Day 28-30: I did it!!

Well, everyone. It is 10:00 pm on Day 30, which means that in two short hours my VegetarianWhole30 experience will be done! I’m going to celebrate by eating homemade challah, because it’s Shabbat, gosh darn it. 

A lot has happened since July 1st. I went from almost instantly getting a headache when I stopped giving my body sugar to now comfortably going on 42 days without it. I won’t lie, if I see chocolate or pastries I still want to eat them, but I don’t have those daily, addictive impulses to eat sugar that l used to have. I feel much more rehabilitated, though not totally “cured” of my sugar dragon’s firm grip over my life. 

I also feel like my body has started to settle into its new nutrition patterns. At first l felt hungry ALL THE TIME. Now I stay full longer. I think part of that is because I have gotten better at meal planning and portioning. I will spare you all any discussion about the change in my bowel movements. You’re welcome.

I don’t feel like my body has changed shape much. My pants fit about the same. I think maybe my measurements may have changed, but l wouldn’t be surprised if l weigh about the same. I think my body is really stubborn about losing weight, and it always has been. I remember as a teenager, a nutritionist once put me on a 3 week no carb diet. I exercised almost every single day during that time. I slipped up once and ate one cookie, and was otherwise perfectly compliant. I could see visible changes in how my clothes fit. I was so excited to go see the nutritionist at the end of the 3 weeks to show her my progress. We talked a bit, she commented about how great I looked, and then we both were shocked. When l stepped on the scale, the number was exactly the same as it had been 3 weeks before, even though I looked and felt lighter. I felt so crestfallen. 

“What did I do?” 

“Well”, she answered reproachingly, “you did have that one cookie…”

I am prepared to look at the number on the scale tomorrow and see that not much has changed, and am trying to tell myself that it’s just a number. It’s hard, because so much of our conditioning has made that number seem so very important. 

What has changed the most has been my relationship with food. I feel like I’m actually nourishing myself now instead of just feeding myself. I definitely plan on continuing to foster this renewed sense of purpose in the kitchen. 

I guess what has been most surprising for me has been how remarkably normal these 42 days have felt. The first week was a bit of a tough adjustment, but by now, part of me feels like this is just the way it’s always been. I expected to whine and complain about my food restrictions a lot more often. I expected to feel frustrated regularly, as I often felt as a teenager on a diet binge. Instead, I often find myself thinking “this is so delicious, I can’t believe it’s compliant.” I think it all goes back to the fact that Whole30 is not a “diet”, promising that magic number on the scale will drop and you’ll burn fat fast. It’s about your lifestyle, your choices, and your longevity. While I definitely wouldn’t keep Whole30 up forever, I can see myself prioritizing compliant food choices even when I don’t have to. I can also see myself relying much less on my old staples of pasta and rice/ quick and lazy meals. 

Since I’m breaking my Whole30 by breaking bread on Shabbat, this week I’m reintroducing the following: flour, butter, sugar, and milk. I don’t like milk, really, but I’ll let myself eat off plan yogurt or put milk into things (like bread!). I could use butter instead of ghee to cook things for a day and see how l feel. As for sugar, I’m not going to dive right into eating a candy bar again, but will probably eat some dried fruit with added sugar, or other things like yogurt or bread. As for flour, I thought of getting tortillas so l could try a wheat product that doesn’t have much else in it. The Whole30 website suggests reintroducing everything in a span of 10 days, but honestly, I think I’m going to take it slower. That means I’ll still be mostly Whole30 for a little while longer – and I’m totally ok with that.

Shabbat Shalom, everybody!

