Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Reluctant Whole30 - What You Should Know About The First Week

Hi friends! Hi and waving! Julie here. Trying to wrap my head around doing this Whole 30 thing when I'm not sure I even want to. My ol' buddy Guru is starting next week, so I'm writing this week one wrap-up for her so she knows what to expect.

There's another reason I'm writing it. Guru told me that the one reason she now feels ready to do this is because I'm doing it and I'm not some healthy, cross-fitting, marathon-running person who is good at being an adult. I am a jackass and a very normal, part-time working, mostly stay-at-home mom who doesn't really take care of myself. And I got through the first week fairly easily.

It occurred to me that my friend E did the same thing for me. She made it seem possible. The only other people I knew who did Paleo/clean eating/Whole 30 stuff were really hard core. They made me feel inadequate and it was clear I lacked their level of commitment to this "lifestyle". Don't kid yourself - the whole Crossfit/Paleo/Clean Eating movement is lifestyle and a mindset. The more I learned about it, the more I felt like if I wasn't on board with all of it, I couldn't really be on board with any of it.

That's not true. I was just in the wrong environment. E showed me that you could do Whole 30 and still be the same person - that it was attainable for regulars like me. Try it on for a month, learn some things about yourself, and maybe lose a couple of pounds. 

Here's what I learned from Week 1 of Whole 30:
  • Read the book first. Especially the last few chapters that lay out the specifics of the rules and guidelines.
  • Then the hilarious and accurate timeline of what you can expect.  
  • Check out the website, especially the "Can I Have..." boards and when reading the boards, you really should pay closest attention to what the moderators say.
  • You will have to make everything you eat at first and you will have to make it from scratch.
  • My husband's food allergies mean that I've been making everything from scratch for 10 long years. It was actually great preparation for this. If someone in your house has (or had) food allergies, you're uniquely qualified to make this work.
  • If you don't eat meat, I don't see how this could possibly work for you.
  • Create a Pinterest Board with Whole 30 recipes. Or check out mine. It's so helpful. 
  • If it all feels overwhelming - just write out a list of a couple of meals that sound do-able for you. I suggested meatballs to Guru because kiddos love meatballs. 
  • NomNomPaleo and DoYouEvenPaleo are great recipe resources.
  • You will spend lots of money this week at the grocery store. LOTS.
  • Read labels before you buy stuff. Read labels again before you eat stuff. 
  • You should plan to have a shit ton of compliant food on hand for when you get hungry. 
  • If you're tempted to eat something bad (Thin Mints), just shove something compliant (grilled chicken tenders dipped in guac) in your mouth and repeat that until the urge to eat Thin Mints goes away. 
  • Don't worry as much about how much you're eating as what you're eating. I ate more than what was advisable the first week but I stayed on program. And this week, I found that I'm hungry less and eating less. 
  • If you're on Facebook all the time, or Instagram, or whatever your social channel of choice - join a group or start following people whose posts will help keep you focused. I joined The Whole 30 First Timers Support Group on Facebook at E's suggestion and it's been really helpful.
  • You will look for compliant bacon. You will not find it. You will see other people buying bacon like it's no big thing and you will think they're being extremely rude.
  • All food has been "compliant" or "not compliant", which is weird.
  • I had a lot of salsa and guac on hand this week. It helped because it makes everything taste better.

How I feel after a week:
  • I went from taking Tums or Pepcid every single day to not at all in 3 days.
  • I went from feeling like GARBAGE every day to feeling fine. I'd forgotten what "fine" felt like. 
  • I'm having really vivid dreams every night but overall - sleeping much better. In part, because I'm going to bed earlier. 
  • Staying up to watch TV and have a glass of wine was my happy time each day and now it's gone. I miss it a lot. But it turns out I really can feel equally relaxed zoning out to House Hunters International without Pinot Noir and snacks. 
  • By day 7, I definitely had more energy sustained throughout the day. Not like RAWR TIGER BLOOD - but I haven't felt the need to rest/crash in the afternoon as I have for months before starting.
  • I randomly took a selfie yesterday and I was like HOLY CRAP - my skin looks half-way decent. I haven't said that about my own face since the late 90's.
  • PCOS stuff - my period came 5-7 days early which is SUPER weird. My blood sugar seems more stable but honestly, after 20 years of being a slave to it - I do not trust it to tell me the truth. I'm still reacting to it's swings by wanting to eat. But it does seem less swingy.
  • I'm starting to think of food in a more objective way. Less about "I want this and it will make me feel nice to eat it" then "I am hungry now so I should eat some compliant food so I don't feel hungry anymore."
  • I have a lot of thoughts about that, but I haven't figured them out yet. 
  • Finding things to eat that are TRULY DELICIOUS and also compliant has become this challenge. Like, "I will make a roasted red pepper and garlic aioli and it will be majestic and people will not believe this meal is paleo and then they will PRAISE ME for my culinary mastery." 
  • If I can do this for a week, literally anyone can do this. 

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