Post-Whole 30 Update: When the Party’s Over…

Hey everyone!  So here we are…my first day post-Whole 30!  I made it!  And no one died in the making of my new good health habits!  Woo hoo!

Here’s the run-down of my successes and observations:

1)  This really wasn’t very hard.  I learned pretty early on that as long as I ate good-sized portions of protein and fat at every meal, I didn’t feel hungry in-between and my cravings for things like sugar and wheat and dairy were almost non-existent (see #3 below).  Avocado is your friend, and coconut oil/butter is AMAZING.

2) I still don’t love veggies, but I’ve gone from “hate” to “begrudging co-existence”.

3) Whatever “cravings” I did have came mostly from just being tired of cooking and planning and shopping and cleaning up after myself.  Sometimes, I just didn’t want to cook…was so over it.  It was at those times that I became acutely aware of how much of my alleged “cravings” were more about convenience than an actual physiological need for easy-to-grab food…which are typically loaded with dairy, gluten, and…well…shit that I don’t need to eat because it doesn’t make me any healthier.

4) My body is probably still a bit dysfunctional, hormone-wise.  The first two weeks, my skin was so clear and glowing that someone asked me if i got Photoshopped in real life.  In week three, I started breaking out again.  No real change in anything I had been eating, so I’m chalking it up to my body still getting used to this newer, healthier gut I have and my hormonal/immuno response trying to adjust.

5) My sleep quality improved…I slept deeper and had fewer bouts of unrest.  I typically get an avg of 7-8 hours sleep a night anyway, but muscle aches and pains would make them fitful.  Much of that discomfort diminished over time this past month.

6) I am seriously less congested.  That better not be you, dairy.

7) Prior to Whole 30, I would walk around every day with what I call a small, golf ball-sized ball of fuzz in my head…that feeling that your brain is just always tired and not sharp and you can’t shake it with a good night’s sleep or a nap or yoga or anything.  That golf ball of fuzz is practically gone.  My work will always result in me be being mentally tired at times, but there’s a difference between tired and chronically fatigued.  The latter has been improved drastically.  But I still love a good nap.

8)  My sugar cravings?  Gone for now.  I suspect that will always be a battle I will have to wage, as sugar really is in practically everything you eat unless you make it yourself.  Did you know there’s sugar in salt?  WTF?  Why would there be sugar in salt?  Why would that be remotely necessary?!?  Also, sugar tastes awesome, and since our bodies are basically looking for the simplest, easiest way to operate at all times and sugar as an energy sources accomplishes that, the threat is always going to be there.

9) I just want to state for the record that I went through what is essentially a low-carb diet for 30 days with no bacon.  I deserve a freaking monument for that feat.

10) I was terrible with exercise.  I basically did no exercise during this whole thing because I was always battling the fatigue that comes with transforming from a sugar-burning machine to a fat-burning machine.  But I’m making a promise to myself that April begins a new “Whole 30” dedicated to doing some kind of physical activity every day for 30 days…even if its just dancing in my living room for 20-30 min (i feel horrible for my neighbor/across the courtyard stalker Randi.  she’s going to be so traumatized by my dancing.)

11)  And now…the one most of you have been waiting for (and I put it last for a reason):  I lost 12 lbs.  I also lost a total of 16 inches…I took measurements on 7 different parts of my body and experienced a cumulative inch-loss of 16 inches from pre-Whole 30 measurements.  Half of those inches came off my mid-section.

I put the weight/inches observation last because I wanted to make a point, both to myself and to anyone reading this.  Most of you who know me know that I have been waging a battle against my weight for a very long time.  Many of you have been with me through other failed diets, and certainly through my successful weight loss surgery.  I put the measurements/weight loss last because I want to get to a point where my weight isn’t the single most important indicator of my overall health. I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t have it in me anymore to wage anymore battles against myself.  Dieting and weight loss is couched in our society as a constant war against ourselves: a war again our lack of self control, our vices, our sense of worth.  It’s inherently self-hating, and ultimately it’s all designed to fail so we’ll pump billions into a food and diet industry that makes money off of our failures.