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Day 26-27: The Whole 9 (Yards)

Holy Cow! I’m almost done!! It feels like forever since the last time I had all sorts of things. I honestly barely miss some things (rice? what’s that?) while other things I’m fantasizing about (omnom gimme challah). My Whole30 Daily email today was about the “now what?” moment after Day 30. The people behind the Whole30 insist that “It starts with food”, but it doesn’t end there. Whole Health is an amalgam of 9 interconnected factors:

https://i2.wp.com/whole9life.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/9graphic.jpg

I have to say, eating VegWhole30 hasn’t been the amazing, life changing magic that I expected. Now, to their credit, the website is very clear about the fact that it does not believe vegetarianism is a sustainable healthy diet in the long term. I of course disagree for several reasons. In any case, they include a disclaimer saying that doing Whole30 as a vegetarian could not guarantee you the same life changing effects that doing Whole30 the regular way could bring. Still, I was hoping I’d see a bit more difference in myself. Oh well. That brings me back to the Whole9 point. I have some deep rooted physical and emotional needs that won’t all be taken care of by changing what I eat. So, succinctly, here are some brainstorming ideas for what I would want for living my best life:

Nutrition: continue eating well, even after Whole30. Continue to develop my meal plan and meal prep skills so that I can save money and eat better consistently.

Sleep: sleeping 8 hours a night. The overwhelming majority of what I read about sleep assumes that I, like apparently most people, have trouble sleeping. Even doctors I’ve spoken to start spouting off suggestions about how I should dim my lights and turn off my electronics, yada yada, without listening to me when I say I could stare at my phone for an hour in a brightly lit room after exercising at night and having a big dinner, and I could still sleep for 10 hours and want a nap the next day. I don’t need suggestions on how to fall asleep or stay asleep. I need suggestions on how to stay awake and clear headed! I feel like it’s gotten better this month, but I’m still not where I want to be.

Exercise: supplement my dancing with yoga and strength training, maybe even some fundamental dance skills like beginning ballet or ballet barre. I would also love to learn a new skill just for fun, like aerial circus arts!

Stress management: I have decided that having a massage a month would make my life a lot better. I’ve been putting this off for a very long time, but it’s finally time to make it a priority. It took me waking up with severe torticolis and being stiff necked for days this week to finally get me and my husband to the point where we say “yeah, budgeting for a massage a month sounds like a great idea!”

Temperance: I think this has to do with limiting yourself on certain things? I mean, this kind of feeds into my previous statement of limiting myself to less sleep. However, one thing I’ve noticed? I have trouble eating without something else going on; looking at my phone, watching tv, reading, etc. I should really challenge myself to eating with no distractions more often.

Active recovery: Ooh boy. Physically? I have flat feet. I could get that checked out. But really, it’s my mental health that I should be focusing on active recovery with. I could journal, I could fill out CBT worksheets, find a creative arts therapist, all sorts of stuff. I’d have to look into it.

Personal growth: so many things I want to do! I wish I could learn all the things! I could start by keeping up with weekly torah portions, like I always say I will and don’t actually do.

Fun and play: I’ve been giving myself a lot more me time to play video games recently, and I realized how much I missed it! I hope to keep it up when school starts.

Injury rehab: Well, I don’t have any actual injuries to recover from. Do my flat feet count?

 

So, that’s me and what I’ll be trying to work on for the next while. What about you? What would your Whole 9 look like?

 

Day 25: Playing Catch Up

I’ve been irresponsible about blogging, obviously. This tends to happen to me. I’ve tried several times to blog regularly about a few different things. I get really excited for a while, and then when the excitement goes away I stop. I’m trying to not do that now, even though I haven’t written in a few days. The good news is that I’m still Whole30 compliant, even if I haven’t been writing about it. The better news is that I’m on Day 25! Honestly, by this point I’m ready to be done. It’s been great, don’t get me wrong. I’ve learned a lot about food and about myself, I’m cooking a lot more, I’m eating better, and my relationship with my food has improved a lot. My singing voice sounds better (thanks, no sugar and no cheese!), my head feels clearer, I’m waking up with more energy (even if I still sleep a lot.) Still, maybe it’s because I’ve been at this for 37 days, but I’m ready to be able to take my friends up on their invitations to go eat dim sum or actually use my drink ticket when I perform at bar shows. I have a plan for reintroducing all the food categories I’ve been avoiding, slowly. I end Whole30 on Shabbat, and am looking forward to having challah. I’ll skip on the wine for now. Challah, of course, has sugar, butter, and flour. I’ll spend the first week reintroducing those before moving on to other things like cheese or rice.

