I’ve said many times this month I’d write a food post, what and how I eat, etc. Then I realized that I should wait to see how this month went before committing to put my, what conventional people call: crazy, out there for everyone to see. I’m going to show you WHAT & WHY I eat what I do! This is probably my most wordy post yet, but there will be pics, promise! BEFORE & AFTER pic at the bottom, if that’s all you care about. I will be doing this each month (or I plan to) this year!
(I will say, this works FOR ME. If you think it’s crazy, that’s fine. But, I’m HAPPY with my choices, my body and my athletic performance. I don’t have health problems. I did when I was training for Ironmans on SAD: standard american diet. I think this speaks for itself)
Since 2009, I’ve mostly eaten a Paleo or Primal diet. It’s not a “diet” in the (wrong) definition of a fad way of eating with the goal to lose weight. “Diet” does mean the types of food you habitually eat. Anyway. I do not eat this way to just lose weight (although it usually is a nice side effect). The problem is, during various times of my life since 2009, I’ve fallen off that way of eating. Usually during stressful or major life changes: breaking my femur, leaving the military, moving, moving again, moving again…you get the picture.
So, back in Sept. I went back to my beloved way of eating and started getting myself healthy again. Then in Dec I realized I needed another challenge, thus this 365 project was born. AND I realized I needed to clean up my eating habits, and how I look at food, again.
To coincide with my new 365workouts project, I started the year off right with Whole30. What’s Whole30? You can read about it HERE. The short version is that it’s a nutritional, emotional & habitual reset by eating REAL FOODS: meat, fish, eggs, fruit, healthy oils, some nuts! Think you’re addicted to sugar? This is for you. Addicted to junk food? This is for you! I’ve never been a big junk food, soda, fast food eater, but I do enjoy nice rich meals, decadent desserts and, as a native Texan, my beloved chips and queso on occasion. (swoon)
Since today is the last day, yes I know I’m technically posting this about 12hrs early, I thought it would be good to put it out out here for you to read. As expected, I hit the typical withdrawal (not too bad), the anger phase, then it was smooth-sailing for the rest of the month. The only challenges were my 2 marathons (WHICH, is NOT recommended on Whole30 because you’re resetting your body nutritionally, not focusing on working out/weight loss, as outlined in “It Starts With Food” <—link. BUY it. I have no financial interests in it either!). However, this is my 2nd or 3rd Whole30 and I’m not new to this general way of eating, so I wanted to try it. PLUS, if I want to continue this way of eating (and I do/will), I need to see how I can incorporate this into my Marathon Addiction (Marathon Maniac #674!). AND, if you’ve read the other posts…I executed them in perfect Whole30 form! Major props to myself on that.
Ok, who is ready for food? I’ll take you through some of my meals this month!
(preface: I do not eat meals in any particular order. If I feel like having a salad for breakfast or eggs and bacon for dinner, I eat it)
Typical breakfast: Coffee (no cream or sugar!), leftovers of meat/veggies, eggs: boiled, scrambled, salads. Yes, salads for breakfast! Delicious.
I try to make my food as colorful and varied as possible! No brown processed foods.
What we have here (clockwise): black coffee (coconut milk is allowed in Whole30, but I like my coffee black), 2 fried eggs, morning salad, 2 pieces bacon for ‘dessert’, sautéed kale under 2 eggs w/hot sauce, 2 boiled eggs, bacon, Texas Rio Star Red grapefruit (the best grapefruit!).
Lunch: meat and veggies. Or usually a BIG salad, which is usually meat and veggies.
(What we have here: salad w/sautéed shrimp, shrimp hot pot from a restaurant, ground beef & veggie stuffed poblano peppers, another big salad!)
Sometimes I’ll have 2 smaller meals. A smaller breakfast, then something after a hard CrossFit workout. Sometimes, if I’m traveling, I just have to eat what is available. It might just be a piece of meat.
(sausage, chicken & mashed cinnamon sweet potato, pre-marathon steak & shrimp!, bacon wrapped chicken & sweet potato: both chicken & sweet potatoes were post-CrossFit workout)
MORE SALADS. And my dinner last night! Which, I have to say, was SO good. The sauce was a reduction of the pork juices & marinade I made. Out of this world!
(fresh veggies from the CSA, a 3lb container of salad–you will NOT be hungry after that, and my dinner last night, Day29: sausage stuffed pork loin w/broccoli)
Dinner: more of the same as what my lunch looks like. But, here’s some pics of meat! A pot roast I was searing before putting it into the crock pot and a pork belly about to be cured for homemade bacon, and the finished product!
