A Minor Detour

I’m taking a detour on my second Whole30.  I know why they only recommend 30 days on this sucker.  I’m kind of…um…sort of…OVER IT.  Okay, that’s not entirely true.  I’m still not eating gluten – no pasta, no bread.  I’m not eating sugar – no honey, no white sugar, no “ose” of any kind.  I’m not eating dairy – no yogurt (Greek or otherwise).  No alcohol (duh).  I try not to eat anything I can’t pronounce.  I also try to stay away from stuff that has more than three ingredients.  I AM eating lots of veggies, nuts, fruit and protein.  All of that is good.  It’s the very strict “whole” food part that I’m over.  It’s becoming stressful.  Stress raises my cortisol levels and results in inflammation…okay…that’s a huge rationalization but I don’t want you guys to think I’m giving up.

I’m not!  There is no pizza or Ghiradelli Chocolate (even thought I’m in San Francisco this week) or bagel as big as my head in my future.  I’m just broadening my perspective on this thing.  According to “It Starts With Food”, that’s exactly where I should have gone after I finished my first Whole30.  As they say, it’s not called the Whole365.

I’m ready to move to a Paleo diet.  Yes, Whole30 is a version of Paleo but, from what I can tell, Paleo is less restrictive.  I like that my Whole30 reset my neurotransmitters, hormones and everything else that was fucked up in my system but now my body is telling me it needs more.  My…um…digestive system is signaling that it needs something else to process that is a little more complicated than fruit and veggies.  (That’s as delicate as I can get guys…you’ll have to infer whatever you infer.)

My energy is also down.  Lots of yawning and sleepiness.  I know I’m sleeping okay because I bought this fancy new pedometer.  It’s called a FitBit and it’s cool as hell.  I wear it all day and it tells me (accurately) how many steps I’ve taken and calories I’ve burned.  I don’t care so much about the calorie burn because since I started on this plan I’ve stopped counting them (thank GOD) but I’m committed to 10,000 steps a day and I haven’t been able to get an accurate pedometer to help me with that.  My last one told me it took me 368 steps to go from my bedroom to the kitchen.  It’s actually only about 30 steps.  D’oh!

The cool thing about this FitBit is that I wear it while I sleep and it tells me how I’m sleeping.  How restless I was.  How many times I woke during the night.  How long I actually “slept”.  This is how I know I’m sleeping okay.  Plus, I’m old enough to know when I’m not getting good sleep and when I am….it’s really not rocket science.

So I’m going to lighten up on how strict I am with this thing.  I’ve ordered Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan so the hubs and I can start cooking Paleo and slowly but surely ease my boys over to the light.  The Force is strong with this one people…I know I can be successful.  I’m convinced that Darth Vadar owns most of the stock in McDonalds anyway.  That can’t be good you know?

How about you guys?  Are you out there?  Are you hanging in or have you thrown in the towel?  It’s okay either way.  Just comment and tell us where you are?  If you had to step off the path, tell us what brought you to that decision and if you learned anything from your experience?  Has it changed your perspective or is it just a load of crap? 

More from the left coast to come…I’m here all week folks.  Don’t forget to tip your waitstaff.

Namaste

Smile!

This is the smile.  Not too creepy right?

I am the proud owner of a permafrown.  The corners of my mouth turn down naturally so I always look as if I’m sad, angry or deep in thought.  It’s been like that since…well…forever but now that I’m aging and that bitch gravity is taking over, it’s worse than ever.  Strangers used to stop me on the street to say, “Smile!” because I looked so fore lorn.  In actuality I was probably just trying to figure out what to make for dinner.

I say they used to stop me.  That seldom happens anymore.  Why you ask?  Well because I’ve trained myself to smile all the time

Okay, before you have me committed I want to assure you that I’m not talking about a Heath Ledger as the Joker smile, or a full blown toothy grin.  I’m talking about just turning up the corners of my mouth ever so slightly so that I don’t look so menacing.

I started this because I was tired of people on the street stopping me (that can be a little creepy all by itself) and I was tired of my kids asking me “What’s wrong mommy?”  But after a while, something magical began to happen.  When I engaged the muscles in my cheeks to turn “my frown upside down” (blech) I began to FEEL like smiling.  I could feel my mood shift.  Sometimes it was dramatic and sometimes more subtle but it never failed to make me feel better.

Yesterday as I was rushing to meet the bus and busy contemplating the murder of my boss who was the reason I was rushing to meet the bus (I really do love her…most of the time), when I suddenly realized that I was sporting the face with which I was born.  I turned up the corners of my mouth and poof!  My mood began to shift and by the time the bus came I had decided that murder was probably not the best solution and that I really do love my job.

Amazeballs people!  For reals.

So since some of us might be a little grumpy because we aren’t drinking alcohol or aren’t eating sugar or getting laid enough or aren’t in the Bahamas, give this a try.  It won’t get you drunk or laid or suntan, but it might just change your mood today.

Namaste

In the clear light of day…

So last night I posted about how this eating plan has become a way of life for me and how it’s been much easier than quitting smoking or drinking was.  And in the bright light of a beautiful morning – it’s all still true!  It’s just that I’ve been feeling like I could do MORE and really amp this thing up.  I’m a little behind in my Whole30 Daily emails so I began to catch up on them this morning.  And low and behold, I found some answers.

I’ve been wondering why I’m not as fruit crazy as I was in the beginning of this thing.  In my first go round, I craved fruit like it was my only form of sustanance.  I swear I lived off watermelon the last two weeks of my first go round.  Now?  Not so much.  I still have fruit every day but it’s a small amount and not nearly as bad as before.  Turns out this is a GOOD thing.  Here are the five common errors from Whole30 Daily Day 7.  (If you haven’t signed up for this newsletter you should.  Each day is chock full of great information no matter what day you are on.  Just go to www.whole9life.com and click on Whole30 Daily.)

I’ve been guilty of all of these (yes…even getting on the scale) except the Paleo food thing (mainly because I’ve been too busy to look for recipes).  So I’m going to be extra careful while I’m in it this time to watch the fruit, nuts, and scale thing.

My Day 8 Newsletter is full of inspirational stories from people who have found the miracle.  Some brought me to tears.  Some made me cheer.  All made me recommit.  Go onto the website and check out success stories.  Like my “drunk books”, these stories are like a booster shot for me.

Hope your plan is going well!  Feel free to share.  I love it when I know what’s going on (yes…because I’m a little nosey) in your lives.  Good or bad – we’re all in this together.

Namaste

Roll Call

My second Whole30 isn’t as…um…dramatic as the first time around.  This time is actually kind of boring.  It’s like I’ve been eating this way all my life so now it’s just…well…normal.  I’m remembering what my eating habits used to be like – minus the bread.  I’ve always loved bread…I still love bread but it’s the way I love wine…It doesn’t love me.  At least with bread if I eat some I’m not going to wake up wondering who put the little sweaters on my teeth and who I may or may not have pissed off the night before.

But to tell you the truth, I don’t miss it.  Not only that…I don’t miss chocolate.  After only 30 days of abstinence.  I don’t know about my fellow alcoholics out there but I could NOT say that about my beloved Chardonnay after only 30 days.  At 30 days I was still trying to call myself a “problem drinker” and figuring out how long I could be abstinent before I could officially be cured and have a drink on “special occasions”.  Hey, you guys know me, I tell it like it is and that was how it was.

It wasn’t like that when I quit smoking.  Once the nicotine had left my system and I had gotten over my emotional addiction I was DONE.  There was no way I was going through that hell again.  No fucking way.  That was the worst withdrawal I’ve ever been through and I didn’t want to go back.  Every day clean was one more day of healing for my lungs.

That kind of commitment didn’t happen with the booze for…um…a while.  I’d say, honestly, it was after I reached a year of sobriety.  That was about the time that I figured out that I was an honest to goodness alcoholic (although, I have to admit that I still really hate that word) and that there was no going back.  I think that’s when I really started to enter recovery.  It probably would have been easier if I’d gone to AA but we all have to take our own paths through this quagmire and I did what worked for me.

ANYWAY (I do tend to go on don’t I) sugar has been the easiest of all.  The withdrawals were shorter (although intense) and the benefits became evident within the first two weeks.  More energy.  Better sleep.  No hunger between meals.  No ravenous hunger….well…if you’ve been on this thing for more than two weeks then you already know.  If you haven’t, stick with it…you will.

So how are you doing?  Let’s have a roll call.  Who’s still in and how many days do you have under your belt?  AND…what’s the best benefit you’ve found?

Namaste

On the Wagon but Off the Mat

I drive myself crazy sometimes…you know?  I just wish I would learn to give myself a break and learn some PATIENCE.  Over the years (and with the help of some really good meds) I’ve developed patience for the world and its people that has seen me through some trying times.  Not much ruffles my feathers anymore.  Most things are just not worth getting all bent out of shape over.  I like to cultivate a Zen existence.

But when it comes to me.  Ha!  I have no patience.  I want what I want and I want it now and if I can’t make it happen then I’m a total and complete failure to myself and society on the whole.  My latest “issue” with myself is my yoga and meditation practice…or lack thereof.  For most of the last 90+ days or so, I’ve only been on the mat maybe once or twice.  I moved out of my meditation/yoga room downstairs and returned it to the hubs for his office (which is good because instead of going upstairs to his desk, he was using my kitchen counter as an office).  I moved my mat, altar and lifeboard to the nook in our master bedroom.  I thought the change in venue might spur some action on my part.

