I was really excited to write this post because I wanted to share my Whole 30 experience this time around, but I find myself struggling to get started. The main issue is that I’m having a really horrible day pain wise, which I’m 99% sure is due to the snow storm about to hit us. All of my old injuries are aching, I’ve got this electric tingle flowing through my limbs, almost like it’s pinging off of my trigger points and causing them to pop. At the moment, I’m at about an 8/10; this is the worst I’ve felt in a long time. So, now, instead of writing a post simply to share what I’ve been eating and how I’m feeling about it, I’m also writing as a way to escape the pain. Bleh.
Where to start? For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Whole 30 plan, here’s a quick overview. The basic idea is to reset your body by cutting out “all psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days”. –whole30
For the next 30 days, (25 for me, since I started this on January 3), there will be absolutely NO:
- Added sugar/sweetener of any kind; including maple syrup, honey, agave, coconut sugar, stevia, Splenda, equal, nutrasweet, xylitol
- Alcohol, not even for cooking
- Grains (or pseudo grains): wheat, eye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains, quinoa
- Legumes: beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, soy
- Dairy (except ghee or clarified butter)
- Carrageenan, MSG or Sulfites
By now, you’re probably wondering, (like I did initially), what is even left to eat?
“Meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.” – whole30
I know, it sounds like a lot. It is. I’m not going to sit here and tell you how easy it is. If I’m honest, it’s a pain in the ass. BUT ITS WORTH IT. Yes, I desperately miss cheese and chocolate and bread and pizza and all of the yummy things, but this is the second time I’ve done this diet and I will be the first to admit that I am just too lazy to do something like this if it didn’t do something for me. I’m only on day 5 and pain issues aside, I feel wonderful. My head is clear, I’m sleeping better, I have energy and my mood is excellent.
The one thing that I have found to make this easier is meal planning. Before we, (my amazing husband is doing it too!), start the diet, I sit down and write out 5 weeks worth of meals, so there is never any question of “what am I going to eat today?”. No, I am not writing out different meals for each day. What we do is make a big batch of something on the weekend and then portion it out for the rest of the week. Here’s a sample of what I wrote out for this first week:
See? Not that bad. The only real decision I have to make is which option I’m having for breakfast and lunch. I write this plan out for the next 5 weeks and we follow it.
The hardest part is finding things that are compliant. Like bacon, for example. I never even considered sugar being used to cure bacon. It is possible to find bacon cured without sugar, but it ain’t easy. Another thing is mayo. So far, I haven’t been able to find a store bought mayonnaise with out added sugar or non-compliant oils. I’m sure there is one, but I hate to pay shipping costs on something that I can just as easily make myself. It took me a few tries to get it right, but I have finally mastered avocado oil mayonnaise. No added sugar or junk; just oil, eggs, a bit of salt, lemon juice and mustard and now I have mayonnaise that I can use to make compliant sauces or dressings. Yum!
Now that we’re all caught up, I hope to keep updating on how it’s going and probably at least a few posts about what I’m actually eating. I’m really hoping that my current pain is only due to the weather and not the start of another flare up, but even if it is an actual flare up, I’ve found that eating cleanly really helps with the duration of the flare. Fingers crossed!!