To Health With This

Two Die-Hard Foodies Take On The Whole30

Two Die-Hard Foodies Take On The Whole30

DONNELLE: Days 8 & 9 – Still Standing & New Rules

Hi everybody, I’m still alive! And miraculously still compliant.

After my dramatic post on Monday, my energy returned to me that night, thank goodness. My aversions abated as well. So I guess that was the famous energy “hump” Whole30 warns you about, in which your body realizes it has absolutely no more of the fuel it USED to run on (grain carbs and sugar), but it also hasn’t reformatted your cells to accept your NEW fuel (protein and good fats), so you just…can’t function. A car that runs on fuel and is out of gas can’t be forced to run on electricity unless you dismantle and rebuild it from the ground up. And during that time, the car is just gonna sit there, dead to the world. And I was that car.

So now I’m trying to figure out if I still want to complete the whole program. Yes, I do think I could if I really really REALLY wanted to, and it would be good for me to have a whole, clear picture of what foods are messing me up (ie., the primary reason I’m doing this)…but at the same time, I already feel like I’ve learned a ton about my body in just these past 10 days and better, sustainable healthy eating habits, plus I am just dreading losing three more weekends to this thing. My weekends give me LIFE! But *only* if I’m allowed to feel like I can treat myself. And yes, I know, Whole30 tells us to “Find NEW ways to reward yourself that aren’t about food! Go to a museum! Take a walk! Read a book!” LISTEN. Those aren’t rewards. Going to a museum is fun and maybe the closest thing to a “reward” on that list, but reading a book or taking a walk aren’t rewards. Those are just things I’d do if I felt like doing them. The end. Treating myself means not having to cook and ordering food out. Treating myself means allowing myself more indulgent food than I allow myself to eat during the week. Treating myself means an occasional glass of wine or a cocktail on the weekend at a friend’s birthday.

Trey is now off-plan, which is fine with me, he’s still eating the same things with me at home, so it’s not like he’s shoving candy in his face next to me (although he did eat a Reese’s Egg in front of me Monday night, which I found churlish in practice, if not intent). Again, I would be MORE THAN HAPPY to make this or something like this my weekday diet and right now that’s the plan.

So we sat down and named all the things we like about Whole30, the Game On diet, and some personal needs that we’d like to keep implementing going forward once I jump off this plan…whenever that may be:

1.) Eating more whole foods and making weekday meals primarily around eating this way. Yes, it is indeed more cooking than we ever used to do, but if we get the weekends off, it will be more manageable.

2.) Me cutting way back on dairy (although I really really miss my daily plain Greek yogurt – I cannot believe I’m now the kind of person who MISSES PLAIN GREEK YOGURT – but the fact that my stomach has felt the best it has in four years makes me reeeeeally hesitant to get back on the dairy train more than necessary)

3.) Keep making recipes as much as possible to keep our whole foods habits up. Expanding our meal repertoire has been the best non-body-related part of this diet so far because it’s forced us to eat tastier meals than we usually do during the week. Home cooking is always going to trump anything out of a box. Especially this form of home cooking that doesn’t shy away from the richness of good fats (although one of our weird gripes with this diet is it’s almost TOO rich with all the fat they want you to eat). Sure, I can come up with some of these on my own (no one needs a recipe for spaghetti squash with ground turkey bolognese), but I’ve loved everything we’ve made from the two Whole30 books I bought so far. It keeps things fresh, and at the very least, it gives me inspiration and a jumping off point.

4.) Bring back some of the healthier grains and dairy products from Game On (ie. whole grain tortillas…I miss my breakfast burritos folks, I just do…Triscuits, low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat sharp cheddar in very small amounts, low-fat ricotta, beans, and sugar-free peanut butter which I SUPER MISS.)

5.) Keep looking for and buying products with no added sugars as much as possible. It is truly alarming how many products have sugar in them when you start paying attention to labels. We don’t need sugar in bread, we don’t need sugar in sausage, we don’t need sugar in crackers and tortillas etc. etc. etc. I get that these companies have decided it gives their product an edge into our national addiction, but that’s something we need to break ourselves free from. Don’t accept it. When I DO consume sugar, I want it to be meaningful sugar, which brings us to:

6.) Sugars. New policy in sugar in our house: I am not eating anything with sugar unless I have decided it’s SPECIAL sugar. This is something from the Whole30 guide they teach you for after your program wraps. No more just randomly grabbing candy or cookies just because they’re available to me. I want to make a real, concentrated effort to stop and ask myself “Is this sugar special enough to eat?” Does it mean something to me? Is it in the form of something I really, really want? Or am I just grabbing it because it’s there? For me, this means ideally when I DO consume sugar, it would have meaning attached. Like a homemade cookie. Or a unique dessert in a restaurant that I just have to try. Or a birthday cake that sounds too good to pass up. Personally it really helps me to not keep a lot of these types of options around the house, and what I’d really like to do is make a batch of a favorite cookie dough (like one of our beloved Milk Bar recipes), portion them out, and freeze them. Then when I really really WANT a cookie, I have to A.) Be willing to take one or two chunks out of the freezer, and B.) Bake them. This would be in great contrast to our former cookie habits, which were eat the entire batch within 3-5 days before they start losing freshness. It’s built-in portion control, plus hey! Fresh, hot, homemade cookie every time! Definitely special sugar.

7.) No eating when I’ve smoked. None. Zero. Nada. This is absolutely the root issue of all my bad food habits (yes I’m talking about cannabis, I refuse to be stigmatized over this, it’s legal in CA and it’s how I like to unwind and relax when I need a little extra help. You can have your glass of wine in the evenings or your bottle of beer. I like a toke. That’s that.) The issue is the munchies are very, VERY real with me and have never gone away as I’ve grown older. Just like some people pig out when they’re tipsy or drunk, my brain completely shuts off all my willpower around food when I’ve smoked. So this is a VERY hard, set-in-stone rule I have to stick with going forward: If I’ve smoked, food cannot pass my lips. Not even a healthy choice, because I will eat so much of the thing, it WILL become an unhealthy choice. Nothing.

Anyway. Onto the pics!

Monday and Tuesday’s dinners were these ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL chicken fajita poppers with fresh made guacamole! Made with ground turkey, but just as good, I’m certain. Here’s the recipe, it will absolutely be a staple in my household. There are all kinds of recipes online for chicken poppers that are Whole30/Paleo compliant, I’mma make them all.

After dinner, I made compliant ranch! I haven’t eaten it yet since it needed to set up in the fridge a bit, but you just can’t beat fresh herbs, man.

Breakfast these days has been a broccoli-spinach varietal of egg cup, seasoned up with a bit of nutritional yeast for additional umami. Also mashed sweet potatoes are surprisingly great for breakfast.

And last night’s prep included making The Forest Feast’s famous Red Roasted Carrots I’ve made it my life’s mission to turn everyone on to (DANA KNOWS). They could not be easier and the seasoning blend is absolutely on point. It also works with cauliflower, probably butternut squash or sweet potatoes, I’m sure it’d be great on pork or chicken, etc. etc. etc. Make it. See what I mean. (But yes, cook yours long enough to get the roasted edges on the carrots. This will likely be longer than the given 20-25 minute time in the recipe.)

And then Trey made compliant chili with his own cute little hands! It’s a bean-less chili (sigh), but I’m sure it will be delicious once we dig in.

Alright, today is Day 10 as I’m writing this, and my energy just took another major dive despite feeling perfectly fine yesterday and this morning. I’m on a second cup of coffee now. We’ll see what this evening and tomorrow brings.

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