I‘m now rolling into the homestretch with my Whole 30 Diet and I thought I’d give you a midway update on how the very strict Paleo Diet is going. I’ve had a couple more challenges pop up which would normally send me right back to comfort eating, but somehow I managed to persevere. One challenge I had was having a bit of a medical emergency with my daughter (as all parents inevitably have that trip to emerge, all is well now) which required being out of the house for an entire day late into the evening, and subsequently a lot of time outside of the house and away from the safety of my own prepared foods and the preplanning required to take food with me. There where literally no food options for me at the hospital that where Whole30 compliant and I didn’t realized I would be spending the entire day camped out there so I made due with my many, many cups of coffee black instead of with my usual coconut cream coffee until my sister was able to stop by with some whole foods goodies. My totally awesome sister who is doing the Whole30 with me as moral support brought me a roasted chicken, steamed veggies, and fruit. In the past 20 days I’d say this ‘event’ was probably the biggest challenge for me because although I’m no longer having food cravings I had to fight huge, huge urges to emotionally eat and have comfort foods. I desperately wanted to grab myself that large sugary starbucks drink to not only fuel myself but to sooth my nerves. I was so glad the next day that I was able to keep to my meal plan and that besides the stress of the situation I didn’t also have to deal with the stress and guilt of falling off the wagon.
Another great side effect of this diet now that I’m in fat burning stage is that when I’m not around a food source at my meal times, I can go much longer without food without having the empty stomach shakes, the feeling of my stomach growling empty and unhappy and without the energy crashes or that HANGRY feeling. I think it’s called intermittent fasting and it is pretty effortless once you’ve killed all that sugar burn. I make sure to eat 3 meals a day (plus snacks sometimes which are not required) because I think thats really important but there are occasions when you can’t be near a food source or the only options are unhealthy or not compliant – I like that I don’t *have* to pick something in those moments and that I can just wait it out till meal time. Yes, I get hungry but it’s a mild feeling and not that overwhelming MUST EAT ALL FOOD NOW feeling. Back when I did the Eat Clean diet, although I liked it, I was constantly having to eat (6 mini meals a day or something?!!) and I was also starving every 2 hours like clockwork. I lost about a pound or two and didn’t gain for all that eating but I just couldn’t sustain that and I don’t want to travel around with a giant picnic cooler everywhere I go.
I know you aren’t supposed to weigh yourself during the Whole 30 but I can tell you I’m right on track and have lost a good amount in 20 days. I’m now solidly in a size down in jeans from my usual and I haven’t had ‘the bloats’ at all during my period, nor have I had the typical 1-5lb weight gain I get during PMS. My PMS was MILD while for the past year I’ve had severe cramps and PMS. I haven’t had the typical PMS headache or the munchies and my period was exactly 3 days long.
I’m really enjoying, enjoying food. Foods taste better and satisfy me much more now. I’m enjoying preparing a lot of different meals (not enjoying the huge increase in dishwashing) and I’m also enjoying the quick and dirty meals. My favorites have been Nom Nom Paleo Spicy Tuna Cakes (I did half tuna and half salmon), Nom Nom Paleo Mayo and baking my own plantain chips. Oh my lord, if you get a good and ripe plantain it makes the most delicious snack. I could eat them every day in place of my old junk food. Banana chips are so not worth the hassle and not half as good as plantain chips, seriously don’t even bother with Bananas.
I do worry a bit about how much of this diet I can sustain after the 30 days. I really like doing this diet. On day 31 I really want to splurge and have ONE of my favorite startbucks seasonal drinks, but what if that means I reintroduce all those pesky sugar cravings. I want to enjoy Christmas dinner and all the wonderful things during that time but, I want to also keep this diet up before and after that. I don’t feel the need to reintroduce grains or legumes but I am mostly worried about sugar, and sugar in the form of all those hidden sugars in conventional food. Ah well, at least I’ve learned a lot about proper eating and how well the body behaves once it’s running on clean, clean fuel. I guess I just really have to be honest with myself about what 80% paleo really means.