Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Whole30 -- Food for Thought

I know you may be surprised by this (hahaha), but prior to starting Whole30, I did a ton of research. I scoured the website and downloaded pretty much every single handout I could find, I bought It Starts With Food and read (and annotated) it cover to cover, and I paid $14.95 to receive supportive emails every day of the program.

I may or may not have an appropriately-labeled, color-coordinated binder in front of me as we speak.

I mean, the dividers even match the binder.
I just need to find a lime-green pen to annotate...
I wonder if eating whole, nutritious food will help my OCD. :)

If you are contemplating starting Whole30 yourself (which I sincerely hope you are -- it's been wonderful for me thus far), I strongly encourage that you read everything you possibly can and sign up for the daily emails. First, reading everything in advance gives so much reasoning and rationale behind every "restriction," something I definitely need in order to fully buy in to something. Second, the emails offer brand-new material each and every day and definitely align well to what one experiences at each stage of the journey.

A few days ago, I received a "worksheet" in one of the emails, and since I am such a good, straight-A, over-achieving student, I completed it. (Like you had any doubt.) And, I figured I would share my answers (cheater cheater) on this fill-in-the-blank assignment with you today*:

I find myself craving sugar, bread, or sweets when I see others eating them...but only sometimes. I have honestly had very few cravings at all during this entire adventure.

Sometimes, I think I'm hungry, but I'm actually just bored. I realize now how often I ate simply out of boredom.

When I'm craving sugar, I used to eat candy -- Sour Patch Kids, Whoppers, Good 'n Plenty, etc. Lots and lots of candy.

During my Whole30, I'm going to reach for fruit and macadamia nuts (if anything -- I don't want to "feed the sugar dragon") instead.

When I eat sweet food like fruit, I notice (emotion, craving, etc.) that it tastes really, really, really sweet. I don't necessarily feel a certain emotion or craving -- just that it tastes almost too sweet to me anymore.

When I eat salty foods like nuts or olives, I notice (emotion, craving, etc.) that I get really, really, really thirsty -- and that they make me full longer. Again, I don't necessarily feel a certain emotion or craving -- just a physical response.

I thought I'd miss eating/drinking cheese and wine, but I actually don't miss it/them at all much.

I didn't think I'd like eating so much red meat, but I'm actually really enjoying it (more than I anticipated, at least).

I have the hardest time sticking to the Whole30 when I'm feeling busy. Sometimes it'd be a lot easier to go through the drive-thru or pick up take-out rather than cook an entire meal from scratch. (Granted, I have rarely -- if at all -- felt like this on the challenge.)

I have the hardest time sticking to the Whole30 when I'm in restaurants social situation or setting. I have not actually been to a restaurant on Whole30 yet for this very reason. I fear that I will have a hard time finding something compliant to eat if I cannot cook it myself. Because I am so adamant about seeing this through 100%, not having control over how something is cooked will be an issue.

When I eat a good breakfast, I feel full forever. Seriously.

When I prepare a healthy meal from scratch, I feel accomplished and de-stressed. I forgot how therapeutic cooking is for me. I love the certainty of cooking and the calming repetition of chopping vegetables.

Since I started my Whole30, I've noticed:

  • That my exercise or sports performance has been non-existent due to my back injury
  • That my sleep has improved TREMENDOUSLY (this is the biggest change I've noticed thus far, and I am so thankful for it)
  • That my energy levels have been better than normal, although I am a teensy bit sleepy when I get home after work
  • That my emotions are somewhat more even-keel (but this would likely be easier to notice had I not recently gone through a major life change)
  • That my recovery after exercise is also non-existent since I have not exercised
  • That my body feels good! I have no bloating, and I almost wish I could step on the scale because I think I've lost some weight
  • That my clothes fit well (although this is somewhat difficult to discern since I've mostly been wearing leggings and yoga pants lately)
  • That my condition (skin issues, allergies, digestive distress, etc.) seems to be about the same. I have major skin issues that will hopefully improve with continued Whole30-compliant nutrition

Thanks for following along! I know a lot of this is likely boring for everyone who is not experiencing the (magic of the) Whole30, but it is a really, really good way for me to keep myself accountable. I appreciate your continued support!

Peace out 'til later!

*I also really just like lists. :)

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