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7 Quick Takes Friday ... February 6th

Well, I completed my first Whole30 on Tuesday!  January 5th through February 3rd - 30 days of fruits, veggies, meats, healthy oils, and okay nuts. I've been thinking about what I might write about how it went and here are my thoughts, in no specific order, and with no scientific evidence beside how I feel. If you're new to whole 30 - basically it's a nutritional restart where you thinking differently about food. The No's are: alcohol, sugar (including added sugar in condiments and processed food), grains, gluten, dairy, legumes (including peanuts), and bad oils (ie: I only used coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil). You are also supposed to avoid SWYPO foods, basically changing trigger foods into 'whole 30' foods. The point being to create a new you and a new outlook on food.  So how'd I do?

Well one of the blogs I wrote said not to dive in and cook every night - but I didn't listen to that at all. I cooked like crazy, every night. But I really like to cook and cannot survive on just salads and leftovers. That would have driven me crazy.

So I made some really great meals like steaks, sweet potato hash/fries (maybe a SWYPO food), a frittata, and Kahula Pork (amazing)

A few others were flops - like roasted butternut squash, not really my favorite food - combined with ground beef and scrambled eggs and all that came was a big meal that I had to choke down. Twice (since there were lots of leftovers). There was also the night with roasted sweet potatoes, zucchini, and fried eggs that wasn't really my favorite, if I'm being honest.

Also, this one doesn't look good, but it was a great success. My first attempt at making poached eggs - a huge success. My first attempt at making hollandaise sauce - not so much.

But all in all, I would say it was quite a successful month of cooking - and really great food.

I did, however, make "egg and banana" pancakes one Saturday morning before MG and I went off to Winston Salem for a retreat.  Apparently this is a huge no-no (all the SWYPO talk and such) but I didn't start over after I read the article a few days later. There was no way I was going to go back two weeks when they were just EGG and BANANA people, not at all like pancakes!!!

The other 'cheat' I had was about 3 weeks in I realized that a spice I use a lot on veggies, Citrus Grill, has added sugar.  Once I realized it I didn't use it again, but I had used it 3 or 4 times without noticing. I didn't think I had to check my spices like I checked my condiments for added sugar.  Lesson learned - and even more so because why did this item have added sugar in it? It's a vegetable spice blend! Is sugar a spice? I think not!

Finally, my third 'cheat' was the scale. You are supposed to stay off because weight loss isn't a good Whole 30 goal, but I couldn't. I wasn't feeling great one day and I just had to know if I had lost weight on the plan or not. And I had, so I was even more motivated. So as of today - since Christmas, I've lost 14 pounds. I feel great, my pants fit excellently, and I'm motivated to keep going.  Ideally, me and Fitbit have 21 more to go! I considered this not a 'cheat' since it was more motivating for me, not less motivating. Also I did exercise a bit - did more than 30 Bad Yogi yoga videos over the course of the last month as well.

One of the biggest benefits, besides the weigh loss, has been how much clearer my face has been.  This could be a combination of a few things - the whole 30 (no diary, no sugar), a mask I've been doing more regularly, and the Lemon Essential Oil from Young Living I've been using twice daily. All of those things together got me just a few pimples at that time of the month. Even though they were there, they weren't as painful and didn't last as long. Besides that area of my face (always the same few places) the rest of my skin in quite clear. That makes me one pretty happy lady.

Additionally, at the beginning of my cycle which happened on the 2nd to last day of my Whole 30, I was not defeated by extreme cramps. The first day, severe cramps are my typical norm (not so much I have to stay home, but so much all I want to do is curl up and sleep) - and this month came and went without them. That was a nice change to my life.

Another benefit is also a better understanding of how my body reacts to food. In the past two days I've only had one non-whole 30 food - trying to slowly integrate things back in. I had peanut butter for breakfast yesterday morning and felt fine throughout the day. But yesterday evening I could tell that I felt a little different than usual. It could be the PB and my body or it could be stress. Either way, tonight MG and I are going to Cabo Fish Taco for dinner, so that will be added a few things in: corn, dairy, gluten (if I get their pasta side dish), and probably sugar. I'll see how it goes after that - and then on Saturday is our second First Saturday dinner and we're having pizza - so another day of integration.

Speaking of integration, I'm a little nervous. Setting this baseline, kicking my sugar addiction (hopefully), going an entire month without any gluten or grains, giving up coffee (which I haven't taken back up yet), has been so great for discipline, my cooking habits, not being lazy, making sure I eat something for breakfast. I'm worried about back sliding - it would almost be easier to stay like this forever, than backslide into all of my old habits. That's not realistic for me, nor is it something I really want to do, but I like the way my pants fit, for instance - and don't want them to be so tight again. Frankly, I really want to buy new ones (or at least be able to wear all of the smaller ones MG gave me a while ago that I haven't been able to wear). So keeping an eye open for eating in moderation, having just a few bites of a sweet to satisfy the craving rather than binge eating a bunch of cookies, is my goal. I am praying that it is something that works for me. Also that adding these foods back in doesn't wreak havoc on my body.

So where will I go from here? At home, I will probably stick to mostly Whole 30 type eating (with a few egg/banana pancakes thrown in). I'm going to try to stick with salads for lunch (which I did almost every single day of my Whole 30) - this way I am always getting at least a few servings of vegetables in each day. Whether in or out, sweets are going to be a special treat not a regular occurrence. So when out with friends, for someone's birthday, for my birthday (just than 5 weeks from now, EEK!), and such - but to have around the house, not so much. I'm also going to try to avoid added sugar in things that don't need sugar as much as possible - like the Citrus Grill spice - might replace that with something else.

I went out to eat twice during the month - the first time, no big deal - the second was at Eez's in Birkdale, one of my favorite restaurants - and it was hard to find something on the menu I could eat - but I did - and honestly, I might get the same thing again because it was that good. It was from their stir-fry bar, so two bowls of veggies (since I didn't have noddles or rice) in Yellow Curry sauce with sesame crusted seared tuna on top - pretty amazing! But now, off of whole 30, out with friends, I won't be so scrupulous with the menu - just mindful of what I'm getting and the quantities.

Overall, it was a great month, I'm glad I did it and think it has made a good impact on my relationship with food and with my body. I'm also glad it's over and I can go back to drinking wine! If you're interested in knowing more, send along your questions in the comment box, I'll do my best to answer or encourage you to do your own Whole 30!

What does a lovely parishioner bring me today - day 33??

The book that should have started it all!
I'm going to get reading to see if anything in particular stands out now that I've had the experience! Look for a review in a few months to see how the 'after Whole30' has stayed effective!

For more Quickity, Quick Takes, check out the gang with Kelly over at This Ain't the Lyceum!
See you next week, or stop by this week for more musings and antics!


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