Not so much.  About all its done is made me feel guilty about NOT doing it every time I look at it…sitting there…getting dusty.  Sigh…

I have a million excuses.  It’s been too hot (it has).  I’m working crazy hours and am constantly tired (that was true until my first Whole30…now I have energy to spare).  I should spend the few hours that I have walking the dogs instead of on the mat (they DO need walking – but…um…I’m not getting that done either).  I’ll do it after vacation.  I’ll start Monday.  Blah, blah freaking blah.

Why is it that the things that are GOOD for us we put off doing?  Why do we make it so hard?  The bad stuff we jump right into with gusto.  Yeah!  Give me another glass of wine!  I’m not driving!  Har har har.  Sure, I’ll have another piece of cake!  YOLO!  Let me try some of that fried cheese…it’s the fair after all!  Mmmmm….pizza…I’m on VACATION!

No problem at all.

But let me think about doing something that I know, for a fact, will reset my hormones, recharge my batteries, bring me closer to God and make me a more centered human and all of a sudden I’m the busiest woman on the planet and there is just no time.

Once again…I’m gonna have to call bullshit on myself.  And hit the mat.  TONIGHT.

Namaste

PS – Any Whole30 updates out there?  How are you guys doing?  Any stories to share?  I feel fantastic (well…except for the whole yoga/meditation thing).

Whole 30 Daily Suggestions…

I’m getting the Whole 30 Daily via email every morning and let me tell you, I wish I’d had it the first time around.  It’s chock full of great information about how I may be feeling and what I can do about it.  You can sign up on www.whole9life.com (for a one time fee of $14.95) if you’re interested or need some additional coaching.

This morning, the focus is on hunger vs. cravings and how to tell when you’re hungry vs when you’re bored, or lonely or pissed off.  There are also a few tips to keep you committed to this journey.

From the Whole 30 Daily (my comments are in parentheses and italics):

  • Keep tempting food and drink out of your house completely.  If it’s not there, you can’t indulge.  (I decided that my kids didn’t need this crap either so we’re keeping it out of the house completely.  They are old enough to  make their own decisions about whether or not they want to get junk food.  I don’t have to be an enabler but I still need to be a good influence.)
  • Enlist a supportive friend or loved one to hold you to your commitment.  Make it fun by betting on your success – if you finish your Whole 30, the other one has to buy you that new pair of jeans or that new fitness DVD you’ve been eyeing. (For me, that person is the hubs.  I have a goal weight in mind and when I get there, I’m going to buy a very expensive pair of kick ass jeans.  You guys are also my supportive friends and loved ones.  You all get the whole, unadulterated truth NO MATTER WHAT.)
  • Tell on yourself. Before you open the box of cookies or pour that glass of wine, jump onto the Whole 30 forum or call your best friend and announce, “I’m planning to go off the Whole 30.”  Telling someone will force you to really think about what you’re about to do and is often all you need to put the cookies down.  (You can email me – my email address is in my profile – or just post on this blog or your own blog.  If I know our blogging community, you’re going to get a lot of support and encouragement NOT to open that bag of chocolate chips cookies.)
  • Check yourself into “rehab”, if necessary.  During the toughest days when the cravings are th worst, don’t allow yourself to accept dinner or happy hour invitations, and don’t participate in activities that revolve around eating or drinking less healthy food.  (Come on people…this is not new for most of us.  Many of us gave up drinking for God’s sake!  Some of us have quit smoking!  We KNOW how this works.  If we really, really want this…there is nothing that can stop us!  We’re fucking warriors!  We’ve got this thing!)

I do want to suggest that if you are new to sobriety and you’re finding this challenge difficult.  DON’T CONTINUE.  Your sobriety is the most important thing right now and this shit is hard (at first).  If you have to give in to something, do not pick up a drink.  Eat the damn cookies.  There will be plenty of opportunities to get your diet in order after you have some sober time under your belt.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more important than staying sober.  The end.

Now for my own confession.  I’m finding it a little difficult to get back on the band wagon.  The hubs brought Oreos in the house the other day (they were on SALE…wtf?) and I’ll admit to eating some of them a lot of them.  That’s my only cheat and they’re gone now so I’ll be okay going forward.  I’m going to get on the scale and see what damage I did while I was on “vacation” as well.  And my cold is better so that should help.  Enough excuses.  I fucked up and I’m back on track.  ‘Nuff said.

Now for the hard part…If I’m brutally honest, the Oreos didn’t taste like they used to.  That made me sad (in a way).  And then it reaffirmed that the shit isn’t what I thought it was and I don’t need it in my body.  (Of course it may just be that my taste buds are a mess because of the cold…but we’re going to go with the Whole 30 thing being the reason.)

