Monday, February 23, 2015

Whole30: Week 2

So the good news is, I survived Week 1. Some moments I felt like I was barely hanging on. And I'll be honest...there were some cheats early on in Week 2. They came in the form of a handful of pretzels, a bagel with butter, a croissant, and sauteed broccoli with half a serving of white rice from the Chinese restaurant. And I stepped on the scale once. Do I think these things ruined the Whole30 experience for me? Not at all. They might have saved it. I was feeling like shit. Headaches, tired, frustrated with food. It's not behavior worthy of applause, but eating a bite of "bad" food here and there took the edge off and helped me refocus. Also, when something you've gotten your guts used to not having comes back in the picture in full force, you'll probably pay for it. Lesson learned, and a reminder to read about reintroducing foods when I get to the last week of Whole30.

I don't deal well with headaches. Migraines are an occasional issue for me, and I don't like feeling like shit. I understand that this is part of the body's adjustment to the absence of crap food, but suffering through the blah-ness and headaches for so long doesn't seem super healthy to me. If I eat a little bit of a "no" food and make it through the week feeling healthy overall, I'm okay with that. I guess what I'm saying is it's a means to an end. If I had to classify the amount of Whole30 foods I'm eating vs those that are not, it's 95% or more Whole30 compliant. Some of it is purely by innocent mistake. The coconut almond milk I bought has carageenan in it, and the organic vegetable Better Than Bouillon paste I use has a tiny bit of cane sugar and soy sauce in it. Those are such minute infractions and amounts of the "bad" substances compared to something like binge eating junk food.

So how did I plan for this week with all those things considered? Before the end of Week 1, I began planning dinner and lunches for Week 2. So the intention of going full Whole30 is there. I'll go along with the menu and take it one day at a time.  

I did some late week restocking of produce during Week 1, so I had quite a bit left over in the fridge. I made one trip to the co-op and another trip to the regular grocery store and got myself settled for the week. A shopping list is your best friend in order to get in and out of the store with everything you need and also not let yourself wander too far into the danger zone.

Somehow, I feel that I was worse as prepping my meals during Week 2. Maybe because the newness wore off or I was a little less organized?

One of my new favorite side dishes is roasted cauliflower. I felt like I was eating potatoes too often during the first week, and I used to think of potatoes as not a particularly healthy food, so it didn't make sense to me to be eating them so much during a month of exceptionally healthy eating. I like to mix the cauliflower up in a little olive oil, sea salt and garlic, then spread it out on a pan and roast it in the oven for 15 minutes or so at 450 degrees. This week I've also made some new dishes and reworked some normal favorites to work for Whole30. A new dish that was crazy, amazing good were chicken fajitas. An old favorite I reworked is pulled pork (so that the seasonings/roasting juices were okay by Whole30 standards).

I feel like it was at some point toward the end of Week 2 that something finally sunk in: there are so many more flavors than just sweet or salty. Under normal circumstances, I'm fine with both when not overdone, but I think foods tend to be prepared with an overdose of one of these two flavors. There are so many herbs and spices and seasonings to use to create all kinds of savory flavors, which is what you tend to get a lot of with Whole30. That, or no extra flavor at all  - just the pure food flavors of foods like raw veggies and fruit, or simple whole food recipes like guacamole. Just think about all the different ways you can season and prepare chicken, for example. Whole30 is a great exercise in expanding your palette, trying new flavors and learning to appreciate the true flavors of everyday foods that might ordinarily be masked by unnecessary additives.

moving forward
While cheats aren't great, they're surprisingly helping me learn a lot about my eating habits. Things I never really paid attention to before. What was my go-to cheat? Not candy. Not ice cream. Carbs. Definitely something to watch out for when my Whole30 comes to an end. It was also clear to me that if I had something "junky" (one day I brought a handful of multigrain tortilla chips with lunch when I was in a rush...ugh, poor planning/prepping), I'll want to eat it before my healthy food. The easiest solution here is to not have the bad food, which is something to think about in a couple weeks.

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