This should be titled “How I learned to eat my words since I can’t eat much of anything else”.
All kidding aside, I honestly can’t believe how much I liked the first 15 days of Whole 30. I had 2 really rough days, but other than that, it hasn’t been as horrible as I expected. After these days, I’ve discovered a few things.
1. I feel like the sugar addiction is much more than a calorie thing. Since cutting out sugar, so many things seems to just work better. My skin is clear (after a few days of shock and awe and scales). The overall Michelin man look is diminishing each day. My mind seems more clear, but also more…steady? Not so erratic in ups and downs. My 3pm grumpiness is gone. My 24 hour snark, however, can’t be denied.
2. I realize how important it is it take control of planning my meals for work. I have taken my own food for 10 days. That has to be a record. At least once, sometimes twice a week, I wouldn’t pack my lunch the night before and then I would rush out the door thinking I would grab some fruit or potatoes or rice since the school cafeteria cooks do not add gluten to them. Now that I make sure I have something in the fridge for me to take, I’m eating so much better.
3. I do not need to eat every 3 hours. Since I’m eating protein and vegetable carbs, I do not get hungry until 5 or so hours between meals. I have no idea what my calorie intake is. I plan to keep up with that for a few days now that I have established a routine with consistent meals. I eat before work or CrossFit and immediately after CF. Basically, I divide my breakfast into 2 parts. Then we eat lunch at 11:00. Some days, I got hungry at 3 and would eat nuts or fruit. Then dinner around 6-7. Packing for breakfast, lunch, and 1 snack is a lot easier. Also, I’m not taking a lot of different options depending on what I “might” be craving. I now crave food. Salty, crunchy, cold, sweet (fruit), it doesn’t matter. I reach in my bag and eat whatever I pull out.
4. I know what it feels like to be genuinely hungry, not bored or moody or emotional with cravings. When my stomach actually growls, I’m ready to eat. I eat to satisfaction and I’m done. I don’t eat until stuffed. Protein and vegetables satisfy me quicker, before my stomach is past the point of too full. I am really interested in the theory of satiety and look forward to researching that.
5. I can actually taste food. Without disguising everything with sugar, I can taste a salad and all the intricate flavors. I love a cool cucumber without the ranch dressing. It really tastes good! I have been trying to monitor my fruit but WOW, some things are almost too sweet now. A few days ago, I honestly could not understand how people ate fruit for something sweet. The only thing sweet to me was pineapple. Now, a gala apple gives me goosebumps. Greens, carrots, spices, even snow peas have such distinct flavors. I think that’s amazing to a sugar addict like myself.
6. I love to cook, but I REALLY love exploring and experimenting with new foods, new combinations. Cooking and sitting down to dinner is so much more than just a chore. It’s a kind of therapy, a methodical way to wind down. I find great pleasure in looking around and seeing real healthy food with minimal processing just waiting for me to create something good and filling.
7. If I REALLY want to do something, I have all the willpower in the world. All it took was for me to tell myself I wasn’t going to cheat, especially with sugar. After I made it through the first day, I couldn’t cheat on the second day and ruin my efforts. After 2 days of no sugar, headaches, whining, etc, I wasn’t about to blow it on the 3rd day. By the time the days 5 and 6 were over, I felt like I was home free. 6 days was all it took to undo years of sugar addiction. Do I still get cravings? Sometimes. They are fleeting and situational. I don’t feel the physical draw to a coke or pie. I can deal with those temporary cravings.
These are just a few things I’ve noticed in the past 15 days. I’m looking forward to the next 15!
Lunch: chicken soup, orange
Dinner: Salmon, asparagus with toasted pecans, sweet potatoes