The truth of the matter is that the food we eat in this country is designed to make us fat by making us want more of it.  It is designed to create cravings by disrupting the naturally-occurring signals our body gives and receives around satiety and sweetness.  It encourages us to eat more than we need to satisfy that craving, when in reality it can never be fulfilled.  Why?  Because the companies that design this food (notice I said “designed” and not “grown”) want to make as much profit from the havoc they’ve created in your body–by making you want more of their products.

The business of food has made us unhealthy as a nation.  To be honest, I’ve known this for a while, but for whatever reason I just wasn’t ready to do something about it until now.  We are not a fat nation because we lack self-control…we are fat because the food available to most of us makes us physically unable *not* to eat more than we need.

What we can control is the decision to just not eat that way anymore.  It takes a TON of effort and planning.  I did this experiment because I finally came to the conclusion that I was worth that effort.  And I can’t wait to see how my health improves by eating this way from here on out…how much clearer my skin will be, and how my every day aches and pains might be alleviated, or how my heartburn and GI distress might decrease, and how my absolutely terrible cholesterol levels will improve.  And sure…how much weight I might lose by changing the food I choose to eat.

But that last part can’t be the reason for doing this.  It has to be the by-product.  Because that’s not the right war to wage.  It’s a losing proposition (kind of like Iraq andAfghanistan.  Yes, I went there.).

I’m not going to tell everyone that they have to stop what they are doing right now and get on Whole 30.  Everyone needs to come to the conclusion to do something about the food they eat on their own time.  I will say that I truly do believe that everyone can do this…that everyone has the ability to decide to make good decisions and reduce bad ones.  A lot of people immediately balked at the “no alcohol” part of Whole 30 when I told them about what I eliminated from my diet.  People.  It’s 30 days.  It’s really not going to kill you to cut out wine for 30 days.  Trust me on this.  What I do think we’ll all come away with is a much better understanding of what alcohol does to our bodies and how it makes us feel once we’ve eliminated it for a bit of time.  Same goes for dairy, and gluten and legumes, etc.

And from there, we can make much more informed choices about what and how much we eat/ingest.  You aren’t supposed to count calories on Whole 30, but just by looking at my food journal I can honestly say that I’ve probably consumed about 2,000-2,200 calories a day…and lost 12 lbs.  Without exercising  How?  Because I ate real food.  And now I get to learn through reintroduction what foods I will keep, and which I’ll kick to the curb, and which ones I’ll enjoy in moderation…now that I actually have an idea of what “moderation” means to me.

So this got really long-winded…oops!  Thanks for keeping up with my 30 day journey.  I’ll be continuing to blog through Reintroduction, and probably through why exercise “whole 30” in April…maybe even beyond!  Speaking of reintro: Today is dairy day…so far, so good.  Had some cheese with breakfast, and some half and half with my coffee.  No one has suffocated from any noxious fumes coming from my body (yet).

Laters!

CK

 

 

 

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Whole 30: Day 25: Really!?! REALLY!?!

So here we are: Day 25.  This is the part where I should be enjoying my newfound energy and my glowing skin and TIGER BLOOD GRRRR!!!

Welp.  Still tired.  Breaking out.  Can barely convince myself to just *walk* on a treadmill.

It’s so weird…all last week, I was starting to feel really good.  I wasn’t going to go climb Kilamanjaro, but I wasn’t falling asleep at my desk anymore, or hitting that 2:30 PM wall anymore.  My skin was glowing.  I was good.

All of a sudden, this week has been filled with skin breakouts, including the return of a small patch of eczema on my elbow that hasn’t reared it’s ugly head SINCE I WAS 7 YEARS OLD.  I’ve been bloated, exhausted even after 7-8 hours of solid sleep, and foggy headed after meals and into the late afternoon.

I’m also having this niggling feeling that I haven’t lost that much weight.  I haven’t weighed myself, but…I dunno.  I just feel like I haven’t.  I’m trying not to get discouraged…weight loss is a byproduct of this, not a goal…and holding on to the knowledge that I’m healing my body from decades of bad eating habits.

But still.

Next week, I get to reintroduce the foods I’ve eliminated the past 30 days.  The great part is that I don’t have to reintroduce everything:  I haven’t missed legumes at all, so I think I’ll skip those.  So I’ll add back a day of dairy, followed by 2 days of 100% Whole 30 compliance.  Then non-gluten grains (rice, quinoa, corn) for a day, the 2 days of 100% Whole 30 compliance.  Lastly, I’ll test gluten (wheat pasta, flour, bread), then 2 days on Whole 30 compliance.

