Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.
(Peter F. Drucker)
Happy Tuesday, lovelies. How was your weekend? We stayed close to home and opted-out of the whole Halloween thing. Instead, we went for a long run on Saturday morning, visited our friends who just had a baby (so many tiny snuggles!), completed the first draft of our ceremony, and crossed a few more things off our wedding to-do list!
Today I am finishing my Whole30 Round 2. That means, over the course of this summer/fall I have followed these rules for 30 days straight, twice:
- Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial
- Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking
- Do not eat grains
- Do not eat legumes
- Do not eat dairy
- Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites
- Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients
- Do not step on the scale or take body measurements during the program
In some ways, my Whole30 Round 2 was more difficult than the first. There were several occasions, especially during the last two weeks, when I wanted to give up. The second round felt less “special” and more like everyday life. The newness wore off and sticking to the rules felt more rigorous. That said, I am incredibly happy that I did not give up.
My original inspiration for starting Whole30 was to slim down for my wedding, but I also wanted to investigate this way of eating for the long-term. In my dream scenario, I hoped to discover a set of rules that I could follow every day that would help make my body feel good without squandering my love for food. And that’s what I found!
Will I stick with this 100% everyday moving forward? No, not totally. But, I do want to remain primarily grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, legume-free, and processed-foods-free. I have naturally settled into a preference for eating paleo (here’s what that means).
Two rounds of Whole30 have helped me build an arsenal of delicious recipes. I no longer feel like a dinner with just veggies and meat is incomplete. Here are some favorites:
- Paleo Sweet Potato Chili from Tastes of Lizzy T’s
- Paleo Burgers with Caramelized Balsamic Onions from Joyful Healthy Eats
- Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries from Natural Noshing
- Easy Crockpot Pot Roast from My Natural Family
- Slow Cooked Pork (without the pasta) from Bev Cooks
- Asian-Style Paleo Meatballs from Stupid Easy Paleo
- Chicken Tikka Masala from AJ’s Healthiest
- Roasted Curried Cauliflower from Nom Nom Paleo
- A spiced-up custom combo of A Spicy Perspective’s Paleo White Chicken Chili and House of Earnest’s Mexican Chicken Chili
- Paleo Pad See Ew from Against All Grain
- And while it’s not a recipe, I just want to mention that I had the best Chipotle salad bowl with carnitas, pico de gallo, guacamole, and hot salsa – Whole30 approved!
In terms of alcohol, I learned that I’m perfectly fine with going out and not drinking, even to a three-day music festival. I will go back to enjoying wine and cocktails here and there, but I doubt I’ll ever be much of a beer drinker. My Whole30 weekend mornings have been a lot more pleasant without that fuzzy feeling of an almost-hangover!
Now would be the time to establish a new daily routine, but that’s not going to happen… after my first Whole30, I dove into indulgence with a 3-week trip to Europe. It was an incredible adventure, but tough on my body after eating so clean for the previous month.
This time, I am facing another uncommon situation: there’s just 18 days until our wedding! The next few weeks are going to be a far cry from ordinary, but they will be wonderful. In the midst of all the celebrations, I hope to follow this advice to myself:
- Plan ahead. When eating out, review the menu in advance and commit to your food selection before sitting down at the restaurant. When going out for drinks, hydrate with water and switch to club soda after a few.
- Stay active. When you exercise, it helps you maintain the motivation to make healthy choices. Remember that practicing yoga always makes you feel strong and happy, and running makes you feel accomplished. You have the time to work out every day, even if it’s just for 20 minutes.
- Be kind. Part of this is doing what feels good. That will be staying “compliant” sometimes and “indulging” other times. Either way, being kind means not judging yourself harshly. And on judging, watch your negativity. Wrap your gremlins and nasty thoughts with a warm blanket of love and kindness.
If you would like to learn more about my Whole30 journey, check out my recaps from round 1 day 12, round 1 day 26, and round 2 day 11. You can also follow me on Instagram where I’ve been posting a lot of food pics: @kaileenelise.
Are you thinking this might be something you want to try? I say, go for it! You can do anything for 30 days, especially if it makes you feel good. I highly recommend visiting the Whole30 website and reading It Starts With Food for more information.