Thursday, January 15, 2015

Whole30: The [Not Really] Half-Way Point

So we're technically just about half-way through the Whole30, since we're at the two-week point. But we're not really half-way through because we're planning on at least doing the 10-day reintroduction, if not more. I have some different thoughts on the diet, food, and what to do when the Whole30 ends.


For the reintroduction--which I plan to start immediately after day 30--I want to especially pay attention to a couple different things. The first thing I want to reintroduce is gluten-free grains. I haven't tried much gluten-free food because, when you're used to gluten, the two just don't compare. After being off all grains, I'm interested to see how my body and taste buds respond to gluten-free.

If things go well, I may try to make the shift to living gluten-free as much as possible, but still limiting my grain intake. This is going to be a struggle because, to be honest, I'm a bread lover. Whenever people ask the question, "If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?", I usually answer bread. Or pizza, but that's bread with some other stuff thrown on top. Breaking up my love affair with bread is going to be hard.

I also want to reintroduce certain types of dairy, like cheese and cream in coffee. I had already been off milk for the most part before this Whole30 started. I don't think I have a dairy allergy, but I do think it affects me negatively in a small way. So I want to see what I can handle, and if I should be limiting it to once a week or something like that.

The other thing I'm curious about is legumes. I don't think I have an issue with those, but until I do the reintroduction, it's hard to tell. So this will be a helpful 10-day period as I go through what's okay and what isn't. Overall, my goal after completing the Whole30 is to make changes that will help me continue to eat well.

Post-Reintroduction Food Choices

This week I've been wrestling with different thoughts and desires surrounding food. I've been catching myself wishing for things like pizza, lattes, and candy. The funny thing about the Whole30 is you can feel so strong and resolute in your decision to do it one day, and be totally ready to throw in the towel the next. That's what scares me about when this 30-day period ends, what will I do?

I know it will be very easy for me to slip back into my "old" way of eating. But, I also know that after completing the Whole30 previously, I was able to cut out soft drinks almost permanently. (I say almost because I did allow myself to have them on my honeymoon, but cut them off again after getting back and settling into a routine.) So I know it's possible to permanently cut out a bad food item.

Following the reintroduction and after evaluating the results, one of my plans to eat better is to cut out another food item. I think it's more manageable to make a permanent shift with one item at a time. When I cut out soft drinks, it was hard at first, but after a while I got used to ordering water at restaurants and not buying them at the store. More recently I reached a point where I didn't even like having them anymore, which felt like a huge victory and made abstaining so much easier.

So I think cutting out one item will be an easier way to move forward, and later if I want, I can cut out something else. I also think I may start keeping a food diary of what I'm eating/drinking. This will help me track my eating habits so I can see when my weakest times are, what I tend to go for, and what I need to cut back on week-to-week and month-to-month.

I've also considered the possibility of a "cheat day." I would eat clean on say Monday through Saturday, but on Sundays allow myself to go off that a little. Sundays are usually a hectic day for meals, especially in the evening. So it would be a good day to have less strict rules in place.

Why it Matters

For Whole30-ers looking for a permanent change, I think it's important to consider these things before the Whole30 ends. As soon as the Whole30 is over, if you don't have a plan, it's so easy to get back into your old eating habits. (I can have pizza and cookies now?! Bring them on!!) The point of the Whole30 isn't just to reset your system (which is important), but to also help you see how the foods you're eating affect you, and make important changes based off that information.

As "good" as some foods seem, if they're hurting you inside, sapping your energy, or causing sleepless nights, are they really worth it? The goal should be to live our best life possible, and sometimes that means saying no to things that taste yummy but ultimately hurt you. I hope that all of us Whole30-ers can work through this together, encouraging each other to make good choices when it comes to food.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...