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Whole30

It’s been over a year since I quit drinking cola and stopped having sugar in my morning coffee.  Since starting Whole30 for the first time, I have let go of my unhealthy eating habits and have focused on eating fresh produce and meats, limiting  grains, processed foods, vegetable oil, etc, etc.  Let’s just say, I’m all about eating healthy, fresh foods.

The benefits of my new eating include

  • improved sleep
  • clearer skin
  • clear eyes
  • sciatic pain – gone
  • heartburn – gone
  • tension headaches – gone
  • migraine headaches – reduced to only 1 per month
  • increased energy
  • sugar cravings – gone
  • foggy afternoon feeling – gone
  • 33lbs – gone
  • still excited about Whole30

Any and every chance I get to talk about Whole30, I do.  Some people have noticed the weight loss and have asked me how I did it.  First reactions are often, “I couldn’t do that.” or “That sounds hard.”  It’s challenging, but it’s also very simple.  I motivated myself by reading Whole30 testimonials.  Those wonderful accounts combined with my rock bottom of not fitting into my “big” jeans launched me into one of the best changes I’ve ever made.  For me, it’s not hard, but it takes commitment.

I haven’t written off all non-Whole30 foods completely.  I love sushi and great pizza is even better than it was before.  The distinction now, is that crappy food is no longer edible.  I once tried Hershey’s milk chocolate Kiss after being on Whole30 for more than 45 days (first round) and I knew I would not eat milk chocolate again.  Not worth it.

 

 

Life in Transition

I have had an incredible year plus. There have been stressful, sad and trying moments mixed in with joyful ones.  My overall journey has been a fortunate and happy one.

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It wasn’t until I was talking with my sister and a friend about my intention to write my experiences into my blog, that I realized how much I have to write!  And how lucky I am, how utterly amazing each experience has been.  I’ve been detail-focused in each project, I didn’t realize the distance I’ve come.  Now, it’s time to take a some time to sit, reflect and share.

Do I consider myself done with these?  Not at all.  I’ve only begun.

  • Whole30
  • 42 Acts of Giving Kindness
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
  • Going Minimal

I had a light breakfast with a couple of slices of roasted acorn squash left over from last night.  I wasn’t feeling very hungry in the morning and I had to get ready for early work meetings.

Later in the day, I started getting a mild headache, but lunch got rid of it.

In the afternoon, I was having a craving for something sweet.  I was surprised by it, but not diverted.  I drank a glass of water and snacked on a handful of cashews.  The sugar craving went away easily.

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Hash browns and chicken salad (ground chicken, red leaf lettuce with tomato, cilantro and lemon juice).

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Lemon, garlic, red pepper chicken breast with green beans and riced cauliflower.

Things went smoothly today.  No cravings, no fatigue, no sugar withdrawal symptoms, no foggy head or headaches.  Just feeling good.  I did notice that my mood went up about 5 or 6 notches.  I enjoyed breaks with the kids and I am pretty sure I was shrieking with laughter while blowing bubbles with my 2 year old.  My legs are sore from yesterday’s yard work.  Otherwise, I’m doing great.

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Super simple breakfast of kale and eggs with red chile.

I had leftover chicken and veggies (from yesterday) for lunch.  For dinner, I had leftover salmon and oven roasted sweet potatoes and acorn squash.  It’s looking like I did buy more groceries than necessary.  I’ll take this into account when I shop for next week.

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Leftovers for tomorrow.

I am now officially on the Whole30 program.  It is the first day I had coffee with absolutely no sugar.  I’d been putting less and less sugar since Wednesday so that I wouldn’t have to go cold turkey at the start of the program.  I’m very glad I did wean off sugar, because feel great.  We spent the whole day working in the backyard.  The weather was cloudy and cool.  The kids loved having time outside while Matt and I worked and worked.

Today, I noticed a real improvement after cutting out sugar and grains (and dairy).  I was able to work roughly 5 hours in the yard, until my legs and feet ached.  Usually, I get a debilitating headache before any other part of my body feels exertion.  I also noticed that I wasn’t chasing my hunger today.  I feel like my appetite is adjusting to the no grain meals.

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Egg scramble for breakfast with zucchini, potato and red chile sauce (red chile and garlic).

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Chicken stir-fry for lunch with broccoli, snow peas, onions, carrots and celery.

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Lemon, garlic and Dijon mustard baked salmon with steamed asparagus and sauteed potatoes and onions.

Saturday was a great day for me.  I was still chasing hunger with food.  I was struggling to make meals that would be within the guidelines of the Whole30 and give me enough energy to make it the next meal.  I kept having to eat a banana to have enough energy between work and fixing dinner.  A shopping trip was in order.  Here was my shopping list:

  • red leaf lettuce
  • celery
  • onions
  • green beans
  • broccoli
  • zucchini
  • spaghetti squash
  • acorn squash
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • tomatoes
  • apples
  • pears
  • bananas
  • lemons
  • limes
  • pecans (wow, this is expensive)
  • cashews
  • chicken
  • beef
  • fish
  • eggs
  • red chile
  • Tazo Earl Grey (heavenly)

The fridge was packed when we got everything put away.  It’s nice to have plenty of choices and I think after this week, I will have better idea for what I will need.  I’m assuming we bought more food than I need.  We’ll see.

We worked in the back yard most of the day and although it was warm outside, I did really well.  I started to get a migraine in the afternoon, so I rested in bed for a about an hour, expecting to take one of my migraine shots.  No shot necessary!  Rest was enough to get rid of the headache.  I think it was the changes I’ve already made to my eating that made the difference.  I was really grateful that all I had to do was take a nap!

One thing I already do right with my health is drink lots of water.  Unsweetened, unflavored, just plain water.  So, I didn’t expect how outrageously thirsty I was going to feel on Day 3 without sugar (without my daily cup of cranberry juice).  I wanted so much to empty an entire gallon of juice into my mouth.  I wanted to shower in it.  It’s hard to argue with the self-destructive little voice that says, “You’re not even on the Whole30 yet, one little sip or two won’t hurt.”  Instead, I crushed a couple of fresh strawberries into a cup, added ice and water for a refreshing drink.  It had just a hint of fruit, but it was enough to get me through the craving.

My head still felt foggy until well into the evening.  I was relieved that the work week was over and I didn’t have to try pushing through my tasks feel tired and fuzzy headed.