Welcome back in this second half in which I share about my Whole30 challenge journey. You can read part 1 right here.
My overall inflammation seems to be almost gone. And trust me, when something became your new normal, once it changes you notice it easily.
My sleep has improved. I suffer from restless sleep, and usually wake up tired every morning; suffice to say the nights I simply can not sleep before 3 or 4 in the morning. I wake up in less pain (in the past months, I had my husband massaging my legs before being able to function and get up), and way less tired. This is HUGE.
You may know by now that I am a true foodista and that food/cooking has a big place in my life, always have had. Well… after a while of «I eat only because I have to, but would not be mad if I could just skip it», it sparked this curiosity flame all over again. It allows me to explore a new way of looking at what I put in my body and why.
… and more challenging.
I have to say «no» when I don’t know what exactly is inside a meal or a food. Therefore, it is difficult to go eat outside, if not impossible (good for the wallet though). It is part of the good as well: you have to check every.single.thing. you buy. So plan ahead: your trip to the grocery store will take more time because you’ll check every label to be sure there is no sugar, no wheat, no potato or corn starch etc. But you’ll get used to it (and we should check our food labels anyway…), you begin to know what you can and can not get so it becomes easier. Be prepared that frustration may be your companion for a while (if you follow me on social media, you may have read about my meltdown because no bacon was sugar free, and I spent at least 10mn checking every brand in the aisle).
The amount of meat I have to eat to avoid any carence. Since January, I was actually meat free… and can’t wait to go back to it ! But I don’t feel too guilty, it is temporary…
I told you in part 1, but you are not allowed to step up on the scale during the thirty days of the challenge. And for me, used to weight myself twice a day (don’t give me that look, I know I am not the only one doing this stupid thing), changing my routine and resisting to the temptation every morning is not the easiest.
What the hell did I eat…
… if I skip «all the good things» (I am quoting Koala, my 7yo daughter) ? Well, the key is to eat everything that is not processed or as little as possible (and with this, no labels to decode ahah).
My fats of choice are coconut oil, ghee (ie clarified butter) and sometimes very good olive oil.
I bought a spirulizer to make zucchini noodles and still enjoy what feels like pasta. My tribe is a huge pasta eaters, they could eat pasta at every meal for the rest of their lives (me… not so much, except if it is in a japanese dish).
I love cauliflower and will soon finally try the famous «cauli-rice» and will even dare make sushi with it, to see if it can cut the craving.
Almonds and cashews are becoming more and more my best allies as well. It was already, as we use it a lot in vegan cooking but as I want to keep grains out of my diet the more possible, but still want to enjoy «bread» and crêpes and good things like it, I need to find new ways of cooking them.
I usually seasonned a lot with tamari or gluten free soy sauce, but Whole30 equals no soy of any kind. So instead, I use coconut aminos (and no, it does not taste like coconut at all).
A few samples in images:
My favorite breakfast: a banana with blanched almond butter, sprinkled with cinnamon (cinnamon is good for you):
Another breakfast: nut banana porridge (from Against All Grain):
You have to know that salad does.not.have to be boring:
–> Butter lettuce, pan seared coconut shrimp, pineapple salsa, cherry tomatoes, homemade vinaigrette, nutritional yeast
–> Butter lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, cremini mushrooms, bacon bits, homemade vinaigrette, nutritional yeast. Fresh figs on the side.
–> Butter lettuce (yes, it IS my favorite variety…), cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, black olives, masago, cold smoked salmon with pepper. Always with our homemade vinaigrette and a big sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
Some of my other favorites: spaghetti squash, cauliflower, one-pot meals such as ratatouille, hard boiled eggs, smoked salmon (check for sugar first though), avocadoes, anything from coconut, nutritional yeast…
And what about the after Whole30 ?
I think that I will go as much grain-less and sugar-less as possible. I do not want to over stress about it, and will still indulge now and then. However, I know now that both are triggers for my inflammation, and therefore that if I want to stay as healthy and comfortable as I can, I need to keep them away from me. I will keep checking my labels. This is the positive side of all this Paleo frenzy: lots of recipes to pick from…
It also means that I will need to manage to cook even more than I used to. I am okay with that, just need to have things ready and to be prepped. For example take a few hours every Sunday to prep our vegetables for the week, maybe prepare some fruits bowls, cook what can be cooked in advance etc. I know we did it in the past so it is up to us to take this matter into our own hands, maybe have the girls help as well (they need to be educated and to learn to cook, too). My ideal vision would be to go back to a certain vegan diet, on the long term…
I need to continue on the fitness side as well. My husband and I may do the DDP Yoga program together, which I a pretty psyched about. I do the Doctissimo Fitness Master workouts that a friend suggested to me, a different one every night, I hope it will get easier 😉 I need to add muscles to strengthen my body now *and avoid plastic surgery*.
I weighted myself this morning and I have not been that «light» in about a decade (I even checked the starting weight of my first pregnancy, I was 19, and I am now several kilos under this).
I lost about 9kgs this year (this makes ±19 lbs). It takes a huge commitment, I love food, but I know now that it is essential for me to take care of my health at almost 29 years old than when it will be too late. We can all take it in our own hands and find what works best for us. What are the triggers.
I wanted to add something that might sound weird: it is not that easy to make peace with my body. It changed a whole lot in the past 18 months or so. I see bones I actually forgot where even there (well… except those like collarbones that I did not see but felt when a flare-up was about to hit).
Sharing some great resources.
Here are a few links, if you’re interested in knowing more and why not try it yourself:
Whole9 (the Whole30 founders’ website).
The clothes make the girl
Stupid Easy Paleo
Against all grain
Thanks for this wrap up ! I need to heal my relationship with food (and my body) and I’m glad that things feel possible now, at long last. It’s helpful to read what’s been good / easy / challenging, makes it easier to plan a realistic change of my own 🙂
I really wanted it to be an honest view of my experience. I did breakout now and then, thinking «what the hell am I doing ??» but eventually, I am more in my body, I reclaimed what is mine, and would not let myself go back to these 20 kilos I finally were able to shed. For me, first. Totally selfish there 😉