Call it pride, or a stubborn streak, or a need to feel unique, but I’m not a fan of jumping on bandwagons or being part of trends just because that’s what other people are doing.
I’ve never been afraid to be different, it’s just part of my DNA. For example, when girls were wearing UGGs and Abercrombie in middle school I thought I’d be more comfortable making an entire dress out of duct tape which, yes, I did wear to school, but, no, wasn’t actually comfortable, but I think I rocked it….
All that to say in general, I get annoyed that companies manipulate us during December to “treat ourselves” and “indulge” just to make us feel like shit so we can create a “new you” in January. In reality, January is probably one of the worst times to try a new diet or exercise program because of the inclement weather. Personally, my body holds extra fat during the winter, which sheds reasonability quickly once the warmer temperatures come.
And this is the part that might sound like I’m contradicting myself… but stay with me because for a couple months I haven’t felt myself. There’s plenty of things I could try to blame it on, (travel, moving, holidays, adjusting to a sedentary job) but that’s not super important. What is important is that my eating habits have left me less than satisfied, craving sugar and not feeling vibrant or my best self. I haven’t had the energy or motivation to push my workouts. What bothers me more than anything is the amount of little “excuses” justifying why I’m not taking care of myself.
I’ve made half ass attempts at fixing little things without any real success. My goals weren’t SMART (Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Realistic – Time-Bound) I knew it was time to take it to the blog. I need the structure and accountability to make a real change.
You might recall that I completed the Whole 30 last March. It was a fantastic education into how different foods affect us inside and out. I view this program as a structured way to understand your relationship to food more than anything else. It’s definitely not a weight loss program (but that might be a side effect for some) or a fad (although it might be gaining popularity around the New Year) and it might not be for everyone (but definitely don’t dismiss it without doing your research.)
When I completed the Whole30 last March, I did it by the book. I read the entire It Starts With Food, so I knew what I was getting into and more importantly why. It’s kind of like when you follow a recipe for the first time it’s a good idea to really follow it down to the last tsp. Now I’m ready to recreate the “recipe” with some minor alterations.
Luckily I had my best friend Fran along for the ride.
The program helped me examine my habits and relationship with food as well as what foods do and don’t help me thrive versus survive. I didn’t feel like a super human nor did I feel awful once I reincorporated some foods, but I got a better sense of how to build a more nutritionally dense meal and break some unhealthy habits. I also felt like I had hit a reset on some of my hormone and hunger levels, which helped me stay satisfied and calmed my constant sugar cravings.
Here’s Why I’m Doing It:
I think the Why is the most important part of any kind of change. Without Why there’s no goal, motivation or measure of success.
I have a lot of little “why’s” to add up one big one: I want to feel better.
- My stomach just hasn’t felt settled in a long time – just kind of a queasy haze which I believe has been draining my energy
- I can tell my hunger hormones are out of whack because I’m always hungry even when I’ve had enough to eat, but I’m never quite satisfied with what I do eat
- I constantly crave sweet foods
- I feel sluggish even after plenty of rest and a moderate amount of caffeine (2 cups a day)
- I’ve developed some lazy eating habits from all the traveling and moving over the past couple months that I’m dying to kick (for example, relying on packaged foods versus food prepping)
- I want to kick my late night snacking, which feels more like a habit than a treat
- Lastly, I don’t feel confident in my clothes. It’s kind of a chore picking out an outfit because nothing fits quite right. Maybe it’s time for a new wardrobe but I wouldn’t mind if a couple pairs of jeans weren’t so snug.
Here’s What I’m Doing:
It’s almost identical to Whole30 with a couple exceptions (which I’ll explain) – but for the sake of simplicity (and recipes to come) I’m calling it the Whole30. I’ll follow this guide starting on Monday 1/19 until Thursday 2/19. After that time I’ll slowly incorporate some foods and potentially leave out others.
- No Refined or Added Sugars
- No Dairy
- No Soy
- No Grains
- No Legumes
- No Alcohol for 4 weeks (28 days)
- Eat 3 balanced meals with minimal (or no) snacking
- Similar to the Whole30 – I’m focusing on the foods with the most nutritional density: vegetables, healthy fats, natural proteins, complex carbs & fruits
- Eat food as close to it’s natural form as possible.
- As few processed or packaged foods.
- Minimize snacking, especially at night.
- Focus on drinking enough water.
The exceptions that make it NOT exactly the Whole30:
There is a Vegetarian Whole30, which allows for non-gmo organic edamame and some soy products (not allowed on the original Whole30) that, I may or may not incorporate (depending if I feel like I’m getting enough protein)
I’m still drinking Bai, because it would be borderline impossible not to (for those new to the blog, that’s the healthy drink company I work for). Obviously they have stevia and erythritol (natural sweeteners) things that are NOT on the Whole30 but I hardly think they’ll disrupt the purpose, intent and success of my endeavor.
The Whole30 does not encourage smoothies – which doesn’t jive with me because the smoothies I make are packed with protein, fiber, vegetables, and yes a good amount of fruit, which equals sugar, but it’s naturally occurring and not more fruit than I’d eat unblended. I also make thick smoothies, which I eat with a spoon versus drinking. I understand that their program recommends breaking yourself from the habit of drinking any calories, but in this case smoothies, for myself at least, have been highly energizing and nutritionally dense.
Here’s What You’ll See on In it 4 the Long Run:
- I’ll include weekly shopping lists (including how much a week on the Whole30 actually costs)
- Weekly meal plans and food prep
- Recaps of what I actually ate (and how I felt)
- Any changes and challenges I may face
Ok, that was a really long post. Thanks for hanging in there. I look forward to sharing the journey with you. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions!
To learn about my journey the last time (and get some meal inspiration) check out these posts