I talked about my steps into a healthier lifestyle in this post. Even though I said I wasn't going to go all the way Whole 30, I decided after a few days that I might as well do it right. That was a big thing because it meant no cream or Truvia in my coffee.
Whole30 is a whole food eating plan that is outlined in the book It Starts With Food. I actually didn't buy the book at first, although I have it now. I was able to do the whole program just from the information presented on the Whole30 website.
There are a couple of things I really like about this eating plan:
1. You don't count anything: I've done a lot of programs in my time. Atkins, Weight Watchers, MyFitnessPal and it's all about tracking and counting and writing things down and becoming desperate toward the end of the day when you can have a head of lettuce for dinner because you are out of calories for the day. It makes me a little crazy because I start to obsess about the thing that I'm trying with all my might to avoid: FOOD. It's all I think about. You don't have to do that with Whole30. You only have a few things you avoid (sugar/artificial sugar, soy, dairy, grains, legumes, alcohol--check here for details.) As long as you do that, you can eat until you're full food that tastes good! It seems too good to be true.
2. Since it's all real food, you don't have to search up and down the grocery aisles to find what you need (as soon as you get all the spices and flavorings you probably didn't have when you lived off things that come in boxes, that is). You really only need to visit the meat and produce sections. I spent quite a bit of money on spices that first week. And I had to order fish sauce from Amazon (haven't used it yet). And I also got coconut aminos (whatever that is...haven't used that yet either) at Drug Emporium. But, man! Food tastes so much better. I haven't cooked much really until this and spices were pretty much limited to Italian seasoning and bay leaves for spaghetti (which I used to dress up sauce from a jar). It's a whole new tasty world.
3. You never have to be hungry. This program has plenty of fat, protein and high quality carbohydrates. You don't need to be hungry as long as you plan ahead for good options. Just keep something defrosted in the fridge and cook the food before it's time to eat and you'll be good.
I'm not saying it's easy. Right now, that tub of fudge left over from Christmas is becoming a real problem. I put a bag a Fritoes on top of it so I couldn't see through the fudge window anymore. That'll surely help. It's also hard to pick a restaurant for the family on Sunday's after church. No Mexican, no pizza, no sandwiches, no fast food. But when your hips don't hurt anymore and your pants fit better and the swelling in your hands has diminished so much you can wear your wedding ring again and your headaches go away and your digestion doesn't bother you, it'll all be worth it.
I don't know about others, but there are some things I can't live without on this program.
1. Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk--when you can't use creamer, cream, half and half or the like and you really don't want to also have to live without coffee, coconut cream becomes a lifesaver. I actually really, really dislike the flavor of flaked coconut, but this doesn't taste like coconut at all and it doesn't taste like coconut oil. It's just a good quality fat source that adds some creamy texture to coffee. Brand makes a big difference, though. I bought Goya once. Definitely not the same. After the first round of Whole 30, one of the only things I wanted to do was add Truvia and cream back to my coffee. After the second round, I didn't miss cream or fake sugar at all. If I hadn't just ordered 12 cans of coconut milk, I might try to go with black coffee this time.
2. Stick blender--Homemade mayo is essential. While you can make mayo with other tools, this makes it super easy to make and clean up. Just trust me and get one before you start. You'll be glad you did.
3. Larabars--They are supposed to be for emergency fuel, but I seemed to have a food emergency at least once a day, sometimes more. Cherry Pie is my very favorite. Lemon is a close second. Get some in advance. You won't be sorry.
4. Well Fed cookbook--This second round has been harder mainly because I haven't made chili again from this cookbook. Make the chili early and often. The salmon is really good. The scotch eggs...not my thing. The cinnamon stew is good, but I would try it in the crock pot so the meat is more tender. Still working through other recipes.
For the third round:
- I'm adding Well Fed 2. Should arrive any day now.
- I miss Diet Coke. Yes, I know it's a death trap of putrid chemicals and....it tastes delicious. As a substitute, I'll also be using sparking water flavored with Young Living Essential Oils. I'm a distributor. If you want some for your water, let me know.
- I'll be relying much less on store bought rotisserie chicken. I didn't know it had sugar in it! I may have to buy another crock pot and a pressure cooker. I ate a lot of rotisserie chicken.
- This is the eating plan that makes the most sense to me. I'm just not safe around sugar and counting stuff doesn't work for me. I like to be well fed. So this is the "final chapter" because I'll be sticking with this until I get to my goal, which includes better overall health as well as a healthy weight. I'll be reporting back on progress, so please follow my blog for updates. :)
Are you following a new plan? Please share what you've learned!
Until next time, may the good Lord bless you with health and wellness, too.
*Full disclosure: The links are affiliate links for Amazon. It's really where I buy all my stuff.