I took off work beginning the Friday after Christmas and only just returned yesterday. If Mondays are rough, Mondays after being off for 10 days are hell.
As if returning to the daily grind of work wasn’t enough, I came up with the bright idea of doing The Whole30 Challenge starting yesterday. I read about it last year and immediately dismissed it when I got to the part about giving up bread and beans.
Um. Yeah. This female right here eats toast for breakfast. Two slices of Nature's Own Honey Wheat. With a schmear of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light fake processed crap on top. Lunch is usually a bean burrito. Half the time we have ranch style or black beans with dinner, too. And if we don’t, we usually have some sort of potato or rice instead. My husband requires rice with his fish. If you make fish, that man is seriously confused if no rice arrives at the table. It’s not a question of whether or not there is rice. He’s just trying to locate it because obviously the rice is somewhere. It took me roughly 6 years of marriage to master that.
On the list of things you can’t have on the Whole30 are grains, legumes (a fancy word for beans), potatoes, dairy, peanuts and sugar. You’d be amazed what that eliminates from your life. Bread, beans, peanut butter, corn, alcohol, rice, pasta, french fries, baked potatoes and anything with sugar in it which is pretty much everything that tastes yummy and calls my name. No worries though. You get all the veggies you want until you're full. And doesn’t that make up for all the Kit Kat bars and bread you’ll be missing out on? Of course it does!
The beans and the bread will be the 2 hardest for me though. Not eating an entire bowl of grapes while watching crappy reality television won’t be fun either. Much like my Friday night margarita with dinner will be missed. But it's the bread and beans that are my soulmates. Seriously. They were go to foods that left me feeling full on my health kick. Never underestimate the power of a food you like that leaves you feeling full. You go to that well over and over and over again to stay the course when the going gets rough.
So at first glance, Whole30 seemed completely out of the question for me. Just inconceivable. Then I finished reading all the books I had while we were traveling over New Years so then I downloaded the Kindle app for my phone. And then I decided to read something a little educational-ish on it since it felt strange reading on my phone and the words seemed so small and I just didn’t think I could get into a novel on it. Plus we were traveling and I was exhausted and preparing to get up the next morning at the crack of dawn to do more traveling and get more exhausted and knew with the traveling I’d be stopping and starting with the book a lot and in my head that works better for educational-ish type books.
Lately all my educational-ish reading has been running related. This female right here has been eating anything and everything the further I get in my marathon training. Seriously. Don’t plan to lose weight while marathon training. You will be a hungry wench and need to eat. Then I traveled and I’m physically incapable of not inhaling everything I see when I’m traveling. Two hours after we leave the house I convince myself I’m so exhausted from the stress of travel that I require a Dr. Pepper. My jeans are a little snugger to show for it, too. So my eating habits could use some work.
I figured I was overdue for some food related learning and dare I hope food related improvement. I was also due for doing something that felt hard and took me out of my comfort zone. Whole30 popped into my head. My husband said he’d do it with me. I downloaded It Starts with Food. And that was that.
the book. Little did he know I’d finish it the next day.
And if you’re going to announce you’re starting Whole30, you should definitely compound your poor food choices by living it up. So we did Cane's fried chicken strips for dinner with a vat of Dr. Pepper, donuts for breakfast the next morning and a Kit Kat while grocery shopping for your Whole30 supplies. King size Kit Kat I might add. Naturally. I could pretend I shared it with my daughter but I only gave her 1 bar. Nice.
So me and my Jelly Belly are ready for some changes to my eating habits is what I’m saying. It’s overdue. Dramatic and intimidating. But overdue and most likely helpful to my pants size.
Once my husband realized all the off limits foods, he tried backing out the night before we started. Some nonsense about needing carbs. I pretended we were running together and I was him ready to sprint off into the distance while I’m lagging behind panting and dying. Suck it up, buttercup.
I will seriously kill him if he quits and leaves me alone in the carb free hell.
Less than 8 hours after we started, I was ready to cut someone for some bread. A stranger preferably. But give it some time. I’m sure I’ll be ready to cut an acquaintance soon.
Everything is hard when you first start. That's what I kept telling myself. When I fall down the Dr. Pepper well and start drinking it consistently again, it always requires serious will power to quit again. Like headaches and thinking about it all the time hard. During the headache and jonesing for snacks and carbs yesterday, I tried hard to remind myself it will get easier. It has to. I just need to acclimate. Hopefully. Please say it will be so. Please.
10 Things I've learned in the first 24 hours of Whole30:
1. I really like bread and there is such thing as bread withdrawal.
2. I was initially worried about giving up butter because this girl likes her some butter. Then I realized without bread, my need for butter significantly went down. It all comes back to the bread, baby.
3. My regular grocery store doesn’t stock all the fancy schmancy ingredients the Whole30 websites recommend and list in recipes.
4. The fancy schmancy ingredients the Whole30 websites recommend and uses in recipes are way more expensive than the cheap crap we normally buy. Sunday night, I paid $6.99 for a pound of grass fed no hormone beef. No really. $6.99. Holy crap that’s some gold plated meat. Then I headed over to the egg aisle and paid $2.99 for a dozen. And I bought 3 dozen and almost hurled. I also carried them to the car more protectively than any other grocery item I’ve ever bought. I also protected them from falling green bean cans on the way home as if they were 200 year old fine china. Because the only thing worse than paying $2.99 for a dozen eggs would be breaking them on the way home. Because then I really would have to hurl. I found the grocery shopping experience stressful. I don’t know that I’m built for that much stress in the Kroger egg aisle. I'm trying to comfort myself by thinking about all the money I'll be saving not buying pasta and rice except they are cheap as hell so it's not working.
5. It takes a long time to eat that much meat and veggies and each meal. I had the equivalent of a taco salad for lunch along with some green beans and my jaw was seriously getting tired of chewing all the lettuce. That’s after having three million raw carrots with my breakfast. My meals have gone from 10 minutes of actual eating to like 30 just based on the volume of veggies and all the chewing. That’s wacky.
6. Raw carrots with breakfast wasn’t half bad though. I ate them in the car on the way to work. They’re easy to eat one handed while driving and you do so much chewing it’s hard not to feel full when you’re done. Before that I also had eggs and force fed myself half an avocado in my continuing quest to convince myself I like them.
7. My husband is a magician with asparagus, a giant fry pan and some olive oil. Dinner was great. We also inhaled salmon and salad with the asparagus. So glad he’s in this with me because I’m above average inept in the kitchen.
8. Apparently I’m going to need to learn to like eating avocados. I’ve never been a big avocado girl but I’m supposed to have some fat at each meal and if one more website tells me to have ½ an avocado raw I’m going to scream. I successful got one down. I’m trying to remind myself about feeding babies new foods and how you have to introduce something a lot before they might decide they like it.
9. I don’t know how to successfully cut up an avocado without jacking it up. Gonna need to Google that. Will also be googling how to cook them in case I might like cooked avocado better.
10. My kids are convinced all the talk about healthy eating going on in our house will mean less Pop Tarts, Oreos and potato chips for them. Poor things. They have no idea what they’re in for.