I guess I could go through the typical Whole30 benefit list. It reads just like all the others you may have read:
- IMPROVED ENERGY! (I wish I could have this flashing!) I rarely have a need for a nap anymore. Sometimes I’ve tried when I know I could use the sleep, but I just can’t. I don’t wake up groggy in the mornings. I *HAVE* to get up and out of bed.
- HAPPY. I’m generally happier. Less mood swings. I don’t think this is 100% directly related to the food I’m putting into my body, but important to the whole: I’m happy to be eating good-for-me real food, I’m seeing benefits & results, I’m energetic = HAPPY!
- Clearer skin. My skin isn’t perfect, and I can’t out-eat genetics, BUT, I’ve minimized my breakouts (ugh, even in my 30’s) and I get compliments that my skin looks “good.” (meaning ‘better’ than it used to be)
- No big cravings. Sometimes I really crave salads. Or boiled eggs. But never deserts.
- Body Change. This is what most people usually want to know/see. But, that’s not what Whole30 is about. Sure, it’s a nice side effect, but this is about being HEALTHY. And for some of us, that means needing to drop a few lbs. I have dropped a few pounds (UPDATE: -7.8lbs on Jan. 31). I know my body has changed. My loose belly is dramatically reduced, my boobs are smaller. Just yesterday, my formerly “skinny” jeans that I had to *SQUEEZE* (and not flattering) into last year, were much looser yesterday! As I instinctively went to puullllll the waistband to button it, I was floored to see and feel that there was an extra inch or two of room where my belly used to be. WHOA. What a great feeling! ………
CUE POSITIVE FEEDBACK LOOP = Happy!
I think I would have lost a few more pounds had I not done 2 marathons this month (much added stress & metabolic disruption), but I still saw progress.
So. There it is. If you have any questions about Whole30, I’d say go to their website for more info, as I am no expert. However, I can share with you MY experiences that I’ve had the last several years!
I didn’t know this blog existed. Now I do.
Well, it’s still pretty new. Obviously, only 30 days into 365. 🙂
Glad you updated yours again!
Excellent post! And great food photos! I’m proud of you for making it the Whole 30 days!!!! 🙂
Thanks Teeeeej! I was a little indifferent before as it wasn’t my first one, but I got excited writing the wrap-up post! I *heart* my food.
Happy for YOU (healthy! happy! yay!)
and Happy for Me (CometHasABlogHappyDanceHoorayHooray) too.
I’m glad you like it!! YAYAYAY!! HI CELESTE!!!
Okay now I went back and read previous posts. Here’s what inspires me:
“SO. There it is. 100% Paleo (even Whole30!) marathon. No added sugars. …. BAM.”
So cool. I took out the part about “no training” because I’m pretty sure that is Comet-specific.
Oh, and sport-specific training isn’t so boring if it’s CrossFit Endurance. Okay quite possibly it would be torture alone, but I’m loving it in a group class. Well, USUALLY loving it. Last week I cried. But that was the only time! So far. Anyway. We’re very to have CFE as a class here; another reason to visit OKC and Koda CrossFit. 🙂
Finally: how is baby Aubrey?
CFE is NOT boring. Ha. You’re right! I’m glad you’re loving it. You had time to cry in the class! There shouldn’t be time! 🙂 So proud of you, my friend.
I knew deep down, it could be done on real food. Maybe not at a hard (where your digestion system starts to protect itself) pace, but at a comfortable pace. BUT, I was actually nervous. I don’t want to have 6hr marathons just to say I eat real food. It went WELL. I know it can be done and as I get in better shape, it can be even better–with real food. Granted, I had to carry a camelback for my baby food & jerky, but it’s so worth it.
Aubrey is doing well. She’s home and everything is going well so far.
I want to have dinner at your house! Great accomplishment and thanks for motivating me through my 30…I’m only 8 days behind you.
Any time! Or, better yet, come when it’s NOT Whole30, too many great restaurants in the Big Sleezy.
You’re doing great!! It really is motivation to keep going, when you can see the results.
Great post Haley, thanks for brightening up my day. What do you normally do differently when you are preparing for a marathon food wise? Do you do anything different afterwards or just get straight back into your “lifestyle”. I prefer lifestyle as diet is seen as a short term lifespan and negative.
Anyway thanks again I will be subscribing from now on.
I’m glad you liked it! I used to, from marathons #1-21, eat a bag of Goldfish, drink a couple Gatorade sports drinks, and HAVE to eat ice cream the night before a race. For these 2 races, I made sweet potato crisps, drank a lot of coconut water the day before. Made sure I just ate enough calories. And I had coconut milk mousse & fruit in the evening instead of ice cream.
