Whole30 Ruined “Food” For Me

Used to, I could eat multiple portions of the most sinful pizza ever. I could eat large quantities of ice cream or other desserts.

I can’t remember how many times I whipped through a specific drive-thru just for their french fries, and would savor them.

Buffets? They used to be my preference because I liked being able to eat whatever I want to eat and go back as many times as I wanted.

This year my husband and I started Whole30 for my second time. I committed to a 90 day run of it, and we finished a 120 day run of it. From day 121-150, I became totally amazed at what had happened to me as a result of maintaining a Whole30 nutrition style for as long as we did.

After completing a Whole30, I didn’t return to eating what I used to think was “food”. I kept making the same Whole30 choices because they had become my new behavior, but then, we didn’t prepare our meat for the week. We didn’t do our typical produce shopping, so we stopped and picked something up for supper. KFC chicken that we generally really like, I sat down with my plate ready to enjoy my meal, and with bite one, I was so disappointed. I left the food on the plate, and it went into the trash. Burger? ughhh. Last night, I had a steak, sweet potato, green beans and a salad out with my family, and I only ate the steak and the green beans. The sweet potato was weird (and I love sweet potatoes). The meal was so underwhelming.

I’m ruined. Totally ruined. I can’t eat junk or fast food anymore with the same enjoyment that I once did. Do you know how much of a relief that is? For someone who has suffered with eating addictions for so long, it is nice to free from the need to stuff my face with a huge bowl of never-ending pasta at Olive Garden or all you can eat fried shrimp at a once favorite seafood restaurant.

For years, I have wanted to be free of this bondage to junk food. I felt tied up and bound by an invisible force that I couldn’t stop. I’ve said so many times in the past, “I don’t know what is wrong with me…I just can’t get control over this.” I am SO glad to be able to say that Whole30 has ruined “food” for me.

Thank you Whole30! You returned me to my first love of fresh food and produce. REAL FOOD. I can make do with a junk meal here and there, but I am not at all satisfied with it as I once was. I look forward to fresh tomatoes, eggs, and avocados for breakfast. I love freshly grilled meat made at home with love by my husband. I don’t miss sweets, although we do have them occasionally. I am so thankful to no longer be in bondage.

This is the type of ruin that I will gladly live in the rest of my life!

You Can Do ANYTHING for 30 Days, Even Whole30 ALONE

This blog post is in response to a question I received from Kayla commenting on, “Fresh Start.” Kayla asked if I Whole30 alone, or if my husband Whole30s with me. Let me start by saying, this is one of the great things about blogging. Meeting new people and helping to encourage them throughout their journey. As we’ll see through this post, you may do some things alone, but with others out there doing the same, you’re never really alone. Thank you Kayla for reaching out to me. I’m looking forward to our journey together.

The short and long of it…no, my husband didn’t join me on my first round. He did attempt, but after a couple of days, he said it just wasn’t for him. I completed the Whole30 and felt so good that I told EVERYONE about my experience. He decided he wanted to experience what I had, so he joined me Jan 1, 2015 for what turned out to be a Whole120. We started out with 30 days planning to complete at least 90, but continued on to 120 days. I must say, the experience was totally different with him making the changes with me. Much DIFFERENT.

I truly believe that everyone should take the journey at least once, alone. You really learn a lot about yourself during the process. You learn a lot about how you feel about the new foods your body is falling in love with. The first week was a little tough. Remember, your body is addicted to things like sugar, so it has a lot of adjusting to do. After week one, you’re home free. You’ll battle a little food boredom in week 3, but nothing bad. There are groups on FB you can join that share recipes. There are apps you can get for your phone like Nom Nom Paleo (LOVE IT). Not to mention the bookoos of blog posts, Pinterest pins, and Instagram photos.

My advice on encouraging the family to join in is to live your Whole30 experience daily in front of them. I’m the cook in my family, so what mama cooks everybody eats. My family loves food, so there weren’t a lot of things off limits. After 30 days of eating clean (even though not Whole30 for him), my husband benefited from my Whole30 experience. He had lost a little weight, and he was feeling much better. We got off track in December around the holidays, so it became really obvious what we were missing, and he was totally ready to join me.

