Update

So as you know, I finished the 30 days of this challenge and wrapped it up feeling….ok-ish. Nothing stellar. It’s been a couple more days of blargs but I’m realizing I’m just going to have to fine-tune my own diet and figure out over time/through trial-and-error what works for me. I’m still undecided about almond meal, since nut consumption (almonds or otherwise) hasn’t seemed to bother me at all BUT that epic pizza night seemed to slay my body. My husband wants to have another pizza night tonight and I’m not sure if I should try “our” pizza again or not. Risk it?

On a good note, I did decide to add some dairy back in to my life and haven’t really noticed any negative effects. I had a small latte the other day and felt fine, plus I’ve had some chocolate every day for the past 3. I need my choco fix! I found some 85% Organic chocolate that one of the bloggers recommended and MAN is it delicious. I mean soooooo good. But it’s going to be a pricey habit, since I could easily eat 1/2 a bar in a day (and that’s with willpower working overtime!) and the bars are $3+ a pop. So I’m going to have to figure out ways to get my fix that aren’t so indulgent!

This morning I had 1/2 a small cup of Fage yogurt to test the waters and everything seemed to slosh along nicely. It was an experience trying to eat the whole fat version of yogurt, I practically needed a knife and fork. But a teensy bit of organic raw honey (that one surprised me – really good!) and some fresh berries made it palatable and I’m sure I’ll come to really enjoy it. Time to break out a paleo granola recipe!

In good spirits today about a lifetime of paleo, we’ll see how my emotions ebb and flow. Just a few days ago, I wanted to throw in the towel and go back to “easy” eating since this all felt so worthless. But now that I’m feeling a little better again and noticing some of the positive changes (deeper sleep, fewer allergies/stuffiness, etc.), I don’t want to give it up. Plus, just a little effort has rewarded me with plenty of recipes for clean versions of food I miss/enjoy. It’ll just come down to picking and choosing, I think, when I “cheat” since there are way too many opportunities! We had a party invite tonight, we’re hosting a bbq tomorrow, I owe a friend a birthday drink/dessert, etc. I refuse to suffer the consequences of going off paleo every time, but I’ll definitely want to indulge now and then. How long do I have to wait until there are paleo desserts at my local cafe?  My husband says his friends who introduced us to this go out once/twice per year and just eat whatever the heck they want. For them, apparently, since it is so rare, their bodies don’t go all haywire and short out. I can see us adopting a similar policy and then also going off in much smaller ways a little more frequently. Because sometimes, a girl just needs a beer.

Oh, was that all?

Well, Whole30 is done. This wraps up 30 days and I’m left feeling….meh. Not because the challenge wasn’t a good one, but because I thought it would end on a high note. That’d I’d be feeling fantastic physically, prepared for the “real world” mentally and equipped with the know-how to EAT RIGHT from here on out.

Instead, I feel a little bit impotent.  It took me all the way until Day 26 (?) to hit a real snag, but I absolutely did in the form of an almond-flour-pizza crust.  It was Whole30 compliant and tasted great, but I’ve been suffering ever since.  Last week I was feeling quite good, so much so that I wondered if I ever wanted to get off of the Whole30 challenge.  Ever since the weekend, though, major blargs.  I’ve tried to explain it away a couple of different ways, but I really think it just comes down to the overdose of almond flour.  Apparently some people can’t tolerate too much, and I must be one of them.  But what that means is that it’s Day 30 and I don’t know which way I’m going.  Do I stay on it a while longer, to get back to that place of relative healthiness?  Do I need to start over completely?  Do I just move on, since I’ve done the 30 days and I’m quite interested in shifting at least over to a Paleo lifestyle now (including at least honey, greek yogurt and CHOCOLATE?)  I’d really like to do that last one, and I had pinned on my mental calendar that tomorrow I would have yogurt for breakfast and a latte with lunch.  The book says to introduce dairy in this way and I’m quite game!  But on the flip side, I really want to know if the dairy “hurts” me or not, and I’m afraid I won’t be able to accurately gauge if I’m not feeling my best before the reintroduction.  What to do?

The funny part is that while this lifestyle is by NO MEANS easy yet, it has definitely become a habit and it almost feels easier right now to stay on it than to start picking it apart.  I want to keep figuring out meals, ideas, ways to make this easier, ways to stay varied.  It’s been a good vegetable week in that we’ve had some new ones, which keeps me teased enough to want to continue.  Not that I couldn’t continue while also adding a bit of this-and-that as well!  But I don’t want to fall completely backwards either.  So.

Tomorrow might be a game-time decision for me.  I had a crappy food day today (up until a surprisingly yummy dinner my hubs revealed in the slow cooker) so tomorrow I’m not opposed to the “usual” vegg breakfast, I’m excited for my tuna salad, and we have a Paleo delivery service that will supply dinner starting tomorrow for 10days.  So really I don’t NEED to change anything up just yet.  But we’ll see.  I promised myself some dairy tomorrow and if the morning requires it….dairy I may have.  I don’t know how it will make me feel but I can tell you for DAMN sure that I will like the way it tastes!

Must….drink….coffee

I was a mess today.  First of all, I was exhausted the whole day.  Like heavy-eyelids, saggy cheeks, humpback posture kind of tired.  It probably didn’t help that my son decided to wake me up this morning at the deepest part of my REM cycle with a loud “BOO!” or “YEEACHA!” or “WATER BUFFALOS UNITE!” or whatever the F* he said.  I don’t know, I didn’t hear specifics (sleeping deep – see above), but I certainly did have a response to the loud scream in my ear.  And then, the day began.

