So one of the main reasons I haven't been blogging much lately, aside from the girls' birthdays, a bit of sewing, and endless remodeling/gardening/landscaping for our new little house, is because I've been doing the Whole30 nutritional reset. No dairy, no legumes, no sugar (including maple syrup, honey, stevia, and agave), no grains, and no soy or corn; it sounds like the worst, right? I can't tell you how much I miss my lentils and brown rice! And cookies and cheese (ahem).
Basically, I eat a lot of veggies, some eggs and fruit, and a tiny bit of local grass-fed beef and poultry. As someone who only eats meat every few months, I think adding animal protein to my diet was harder than giving up the grains and dairy. I initially attempted to do it without the meat, but I was starving and tired after three days. My body is feeling a lot more balanced with the added protein, and I honestly feel better than I have since before I was pregnant with Norah. I am 16 days in, and I don't feel bloated, my skin is clear, I'm sleeping better and waking up with more energy, I've easily lost 10 pounds, and my mind is finally quiet.
That being said, it has been intense, especially the first week. My sugar addiction has been out of control for years; it took an entire week for my detox symptoms to subside, and it wasn't pretty. I was grouchy (probably a mild word choice), constantly thirsty, and had crampy stomach aches. Pushing through that first week was difficult, but it helped me realize how often I eat sugar and why I use it, and that has been nothing short of transformational. I don't need sugar/treat of choice after a long, stressful day; I need to acknowledge that it was hard, I handled it the best I could, and move on. I don't need to eat to fill an emptiness, I need a life full of people, ideas, projects, and passions that make me whole. I need the energy and mental clarity that comes with eating well to enjoy all of the people and experiences that I love.
I love food. I really love great food, and I'm excited to have cake on my birthday, cookies cooling on my counter on Saturday afternoons, and homemade ice cream all summer long. But I hope I can use food as a generous celebration of a good, full life, and not just a sorry a replacement for one.
Since I'm too cheap to join the Whole30 forum, I thought I'd post some of my thoughts, insights, and questions here, just in case one of you has tried Whole30 or other paleo diets and would like to join in the conversation.
- My first question is a breastfeeding one: Since I have started this Norah has been wanting to nurse nonstop. I'm wondering if my diet change also changes the composition of my breastmilk? Am I not getting enough calories to produce an adequate milk supply? Maybe she's just growing?
- When you haven't had sugar in weeks, sweet potatoes taste like marshmallows!
- I spend 3-4 hours a day in my kitchen either prepping for future meals or cooking. At first it was frustrating, but now I really enjoy and look forward to it.
- I think the cheapest way to do this is to buy all your veggies in bulk from Costco. Last week I bought the huge bag of baby kale, spinach, baby bella mushrooms, avocados, snap peas, romaine hearts, strawberries, 2 dozen organic eggs, and 2 pineapples for $35. I buy sweet potatoes, beets, fresh almond butter, coconut milk, and chia seeds from our local health food store for about the same amount.
- I have this absolutely unfounded theory that Pinterest is making people fat and miserable. Think about it: How many crazy awesome dessert recipes have you made from Pinterest? How many times have you actually clicked through and completed one of your sweet workout pins? I just want to know who is eating the cookie dough wrapped brownie deep fried and frosted in cinnamon rolls and Oreos and still has a Brazilian butt, bikini- ready abs, tank top arms in 30 days, a watercolor flower tattoo and is a prolific photographer of baby hedgehogs. Every time I visit the site I want to eat so many insane, sugary things - it's such a weird trigger, right?
- I really want to read the book, It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig.