Whole 30 – I’m Making My Own Rules

I promise, this blog isn’t going to turn all crazy-healthy on you anytime soon, but I do have plenty to say on Whole 30 right now. We’ve got some great books to talk about, some lists to share, oh, and a birthday cake (!), promise.

But for now, I’m on Whole 30. Happy Day 1 to me. I’ve never done it before, but it’s popped up enough in my social media feeds that I’ve checked it out, and the spirit has moved me, and here we all are. There are a couple of reasons I’m excited about this approach to eating. The first is that according to the official Whole 30 website, you’re not supposed to weigh yourself before or after the month. I’m not doing this to lose weight, I’m doing this because gracious, I eat so much crap that I need a reset. Not a “diet,” in the traditional sense. I also like Whole 30 because it’s 30 days. The point of the program isn’t to convert its followers to a carb- sugar- and dairy-free lifestyle. It’s to get your body used to whole foods, and then to slowly reintroduce the crap you want when it’s all over. (Of course, one possible benefit is that you may not want to reintroduce the crap in such vast quantities, and wouldn’t that be lovely?)

But I am absolutely making a couple little changes to the rules that are going to make this much more doable for me. And I decided that’s completely okay. Without trying to sound like a martyr here, I will say that my life is not completely about me anymore. Since having Gooplet, he comes first, and that leaves a lot less time for poring through Pinterest, searching for meal ideas. I want to be healthier, but I can’t dedicate the same kind of time to that pursuit that I once could. No more barre 5 times a week.  No one is more sad about that than my missing abs, but that’s too bad for them. I’ll find them some other time.

So, my bending of the rules:

Coffee:  Coffee is okay on Whole 30, as long as it’s not sugared or dairy-ed up. Oooooh, except that is my favorite kind of coffee in the world. I found an iced almond milk latte at the grocery store that has 4 g of sugar per serving. I’m going for it. I’ll reevaluate that choice in two weeks when people swear I may not even need coffee to get moving in the morning. You people sound crazy to me right now, but I’m willing to hear you out in a little while. 4 g. of sugar per day is approximately 1000 times less sugar than I’ve been eating, so I am certain I’ll still be okay.

Beans: You’re not supposed to eat legumes on Whole 30. I could look up why, but I don’t want to. I’m giving up pasta, bread, and rice. I’m ditching sugar and my beloved milk (RIP macaroni and cheese, and ice cream).  Beans are a thing that grows in nature. In order to eat them, you do nothing but soak and boil them in water. That seems harmless. This diet is restrictive enough, and I’ve got plenty of meals that would follow the rules, save for the beans. So I’ll just make them, and eat I’ll beans. We will all be okay.

The Bigger Picture: When it comes to beans, and any other spur of the moment decisions I make in the month ahead, I’m choosing to be kind to myself. I hope I don’t attack the pasta that’s still in my pantry in a fit of depravity, but I’m not ruling it out as a possibility. There’s one serving of yogurt left in my fridge, and it’s very likely I’ll throw it in a smoothie tomorrow morning rather than let it go bad. If I’m on the go with my beloved small child, and all can do is reach in the fridge and grab something before we get in the car, then that is what it is and I’ll eat it. I can’t be a good mom if I haven’t eaten lunch. So I will eat lunch.  (I am keeping some of his applesauce pouches in my bag for me, though.)

Whole 30 – What the Heck am I Even Doing?

The other day, I texted SCL and told her I really wanted to do a Whole 30 and she said, “What’s that?” Um, I don’t really even know if I know, you know?

This is my working knowledge of Whole 30 – It’s this thing people with blogs do when they feel like they’ve been eating unhealthily and want to hit the reset button. And if they do it more than 30 days, they call themselves Paleo. I heard a lot about eating Paleo on some of my favorite blogs about a year or two ago, but haven’t heard as much lately. Whole 30, however, still seems to be very much a thing.

The gist of it is that you eat real (whole) foods for 30 days. There are a myriad of restrictions, most notably grains and dairy. Oh yeah, and alcohol. So I’ve gotta get this done now before the weather warms up, which is the only time of year I actively want to drink booze all the time, and then please give me tons of it, preferably on a screened-in porch. Okay, but Whole 30.

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(This is a random, old picture, because there is literally nothing I eat right now that is beautifully photographed and Whole 30 compliant, but I like posts with pictures so much better.)

It is going to be incredibly difficult, mostly because it’s not at all how we eat now. One of my single greatest victories in life was getting back into the kitchen and figuring out a new rhythm to dinner-making with a child underfoot.  Or more literally, on-ankles. Dinner involves lots of things that can be made ahead and lots of things that can be made ahead are starchy casseroles with cheese. Those have to go. So I’m doing some research between now and Goop’s birthday, and flagging everything I can possibly think of that will keep me full-up for the next month.

To be continued.