I am closing in on the end! Tomorrow will be the “30” in my Whole30! It makes me so happy to know that I have had this incredible experience that not only was great for my body, but will also lead to some serious changes in my eating habits and how I think of food.
I have to admit that there have been times (especially in this last week) that I have just been ready to get it over with. Not so I can binge, but so I can make healthy choices on my own without the added pressure of doing a Whole30.
Life and good food happens.
I’m ready to be able to join back in! Over the last few days I have felt a little overwhelmed with all of the Easter candy in stores and yummy recipes popping up on Pinterest. Everything I learned does not go out the window after this week. I want to be armed and ready on Easter Sunday to make health choices and to resist the cravings that have built up over the past month.
That’s why this post is about a few of the realizations I had on Whole30…I need to remind myself why I am doing this in the first place so I can stay on track the other 335 days of the year. I even plan on re-reading ISWF this weekend so I don’t miss a thing.
This experience taught me that my pre-Whole30″healthy” diet I had been following is not really that healthy. Here is how I know:
- Before the W30, I ate whole grains, plain Greek yogurt, and exercised fairly regularly so I thought I was making good choices. So good, in fact, that I let my otherwise healthy diet justify the rest of the junk I was eating. The truth is, you can not out exercise poor food choices, nor can you counter-act the effects of that double fudge brownie after dinner by eating your veggies.
- I realize now that the franken-foods trained my body to crave certain foods at specific times or situations. I know now that my food-situation associations led to bad eating habits. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that a craving is your body’s way of telling you that you need something for its “nutrition.” This is a nasty cycle: eat junk –>crave junk –> develop bad habits –> feel guilty and stressed for giving in –> eat even more junk.
- Before this month, I had headaches almost daily and felt dizzy and disoriented several times a week. I always felt like it was something nutrition-related. Advil never helped, so I thought maybe it was a caffeine headache but I still felt fuzzy. Then I thought maybe I have low blood sugar and tried a sweet snack. I even went to the doctor and she determined it was probably low sodium levels…so I kept Gatorade and pretzels in my desk. Despite “self-medicating” with salty processed foods, sugary candy bars, and soda I still felt bad almost daily. After reading ISWF, I started realizing the awful things I was doing to my body when all I wanted was some relief! No wonder I continued to feel so bad!
- I learned that reaching for sugar, salt, or fatty foods when stressed out is an automatic response. It was my only known solution to feeling crappy physically, so I used it as my fix when I was just stressed or bummed out, too. What about when a day hits that I am stressed out AND already feel fuzzy-headed? You guessed it. An all day snack fest on sweets! I certainly had a bad habit of “treating” myself to something sweet when I was sick or in a bad mood because I “deserved” it. But, NO! My body deserves REAL food!
- My sweet tooth came with some serious consequences that I did not even realize until reading ISWF. I grew up eating a snack after dinner almost nightly. I grew accustomed to this and my body has come to expect and look forward to it. ISWF showed me a nasty pattern that was going on. When I crave sweets at night I try hard to resist, but I usually end up giving in shortly before bed. Eating sugar that late spiked my blood sugar and of course what goes up must come down. And then comes the rather inconvenient side effect of ravenous hunger at 3:00am, so then my stomach talks all night and keep me up. No surprise that I am dragging the whole next morning. And the next night? Despite feeling exhausted, I toss and turn all night. And how do you think I used to cope with feeling draggy the next day? You guessed it. Diet coke and chocolate!
These revelations alone make the experience more than worthwhile. I can’t wait to share all of the other successes of my experience with you!
I am definitely in my eating and workout groove by Week 4. Morning gym sessions are becoming regular for me and food planning and prep takes a lot less time now that I know what I am doing. Some recipes this week were no-brainer repeats from earlier in the month and others were more experimental.
The warm weather last weekend made it a perfect grilling day, so I had a lot less prep to do on my own. The hubs grilled the most amazing steak I have ever had (I devoured it before I thought to snap a pic…maybe it is for the best because you would be super-jealous.) There’s no recipe to share, I would have to loan you my husband and that is not happenin’!
I did create an awesome grilling seasoning that I threw on beef burgers, chicken burgers, and chicken breast. I have been eating this meat paired with veggies all week as part of meals and workout snacks. I also happily repeated the Salmon Croquette recipe from a fellow Badass Babe. I also got inspired by a couple pins I saw over the weekend…added a little paleo goodness…took out some nonsense….and came up with a new Pumpkin Breakfast Casserole and Chicken “Alfredo”.
That one even fooled the hubs! I’m super-excited to share this one with you so check back this weekend for the recipe!