Previous Healthy Eating Post (1/8/2016): Kimmy tries more cooking
Novel Attitude: Retrying the 30 day food experiment Whole30
I felt inspired after trying three new recipes in my last post. Not only do I want to continue cooking with a larger variety of spices and protein, I also want to cook healthy meals that are also delicious. I love food in general, both healthy and unhealthy. I’ve been enjoying the healthy meals so much, I think there is a lot of room to explore tricking myself into replacing unhealthy foods with healthy ones.
Two years ago in January 2014, I read The Whole30 kindle book and tried this experiment on myself for the first time. I’ve written about The Whole30 in a few posts: Summer Solstice Reflections, Cooking Up a Swim, and Blazing Saddles. I am a big believer in the concept. Essentially, for thirty days, you eat extremely “clean”, which means very low processed carbs, no dairy, no alcohol, no beans, and no sweeteners. After thirty days, slowly reintroduce the missing food groups back into your diet to understand specifically how your body responds to each food group. For instance, do you have an upset stomach as you add dairy back in? If yes, then maybe this is a food group that you should be limiting anyways. Do you have long-lasting energy after eating beans? Great! Then, maybe this is a food group that can have a little more of a presence in your weekly diet.
When I first tried eating clean for 30 days, I had days where it was no problem at all and days where I felt so deprived, I ate everything acceptable I could under the sun because of that feeling of deprivation. Ultimately, I did end up losing about 10 pounds (which I gained, lost, and re-gained periodically over the next two years). I didn’t stay true to the philosophy of the Whole30 because on the 31st day, I ate a big bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and reverted back to not-so-great habits.
This January, I will complete the Whole30 again and chronicle the ups and downs. I started the Whole30 on Monday, January 11. This seemed like the best decision not only for me but also for the blog. I’ve mentioned the Whole30 to quite a few friends, and I know others are interested in how it works and how it goes. You may be questioning why I called this post “Whole 30 – Take Four”. On at least two other occasions, I have attempted the clean eating and broken down after a week or two. I’m happy to report that I have not given up on this fourth trial!
First Week Attitudes
All in all, I don’t really consider the Whole30 to be a “diet”. For the most part, I really don’t feel too deprived. If I’m writing completely honestly, I miss cheese even more than I miss wine! There are a few key adjustments I made to successfully incorporate this new lifestyle:
- Prepare lunch every day or have a plan to eat a healthy lunch out
- Bring oranges and bananas to work. I’d rather not snack, but I need to have something available when I do
- Use almond milk for coffee and tea instead of diary milk
- When I am feeling deprived, eat a nice, juicy steak
- Nuts are good to have on hand as a sweet and salty snack as well. They’re no Flamin’ Hot Cheetos or chocolate bars, but they’ll give me an energy boost and a full stomach
- Avocados are fair game always. I’ve already made such strides in portion control over the past year that I no longer feel the need to eat more than a quarter of an avocado at a time.
Toward the end of the week, I did start to notice the huge lack of sugar in my diet and felt quite hungry all day on Friday. I think this may partly be due to eating mostly chicken as the protein in each meal. This was eye-opening. I eat a lot of chicken because it’s cheap and easy to cook, but it is important to diversify for my health and my cooking education. Yesterday, at the store I bought thin-cut pork chops and salmon. I’m hoping the diversity helps me stay satisfied longer and curb my cravings.
I’ve got about 23 days left in this Whole30 journey. I’m feeling pretty confident I can maintain my commitment, especially since I’ve gone public with it! I’ll continue writing about how the process goes over the next 23 days. Only 24 more days to go until my big glass of wine…