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!