Anyhow, I’m getting ahead of myself. Still 6 days to go (including today). I reevaluated my goals for August. Exercising every day is too ambitious. Instead, I told my husband that I’d work out with him 3 days a week at home. That, plus my regular dance schedule, sounds like a good start. I am also still planning on keeping up with my food goals. “It Starts With Food” after all, right? For me, that means keeping up Whole30 until the 11th and then after that being conscientious about reintroducing food groups; continuing to meal prep for myself, and sending my husband at least one lunch a week to work; and blogging about my progress. As for non-food related things, I’m decluttering and organizing my house (finally) and doing some important school related things before the semester starts. That should keep me plenty busy until the start of my last full time semester of grad school!

I keep having bizarre Whole30 dreams. I dreamed that I had a delicious sugary dessert, and realized after 3 bites or so what I was doing. I was like OH NO! I WAS SOOO CLOSE, WTF AM I DOING?! And then I realized. Wait. I’m at a table with a whole bunch of wizards and witches, there’s a river running through the room with whales and dolphins jumping out of it, and there’s Mary Kate and Ashley. This is a dream. Well then, if it’s a dream I’ll go ahead and enjoy this delicious dessert!

I got my magnesium supplement in the mail yesterday. It’s pretty neutral in flavour, and it’s not a pill, both of which are great things. I’m looking forward to seeing how this further improves my health. In the meantime, here. A picture of something I made myself for breakfast the other day: minted cucumbers and strawberries, from The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking. Have a happy week, everyone!

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Day 18: Are We There Yet?

Cravings have been kicking my butt today. Today would have been the last day of Whole30 had I not started over. Instead, it’s day 18. 12 more days. My brain is whining, basically going BUT YOU PROMISED THIS WOULD ONLY BE 30 DAYS!!! 

#shutupsugardragon

Today was also the last day of the belly dance festival. Check out how cute my dance buddies and I look at the end of a difficult and engaging workshop with Virginia:

14 hours of dancing in 4 days! I am very tired and very happy, and motivated to do all sorts of fancy dance stuff in the near future. 

I’m still working out the kinks with my meal planning. I spent waaay more money on groceries than l intended, mostly because l wanted to be all cool and buy from the farmers market every week. I love farmers markets so much for so many reasons, but l have to face the fact that they’re quite a bit more expensive than regular grocery shopping. With August about to start, I’m trying to plan more efficiently. 

Other goals for this month: tidy and organize the house, exercise at least a bit every day, and finish some important internship applications for school. I also want to go visit my grandpa in San Antonio!

What about you, everyone? Got some special goals for August? Best of luck to all of us!

Day 12-17: What Happened While I Went AWOL

Greetings, internet!

No, I didn’t forget about this, and l didn’t fall off the Whole30 bandwagon. I can proudly say that my name is Lindsy and I haven’t had sugar in 29 days. Also, I’m more than half way through the program since I restarted it. This week has been super busy because I’ve been at a belly dance festival/ competition! 

(Me and one of my troupe mates)

 Yesterday I danced for 7 hours and today I’ve been exhausted! But l still wanted to drop a note here. I managed to stay compliant throughout the festival by making all the food l was going to eat out in advance. I made broccoli and asparagus frittata for breakfasts and roasted root vegetables with nuts and seeds for lunches and dinners. I also took some walnuts to snack on. I was very satisfied with my food, though I have to say dancing 7 hours made me really hungry and I dropped the store for extra snacks before the night was over. 

I’ll write more about my meal plan this week and how it went tomorrow, after l finish my last 6 hours of dance workshops. Need to get to sleep so I can be up bright and early. Good night!

Day 11: My Husband Rocks

As I was sitting on the couch planning my meals for the week, my husband sits down next to me with a cheese and bean burrito in hand. He starts waxing poetic on the virtues of the blessed tortilla.

“These tortillas are amazing. They’re so fluffy and delicious! I almost feel like grabbing another one to just eat it by itself.”