There *was* hunger this morning which was novel and fun, but I couldn’t exactly take advantage of it by scarfing down some heavy scones with a large latte.  One can dream, right?  Nope, it was eggs & veg again.  Sigh.  At least tomorrow is Saturday which of course means…..bacon!!  I should have actual time in the morning while my muffins (mmm, muffins) munch cereal and stare at the cartoon box.  I CAN COOK BAAAACON.  Maybe I’ll skip all the other stuff and just eat that for breakfast with a piping hot coffee.  Sold!  I’m back on board with this challenge!

Once I scarfed the vegg mix (like how I did that?  veg+egg=vegg=i am a TOTAL GENIUS) and a sip of coffee, it was off to camp.  There was actually a window in between camp for one boy and pool for another, so we came back home and I had a little more of the vegg.  I tried to convince my toddler to nosh it with me, but he wouldn’t, um, bite.  And he usually eats everything ESPECIALLY if mommy is eating it!  But he rolled his eyes at me when he saw me wave another limp spinach leaf in his face and walked away.  After breakfastredux, I needed another coffee (#2) and my new-favorite-dont-stop-me-ever treat, a spoonful of almond butter.  I know this is probably wrong on many levels of the Whole30 challenge (except the important one, which is the actual FOOD, so shove off), and I know I probably shouldn’t be doing this after every meal.  But I love it and am doing this after every meal.  You shall not convince me to stop.

After the pool was a crying-jag-in-place-of-nap which was most unwelcome, thus another coffee (#3) while toddler&me continued our day as if no nap ever needed to be.  More boy stuff….blah blah blah….a disgusting incident I will save for my parent friends since anyone reading this while being childless might actually die of horror…..dinner, bedtimes, more grogginess and crankiness by me.  In fact, just as I sat down to yet another coffee (#4*) — *decaf, this time, but still giving me the illusion of a pick-me-up — my younger munchkin woke up like 9:30pm was the start of his new day and please would I come get him.

What does all this boringness mean to you?  It means that Whole30 has yet to bestow upon me its magic source of energy.  That I was tired as F* today, felt blargy and heavy all day, even while crunching carrots and pickles and peas.  And that the only saving grace is that tomorrow with my BAAAACON I can have a coffee.  A LARGE coffee.

 

 

 

What I learned so far on Day 2

1.  Breakfast is not my jam.  Yeah, I F*ed it again.  Even with the gift of my husband, I managed to mess up.  I came downstairs to a gorgeous plate of hash browns, bacon and fried eggs.  Amazing!  But I failed again to plan enough time (seriously, these meals take eons to consume) and I didn’t try hard enough to add some good veg/fruit to the meal (it was hard enough to eat half of what was there – will my hunger in the AM come back?)

Breakfast is just hard for me.  Hard to eat, hard to dress up nicely, hard to prioritize.  So tomorrow will be attempt #3 — a prepacked meal.  Hardboiled eggs, chopped fruit/veg, maybe a handful of nuts or something.  If it is packed up and ready to go, maybe I’ll nibble while prepping the boys and continue to nibble on the drive to camp?  If not, I may have to resort to smoothies or something which I know aren’t ideal but it’s hard to imagine being too hungry afterwards.  I still wasn’t hungry today 5hrs after breakfast!

2.  It would be REALLY easy to overdo fat on this diet, Atkins-style.  We are encouraged to eat meals with protein, veg and FAT, which is freeing in a good-but-also-dangerous way.  Almost everything we’ve made so far has started with ghee in the skillet or oil in the pan, and it is easy to get carried away because “fat is good for us.”  I’m not advocating that we remove it, but how much is too much?  Breakfast was too heavy for me, and not just because of my failures.  Bacon is fatty on its own, but mixed with eggs and potatoes cooked in bacon fat?  I need to try harder to cook with *some* fat but not so much that I’m drowning in it.  And I need to balance it more with unadorned produce.

3.  Tuna packed in olive oil is INSANELY DELICIOUS.  Where have you been all my life, can o’ lusciousness? Why do people buy tuna in water and then ADD MAYO, when this is yummier, healthier and easier to consume?  I always avoided tuna because I can’t stand mayonnaise (it is seriously one of the most disgusting substances I have ever seen/smelled) but I also can’t stand dry-as-dirt tuna.  And “packed in oil” was always a sinful mistake that only stupid people made.  OR SO I THOUGHT.  This tuna we found is just the fish and some olive oil, which I’m “supposed” to eat anyway.  And as a topper on a salad of mixed greens, diced carrots, cucumbers, apple and almonds, it transformed my experience.  I’m talking Best Salad Ever.  I’m curious if I’ll still feel this way, though, after a month of damn tasty salads.

4.  Onions are my kryptonite.  I tried for the second time today to dice one up and had you happened upon me you would’ve immediately given your most sincere condolences.  I wasn’t just sniffling, I was flooding walls of tears down my cheeks and onto my clothes.  Must invest in space helmet.

5.  I used to seriously pity people who told me they had to cut out dairy.  Or wheat.  Or sugar (!!)  It always sounded so impossible and sad.  Yet somehow cutting out all three seems easier.  I know what that sounds like, but it’s true.  Because instead of trying to tiptoe around a “regular” life and worry about ingredient lists on every product (is there sneaky whey in that? rice syrup?), this is just a new life.  I’m not worrying about finding the right bread that has no dairy, or the right tomato sauce without sugar.  I’m just eating the real stuff.

6.  As “easy” as this seems in some ways, I also see how incredibly easy it would be to give this up.  I started having intense, stabbing pain in my foot that my hubs had read could be related to vitamin deficiency.  It seems backwards to me that I could be missing any vitamins, given that I’m eating more veg & fruit than I ever have in my life.  But if that is the case (I’m going to start a multivitamin tonight), I would race so quickly and easily back to hot cocoa or yogurt or whatever I’m missing.  I’d keep all this great food on the menu, I’d just add in some other things to see what my body is screaming about!