Foodie Friday: Whole 30 Ramblings

When I was posting regularly, I used to try to post something about food on Fridays – recipes, or for awhile I was obsessed with those meal delivery services and reviewed a bunch of those. My most recent food obsession? Whole 30.

I’ve been “paleo-ish” for the past few years, and it seems to work really well for me. The “ish” comes from the part of the week where I still mow like four slices of pizza on Friday nights and eat ice cream on the weekends. I like how I feel and look when I do the Paleo thing, but let’s be real: life is too short to completely cut out pizza. And ice cream. And icing. And fries. (I think I might actually be a twelve year old trapped inside the body of a 34 year old). Besides, I’ve never really been one for labels so I’m certainly not about to label my diet.

After the Atlantic Pole Championships and Boston last year, I “opened the trap”. Meaning I spent the rest of April and all of May living on junk food- specifically icing (so many work parties with cake, so little time) – and whatever else I could get my hands on. The real low point for me was the last day of school. I host a party each year that my friends and I affectionally call “Teacherpalooza”, and last year was a rough school year. I drank all of the drinks and like any classy woman would do, I ended up puking in the arborvitaes that line my driveway (I know better than to mix all of the alcohols but I just couldn’t contain my excitement that the year was finally OVER). I woke up the next day and was ready for a reset. Enter Whole 30.

There are lots of little rules, but the basis behind Whole 30 is that you cut out all sugar, dairy,  alcohol and anything processed for 30 days. Even though my end of the school year shenanigans would lead you to believe that I regularly enjoy adult beverages, I don’t drink that often. So the no alcohol thing was the least of my worries. I have a big sweet tooth and the no sugar thing seemed insane. I love my pizza Fridays and all of the cheese on everything so no dairy? Eeek.

I went to Whole Foods to try to find things I could eat. Even going to Whole Foods proved to be challenging – I learned just how many things have sugar in them – including bacon, mayo, etc. I mean, I knew these things before but when you are Paleo, you can eat things like coconut sugar and maple syrup and honey so you sort of forget. But I was determined to give this a shot and detox myself from the diet of sugar and grease that I’d adopted over the past month.

After the first week, I realized I didn’t crave anything. At first, I would have probably killed for a brownie or some goat cheese, or a slice of pizza. But once I had a full week down, I was determined to last the entire 30 days and see how it went. I went to parties (including the Fourth of July) and didn’t cheat. I didn’t go out to eat too often for lack of options, but when I did, I stayed true to the plan.

At the end, I was actually super sad it was over! I really only lost about two or three pounds doing it, but I LOVED how I felt. I had so much energy, and I didn’t crave sugar. I learned how to perfectly poach an egg without any special tools, and I found out that unsweetened, dried organic mangos might be better than candy (well…that might be taking things too far). Homemade may is super easy, and I could probably eat it right out of the mason jar with a spoon – and I don’t like regular mayo. Ghee is easy to make and is basically brown butter, but with the milk solids removed. I could probably put that on just about anything (also would be great on a spoon). I found out that grain free granola and hot cereal is a thing (Wildway is an amazing brand!). I absolutely LOVE EGGPLANT in any capacity, and here I thought I only liked Eggplant Parm and my Eggplant Lasagna.

When it was all over, I decided that I would stick with the Whole 30 thing from Monday-Friday, and cheat on the weekends. Well, Monday-Friday afternoons. One thing I never stopped missing the entire time was my Friday night pizza fix. I have to say, this absolutely works for me and has really helped to control my sweet tooth. I’m running half what I was when I was training for Boston, but somehow hit my target race weight (after the strict 30 days was over, not during) – and I wasn’t even tracking much in Fitness Pal like I did religiously for years! It’s funny because with pole becoming my primary exercise, I think my goal race weight looks totally different on my frame.

My first round of Whole 30 ended back in July, and I have been able to maintain my diet and weight since then. I plan to do another full round with no cheating after the holidays, another time of year where I like to “open up the trap”. It was a huge commitment to stick to the plan without cheating, and I liked the challenge. I still see the benefits by applying the rules to my diet during the week and letting loose on the weekends. And really, doing that way is really my style – now I can say I’m “Whole 30-ish”.

