Today, Matt and I have gone three whole weeks without:
Grains, (including corn and rice,) any form of sugars or sweeteners (natural and refined,) alcohol, legumes, dairy (including yogurt and cream) and preservatives! I'm proud of us.
For anyone who has read my previous posts about the Whole 30 experience and been discouraged from trying it themselves due to my struggles during the first 2 weeks, let me tell you, week 3 was a breeze. Last week was the week where all the cravings went away, my energy peaked, and my mood lifted. It was also the week where I noticed the most significant changes (for better) with the inflammation issues I have been having. The first 2 weeks felt like 2 years, but the third week flew by. I'm feeling really encouraged and happy!
I thought I'd share a few tips I've learned along the way that have helped make the last three weeks successful for us...
1. During the first couple of weeks of Whole 30 I had a really hard time eating enough vegetables to meet my body's carbohydrate needs. In our normal diets, it's so much easier to meet our carb quotas through grains and going cold turkey off of them sends your body into a tizzy. Sweet potatoes are your best friend on Whole 30. If you're feeling especially horrible in the first couple of weeks on the diet, eat more of them. If you don't have time to wait an hour for them to bake in the oven, you can nuke one in the microwave in under 6 minutes. Throw them in the soups or curries you make, bake them with apples for a comforting treat. Your body will thank you for it!
2. During the first 2 weeks, if you don't have to be anywhere, try to entertain yourself at home. Don't make plans to socialize where food is going to be a central player.
3. Before you give up in the first two weeks due to a horrible craving, can I suggest frying up a green plantain in olive oil? If you've never tried fried plantains (tostones) you are in for a treat. According to Whole 30 forums I've read, fried plantains are Whole 30 compliant, and they have gotten me through my few really, really hard days.
4. Eat more than you think you should in the mornings. Breakfast is my most important meal now. I've gone from the girl who would eat a little bowl of cereal in the morning, or one egg on toast to the girl who eats a 3 egg, veggie stuffed omelet. This carries me to at least to my 1pm lunchtime without my blood sugar dropping.
5. Get creative in the kitchen. The Whole 30 is just vegetables, fruits, eggs and meat. Trying to come up with a creative variety of meals with those limited ingredients can get tedious and dull. This is where I'm so thankful that Matt agreed to do this diet with me, because he gets creative where as I just want to quit. He encouraged me to mix foods that I had never mixed before (sweet potatoes baked with apples, ground turkey and onion? It became our favorite dish ever.) He also encouraged me to try vegetables I normally wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole (brussel sprouts? Baked, with lemon juice, garlic and salt - not bad at all. Spaghetti squash? Like, my new favorite food EVER.) So don't be afraid to turn your kitchen in to an experimental lab.
Just one and a half weeks left to go for us! I have a feeling they're going to be good ones!