January 2015, Jeff joined me for the complete Whole30, and now, he is saying things that I was saying a lot. Things like: I can’t believe how much of the grocery store I don’t even shop in. I can’t believe I ever liked ____. I had no idea how many things include sugar that you would NEVER think had sugar in it–like chicken stock. What the what? It’s in practically EVERYTHING, which made me ask the question, if sugar wasn’t in it, would we want to eat it?

June 1st started another official round of Whole30 for us. We ate Whole30ish and then more ish than Whole30, so it became more of Whish. 🙂 I was hurting in my stomach. I was bloated and had unbelievable gas constantly. My stomach STAYED messed up. Now, day 3 of Whole30, all of that is gone! I truly stop and ask myself, why, why, why do I ever eat anything else? I’m still gathering intel on that one. My life is like one big experiment for me. I’m constantly gathering information to see what I can learn about what I am doing or going through. Be sure to pay attention to those things in your life, too. It is invaluable information.

If by chance you have a family that just WILL NOT join you, and you’re not wanting the tough love route of “then cook for yourself,” it’s a challenge, but it isn’t impossible. Cook what you can have. Let them take care of the rest. Share with your friends about it and get at least one of them to be as committed to it as you are or at least as committed to encouraging you. My friend Crystal is that. She doesn’t Whole30, but she knows it is what works best for me, and she encourages me to stick with it or if I’m off plan and not feeling well, she’ll tell me, you know what works for you–do it. Again, there are groups online like the main Whole30 page where there is constantly new information being shared. There are FB groups of individuals supporting each other.

One word of caution: as with any program, there are snobs. Ignore them. There are people who will want to chime in about how you could be eating MORE Whole30 than you are, or how something you picked to eat may not be compliant. BIG DEAL. Don’t get me wrong, it is important for your FIRST Whole30 to be completely compliant. You need that, but after that point, you’ll want to continue. You will feel so good that you’ll refer to the way you eat as Whole30, but it obviously doesn’t have to be compliant. Your research is over at that point. You will add food back that doesn’t bother you or sabotage your behavior.

While Paleo is the foundation of the Whole30 program, I choose to live closer to Whole30 than to Paleo. It’s nice to have a name for it, so I refer to it as my Whole30Life when I am not doing an official round of it.  So the final take aways from this post: Try Whole30 at least once. Be completely compliant. If you choose to Whole30Life, don’t fret the snobs. Find a buddy who supports your goals. If you still find yourself alone, you find me online. I do have an online group you’re welcome to join if you’re looking for a private support group online. You can do it. I had a lot of really strong food addictions and negative behaviors. If I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT.

I’m happy to help. I’ll be your Whole30 consultant. 😉 Do it for you! You won’t be sorry!!

.

 

 

Fresh Start

After having a stomach virus, it is really difficult to start eating again. Everything I think of just makes me feel queasy. I have decided I am going to do another official round of Whole30. I truly believe when you find something that helps you get on track and stay there the longest of any other program, work it!!

freshstart

So I will be working this program for another 30 days. Full on. No off days. My stomach will totally be fixed, and I will be feeling like a million bucks once the end of June gets here.

The first of August will be a complete year since I was first introduced to Whole30. I plan to really evaluate how my nutrition changed over the year. I have an idea of what I am going to find. I’m looking forward to the surprises though. There are always benefits that I didn’t realize were present.

So what about you? Do you need to reboot? What is it that works for you?

I Don’t Miss A Thing

outrunforkI’ve had people tell me that they wouldn’t be able to follow a plan like Whole30. To each person who has said that I have responded, “Yes, you can.” Because we, as a people, have allowed ourselves to be perfectly ok with full-time junk to fuel our body (no judging here–I was really good at it), we feel like we just can’t live without all of the things that we THINK we enjoy.

