|... and pickles!|
Back in June I decided to do the Whole 30 program. I wasn't trying to lose weight but mostly press the restart button on my eating habits, so to speak. I hadn't been going crazy with the sweets, but I wasn't being careful about my sugar intake and I wanted (still want) to keep my insulin levels at bay. I am not diabetic, but my fertility issue has to do with excess insulin, and if we're going to be blessed with another baby in the future, I am to get back on track.
I was doomed from the beginning. With Father's Day in the middle of the month, I went into the whole thing allowing myself one "cheat" that day to celebrate. I had a small piece of cake, and then went back on track. But it was around that time (after 2 weeks on the program) that I started getting pretty annoyed that I wasn't feeling any different. Maybe it had to do with not exercising (if you don't count running after a toddler exercising -- I really don't). I thought, with all this healthy food, why don't I feel amazing? Other than the no exercise issue, the one theory I had was that since I was generally very good at eating healthy meals before starting the program and most of the foods I was cooking were recipes from my normal repertoire, there wasn't a vast enough change in my diet to make a marked difference in my life. I am sure there was plenty of good going on inside, I just didn't notice it. By day 26 or so, I had cheated again, eating a burger while out with my family. By day 28, I had quit.
Even though I have proven to myself in the past that I have very strong willpower when it comes to food, why didn't I have enough discipline to finish this program? Well, I think it has do with lots of things. Firstly, motivation. When I gave up soy/dairy/gluten/sugar/alcohol/caffeine for five months, I was motivated by the idea of conceiving a baby. Now that I have a child, that motivation is not as strong. Also, I went into the program thinking it was a sort of cleanse and that I would more or less keep up the discipline even after the program ended, so it really felt like there was no end in sight.
The whole program just felt too restrictive. No beans? I mean, that month was so EXPENSIVE because of all the meat. I think a couple of bean-based vegetarian meals per week are harmless. Also, on my get-pregnant diet, I was "allowed" gluten-free grains and seeds like oatmeal, quinoa, and kasha. Those grains add bulk and variety to meals, and to not have them during Whole 30 really messed with me. Not that I missed those foods, but I just felt so, well, restricted. I think gluten-free grains are fine in moderation. I think the same could be said for lots of foods.
I don't eat cake, donuts, bread, or other baked goods every day. Maybe once a week. I do, however, eat the frozen yogurt bars from Costco almost every day, so that's going to have to stop. I will go back to no soy/dairy/gluten/sugar/alcohol/caffeine starting September 1, so I will have some restrictions for sure, but just knowing that beans, regular potatoes, and oatmeal is OK makes me at peace with it all. ;)
Despite quitting Whole 30 at the end of June, we've still been enjoying some delicious, fresh, unprocessed or minimally-processed meals with a focus on seasonal produce. Here are some of our no-cook or minimally-cooked lunch and dinner favorites on rotation this summer: Gazpacho, Greek salad with grilled chicken, and pinto bean corn tostadas topped with sauteed cabbage and onion. For breakfast we've enjoyed Birchermuesli, bacon and sweet potato hash (I took this recipe and swapped out the apples for sweet peppers, but come fall I will use apples again), and celery root "hash browns." As for dessert, we've enjoyed lots of cantaloupe, honeydew, and piel de sapo melon! Yum!