I’ve been snooping around the interwebz on my google machine to find Paleo recipes…came across nomnompaleo.com.  Awesome.  I think I’ve decided on following these food rules for myself:

1) I don’t really need wheat, or bread, or pasta.  I haven’t missed them at all.  They are voted off the island.

2) I’m not going to lose my mind about small amount of sugar that are in things I eat (condiments, sauces and such).  I’m not, however, going to seek out foods where sugar is the reason you’re eating it (cakes, pies, etc.).  Once in awhile, on rare special occasions once I’m sure I’ve kicked the sugar dragon, I’ll choose to eat a little here and there.  But my friends can rest assured: I won’t be stabbing them in the hand with my fork if they try to take a taste of my dessert anymore (sorry bout that before).

3) I’m not saying goodbye to alcohol.  I’m not a big drinker anyway, so the occasional glass of wine or savory cocktail isn’t going to ruin anything.

4) I’m praying to all major and minor gods that I can tolerate dairy.  Please.  *Please*.

5) I’m committed to cooking and eating clean, healthy foods from here on out.  It tastes good, and OMG I’ve saved so much money by not eating out all the time.

Dinner tonight…um?  I dunno?  I’ve got so much leftover…thinking that I might make coconut flour pancakes (savory) and top with eggs, sausage and roasted butternut squash and coconut butter.  Yeah.  I like the sound of that.  But I need more eggs for this, so I’m off…

 

INTERLUDE! Some Whole 30 Recipies, By Request.

So Brittoni asked me on Facebook if I could post some of my fave recipes that I’ve been making on my Whole 30 journey.  Drumroll, please…

Paleo Beef/Lamb Rogan Josh:  http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2010/07/13/paleo-rogan-josh/

This one is SPICY.  If you want it not so blazin’, reduce the amount of chili powder.

 Chocolate Chili (no beans, natch):  http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2009/02/22/my-favorite-chili-recipe/

So.  Flippin’.  Good.  I eat it with plantain chips and avocado/guac.

Salmon or Crab Cakes: http://livinthecrunchylife.blogspot.com/2013/02/salmon-or-crab-cakes-with-cilantro-lime.html?m=1

I made these with salmon and they were yummy…bet they’re awesome with crab.  Invest in a container of coconut flour…you won’t regret it, and you can use it for so much—dredging chicken tenders, thickening Asian sauces like cornstarch, and binding things like these here salmon cakes.

 Coconut Chicken Tenders:  http://frompastatopaleo.com/2013/06/14/day-eighteen-coconut-chicken-fingers/

These are fun for kids…pair with some sort of dipping sauce to make them more interesting.  Also, you can increase the amount of paprika if you want more of a kick.

Pork Carnitas:  http://theyumyumfactor.blogspot.ca/2012/04/pork-carnitas-to-break-2-week-cooking.html?m=1

Don’t skip the last step in the frying pan…makes the whole meal!

 For breakfast, I tend to eat a lot of eggs in various types of scrambles, making sure to get at least two eggs, a serving of meat and veggies in there.  If you’re really missing potatoes, you can do sweet potatoes, which I think are fine to store until they’re a soggy, mushy mess and then BLAH!  Or, you can use jicama…peel it, dice it, stick it in your crockpot for 12-24 hours on high.  Drain it, then store it in the fridge until you’re ready to put in a pan with coconut oil or ghee and carmalize it until it can’t remember its own name.  Use like potatoes in hash-type recipes and crack an egg over it once it’s done.

Stuff I haven’t made yet (but will):

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Meatballs:  http://lowcarboneday.com/2013/01/whole30-buffalo-ranch-chicken-meatballs.html

For this one, if you want to stay Whole30 compliant, make your own ranch spice blend (directions inside the link) and make sure your hot sauce doesn’t have any hidden nasty ingredients.

The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat:  http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2009/06/09/the-best-chicken-you-will-ever-eat-ever/

I know, I know…brining?!?  Am I my gramma now?  But it’s easy and I hear it does things to chicken that make you wanna throw both hands in the air.

