Happy 10-11-12! Having now officially completed my first full week on the Whole30, I thought I’d provide an update. As you may recall, Day 1 began on Oct. 2 with excitement, if not curiosity, as to exactly how I would adapt to this new lifestyle.
Did I mention that my household includes my hubby who is doing a pseudo-paleo with me, which means that he’s eating all of the healthy dinners I’m preparing and cutting out junk food, but he’s hesitant to take the plunge because he doesn’t need to lose weight. He’s actually trying to gain after a recent hospital stay during which his gallbladder was removed — hello red flag! I also am blessed to have my 19-year-old son living at home during his freshman year. Enough said. Dinner typically includes at least two different versions, but it’s been fine so far and I’ve not been tempted one bit, even with my son’s birthday this week! I was totally satisfied forgoing the cake and ice cream, which happened to be Culver’s Pumpkin Pie, one of my favorites!
So, what are the three things I learned in my first week?
New Foods and Flavors! Things I’d never heard of in some cases and just never tried in others. Now I can’t imagine cooking certain dishes without Ghee (clarified butter), which is heavenly, or coconut oil, a paleo staple. I also discovered coconut aminos, a substitute for soy sauce in Asian-type dishes, but also works when Worcestershire sauce is normally used. And one of my new favorites? Almond butter. Where have you been all my life? Whole Foods even has a station — much like you see for coffee grinding — where you can make your own almond butter. Fresh almonds go in and the butter comes out. Nothing else added. Delicious. I have about a tablespoon once or twice a day on apple or pear slices or even celery!
And, I’m drinking black coffee in the morning. This is huge for a gal who always ordered a Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks and then added two Splenda! I could opt for a little coconut milk but it doesn’t agree with me, as I shared in a previous post. I then thought almond milk was the ticket but found out it’s almost impossible to find a pre-packaged brand without additives that are not Whole30-friendly. So, I tried it black and it’s growing on me. Proves that my taste buds are being retrained so that I really appreciate the good and natural flavors in healthier food!
Healthy Food is Expensive. Now, this is probably a big “duh”, but I underestimated how much the initial cost of switching to organic fruits and veggies (as much as possible) and getting healthier cuts of meat would impact my budget. Not to mention planning nearly every meal at home, which is more economical but means that many more groceries. Luckily, I received my three “Paleo Bibles” that I ordered and there’s tons of great recipes that will help going forward. “It Starts With Food,” “Well Fed“, and “Practical Paleo” have already proven to be invaluable resources. Plus, I’m learning to navigate between which stores will offer me the best deals — more on that in a future post. The bottom line is that it’s worth it! A healthy lifestyle will only save me money in the long run and, combined with the other benefits, I’m all in. Why? Because . . .
It’s Working! After a few days of detox in the first week, I am starting to feel the benefits of a radical diet change. My mood is generally improved, I “feel” lighter (not bloated and never over-stuffed) and I can visualize my goal of completing the Whole30 and maintaining a paleo lifestyle for the long-term. I still have a headache here and there, but I’ve long suffered from that, and I think overall my headaches have improved. The only downside is occasional trouble sleeping, which I understand can be a result of the lack of carbs and my body still adjusting. I’m working on it, so I hope that it improves in short order.
Last but not least, I have to admit I cheated. I stepped on the scale after my first week (strict Whole30 says to weigh only at the beginning and the end of the 30 days). Drum roll . . . five pounds lost in seven days! I’m happy about that, but trying to set my expectations. I had no goal weight in mind for the Whole30 (although I do overall), only to retrain my taste buds, adopt a healthier lifestyle and start a revolution. The new-found discipline has also inspired me to tackle other projects that have lacked my attention, including a complete reorganization for my walk-in closet and kitchen pantry. And, without an emotional attachment to food, I was able to truly clean out and discard those foods in my pantry that were past their prime, unhealthy, or both! Much better.
Now, as I rush headlong into Week 2, I have no regrets, very little temptation and an excitement for continued positive results. If anyone else is taking this journey, please share your comments. My next post will be back on the topic of PR.