I’ve taken quite the hiatus from this blog, and frankly I just needed to take something off of my plate. Seasonal Affective Disorder is rough, and this year has been one of my hardest with this issue. But, I’m back and ready to continue sharing my journey with you all!
I recently decided to do the Whole30 meal plan–30 days of a very strict Paleo diet. You eat lean proteins, veggies, fruits, and some healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, ghee, and nuts. You do not eat ANY dairy, added sugars, grains, legumes (beans and peanuts), soy, and also excludes some additives. You can find out details about this eating plan through the Whole30 website or by checking out the book “It Starts With Food.” It’s pretty intense!
I’ve actually been considering doing the Whole30 for over a year, and every time I thought about it I decided that it was just too restrictive for me. My only carb is a potato? No thanks. But in the past when I’ve considered doing this eating plan, it’s been from a place of wanting to lose weight and knowing that eating very strictly (especially with no bread) would get me results. That wasn’t a strong enough motivation for me, so I always decided against it.
This time, however, my motivation isn’t weight loss at all. I definitely have some weight to lose, and that is something I have as a goal for my overall health, but the Whole30 is not my “plan” to lose anything. I decided to do this because I have a really unhealthy relationship with food. I’m an emotional eater, and I turn to food when I’m sad, stressed, overwhelmed, angry, tired, lonely, or depressed. I am certainly addicted to sugar in all forms, especially the sweet tea I was having literally every single day. I was going to stores and drive-thrus to get food and eating it secretly because I knew it wasn’t a good choice and I just didn’t want anyone to know about it. Ya’ll, I seriously went and got a milkshake a few weeks ago and went to the park to eat it alone. How sad is that?
I started reading an awesome book called “Made to Crave” that talks about emotional eating and different ways of dealing with it from a Christian perspective, and that book is what spurred me to decide to do the Whole30. If you struggle with emotional eating and cravings for junk food/sugar, please go get that book. It’s seriously amazing. So I decided to do the Whole30, read up on the rules and guidelines, started a Pinterest board for recipes and tips, and started stocking up on some pantry staples that were compliant. I was planning on starting on a Sunday, but ended up starting on a Thursday because I knew how badly I needed it. I may or may not have spent that Wednesday night eating graham crackers with peanut butter and chocolate chips in bed when I made that decision.
With the Whole30 plan, I’m seeking to break my addiction to sugar, change my relationship with food, change the way I deal with cravings and stressful emotions, and overall feel better, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m on Day 6 as I write this and I’ve already seen a huge difference! I feel better, I’m not suffering from acid reflux, I’m getting full with a smaller amount of food because it’s so nutritious, my clothes are already fitting better, and I’m breaking my sugar addiction. I definitely spent the first few days of this eating plan in a “sugar hangover”, with nausea and headaches, but I feel a lot better almost one week in.
While I’m using the Whole30 guidelines for my food, I’m also still using my portion control containers! I am using my containers to measure out portions, and the container-based eating plan in my workout program is still my guideline for knowing how many servings of protein, veggies, fats, carbs, and fruits I need to eat to fuel my workouts properly. It’s been working wonderfully so far! I don’t feel deprived, and I don’t feel weak in my workouts like I was afraid I might. So far, so good. It’s all been positive.
I’m really excited to do these 30 days and share my experience with you all, including the awesome recipes I’ll be discovering! The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is to read the labels for EVERYTHING, including the ingredients for foods you think are healthy out at restaurants! My favorite fast food grilled chicken has added sugar–and so does their fruit cup! What’s up with that???? Knowledge is power!
One quick note–I am fully aware that my Shakeology is not compliant with the Whole30 guidelines, and that by continuing to drink it I’m not *really* doing Whole30. I spent a lot of time considering this before I made my choice, and I will be sharing my reasons for this choice in a post later this week.
Have any of you done Whole30 before, or thought about it for a long time like me? I’d love to hear your experiences!