I remember making all types of decedent desserts. Many people purchased them from me when I was baking from home. I was a really good baker and very creative with sugar, flour, and CHOCOLATE. There were many of them that I would indulge in myself, so yeah, I get it. Are you kidding? You had to find someone to make it for you. I was able to make it for myself, and I did–way too much. I realized this was not a healthy profession for me.

Having a low tolerance to sugar and flour, I didn’t need to be consuming it regularly. I was tired of feeling the way I was feeling, so when I read that Whole30 was only a 30 day program, I said, I CAN DO ANYTHING FOR 30 DAYS. I didn’t know what that was going to mean for my baking business. I thought I would just slowly add things back and be in control of it enough to continue, but Christmas proved that wasn’t the case. I wanted to get healthy and feel proud of my accomplishment. I did just that!

So Margie, why are you still eating Whole30? Well, I’m not eating COMPLETELY Whole30. If this were my 1st Whole30 attempt, there would still be things I would be cutting out (although very little). I guess the short answer is that I don’t see any reason to add any of the things I eliminated back. I don’t miss it, so why add it back? Does it mean I will NEVER eat dairy, rice, flour, sugar, legumes or soy ever again? No, it doesn’t. It means that I will not make a place for those things in my home. It’s like vacationing with family. You love to visit, but you don’t really want to live there.

My home is a nutritionally safe place for my entire family now, and I intend for it to stay that way. Why would I want to change that? If I want ice cream, then we’ll make a choice of what type we want to have and have some, but it won’t be in my freezer at home, nor will it be consumed on a regular basis. What is really great is that even though we have allowed ourselves those choices, we seldom make them. When we do, we’re like, “well that was ok, but it wasn’t really all that great.” Our taste buds have changed, and yours would, too. You’ll give up things you thought you couldn’t live without and add things you never thought you liked. I’m serious!

You never think you can do without something until you do without it. A cell phone. Internet. Cable. Junk food. It’s all the same. Things that we have developed obsessions over. I’m glad that I’ve broken that obsession. The program helps you eliminate “snacks” and “grazing.” I personally needed longer than 30 days, but you may not. Some people do just 30 days and find perfect balance like the maker’s of the program. I’m sure it has a lot to do with just how deep you are in that obsession. I was pretty far.

So, don’t close your mind to the idea. It is by far the simplest program to follow. It is free. I do highly recommend their book because it totally explains why everything does start with food. If you take medication for things like high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, thyroid disorders, hormone imbalances, then you are spending a lot of money to provide medication that allows you to continue eating the way you do. You’ll be surprised how awesome you feel, and how your numbers will find their healthy place, eliminating your need for medication and saving you money.

If you suffer with auto-immune disorders, there have been rave reviews from people who are managing MS and others with this program. Really…30 days…you can do anything for 30 days, right?? A serious, true effort. If it does nothing for you, then hey, there are fast food places all around. Knock yourself out, but don’t knock it until you try it. I really think you are going to be very surprised and will feel like me–why add back what you don’t miss?

I am available to help you. If you live in the Waycross/Blackshear area, I am happy to meet with you to discuss this program further. I will also be offering other services (regardless of your nutrition program) on a fee basis such as meal prep coaching (in your kitchen), healthy shopping (what to buy/what to avoid–this is an in-store service), and development of behavior modification plans (for those who have long standing habits that need to be eliminated). These services can be one-time services or ongoing at your discretion. See me as your partner in the pursuit of improved health. We’re on the same journey! NOTE: Online coaching is also an option for those outside my area. Message me for more information.

The next 30 days will pass regardless–what would you like to have accomplished in that time frame?

Choose To Lose – Revisited

I have written a number of posts about various programs and fitness mentors that I really like. choose to loseAmong those is Choose To Lose – The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution by Chris Powell. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I took a stab at this, but it was right after my first Whole30, and I had a problem adding back carbs without eventually losing it (not weight) over sugar.

