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!

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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!