After these last 2 races, I didn’t do anything off the lifestyle. I ate Paleo. I had a burger without the bun. Veggies. Salad with meat when I got home.
I’m doing another race this weekend (don’t know how it will go, not prepared). Since it’s out of town, I plan on allowing myself a “cheat” (aka: high carb & cheese!) meal on Sunday. We’ll see how I feel then though.
Awesome! I finished my second round of WHole30 (my husband’s first). I had experienced same results – and for my sugar-addicted husband it was MUCH bigger! I do have a question. We bot are ultrarunners (I have over 100 ultras under my belt with 19 100M finishers). When I went on first round back in October, after my first somewhat lomger and harder run mid-way through the “diet” I had a very apinful sensation developed in legs after I finished 0 not cramps, not tingling, just like lots of tiny knives digging in, stretching, hydrating, refueling, massaging and so on not helping. It lasted about 4-5 hrs. The second run it was milder, and then gone. This round of Whole30 I had it once at very, very small level. However, my husband seems to have had same as I did on first time – very bad. He drives himself nuts wanting to know if everyone had it (endurance athletes that is), and if it will stop for sure (my example is never enough). Since you had run 2 marathons (what is exactly where I am talking long runs of), what feelings if any did you have and what was their progression? Thanks!
Hi, Olga! You name sounded familiar…and I was right! We are both friends with Julie D!! I think you know my friend Jacob Evans too? Anyway…
Humm, now that you mention it, I did have some ‘strange’ feelings in my legs after my first marathon I wrote about (Mobile, AL). It went horribly, but it was SO hot. I would guess it’s some kind of electrolyte issue. Maybe we need more carbs/sugar? Maybe more fruit like bananas, pineapple?
I will say with the jerky & baby food, I felt 100x better on the second marathon than with the Paleo energy bars/balls (recipes from Marks Daily Apple, homemade Lara bars, etc). It was about 5-10 degrees cooler though. I gave it more weight to the weather, but I’m thinking the extra salt from the jerky & the sugars from the baby food helped too. I also ate about 2 oranges at the aid stations.
I don’t have much more to offer here, unfortunately. You have WAYYY more experience than I do. I only have 1 50k under my belt (not paleo) and I did another tough ultra in Dec–that I ended up dropping to the marathon because it was so bad. Also, not paleo.
I’m doing Rocky Raccoon this weekend. I’m not planning on being 100% paleo. I’m bringing a ton of jerky & baby food, but I’m going to eat what I feel my body needs. It’s my first 50m, so I have no expectations. Once I get a couple more, I will probably do what I can to make them 100% paleo like the marathons.
Thanks for response! I was thinking more of a fat metabolism getting turned on. Back long time ago, when I just started running, I had similar (on a much lesser scale) sensation (and I was much fatter too). Sometimes when I am not in best shape weight-wise and am somewhere past half-way in a 100, on a long downhill I can feel my tummy “jiggle” and it also has that acing/burning feel, not as painful, but surely not what cramping feels like.
Anyway, to racing – as I spoke to Timy Olson and Kami Semick and Matt Hart, all Paleo-athelets and highly elite endurance runners, they do take gels at the races along with baby foods and avocado and other choices. I plan on gels every other “hit” with baby food and/or Lara bar. Good luck at Rocky!
Ohh, that is a good theory. That sounds about right. The avocados are a good idea. I like that spacing of gels & real food. That’s a good idea. Don’t make the mistake I did, make sure you have some salt in your homemade bars! 🙂
I need to start following those other Paleo-athletes too!
And oh, you are a Maniac! #101 at your service:) Have fun this Saturday!
#674 here. There should be a lot of us this weekend!
Haha! Olga is everywhere. I’ve never been steered wrong listening to Olga or her husbands advice. 🙂 Kill it at Rocky this weekend!
Yes, I’m liking her idea of alternating real food with gels!
I’m sure Rocky will kill me 🙂
Great recap! And OH MY I LOVE YOUR FOOD. I get so routine and boring. But yours looks yummy! A big WOOHOOOO for you and all that you accomplish! 2 Marathons like a beast! and Whole30! Super envious but not enough to ever want to run that much 😀
Thanks, friend! I love my food. Thankfully, so does my husband! The biggest thing I tell people is eat TONS of fresh veggies and make them as colorful as possible. That always looks (and tastes) delicious.
Well, if you ever want to come to the marathon dark side, let me know and I’ll do one with you!
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Girl…this almost makes me want to do it and you do look great, even if its just about being healthy. I think I would struggle the most with the black coffee and breakfast options that don’t involve whipping up eggs and bacon every day. I will consider and you can provide me with my daily breakfast recommendations;-)
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