Now that I have been over 102 days, Whole30ish and without sugar, I feel like I can take another look at this program. The behavior element is in check now. I don’t feel like I need to push the envelope, or indulge in a full day “cheat” like the program offers you the opportunity to do. I realize this element was added into the program to make it a more sustainable program, but after Whole30, I don’t feel like I need “cheat” meals or cheat days. I do take “choice” meals from time to time, and we do take a “choice” day once a month. No cheating…just good, healthy choices that veer from our norm of Whole30 eating.

I thought I would have to forget the Choose to Lose program for good since I don’t eat grains, legumes or artificial or natural sweeteners, but after taking another pass at reading the nutrition section of the book, I see that you eat meat and fruit for breakfast (or meat and a starchy carb-sweet potato will work well here). Well, I can do the meat and fruit. No problem. On low carb days, it is meat and vegetables, and I do that every day. I feel like I can really do this! Incorporate both my Whole30Life way of eating and carb cycling–at the same time.

You may ask why I am wanting to try this again. Even eating Whole30 for over 100 days, I haven’t experienced weight loss to a degree that I feel I should be. Whole30 reduces your meals to just 3 meals a day. According to Choose to Lose, you need 5 meals a day (2 are snacks of course), to keep your metabolism stoked. I believe that people who are already near their ideal weight can do the 3 meals a day (Whole30) and still lose weight, but years of stubborn weight gain and a sluggish metabolism is just not responding to it. It’s time to try again.

Today, I stopped in at Curves and had her measure me again. For the most part, I am unchanged since January. Even given my awesome eating and recent added movement. It’s time to try something else that will not throw everything that I’ve accomplished to the wind but instead will build upon it.

I plan to incorporate the workout in Choose to Lose as well as the Wii Fit Plus running and yoga. I also accomplished a 1 mile walk for charity under 20 minutes. I am already planning to participate in my second one and I am marking them down on my calendar to become that “benefit walker/runner (eventually)” that you love to hate! 🙂 I actually want to start training, so I can reduce my time. Couch-to-5K has been suggested to help with that, so I will look at adding the app to my phone, so I can have some help in building the number of minutes that I jog instead of walk.

So my health fusion is growing. I’ll get my green back on with my green thickies soon. I do miss them. I need to prepare my sweet potatoes in advance for quick/easy morning use. If you’d like to know more about my health fusion, take a look at the categories section. I have more about it there.

I will also be looking to raise money for my Health Coach certification. It’s $600, which pays for the books, helps and tests. I do have a GoFundMe tab above if you would like to help me make that happen. I would greatly appreciate your help of any amount.

Baby Steps to Eating Healthy

Continuing my series on Transforming in a Fat Prejudiced Society, today’s post is how to make baby steps to eating healthy. In July 2014, I completed my 1st round of Whole30 which is babystepsvery simply eating meat, vegetables and fruit in their most natural state, which means eliminating foods with added ingredients  (see graphic at right–Whole30 Nos).

This experience was awesome, but for me, 30 days wasn’t long enough to keep me on the straight and narrow beyond 4 months. Christmas time, which is difficult for most everyone, totally killed my weight loss for the year, and I realized that sugar was indeed my enemy, along with dairy which is a big time trigger food group for me.

I’m now 90 days into my plan to implement this for the entire year and maybe the rest of my life. Again, I didn’t just wake up for my first baby step and conquer this (although I do believe if you’re really fed up, you may be able to, so don’t restrict yourself. It’s always worth a try! You can do anything for 30 days, right?).

All of that being said, this was a process. I’ve been working on modifying my behavior over the course of years and have been successful doing it. The behavior changes didn’t result in weight loss, but they did result in control over food options. Now, to share how I did that.

It’s really very simple. You are ready for change emotionally. You are ready, right? You’re ready to give the effort? Or are you just wanting change to come without your effort because that only exists in really bad infommercials, and none of that is for sale here. This is for the person who is ready for change. Sick to death of feeling like you do emotionally and physically. Yes, you! You’re ready!! You can do this!!