Have you ever done a round of Whole 30? Do you ever “open the trap”? What’s your junk food weakness?

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17 Replies to “Foodie Friday: Whole 30 Ramblings”

  1. I swear your second paragraph is my identical Friday evening!! 12 year old here too. 😉 I have not tried Whole 30. I’ve heard of it but really am not great at sticking to any kind of plan. Rarely. Now a marathon training plan I do nicely with! But, you’ve intrigued me…how do you go about starting Whole30? Do you have to purchase some kind of book?

  2. While I’ve heard great things about Whole30, I simply can’t get behind the idea of eliminating entire food groups. #cheeseislife 😉 Right now, I’m avoiding dessert and alcohol Monday-Thursday, which really helps, but doesn’t leave me feeling deprived.

    1. I am with you #cheeseislife #sugarislife hahahaha! The cheese I think I could hang on to and it wouldn’t be a bad addition to my diet but dude. The sugar thing. Sugar addiction is real. Once I cut it out, zero cravings!! It is really hard to cut out entire food groups for sure and I could certainly not do it 100% of the time. Because, #cheeseislife and I live for my Pizza Fridays 🙂

  3. I used to be addicted to exercise and had an eating disorder where I OBSESSED about calories. It was horrible. I never thought I’d be able to get to the place where I am now where I don’t count calories or macros. So for me, I can’t look at things as “opening the trap” you know what I mean? I just try to eat intuitively. Yes, sometimes that means eating too many cookies. But I don’t obsess over it anymore if that makes sense. I don’t weight myself. As long as my clothes fit, I am fine. Not obsessing about that has totally changed my life and it is one of the things I am most proud of because girl, I was in a HOLE.

    1. I think it is so important to be in tune with what works not only for your body physically, but also mentally! I have several friends who can’t even buy a step tracker because they used to be so obsessed with tracking every single thing that it led to an eating disorder. It’s tricky. I like to try to eat as healthy as possible mostly because it makes me feel good and my body feels better, but I definitely need my weekends where I can let loose a little or I’d probably run the risk of being too obsessive myself!!

  4. I like your approach to this. I’m like Rae and am not a fan of diets and eliminating foods. However, I like your balance. Pizza is everything and I am like you and eat 4 (sometimes more) servings at once. I love my wine (hello I can have that again!) and desserts. But creating a balance that works for you is awesome. Most of us could stand to eliminate a large portion of sugar from our diets and this is a great way to go. BTW, my husband swears that teachers drink more than most people and that anyone who works with children should drink. It truly is essential. My parents were both teachers and there were some epic end of the year parties and stories to go with them. So I say, way to go! Also, I notice that most runners also really enjoy their alcohol….so you really just have to cover those bases!

    1. Haha! I think teachers do drink more than most people! I might be the exception in that I don’t drink regularly. But seriously, pizza is life and I need to know that I can stuff my face with as many slices as I want come Friday night! I really benefit from cutting down on my weekly sugar intake because I just love it and tend to really overdo it in that department!

  5. My weakness is definitely sweets. I love ice cream, brownies, soft chocolate chip cookies, and red velvet cake. I would go crazy with the end of school parties just like you did because frosting is life! Alcohol, I can take or leave… I only drink socially and try not to do that but so many runners here drink after running and it makes it tough to abstain even if I really shouldn’t drink.

    I’ve never tried Whole 30 or paleo because I don’t really eat meat besides seafood, so I’m not even sure HOW I would cut out so many items! It just seems time consuming and I don’t have weight problems, but sometimes I do feel sluggish and bet it would make me feel better to cut out sweets or limit them to a once or twice a week.

    1. Seriously icing really is life. There was this one cake that our coworker got from the Cake Boss, and the icing was to die for. It was so rich that I would mow it down and feel nauseous after because of how rich it was, but I would do it again the next day (until it was gone – we had a HUGE sheet cake). It was out of control!!!

  6. Seeing your update made me so excited and I’ve been meaning to text you. My weakness is sweets and I have a huge sweet tooth.

    I am glad Whole30 worked well for you and I look forward to seeing how it goes this time around too.

    1. Yay! Great to hear from you! Are you going to be in town for Runner’s World Weekend again this year? Last year I was super booked up with family stuff that weekend but I will be around this year! Let me know!!!

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