You can also follow me on Pinterest (stinakazbpt)…I search for most of my recipes there.

Happy eating!!!

Whole 30-Day 19: My Kitchen Looks Like an S&M Club

I have a confession to make:  I’m addicted to shopping at Sephora.  I don’t care that I can get the same 14-color eyeshadow kit at Walgreen’s for $8.99…I like walking into Sephora and have every awesome gay boy who works there fall over themselves trying to sell me a single eyeshadow color for $19.  I love how pretty they make me feel…how put-together I am when I walk out, all dolled up with samples and $200 poorer.  You can judge…that’s okay.  But I’m pretty sure my makeup looks more awesome than yours. #trufax  ;-P

Naturally, my Sephora addiction requires some careful budgeting so that I can have ample cash to blow on makeup and skincare products I don’t need.  I mean, United Illuminating can wait for that payment, right?  I can light up my apartment with my smile (enhanced by an awesome Stila lipgloss I bought at…you guessed it…Sephora!).

This past month, however, something weird happened.  I’ve been looking at my debit card spending, and not a Sephora purchase in sight!  Instead, it’s been replaced with Amazon purchases.  Kitchen-related Amazon purchases.  For things like:

-A julienne peeler.

-36 pieces of BPA-free tupperware.

-A lettuce spinner

-A mandolin slicer (“Hey, stina, didn’t you slice your fingertip off with one of those things once?”  Yes.  Yes, I did.  Which is why I also bought…)

-A pair of mesh gloves to protect my fingers from said mandolin slicer.

I’m so horrified at these purchases.  Am I really incapable of slicing stuff thinly with a knife?  Can’t I just let the lettuce air-dry in a colander?  Where the hell am I going to store 36 pieces of tupperware?

Right now, because I desperately need to clean out my cabinets, all of these purchases are sitting out on my counter…this vast array of weird contraptions are making my kitchen look like an S&M club.  I’m pretty sure the cleaning lady was horrified…she probably has no idea what those gloves are for.

But I’m going to put them to good use this weekend: making beet and sweet potato chips with the mandolin, and sauteing zucchini sliced with the julienne slicer.  And god-knows-what with those gloves.  Ouch.

 

 

Whole 30, Day 17: It’s all the same f$%^&*g vegetable, man!

Most people who know me know that vegetables and I aren’t really great friends.  My mom’s family are farmers–as far back as anyone can remember–and to this day I still think that all veggies taste like dirt no matter what you do to them.  I always get the “You don’t know what’s good for you” speech at family gatherings, and guess what?  I actually do know what’s good for me.  I know veggies are important.  That doesn’t stop them from tasting like the soil in the back-50, people.  Get off my back!

One of the things that Whole 30 promises you is that you will develop a better appreciation for vegetables because now that you’ve removed sugar and sugar substitutes from your diet, you can appreciate the natural sweetness and awesomeness of vegetables.

Yeah, not so much.

I have a pretty short list of veggies I’ll eat without A) gagging or B) a crapload of some sauce poured over it to mask the fact it’s a vegetable:

Tomatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, beets, zucchini and most squash, spinach, asparagus, bok choy, peppers, peas.  Boom.  There it is.

The list of veggies I loathe would require 3-5 separate blog entries.  I really don’t know why they don’t appeal to me…I thought I’d outgrow this by now.  It happened with seafood.

I’ve been gravitating towards starchy veggies (sweet potatoes, squash), which I know will slow down my weight loss due to the fact that they are higher on the glycemic scale.  But let’s be real:  I’m never going to get excited about lettuce or radishes (what exactly do you do with them?  you can’t cook them, right?).

In other news:  not having a scale is killing me.  I’m trying to go by how my clothes fit, but it’s hard to tell when most of your closet is filled with skinny jeans that stretch from here to Akron.  Not a good way to measure.  But other than that, I haven’t had any food cravings at all!  Went to a friend’s bourbon-themed birthday party and stuck to club soda and Whole 30-compliant brisket (and some black olives)…that wasn’t s bad.  Did my first Whole 30 workout yesterday and felt fine.  All in all, I feel like I can do 13 more days of this!

Days 9-11: I’d like to stop wanting to be comatose now, please.