So the very simple step is to not buy anything in a package. Of course everything comes in packages, so let me clarify. If it went through a “process” to be edible, then don’t buy it. At this phase, if I wanted lasagna, I made it. Macaroni? I made it from scratch. If it is worth having, it is worth you making it yourself. What? You can’t cook?? No excuse. YouTube exists! Blogs exist. You can find step by steps everywhere on the web now. So you have NO excuse for not being able to cook. Don’t want to cook?? Then consider a raw food diet. That is actually a very viable option. Check it out.

This step made shopping very easy. I skipped all of the prepackaged meals and sides. I bought the ingredients necessary to make the items I wanted. My cooking skill improved. There are lots of healthy eating resources out there for free recipes online. People just love sharing what they’ve cooked and how they did it. I personally love the Clean Eating Magazine. The great part about this is almost all of these resources are on FB, too, so you can combine this step along with the previous step of making your environment positive. Add the healthier FB pages and unfollow those that aren’t healthy, so it isn’t in your face how to create a tripe chocolate, oreo cookie, peanut butter, chocolate whopper, dessert because honestly, who needs any one of those items much less all of them in the same dish?!

So, back when I was taking my first step toward healthier eating for me and my family, my shopping buggy was full of items like milk, cheese (although processed–that’s a different process than what I’m referring to) and juice. I skipped all the aisles with crackers and cookies and went straight to the canned fruit and vegetables. I bought fruit in it’s own juice instead of syrup. I bought plain canned vegetables without anything else added other than salt. I then went to the pastas and bought angel hair pasta because it’s quicker to cook. I do prefer the brand that is made with vegetables, so I suggest those. It is a healthier option.

I did eat beans and rice at the time (although I do not now). Choose Basmati or Jasmine rice, they have a lower glycemic impact. Use real butter instead of margarine and eliminate items with added sugar as much as you can begin doing. Of course, the next step is meat. Get it from the meat department. Fresh meat, no added seasonings because they almost always include sugar or brown sugar.

Add your own spices and be careful–many of them have added sugar and flavor boosters that border on addictive. Stick with simple spices that when added together are awesome like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, Thai seasoning free of sugar, there are many options out there. Just be sure to get the unsalted options because you’ll add salt also to make your mix, and you don’t want it to be too much salt.

Finish up in produce and bread. While I don’t eat bread now, I did choose breads higher in grains. They are really good. I was eating the 12-14 whole grain option, and it was really good, but baby step up to that if you need to. Look for bread options that say no high fructose corn syrup and low in sugar.

Have a blast in the produce department. You may be walking into this area for the first time in your life. What? You mean that squash doesn’t come already sliced and frozen when it’s born? 😉 Now don’t get me wrong. Frozen is ok, too. I actually forgot this aisle. This does help in prep time and makes cooking faster. Totally ok as long as it doesn’t come in sauces. Just raw veggies or fruit, frozen.

I do encourage you to get some fresh produce and begin adding it to your meal plan. Potatoes, white and sweet. Squash and zucchini. Spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, onions, everything you need for your salad. I’m from the south, so those are my go to veggies, but there may be other options where you live. Eat what is in season because it will have the most flavor. As far as fruit, have fun with it, but be careful with those that have a higher natural sugar content. They can sabotage your weight loss goals. Eat them in moderation–those are grapes, apples, and really ripe bananas. Eat plenty of citrus and berries. They are lower in fructose. Enjoy nuts in moderation. Eat them in their raw state. You’ll be shocked just how awesome they taste! Be careful for peanuts, many people have allergies to peanuts an don’t even realize it. If you have gut troubles, eliminate beans (not string beans) and peanuts.

So that is your first shopping trip of eliminating processed foods. There are no canned meals or boxed meals in your shopping buggy. You’re reading labels and avoiding anything that has sugar or high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient. Some items may have sugar as an ingredient lower on the list, and that’s ok for this baby step phase with the plan to eventually buy only items free of sugar.

