Thursday, May 14, 2015

Whole30 Part 1 done

Hard to think about the Whole30
when you get to see this. 
I finished the Whole30 on a Saturday. I had declared that even though the Whole30 ended at midnight that day, I was going to end it at sundown. I was at Rehoboth Beach on a beautiful day with a friend, and I didn't want to spend the whole time trapped in the dwindling hours of the Whole30. As it turned out, I didn't need to make that declaration.

The magic hour came and went and I still had no urge to "cheat." We went into a really nice little bistro, which as luck would have it, was offering half-price drinks and appetizers. We'd had a big lunch earlier (one of my first restaurant meals--a ginormous salad with shrimp), and were still full from the oversized portions. We didn't even sit at the bar for happy hour (what?!); we chose a table in the restaurant area and ordered a compliant salad "sampler" and club soda.The thing was that I really wanted the salads--egg salad with smoked salmon, beets and  quinoa (which I did not eat). I didn't really want a drink, partly because I had no idea how I'd react to the sudden influx of sugar. Even though I'd given myself the green light to go for it, I was still in food apathy mode and didn't care enough to give up on how great I felt.

That's how it's been, mostly.  I ended up going to New Mexico immediately after that trip to the beach and I "reintroduced" cheese, wheat, corn and alcohol.  Reintroduction is a key part of the Whole30. You're not meant to give up certain food groups forever, but see which ones make you feel bad, if any. One way to do this is just to keep going on the plan until you come across something you really like. That's the option I chose. While I love chips and salsa, the chips ended up sitting like a rock in my stomach. The combo of bread, cheese and meat together (as in a burger) is just too much to easily digest. While I love bread, it's mostly just a no.  I'd rather stick to the plan except for special occasions. I just feel 100 percent better, lighter and energized. I actually feel more "deprived" when I go rogue, than when I'm sticking to the basics--plants (i.e., fruit and veg) and clean proteins.

I also became leaner. I noticed my clothes fit looser and my cheekbones made a reappearance. I worked out harder and better, and had more stamina. Though it is a slow process and a cumulative effect achieved through consistency,  I did it. And it only took 30 days. The farther I got on the Whole30, the more energetic I became and I slept better than I had in years.

What they say is true, It can change your life, and took me to a place regarding food and my body I'd never been before. There are no fads, no real taboos (you can reintroduce every single thing you give up), and no weighing and measuring either your body or your portions. Would I recommend it to everyone I know? I don't know. Some people have an instinct as to what suits them and are healthy. But would I recommend it to MOST people I know? Absolutely. If you're looking to drop a giant amount on the scale with no regard nutritionally for what you're eating to do so, you may be disappointed. If you're looking to reset your system, change the way you think about fueling your body, abate inflammation, and lose some bloat, then yes, do it.

That's saying a lot coming from me. I've done them all, Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, Jenny Craig, semi-vegetarian, low carb, even a crazy egg diet when I was much younger. Why, I'm not really sure. I think I was just looking for the next best thing. Ultimately, what I ended up sticking with was a non-diet, a plan where I could eat as much normal, healthy food as I wanted without thinking about fat grams, calories or portions. It makes me feel really good And it's so simple. To me, the Whole30 was like a vacation from cravings, restaurants, alcohol and processed food. I learned to appreciate the value and nutrition found in the simplest vegetable and pastured, not factory farmed, meat.  It will be the foundation of my eating plan for life. Thanks for coming on this Whole30 journey with me. Your support and encouragement meant everything. Cheers!

The beautiful scenery, not the bars and restaurants, made my last day of the Whole30 memorable. Food (for once) was an afterthought.