The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.
(Henry Ward Beecher)
Today is day #12 of my Whole30, which means that I am nearly halfway there. I started this on the heels of our visit to North Carolina, which was perfect timing. By the end of the trip, I was ready to eat healthy and take a break from indulgences.
What is Whole30? It’s a 30-day healthy eating program with simple, but impactful rules. Participants eat real foods and omit a list of unhealthy things from their diets, including: alcohol, added sugar, dairy, legumes, and grains. Their website is great, and I am really enjoying the book that corresponds with the program — It Starts with Food.
I did something similar back in 2012 with the Whole Living Action Plan (you can read my weekly summaries here). It was in January, so the post-holiday and New Year’s resolution season was extra motivating. I learned how to cook new recipes, lost some weight, and enjoyed it overall.
Thinking back on that experience gave me the confidence to try the Whole30. Cutting things out of my diet is not an issue, but going 4 weeks without alcohol or any added sugar is a challenge in the summer. There are plenty of occasions to grab a drink and celebrate the season with friends!
Now that a few days are behind me, I wanted to share some reflections and strategies for Whole30. My first week went by quickly and with very few cravings or frustrations. I planned our meals for the week so we could avoid eating out. When our friends asked us to drinks on Saturday night, I ordered soda water with lime and ended up having a blast.
Things took a turn for the cranky by Sunday (day #8) and the beginning of this week was rough. I noticed that it was less about what I couldn’t eat and more about losing some of my food coping mechanisms. When I wanted to chill out at the end of a long day, a glass of sparkling water was all I had to drink (red wine would have tasted so much better). When my Mister and I wanted to treat ourselves with something sweet, we settled on organic cashews instead.
In addition to changes in diet, there is one more rule for Whole30: you’re not allowed to weigh yourself during the program. This one has been hard for me because I typically use my weight as a baseline and check-in. Not having this measurement has pushed me to consider how I’m feeling, rather than relying on a number on the scale to tell me if I’m “ok.”
A few things I’m loving while on Whole30:
- Chamelon Cold-Brew + black coffee – so simple, so tasty.
- Harmless Harvest coconut water – a delicious 8oz break from water.
- Burning candles, listening to an awesome audio book, and laying by the pool – a girl can find moments of bliss without wine, cheese, or chocolate.
- Yoga – it’s been so hot here in Austin, so I haven’t felt like running lately. Going to yoga helps me refocus and refresh.
Some Whole30 approved dinners on our meal plan:
- Spicy Oven Baked Salmon from A Spicy Perspective – this is a new household favorite! So quick, easy, and tasty!
- Hatch Chile Casserole from Fed and Fit – my Mister was shocked at how creamy and rich this was without any dairy. I might tweak it next time, but I’m definitely adding it to the regular rotation.
- Creole Chicken & Sausage from Pinch of Yum – we served this over baked sweet potatoes. It was a nice and hearty meal.
I am a little excited that we don’t have much planned for Labor Day weekend. We have already traveled a lot this summer and are leaving for Europe in a few weeks. It will be nice to stick around here and finish some projects. I’m looking for a few new recipes to try and am planning on keeping myself occupied with blogging and other fun things (instead of wishing for a bite of chocolate)!
Have you done a Whole30? If so, please share your advice in the comments below. If not, let me know if you’d ever want to give it a try?
Image via Death to the Stock Photo
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