You can totally do this. You’re going to feel very good about yourself and so good about your improved cooking skills. You’re even going to see that you’re having fun. I would love to share more of what I’ve learned about cooking and preparing healthy food, so if there is a place that you would like for me to start, please comment. Let me know what types of food you like, and I will show you how you can do it at home. Hey, I’m all about simple and fast. I don’t do the long elaborate recipes, so I’m not expecting that of you either. So what would you like to see?

Come back soon. I will be writing on the next big phase that you may want to join me on. It’s called #Fit30. I will be writing on it this weekend. Don’t miss it!

Judge My Buggy NOT My Body

Lately, I have been thinking about how society views people who are overweight (obese, morbidly obese). For the largest segment of the population, the view is very superficial. We are measured by what we look like. Not just measured but judged. There are clicks where we won’t fit, stereotypically. There are jobs we won’t be offered, which is legal because being overweight isn’t a protected class. People judge based on the package–not the entire package but basically just the outside.

I want to send the message that just as we shouldn’t judge people based on their past because they could have changed over the years, a person’s body, thin or overweight, shouldn’t be judged. A thin person shouldn’t be assumed to have an eating disorder, and by the same token, it shouldn’t be assumed they eat healthy. The same applies to overweight people. Don’t assume that their current body accurately reflects the level of their discipline. The only way to properly determine the overall nutritional health of a person would be to judge their grocery buggy.

I have been overweight since puberty. I have gained approximately 5 lbs a year over the course of my life. When you do the basic math of junk food calories, it doesn’t take a lot to equal a gain of 5 lbs a year. Given the terrible food choices I’ve made over the years, I think my body has been pretty forgiving to only add 5 lbs a year, but I digress. This fat suit that I have been wearing all these years is much more difficult to remove than it was to put on. The worst part is that although I have maintained a healthy eating lifestyle since July 2014 (excluding Christmas season–I went awol), my body still reflects the bad decisions I have made over the years.

Unless I wear a sign that says, “Don’t Judge My Body Based On My Past Choices”, people will still make assumptions about me that aren’t true. Now, the list of people that I really care what they think is very short, but it is still a societal prejudice that should be broken. I am trying to do my part by writing about it to educate others that a person’s buggy will tell far more about them than their body will. My buggy will tell you that there is ZERO junk in my house, and my family eats very healthy–despite our out of shape bodies.

Everything that goes in my buggy is whole (in their most natural state available in a grocery store without anything added to them and a very short ingredients list of only natural items and no sugar added). Meat, vegetables (and a lot of them), and fruit. I would be happy to be judged by my buggy now. I actually love grocery shopping. It is very empowering to know that I am making healthy decisions. What is unfortunate is that it takes a years of healthy grocery shopping/eating to undo the past as reflected by my body. This is why we shouldn’t judge others based on their body because it is not the most reliable source (even chronic illnesses make the body an unreliable source).

The same is true for people who are thin. It cannot be assumed that someone who is not overweight eats well. Genetics and heredity play far too much into that equation for it to be fair. We tend to use the body as a measurement here and assume that someone who isn’t overweight is healthy. Not necessarily so. Their buggy would tell you a lot, too. It’s just for whatever reason, their body doesn’t show their poor decisions on the outside of their body–yet.

When I visited my doctor after changing my eating, she was extremely pleased with the result of my blood work–all numbers were within normal limits! I had asked her to do a “before” blood panel, so I could chart my progress, and progress it was. The outside of me hasn’t caught up with the healthy changes that I have made in my life, but it will–eventually. Until then, I will accept myself for the healthy woman that I am. I encourage you to look at your buggy and make necessary changes. If you already have or when you do, accept yourself for the healthy person that you are, and help me spread this message by sharing this post with your friends. It will take a while to make a change, but the power of social media can spread the word quickly.

Check out Judge My Buggy on FB and join us in sending the message that the body doesn’t tell the whole story about a person!! Share your buggy with us.