“Go for it. You know I can’t eat them,” I say, avoiding eye contact with the tortilla.

He comes back, and just keeps expounding on the tortilla’s virtues.

“Seriously, this is so good! It’s flaky, and soft, and…”

I interrupt him to meekly ask, “Would you please stop singing the tortilla’s praises now, please?”

“Oh! Aww, kitty, I’m so sorry!!”, he says, realizing what he’s done. And he doesn’t stop there.

“This tortilla is awful. I am only eating it to get it out of your sight. I would rather be eating literally anything else. It’s so disgusting.”

 love adorable sweet up relationship GIF

I married the best person. That is all.

#weddedbliss

Day 10: Non-Food Stuff to Catch Up On

I am again two thirds away from the end of the program. Yay, double digits! This feels like a good time to go over some of the non-food related items on the program as outlined by my Whole30 Daily emails that I really should start getting a move on.

Sleep: My problem has never been that I don’t sleep enough. In fact, I sleep too much. However, because I have PTSD, and have struggled with depression and TMJD (temporomandibular jaw disorder) for most of my life, the quality of sleep that I get is not very good. What ends up happening is that I sleep too much, and still feel tired. I could sleep 12 hours, wake up, and then 2 hours later have a 3 hour nap- all without impairing my ability to sleep at night. What I want to be able to do is train my body to reduce its sleeping time, meaning I want to be able to sleep only 8-9 hours a night, not take naps longer than 30 minutes during the day, and still be fine. That sounds like a dream to me! My Whole30 Daily emails tell me I should be waking up near dawn. That idea makes me really sad because I’m a night owl. They also say that I should establish a regular bedtime and waking up time, which sounds more realistic at the moment. If I could go to bed at 1:00 AM and wake up at 9:00 or 10:00 six out of seven days in a week, it would be fantastic. Fortunately, I never developed a caffeine addiction (like most people in my country), so I don’t have that holding me back.

Magnesium: My doctor had already told me that I should look into getting magnesium and lithium supplements to help my mental health. Interestingly, she said taking magnesium supplements may help me because I have night sweats, and these can sometimes be caused by a salt imbalance in the body (and magnesium is a salt.) However, she cautioned me to avoid magnesium oxide supplements, as she said that magnesium oxide is basically useless because we just pee it out. This is apparently the same thing that happens with zinc oxide. Instead of magnesium oxide, she recommends 200 to 400 mg of magnesium citrate, glycinate, fumarate, or taurate twice a day. Interestingly, Whole30 Daily also recommends taking magnesium, and specifically recommends taking Natural Calm before bedtime. I am definitely planning on giving this a try. It is a 350 mg dose of magnesium citrate in the form of a fizzy beverage powder. You mean I don’t have to take yet another pill? Heck yes!

Exercise: Of course I’ve been belly dancing, but I have known for a while that I need to supplement my dancing with another sort of “regular” workout to improve my endurance, strength, and flexibility. My university’s gym offers free group exercise classes, but since I’m not enrolled in classes this summer, I can’t take those until the fall. I hadn’t enrolled in anything else because of money. Whole30 Daily sent me a conveniently long list of exercises I can do without spending any money. Unfortunately, most of them involve running. I hate running. I can’t think of many exercises I’d despise more. And yet… sigh. Maybe I should give this list of 31 exercises a try for the rest of the summer. If I do one each, 6 days out of the week for the rest of my summer break, I’ll finish them all by the time school starts again. I’m more likely to do that than kettle bells, which the emails also suggest. I would probably need to get up pretty early if I’m going to be running anywhere, since it’s summer in Texas and the heat here literally kills people. More motivation to stick to a sleep schedule, I suppose? Also, I hope I’ll be able to go back to yoga again soon, because I miss it.

Look at me, doing all these things I never thought I’d do. Eating eggs on a regular basis. Running. Eating things like beets that I used to hate. Maybe there is something to the “Whole30 will change your life” thing after all. aXm139xjU

I leave you with a slightly confusing, yet oddly insightful InspiroBot quote.