For the month of May I participated in the Whole30 challenge. Essentially no processed foods, no grains, no dairy, no alcohol, no sugars, and no legumes. Now as some of you know I am already no wheat and no dairy (or at least I should be) because of food allergies/sensitivities. The biggest “oh man I don’t know if I can do this” moment for me was no oatmeal and no wine. I mean my breakfast always consisted of oatmeal and eggs. What was I going to do for breakfast? Besides, red wine is supposed to have health benefits (in moderation of course) so what is the harm in a glass after work?
Well I got over that and May 1 I committed to the challenge. I did my meal planning the day before and got all the groceries I needed. Day 1 was fun with meal prep and recipe experiments, I was too busy to miss anything. Overall the challenge was easier than expected. I just added some more veggies to my life (never a bad thing!), had an excuse to eat more avocado, and discovered some new foods and restaurants that I love.
For example, I never knew I loved plantains. But oh man are they now one of my favorite side dishes to pair with spicy foods. The hint of sweet is the perfect counterbalance to something like a jerk chicken. I also discovered a few local restaurants that were Whole30 friendly like Brasa. I will definitely be going back there even off Whole30 as it does not make me sick in normal life!
Now there are some habits I have retained, even throughout the month of June. For example, no oatmeal in the morning anymore. My Whole30, and still standard, breakfast is eggs, avocado, fruit, and a vegetable. I know vegetables at breakfast is odd but there is something fantastic about tomato or cucumber first thing. I do not use coffee creamer anymore either – just unsweetened cashew milk. I also have cut almost all grains out on a regular basis. Rice is now reserved for when I eat out either at a restaurant or at someone’s house.
The pesky sugar habit has crept backed in but I am trying to cut it back out. I do find I feel better when I am not eating it. And as much as it pains me to say this – same with peanut butter. I love the stuff but oh man does it apparently not love me back. I used to have it daily but now I am down to maybe once a week.
In summary, I highly encourage you to try the Whole30 Challenge if you are considering it. I learned a lot about my own eating habits, especially where I am lying to myself about what I do eat. I have also noticed that I deal with cravings and stress eating better. By that I mean not doing it but rather doing something healthier like crafting, walking the dog, or just reading.
Love and lifelong habits,