Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Whole30: Week 3 (March 2)

Coming into Week 3, I'm starting to feel annoyed with the Whole30 again. I'm frustrated with what I'm feeling like are excessive limitations on food even when I feel that I'm able to make good choices without the limitations. I'm also having trouble preparing Whole30 lunches. For breakfast, it's easy to get by with fruit or scrambled eggs. But by lunch time, I want something satisfying to hold me over for a few hours. Most of my dinners are one-meal, eat it when it's prepared kind of dishes. Sausage and sauteed vegetables do not sound very appetizing reheated in a microwave at the office. And it is COLD. Eating raw and cold foods is increasingly frustrating when we have days with single digit temperatures and even colder wind chills.

Whole30 or not, planning dinner is never an issue. I'm home, I can cook anything any way I need to, and the food will be hot, freshly prepared and taste good. Planning lunches are a new challenge that I'm struggling with. Before Whole30, I'd bring dinner leftovers or some other option that doesn't really work with Whole30 (like avocado and muenster on a croissant). The Whole30 dinners I've prepared aren't really good for leftovers or reheating. Some foods that would make sense to have for Whole30 lunches I don't like, aren't practical or I'm just sick of. So that's my slump lately. Temperatures eventually got a little closer to our "normal" winter temperatures, so I had salads a few days - romaine and shredded cabbage with blackberries and balsamic vinegar.    

I really needed to go through the fridge before even thinking of doing any shopping this week to take stock of what extra vegetables, fruit and meat I had. And it's become a disaster so it needed to be reorganized. There are little bits of this and that, and if I don't round things up every now and then, a lot will go to waste. 

Nothing new in this department. I think once you figure out what works for you prep-wise, stick to that. How it works with your schedule, what kind of time you need, the timing to keep whatever you're making fresh until you eat or use it. 

As I've been feeling that this Whole30 experience has been becoming less productive for me, I've been in a bit of an early transition week. I've had some meals that were not Whole30, some meals or entire days that were still completely Whole30, and some that were a mix. I had organic half-and-half in my coffee a couple days, and drank it black the others. 

I think a lot of it has to do with timing, but I'm pretty much over Whole30 at this point. I'm irritated that I'm not eating as much satisfying food. My dinner the other night was terrible, and I ended up throwing about half of it in the trash. I didn't have anything else to make, so I made some baked cheese ravioli. If I wasn't doing Whole30, I can guarantee you I would have had a satisfying and well-rounded meal that would not have ended up in the trash or with me eating junk.

I mentioned that I weighed myself at the end of Week 1, and I lost some weight. Recently, I picked up a morning gig at a local barn. I feed and turn out horses from 7-8:30 a.m. and then go home, get ready and head off to my office job for a full work day. I use a Jawbone Up24 and according to it, I average about 1.5 miles of walking in that 1.5 hours at the stables. That's pretty good! Now that I have built-in exercise every day, I feel like I'm on a lot better path to staying fit. It's always been such a struggle piecing together the necessary parts of my day - work, errands and home obligations (cleaning, laundry, etc.), spending time with my dogs and making sure they get out for some exercise - that I often push off going to the gym in order to make time for other obligations. Seriously if I tried to fit it all in, I'd be eating dinner at 9 every night. No thank you.

I feel confident that the first two weeks of Whole30 opened my eyes to some bad habits that I had developed and got me comfortable with making some changes. I didn't feel like I would be seeing much physical change beyond what I saw in Weeks 1 or 2, and I was never expecting this program to be something that, at the end, had me running out to buy a whole new wardrobe two sizes smaller. So in Week 3, I began modifying the Whole30 to make this experience be what I needed it to be for me.

moving forward
I'm certain that if I ever do Whole30 again, it will not be during the winter. Given my daily schedule, it's so much easier to eat raw or cold foods for breakfast and lunch, and prepare a big, hot dinner. That type of eating would be so much better suited to warm weather (and when a lot more produce is in season) than the arctic winter we're experiencing right now.

Programs are built so that they're effective for as many people as possible. It makes sense to modify something with that kind of basic structure to make it fit personal needs. I am pretty sure I have learned what I needed to learn from Whole30. I have seen changes, lost cravings for the "bad" stuff, and have been reminded that moderation is key and that it takes both healthy eating and exercise to stay healthy. Forgive me if you're a Whole30 purist or if I'm not setting a good example, but I'm going to jump forward and start reintroducing some foods. I look at something like my typical stuffed pepper recipe: the peppers are stuffed with a mix of quinoa cooked in vegetable broth, chicken and vegetables with maybe a tablespoon or less of shredded cheese on top. You can't tell me that's not healthy, so the grain and dairy is that recipe aren't even a question for me.    

So it looks like I'm transitioning back into "normal" eating from here.