This is week has been a difficult and trying week in many ways. I started the Whole30 Challenge on Ash Wednesday last week. While the program is intended to be 30 days, I decided to extend it to the 40 days of lent. Let me start out by saying that discipline is not my forte. A long history of picked up and put down hobbies can attest to this… so can my closet with an untouched sewing machine, guitar, violin, paints, clay and knitting needles. This is also why I have a dozen half-read books on my bookshelf. Most of these things are of little consequence, clearly I was not meant to be a concert pianist. What usually happens is that I’m super excited about the new project for a couple of weeks and then it slowly fades into the background of my busy life. The Whole30 Challenge for me is a way to push myself to commit and follow through with something. Why? Because it builds character. It will teach me new things about nutrition, and how my body reacts to certain foods in a positive or negative way. I’m also not convinced I’m the best version of myself yet. I don’t think many people would say that they are the best version of themselves right now, but I know for certain that I’m not where I’d like to see myself in 5 years. There’s an element of the process, the journey in which we are never done. I want to start this journey to health and wellness now, and not just hypothetically. I’m tired of telling my massage clients to eat well, exercise, do yoga, be aware of posture, etc… and not trying to make these changes myself.
Week 1 Whole30 Challenges…
1) Super upset stomach… Evidently my binge eating of dried apricots and nuts in between meals is not having a good affect on my digestive tract. This is a lesson learned and I am cutting back on fruits and avoiding the apricots all together for the next few days to see if this helps. After reading about Peggie’s success story and her obsession with dried mangos, I realize that I may have a problem with sugar. I never would have thought I had an addiction to sugar. We don’t really keep sweets in the house. However, I was having lattes quite regularly. I also had a piece of chocolate or a sugary food a few times a week. It makes sense that I would now turn to fruits to give me my normal sugar fix. Substituting more “healthy” sugars for fattening sugars is not the point. The Whole30 is about breaking ties you have to foods that may be unhealthy and keeping you from feeling your best.
2) I didn’t know that wasn’t Whole30 approved… Peanuts are considered a bean, which is a no-no. Oops. That all-natural peanut butter has been tossed. The delicious frittata my husband made actually has a little bit of cornmeal in it… Dang. Cornmeal is considered a grain for the Whole30 Challenge. This has not been tossed, as I’m cutting my losses and finishing it… Well, because it would be wasteful to toss it. It’s delicious and it was made with love. From here on out though, no frittata will be made with cornmeal.
3) Not enough food preparation time… I’ve loved looking at all the Pinterest and Facebook pictures of Whole30 approved meals. However, I don’t know how well these are formatted for busy people. Everyone says, “Crock-pot recipes are the best for a busy schedule!” I’m embarrassed to tell you that I can’t even count how many times I’ve made a crock-pot recipe into a boil-until-it’s-done recipe because I forgot some ingredient or didn’t have time to chop vegetables the night before. This challenge has made me more aware of my poor planning and scheduling habits. When I realize I’m hangry (hungry + angry) due to poor planning on my end, it’s easy to see that its me that needs to change. I may never be the one who daily posts my perfectly planned and accomplished meals on social media, but that’s ok. You’ve got to work with the time you have and not set yourself up for disappointment with unrealistic expectations.
Week 1 Wins…
1) Despite my upset stomach, I’m feeling really good. My energy is high and my attitude upbeat.
2) If your meal doesn’t involve 3 colors or more, you could use more vegetables or spice! This is a rule we’ve adopted in our household. I joke but am half serious when I tell my husband that he should make a cookbook based on the color rule.
3) Thanks to the folks at Oddly Correct, it’s not been hard transitioning to no sugar or cream in my coffee.
4) This is so much better than trying to be a vegetarian. My muscles are recovering well after long hours of massage with the help of protein-rich foods in moderation.
5) I love having a community of people doing this with me. Thanks for your insight and encouragement, everyone who is doing the Whole30 Challenge this spring!
Cheers to your health!