Naps.  I love naps.  I mean, who doesn’t?  Naps are awesome.  There are few things better than a Saturday afternoon nap on a rainy day, with golf on the TV playing in the background while bundled up in your favorite quilt on the couch.  Naps are an admission that the past week has kind of kicked your ass, and you’re allowing yourself a few blissful hours to yourself to heal and catch up and rest.  Naps are heaven.  Naps are good.

You know when naps aren’t good?  When they happen at your desk at the office.  Or standing in line at the drug store.  Or in your car while you wait for the light to turn.  Eleven days ago, I started this challenge and since then I am CONSTANTLY IN NEED OF A NAP.  I’m serious, I cannot go an entire day without putting my head down for a few minutes.  I know this is all part of the process of detoxifying and healing, but I have work to do!  I have to be sharp!  Like a razor!  RIght now, I feel about as sharp as a teething ring.

At some point, I know this will go away and I’ll be full of boundless energy and whatnot, but this stage is really getting on my nerves…and ironically is the thing that’s making me want to throw in the towel.  I have not been having any cravings for any of the off-plan foods (well, except for that weird dream about wine), so I know I’m feeding myself correctly, and with enough calories.  The only conclusion is that my body must have been chock-full of crap that needed to be purged, and that the transformation to fat-burning must be causing all of this extreme fatigue.

As I type this, I’m yawning.  FFS!

One of the few saving graces right now is that everyone has been commenting on how fantastic my complexion looks…that my color looks great and I’m glowing.  Since I’m vain as heck, I’m using that as my motivator.  Who cares how I feel…it’s how I look that matters most! (ok, I don’t really ascribe to that…just let me roll with it for a while…).

Breakfast today was coconut chicken tenders with sweet potato…lunch will be shepard’s pie with mashed cauliflower and spinach.  Dinner is going to be the rest of my chocolate chili and some butternut squash.  If I can stay awake, that is.

At some point, I’m going to have to start exercising again…I gave myself the first two weeks to concentrate on the new eating, but I think-once I can prove that I can stand upright on my own- that the gym will be beckoning me back in week 3.  Going to take it a little at a time- stick to elliptical high intensity intervals, then incorporate some light weight work back in after a week.

Onward and upward!

 

 

Whole 30- Days 4-8: Nobody died.

Hey people!  So I’m a bit behind on the daily blog thing.  Rest assured that A) things are still truckin’ along and B) no one has been harmed, maimed or killed yet.  It’s the small victories that get you through this.  ODAAT.

So Days 4 and 5 are supposed to be particularly difficult ones…lots of rage and anger cause by the processes that are going on in your body as part of this detox/reset.  I can’t say that Day 4 was that way for me, but Day 5…man.  Let’s just say that a few people were lucky they didn’t get a chopstick in the eye.

Days 6 and 7 were full of everything the timeline promised: fatigue, lethargy and a ceaseless need to sleep forever.  More yawning round the clock, and I’m pretty sure I fell asleep while my mom was talking to me on the phone.  Sorry, Mimi!

I will say that I have definitely noticed some physical improvements: have lost a lot of bloating, and my skin is ridiculously clear and glowing.  I think it’s all the coconut.  I seriously have every product you can possibly make from parts of a coconut:  coconut oil, coconut butter, shredded coconut, coconut aminos.  The only thing I haven’t purchased?  An actual coconut.  Yet.

Hunger-wise, things have been great!  The foods I’m eating are keeping me well satiated and are tasty as heck.  And no cravings so far for off-plan foods…I did have a weird dream about cheating with wine (I like wine, but it’s not something i typically crave).

One of the things that annoys the hell out of me about this plan:  the endless mountain of dishes you have to wash.  Seriously, I didn’t even know I owned this much kitchen-related stuff.  It’s ridiculous!

Today is Day 8, and the yawning continues, but I’ve got one week down and I’m confident for the upcoming week!  Food wise, I didn’t plan very well today…I had back to back to back meetings and didn’t have time to pack stuff to take with me.  Breakfast was a chorizo/egg/spinach/pepper scramble with some canteloupe, and a too-late lunch of beanless chili (so freaking good) with diced avocado.  Quick snack of macadamia nuts, and now going home to make coconut chicken tenders with sauteed spinach and a baked sweet potato with clarified butter.

Onward!