Friday, December 2, 2016

Whole30: Reintroduction

Let me just say that after 30 days without coffee, I was a super happy camper yesterday morning hearing my coffee maker brewing when I came down to the kitchen. Let me also say that I don't think my feet touched the ground for most of yesterday after enjoying that delicious coffee. Within 20 minutes of those first few sips, I could feel the caffeine coursing through my veins. And I probably could have cleaned my entire house before leaving for work. But I didn't.

That first cup was wonderful, although I admit that it did taste different than I expected, and different than it did in October. Clearly, my tastes changed in the absence of my creamer and sugars in general. Looking back, I used to have a splash of coffee with my creamer, which is part of what led me to cut the coffee out in the first place.

Luckily, I was able to fall asleep without any issue last night. The buzz from the coffee started to subside in the late afternoon, and by late evening I was fine. I am having coffee again this morning and feel OK, but I am definitely jazzed again like yesterday.

I had some smoked sausage last night with W30 compliant French's mustard, and I felt OK this morning. No refulx or stomach issue, no wonky feeling. I'm on to day two post-Whole30, and not adding anything until this evening, when I may try a glass of wine. I must eat tomorrow, as the wine and cheese party is tomorrow night and I CAN'T not eat. I'm going shopping during lunch to get a start on the weekend grocery shopping, and get some stuff for tomorrow that is easy to prepare amidst cleaning and prepping for the party.

Note to self: November seemed like a great time for this W30, but, in the end, the reintroduction is proving more difficult than the month of restriction.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Whole30, day 30

Last day. November has felt like it was flying by sometimes, and at other times it felt like December may never come. For breakfast today I'm enjoying green beans, asparagus, sweet potato, and two eggs. For lunch I have leftover compliant sloppy joes, and for dinner we're having leftovers, so I'm going to have salmon and salad. I have olives and red pepper with me to snack on.

If you are considering a Whole30, here are some insights I can offer.
-Really dig deep and think about why you are doing a Whole30. Keep your 'why list' close to you the whole time. As you get closer to the finish line, this will help keep you motivated.
-The holidays are not the right time to do this if it's your first Whole30. You need time, you must be prepared, and the fewer temptations that are around you, the better.
-It's not about what you can't have, it's about what you can have. There is so much food out there waiting to excite you!
-Think positive. If you don't go into this with a positive mindset, it will be more difficult to get through it.
-Try some new recipes before you start. Don't go into a Whole30 thinking you're going to try all new recipes every night. You are going to need to experiment with what works for you based on your lifestyle. I work full time so it's necessary for me to spend time on the weekend prepping for week night meals. Make meals ahead, cut veggies, do what you can on the weekend to save precious time on the week nights.
-Tell the people around you what you are doing. When someone knows you are making changes in your diet, they are apt to help you out and encourage you. This also makes it easier when you attend parties, gatherings, or host people in your home.
-Don't stop at the end of 30 days. I don't mean to eat your whole life Whole30, that's not realistic. What I mean is, don't see this as a quick diet, a 30 day plan that ends and you go right back to your ways. You will learn a lot about what you eat and why, so if you're not ready to make some long-term changes, wait until you are ready.
-I stood at the store once looking for quick snack foods, and quickly realized I was looking at foods that I never eat normally. Don't grab for a food just because it is compliant. Do you *need* it, or are you looking to fill a void or satisfy a craving? Did you eat enough at your last meal? Are you really hungry?
-Drink water.
-You *can* live without coffee. I finally realized that I drink my coffee for the creamer. 30 days without it was not that bad, and I know I purged my body of a lot of sugar, even if you're like me and drink coconut or almond milk creamer instead of the commercial brands.
-You *can* live without alcohol. Honestly, there is clarity in not drinking alcohol. It's pretty awesome, actually.
-You can do this.
-You don't know until you try.

Would I do this again? Hell to the yes. I would probably choose a month where there isn't a major holiday, and when I'm not in high gear training for a race. February comes to mind, as I could begin at the end of January, or go a couple days into March.

One thing to consider if you're thinking about a Whole30 is the end - what do you have going on after your Whole30 ends? Reintroduction is important, you need to go slowly in order to identify how your body handles different foods and ingredients. If you end right before, let's say, Easter, you'll sit down to that meal and unless you prepare, your body just might not enjoy the feast as much as you hope you might.

All that said, I have been drooling in anticipation of a nice cup of coffee tomorrow morning. I can almost taste that warm cup of creamer coffee, feel it in my hands....

Nevermind. Day 30 is here, and I must savor this final day!

Monday, November 28, 2016

That was just a bump in the road, right? Three.more.days.

A summary of my weekend's transgressions:

Thanksgiving - one glass of wine, a splash of Bailey's in post-dinner coffee, a few bites of stuffing
Saturday night - one glass of wine, some summer sausage
Yesterday - a couple fries

I am OK with these. Am I proud? Hell to the no. I did not feel well after the wine and stuffing incident. I learned the art of control, though. It all happened because I wasn't sufficiently prepared. OK, that's mostly a lie. I brought homemade ranch and veggies for an app, I was armed with my sweet potato dish for dinner (which was amazing, BTW), and I went in knowing what I needed to do. Two words - family, Thanksgiving. I was not W30, but, I was not gluttonous as I would have been otherwise.

