that. And now I’m saying Whole 30 who me? Yes me! I get it now. I still miss ice cream after bedtime but I guess I’ll live. Maybe I’ll even live longer!
I feel great. I’m trying new foods. It’s getting me out of a food rut. After my 30 days I’ll have a healthier relationship with moderation of sugar and carbs. Losing weight was not my goal. But already, I have lost the last few edgy pregnancy pounds that are hard to shed. Everyone in my house is eating less sugar and carbs as a result. And that is always a good thing. I even think the girls behaviors have improved and there is less mood swings. (Shhhhhh don’t jinx me.)
I DO however have a box of brownies in my pantry I plan on making February 1. And I will eat cake on my birthday next month and have a few valentine treats. Hopefully I won’t fall back into nibble of chocolate every afternoon. And once a week I still look forward to treating myself to sweets at night for making it through my really hard day. LOL. Not really. I mean four kids is not a piece of cake but I have a pretty sweet life (all puns intended).
I’m going to keep treating myself with good food. I’m going to keep putting coconut milk in my coffee because it’s really good! I’ll probably keep trying to like tea and see it as a filler treat but really it’s not that great. After my 30 days are over and I eat some brownies and birthday cake, I’ll probably do it again. Researching recipes is fun. So is having an Instagram feed full of food that will help me live another 40 years, and keep me standing on my head on my yoga mat.
Since there is a hundred great food photos on Pinterest to follow, and tons of easy sites to find on the Whole 30 I am not going to reinvent the recipe wheel here. Just start searching. It’s part of the fun. Next you’ll find yourself eating guacamole for breakfast and frying eggs as midnight snacks. Oh yeah…and there’s no snacking. Unless you are breastfeeding. It’s the rules.
Really, if you go for it and take the plunge just start one day at at time. By the third day I understood the rules and I wasn’t even in denial anymore that I had become a Whole 30 person. And now look at me. I’m trying to talk you into doing it too.