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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The ol' Whole30

Sick and literally tired of the ruled-by-my-sweet-tooth life, the need for a few enforced decrees has been very much needed around here. Desert after lunch AND dinner? Why not! Knocking up the bar from 4 Oreos to a solid 5? Sure! A ridiculously large banana bread loaf from Starbucks instead of a nice slice? YAS. The sweet tooth that was borne after Carter arrived has slowly increased it's control over the last 5 years. But here's the thing (there's no way to not sound like a douche while saying this): weight-gain from these overly decadent sweets has never really been an issue, so why stop? Maybe after an overly-over the top night I may wake up with an extra little pudge, but nothing a nice walk wouldn't take care of. It's become pretty apparent that the lack of a weight problem has slowly been turning into a crutch rather than a cool thing.
Anyhoo, my face on the other hand - that hasn't been so cool. I've been breaking out for years! It never really struck me as that large of an issue until a few months ago. Teenage life was pretty kind to me on the acne front, but now that I'm 3 years away from 30 I must deal with random ridiculous break outs?! 

So before I booked an appointment with a dermatologist, I decided to clean up the diet to see if that would do anything. Maybe getting rid of some sugars would be good on that front. So the face issue and the desire to eat a little less like a toddler combined to create Mission Healthy Eating for Mom.

I jumped into Whole30 because I had heard about how strict the program is BUT ALSO because portions are not a thing here. No measuring, no deprivation, just eating whole foods is the main idea. Knowing myself, there's no way I could do some quasi-just-do-your-best-not-to-eat-a-doughnut type thing. There had to be actual rules involved. The whole thing had to resemble a challenge or else it was just not going to happen. Also, I picked it because it's coffee friendly - ain't nobody gon' pull me away from my jo. I haven't read the book It Starts with Food, but I did go through the main points on the website. Here is what I have been living by:

No sugar, carbs, alcohol, dairy, grains and legumes for 30 days, and no simulating any type of sweets because that would defeat the purpose of rewiring your brain.
I made a few mistakes, mainly because I didn't read closely enough. For the first 7 days I was basically living off of peanuts, then I found out that they're considered a legume, so I stopped that. Next, I thought I was being responsible by buying unsweetened coconut milk, but turns out there was actual sugar and other non-approved ingredients in the one I got (raw sugar, but still). Lastly, I used balsamic vinaigrette in a few recipes because it's an approved ingredient, but turns out the bottle we have contains caramel. Oh and here is a bad one: on Mother's Day, unbeknownst to Chad and I, the drink I thought was approved actually was made incorrectly by the barista (not their fault - it was a tricky drink to execute in the first place with all the special requests). It was made with dairy when Chad had requested for it to not to contain anything but the tea bag, water, an espresso shot and a dash of cinnamon. Woops.

Also, I made several shakes and whipped up almost-daily pancakes (with a banana, two eggs and a dash of cinnamon). What are ya gonna do? I feel completely comfortable with that - again, this was not a weight thing.

So anyway, I feel great!!! Truly amazing. When I started the program, I also began drinking 64 ounces of water a day, so the clearing up of my face may either be from the increase of water, the cutting out of sugars or the consistency of my new face regimen (Cetaphil cleanse twice a day, moisturizing 3 times a day), but most likely it's because of all 3 actions combined. I'm a happy mama over here! Around day 9 was when I really felt like I could go lift up a car or something - tons of energy to burn. Now it feels like this is normal life. Kind of like this is how human beings are supposed to eat, you know? Anyway, that's not to say that I will never be eating sugary delights again, but the discipline it required to get through the last 22 days has shown me a great deal in terms of energy, complexion and just how important it is to dedicate yourself to something for a long (-er than a couple days) period of time, regardless of wanting to lose weight. Discipline in the kitchen for the win!

Lastly, we have a weekend getaway coming up to the desert, upon which my program will fall on it's 26th day. If I end up eating something not approved because we're hanging with family, then I will be okay with that. I feel good about what will have been accomplished by then. If I can get through Mother's Day weekend, and several weekends of saying no to delicious desserts, including one social event in which everyone was eating AMAZING-SMELLING APPLE PIES (!!!!!) then hey, I've gone above and beyond anything I've ever done before this point in terms of food, so it's cool in my book. 

Anyway, highly recommend! There were a few tough days (during which Chad took the brunt end of extreme levels of hangry. "Nicole, can you just uhhhh... not do Whole30 anymore?"), but what's a challenge all about? Gooooooo Whole30!

*And actually I'm sort of hungry while writing this, so it may not be the most uplifting representation of a Whole30-er on her 22nd day, but hey, that's life man. Now off to the kitchen for FOOD!!!

**But just really quick, here are a few get-me-through things I've turned to just in case reference is needed by... uh, myself... in the coming months. Also, I've been living off my clean pinterest board. Everything is very easy to make because each meal only requires a few ingredients. Pretty cool!

- Healthy pancakes - banana, 2 eggs, dash of cinnamon, almond butter on top

- Handful of cashews, side of raisins

- Apples and almond butter

- Banana, REAL coconut milk (Thai Kitchen cans), spinach, dash of cinnamon smoothies

- Tons of eggs

- LARABARS! (Cashew Cookie, baby!)

***Last LAST thing. I've completely become aware of how important it is for your food to emotionally satisfy you. Cold, raw food? Very little satisfaction there. Hence my obsession with the fluffy pancakes. If you're not emotionally satisfying yourself, I think that's when you crash and burn, you know? Anyway. Cool little find on my first committed eating plan. Yay!

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