Today is my 12th day of Whole30 eating. If you're not familiar with the Whole30, it's a nutritional program that places an emphasis on eat only whole, unprocessed, healthy foods. "Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system." I wanted to do the Whole30 because I needed a reset. I'm still have a lot of pain from my arthritis. I've gained 5 to 10 pounds over the last year, which I can't seem to shake not matter what I do. I wake up with a headache most days. And most of all, I'm addicted to sugar. I want sugary sweet crap all the time. And too often I indulge that craving.
Mike is doing this with me ... because I sort of bullied him into it! No really, he wasn't all that excited about it, since the bulk of the cooking challenge would be on his shoulders. But after a little cajoling on my part, he gave in and has since become the program's number one supporter.
By no means am I an Whole30 expert or an expert when it comes to health and wellness. I try lots of different things and see what works for me and for our family. Plus, I'm only 12 days into this, so I'm still learning the ropes. But, there are a few things I now for sure. Here are my tip and observations now that I'm a third of the way done.
To be successful, you have to plan. We sit down on Saturday or Sunday and plan our dinners for the entire week. At the same time, we make our grocery list. There is no way I could stick to the program if we didn't have a plan. Mike told me yesterday he might start planning for a month of meals at a time, that way he only spends a few hours once a month coming up with our menu.
Doing this with Mike and having a partner in crime, makes it much easier. I should be able to make a commitment to better health just because it's good for me. But sometimes, it helps to be accountable to someone other than myself. Knowing Mike and I are int his together is helpful.
Cutting out sugar, bread, pasta, etc makes me cranky. On our walk last night Mike told me the one thing he's most looking forward to at the end of Whole30 is my mood improving. I have been pretty cranky.
Food can still be yummy without all the added crap. Mike is a great cook. He's willing to try anything and he's been making awesome meals for us. We bought the Whole30 book and have been using recipes from there, as well as random recipe we find on the internet. There have been a few misses, but for the most part everything we've tried had been tasty (and good for us).
Our whole family is eating our Whole30 dinners. We're not making the kids special dinners. They eat what we eat. This is fine for Shelby, she'll eat anything. Cooper is struggling, but this has less to do with Whole30 and more to do with other food issues we have. I do let the kids pick their own breakfasts and they pack their own lunches. In some cases they eat things that aren't Whole30 compliant. Not a big deal. Overall, they are making healthy choices and eating well.
I'm not mindlessly snacking. One of the "rules" of Whole30 is no snacking. I've always been a mindless snacker. I will walk to the pantry without thinking and eat whatever is most appealing. I eat out of boredom. I eat to fill time. I eat for comfort. Those aren't healthy reasons to eat. I'm quickly redefining my relationship with food, and that's a good thing. I must add ... I haven't completely cut out snacks. I'm snacking 75% less and when I do snack it's on a piece of fruit, a veggie or maybe a (Whole30) compliant Lara Bar. With each passing day, my urge to snack diminishes.
Evenings are still hard for me. The time between dinner and bedtime I want to eat. Mostly I want to eat sweet treats. I still want to, but I'm not, so that's a win. I'm hoping after 30 days of no sugar, this urge will disappear. Fingers crossed.
It gets easier every day. With each passing day, this all becomes more routine. I don't think about the Diet Dr. Pepper I used to have, I just make myself a cup of green tea.
I'm excited to see who I feel at the end of 30 days. Mike says he already feels lighter and less bloated. I'm proud of us. We're making healthy choices and fueling our bodies with real food.