As some of you know I recently tackled the Whole30. WOW! What an experience! I started reading It Starts with Food in the fall to gain a better understanding of food and how my relationship with it is affected. I didn’t even know what the Whole30 was until closer to Christmas. I was struggling with a food that was causing inflammation, bloat, brain fog, and sluggishness … I just didn’t know what it was.
I cut gluten out almost four years ago because I had the same issues (inflammation, bloat, brain fog, and sluggishness) as well as knee joint pain, migraines, and vomiting. I know gross and uncomfortable!
I committed to doing the Whole30 in hopes of figuring out what was making my life a little less than pleasant. I didn’t actually research what the heck the program entailed.
I finally sat down, went through the book, printed off the cheat sheets, and realized what I was up against. No dairy, no peanut butter, no sugar, no grains, and no legumes.
Here’s the funny thing I typically eat a meat and veggies diet. On occasion I have toast/sandwiches/pasta or add cheese and yogurt in. So I was doing a loose variation of the Whole30.
What I didn’t know: sugar is in every freaking thing, mad scientists put weird chemical/additives in our food (I guess they think this is fun?), and a peanut butter addict will have withdrawals.
Since my husband is deployed and I typically eat fairly clean, there wasn’t a lot of junk food in the house. I did have pasta, oatmeal, popcorn, hot cocoa … stuff like that. So, I boxed it up and put the boxes on the top shelf of the pantry.
Then I hit Natural Grocers, Costco, and Albertsons. This took a LONG time!! I went slow and read my labels, double checked the products against my cheat sheets and eventually made it home with all of my groceries.
The first two days were hard, not because the food was bad or flavorless, but because I was going against my typical routine. Routine and habit go hand in hand … we all know just how hard habits are to break.
I went to an appointment a town away and had to rely on restaurants. This wasn’t all bad, I just ordered a burger wrapped in lettuce and steamed broccoli. Easy enough. Still feeling good.
I visited my parents and turned down allllll kinds of yummy foods that were oh so tempting.
One line in the Whole30 book said something like “think of all the good things you can have, not all of the things you can’t”. This is something I used as a mantra to get me through and help support my “no thank you’s”.
I found keeping busy kept my mind off my cravings, because that was the problem, my mind. My body rarely craves all the junk, but mentally I know there’s a small reward in sugar or comfortable in carbilicious bread.
I played around with some of the recipes in the book and fell in love with Shephard’ Pie (which I had never had before) and the bean less chili. These dishes were simple and full of flavor and since I’m flying solo I had left overs!
I also cooked up some steak, fajita style, and put it over the kale salad mix from Costco and dressed it with lemon juice and olive oil.
I was suspicious of dairy going into this program. I couldn’t believe how much bloat went away when I completely cut dairy. I didn’t realize how much sugar was actually sneaking into my diet; or how much better I would sleep once it was eliminated. Realistically, I know I can’t avoid these two food groups all together; but I can limit them to small amounts occasionally.
I haven’t reintroduced the grans, legumes, and peanut butter yet; so we’ll see how I do with those in the next week or two.
So here’s what I found shopping wise:
Rx Bars (12 pack)
Nutpods creamer (set of 3)
Rx Bars singles
Cage free eggs
7 Superfood salad (kale)
Turkey lunch meat
Cage free eggs
Nuts – watch for the peanut oil
Fruit strips – make sure they are just fruit and no added sugar
Fruit rolls (the version of sushi I can handle!)