I’ve made it through the first two weeks of the Whole30, and I thought I’d share my results. First, though, a little background. I decided to try this for a few reasons, but the biggest reasons were to see if this eating plan could increase my energy levels and improve my mental clarity. I’m planning on starting my fifth novel in November, after all my October haunting Halloween-related events are over, and since November is also what’s known to writers as “Nanowrimo”, or National Novel Writing Month, that will serve as extra incentive. But the idea is to complete a certain amount of words each day toward the manuscript, and in addition to a good idea, which I have, that takes—yep, you guessed it—energy and mental focus.
I can say with certainty that I feel better at this point. The beginning can be hard, I won’t lie. I tried this once before, with a bunch of women at the gym where I teach fitness classes, and I barely made it through the 7 days of our goal. Really, you have to push past that initial shock to your body (sometimes referred to as “carb flu”) in order to reap the benefits of clean eating. The book, It Starts With Food, explains it very well, and I highly recommend reading it first if you’re going to try Whole30. Not only does it clearly explain WHY you need to leave certain foods out, it does so with humor and just enough science to drive the point home.
So far, the hardest thing for me to give up has been diet soda. Why not wine, you ask? Well, because, I have to admit I’ve had a glass here and there. I know, I know…that’s cheating. But I also know myself—in fact, I’ve lived with myself for 47 years. And I knew if I said absolutely no wine for 30 days I might just not try eating clean at all. So I’ve stayed away from it for the most part, but when I indulged, I did so making sure I did not fall into one of the main reasons it’s banned: alcohol can impair your willpower, thus opening the door for bad food choices. I have not let that happen. And I decided allowing myself one glass was better than setting out a glass of 100% grape juice and waiting for it to accidentally ferment, which may have been my back-up plan.
So, what have been my “must-haves” during these two weeks? Sweet potatoes with ghee (clarified butter) is almost like a dessert for someone like me, who usually avoids carbs like the plague. Certain flavors of Larabars are allowed, so if I DO feel like I need something sweet, it’s either fruit or one of those. A spoonful of almond butter is a filling treat. And I love dipping veggies into homemade guacamole.
This plan has also made me more cognizant of what’s in our food, and I’ve enjoyed expanding my repertoire of recipes to make healthy dinners that even my two teenage boys like. Providing I make it through another week, I’ll post some of my favorite new recipes. I might even try to make homemade mayonnaise, which my neighbor assures me is easy. I should probably video this for the comedic value alone. And I would love some more support for this journey, so if you’re currently doing the Whole30, or you’ve done it in the past, or you’re considering it, or you’re interested to see if I cut off any fingers while making homemade condiments, comment below and share your thoughts!