Week one of the Whole30 was no joke. Weeks 2 and 3 leveled out and started becoming easier, but by no means easy. Now, as I approach the end of my month-long body reset challenge, I feel strong and more like myself than ever before. Throughout the past few weeks, I’ve even lost track of time and when asked what day I was on, I had to count because I couldn’t remember.
Whole30 friends told me this would happen, but feeling it for yourself is a completely different story. Yes, I’m still struggling with the lure or longstanding habits but my willpower is growing so much stronger and my awareness is getting so much sharper. I almost grabbed a pizza crust from my roommate out of totally mindless instinct. As my hand got close I thought, “Wait, what am I doing?!?” I didn’t even WANT IT – I just reached for it out of unhealthy human vacuum tendencies. I also think about chocolate almost every afternoon. My body wants it…. bad! Most of all, I struggle making dinner or eating from home every night. I’m so exhausted by dinner time and I DO NOT want to jump in the kitchen to cook. Yah yah, I prep food in advance, but still. It never seems like cooking or heating up leftovers will be easier (or tastier) than carrying a take-out bag.
Even with the tougher times so far, there’s no way I’m giving up. I can see my better body coming back, I feel more rested, I’m filling back up with confidence, I’m more productive at work, my relationships are improving, my clothes fit better, I’m saving more money and best of all, my natural energy is kicking in and taking me to work out like it was never even something I thought about missing. My body is just operating with so much more efficiency, and I’m reaping all the rewards.
But let’s be real – what does all of that even mean? Tell me how to get from I hate my life hell to lollipops and sunshine in lemon green salad land. Is that even possible?!?! Dude, bro…chill out. It’s just an I can’t have this stupid glass of wine mood swing – deep breath, breeeeaaatttthhhheeee…. you got this, yeahhhh that sparkling water is so refreshing… isn’t it??? Ahhhh, that’s better.
So, let’s talk what works:
Quick & Accountable Go To Foods
Find your favorite foods that can be prepared quickly and you know you can count on. It doesn’t even have to be whole meal concepts – identify what small snack items you love to fall back on too. Don’t try and fit in with your friends – figure out what YOU like because YOU are the one that you’re affecting. Some of mine are sweet potatoes (microwaved or roasted), black olives, cornichons, cantaloupe and pineapple slices and fully cooked chicken sausages.
A Bigger Bottle of Water
I usually carry a 20 oz water bottle. With the Whole30 though, I’ve been going through so much more water and a 50 oz bottle from Trader Joe’s is really doing the trick. Guess how awkward it is to carry a big water bottle everywhere and be hydrated and satisfied at all time? Not awkward at all. Tell anyone who makes fun of you that they’re a dehydrated dingus.
At first, I didn’t keep track in any organized fashion. I just survived. One day though, I became curious about my calorie intake. Since I’m cutting out so much of my normal diet, am I getting enough of what I need? I logged back into my dusty account on MyFitnessPal and started counting. It was the easiest calorie counting day of my entire life. Everything I’m eating is so clean! Everything has barcodes I can scan because I’m only eating groceries I buy myself!! It was incredibly invigorating. I’ve always been bad at counting and keeping track! The next day, I did it again, and then again, and I’m still going strong. I’ve been perfectly hitting my recommended calories everyday and I’m not even struggling or starving one single bit. Not only that, but my Whole30 diet is keeping me pretty damn close to the perfect balance of nutrients and calories I need to maintain my ideal healthy weight. No wonder I felt all whack – I must have been consuming at least double my recommendation and not even close to the nutritional balance my body needed!! Whatever you do, whether it’s an app or a journal or whatever else, embrace it and have fun. Make it your best friend – something you can count on when french fry cravings kick in.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
I love the Trader Joe’s bags of small sweet potatoes. Wash them well, poke with a few holes and roast on a baking sheet with tin foil for 45ish minutes at 400 degrees. Don’t add oil or seasoning or non-stick, just some good ol’ clean sweet potaters. All done. Amazing. Perfect hot or cold after storing in the refrigerator! Yes yes yes, yum yum yum.
George Foreman Grill
Yup, I got my George Foreman out. It’s on my counter and I’m using it quite a bit. What’s even better is I started buying pre-pounded chicken and thinner cuts of beef which makes portion sizes perfect and cooking time super short!
Cooking More at Once
When I cook, I try to create leftovers as much as possible. Utilize the time you’re already spending in the kitchen to make future meals like lunch and dinner for the next day. For me that means doubling or tripling up on the quantity of meat and/or veggies I make at once. At least half goes in a container for the next 2-3 days. I literally make an entire carton of hard boiled eggs when I just want 2 for the breakfast at hand. That way, the rest of the week is set!
To you and you’re healthy lifestyle, long past the Whole30,