The wine, well that was a matter of willpower (how do you say no to this?), but I used control! I did not keep on, I stopped. This is something I've always found to be a challenge, but I feel like I've got a handle on it now. I could never have had just a glass of wine before. Probably a problem, but, I can happily limit, or even pass, now.

I am wearing pants today that I haven't been able to fasten in almost a year. The Vera Wang pants I got at Kohl's last winter are now too big for me. I have a clear head, energy, and desire to do things. I could not have gotten all that I got done this weekend if I'd not cleared my mind and body like I have.

I've had some of the best running in November. It's wonderful run after a good night sleep, to not be bloated, for my running tights to actually fit. I haven't talked myself out of a single run due to a headache, sore gut, or fatigue. I feel good, and I feel good running. Yeah!

I have formed new relationships with food. I have developed new ways of thinking about eating, cooking, and the 'why' behind it all. I am slowly learning what makes me feel good, and what drags me down. I will continue to learn as I reintroduce foods post-Whole30, and beyond.

Three days left. Thursday morning I get my Dunkin' french vanilla with coconut milk creamer, though, and that's helping me out this last few days.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

To my daughter upon turning 12

Dear Ethel,

Twelve years ago, you made me a Mommy. The last 12 years have gone by quickly at times, and I often wish I could hit a pause button so I could enjoy some of those times for longer. As much as I want it to sometimes, time doesn’t stop, and you have grown into a beautiful, funny, smart, and happy young lady.

Nothing has made me more proud than being your mom. Watching you take your first steps, get and lose your first teeth, start your first day of kindergarten, and eventually get on the school bus headed for sixth grade, it’s all magical to witness as a Mommy. You have always handled new adventures, challenges, and stages in your life with determination and confidence.

I want you to always know that I love you and I am proud of who you are. We have our difficult times, but we have fun times, too. I treasure all the times we have together. I enjoy seeing you with your friends because it is very clear that they enjoy your company, they respect you, and they know what a good friend you are to them.

You are sensitive, kind, empathetic, and loving. You are confident, proud, and strong. You are funny, quick-witted, and smart. You are learning some independence and showing more responsibility at school and at home. It is exciting to watch you develop and grow into the person that you are, and to see your extreme interest in the world around you. Your imagination and sense of humor are a joy and amaze me every day. I adore that you love astronomy and the universe, you get great enjoyment from music, and both of those things open up a whole world of opportunity for you.

I hope that you enjoy your 12th birthday and all the birthdays that lie ahead. I am excited for all that your birthdays have in store for you as you continue to grow. May all your birthday wishes come true, baby girl. Remember, Mommy loves you. I always have, and I always will.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Day 21, Interlude day - nine.more.days....

There are nine days left in this Whole30. Nine.days.left. It feels odd to be saying that when all month long it's felt more like a month left every day. The end is near. It's almost bittersweet. I'm settling in to the point where I almost wonder how to eat any other way. Well, let's not get wild. I am really looking forward to my morning coffee and coconut milk creamer, and the ultimate pay off - a glass of wine. For now, though, I've found some new recipes and love what I've made, and I enjoy looking for new stuff to make and I look forward to eating it.

I'm not ready for a summary just yet, but I can say these few things about the process so far:
  • Overall bloating is way down. It's incredible how used to being bloated we get without realizing it.
  • My watch is loose on my wrist. See above point.
  • Prosciutto. Need I say more?
  • Sleep is sooooo much better. Without the uppers (coffee) and downers (alcohol) to fuel the daily duel, it's amazing how good sleep can be. Except, of course, if your cat sleeps on your head like mine does. 
  • Steamed brussels sprouts. Who knew?
  • I have so much more energy. Wow.
Two tidbits I do have at this stage, however, should help you decide if fall is a good time for you to try a Whole30.

  1. There is a reason they don't encourage you to do a Whole30 at/around the holidays. One word - Thanksgiving.
  2. Fall time change. Yikes. I hadn't anticipated my changing energy levels in conjunction with the time change. It's midnight before I leave work at 4:30PM.
Tidbits and challenges aside, I truly enjoy the way I'm feeling and the way my clothes fit me now. I look forward to getting things accomplished on weekends because I know I won't be dragging in the morning from eating like crap the night before or having too many glasses of wine.

Nine more days. No biggie, right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Smack dab in the middle

Day 16
Right now I really want to sit down with a glass of wine and a big chocolate chip cookie.

In reality, I'm eating grapes the size of my thumb, drinking lemon green tea, and trying to hold off eating my almonds.

More than half way there. Exactly two weeks left.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Thank you, Veterans

Thank you to all who have served our country, protected our freedoms, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.