Hopefully you are all hanging in there.  If you are and you’ve discovered a good thing to eat (like Annette’s olives or Amy’s Chocolate Chili with avocados) or a strategy that keeps you on track SHARE IT!  We can all use an extra push.  If you, like me, have “slipped” and need to get it back together then share that too!  We’re here for you and will only give love and encouragement.  No judgement here!

Namaste

Tips, Tricks and oh yeah…I’m sick…

I’m sick.  I seldom get sick so when I do I feel like a big baby.  So what.  What’s more, my favorite cough drop (Ricola Original Herb) has sugar in it.  Again…so what.  I’m also making chicken soup with noodles on the side for everyone else.  I just want the soup part anyway.

It’s funny how when you’re sick you convince yourself that you “deserve” things.  I’m sick…I deserve a cookie.  I’m sick…I deserve that sherbet.  I’m sick…I deserve a pedicure.  (Okay – that last one I may just do but I want to wait until I’m sure I won’t infect the poor technician.)  It reminds me of the rationalization I used to go through every day when I was drinking.  I broke a nail…I deserve a drink.

But I’m not going to eat poorly just because I’m sick; especially since I believe that eating like crap may have helped to get me sick in the first place.  I’m going to eat well and nourish my body so I can get well.  I’m going to stick to the plan.

Speaking of the plan, if you’re new to the Whole 30 and you’re feeling hungry don’t despair.  Part of that is normal (I figured it was my body throwing a temper tantrum because I wasn’t giving it the sugar it wanted) and it may also be that you’re not eating enough at your meals.  Eat slowly at each meal and eat until you are full.  Your body will tell you when you’re full.  Soon your hormones and body will begin to sync up and you won’t be hungry in between meals anymore.

I’ll admit to still struggling with the nighttime munchies.  The lower floor of our home is one big open space so the kitchen is there ALL THE TIME.  It’s like a whining child in my ear sometimes.  “Come on!  EAT!  You know you’re hungry.  You know you want something.  At least go stare at the open refrigerator…maybe you’ll be inspired!  There’s bound to be something new in there that wasn’t there the last 20 times you looked right?  Right?”  I used to give in because I thought I…wait for it…deserved it.  But I’ve learned a few tricks to silence that whiny little brat.

I go up to my room to watch TV.  I do not watch the Food Network (not even Chopped with all of it’s weird ingredients and especially not Diners Drive-ins and Dives!)  I paint my nails.  I read “It Starts With Food”.  I surf the net and look for success stories from people who are as committed to this plan as I am.  I go to bed early.  I brush my teeth.

Anything to keep from eating when I’m not hungry.  If I really AM hungry (which is seldom), I’ll grab a piece of fruit, a grilled chicken breast or a small handful of nuts.  Then I take whatever I’ve chosen back upstairs so that when I’ve finished eating it, it’s a pain in the ass to go back downstairs for more.

Hey…whatever works.

So, as they say in certain parts of the NE…how YOU doin’?

Namaste

Things I’ve Noticed While Away

While I was “away” from the Whole 30 eating plan I noticed a few things that really surprised me…a lot.

I like fruit.  I’ve never been a fruit eater preferring to get my carbohydrates in a simpler form…white bread, pasta, sugar.  I could never develop a taste for it…until now.  Yay Whole 30.
Eating like crap for a few days really did lower my immune system.  I was reading “It Starts With Food” last night and it turns out that it CAN happen.  Shit.
Crap tastes like…well…crap.  The food we ate on the road (mainly McDonalds) not only didn’t appeal to me when I thought about it, it mainly tasted like salt, chemicals, and cardboard.
Eating sugar for a brief period did not make me lose my mind AND it did not wake my beast.  If I’m honest, it didn’t even taste that good.  I mean…it was good…but when I weigh all the bad stuff with a little bit of taste…it just wasn’t worth it.  I’m also not craving it.  Hmmm..,
I guess I thought that by eating garbage I would undo all the good I had done and go right back to my old habits.  Not true at all.  If anything, I craved the good habits I had cultivated and wanted to get back to them as soon as possible.
So to those of you just getting started, hang in there for at least two weeks.  Apparently our bodies are smarter than we are…
Namaste 

Today’s the Day!

This day could not have come at a better time.  I just spent the last six days traveling and celebrating and eating nothing but CRAP.  The road doesn’t offer many options (never did see another grocery store) and while in OK I tried to eat well but, after all, it was a wedding!  I also caught my granddaughter’s cold which I’m (likely erroneously) blaming on the fact that my diet was so bad while I was there.  You know…eating like crap likely lowered my immune system?  Who knows if it’s true or not – but it works for me.
So even though I’m stuffed up and have a sore throat, I am ready to rock this thing.  Here’s my plan…be sure to share yours as well.  Remember that you don’t have to be perfect.  Even a small step in the right direction will be enough.  Just commit to 30 days and let the magic unfold on its own.  I promise it will.
  • No sugar of any kind including artificial sweeteners or natural sweeteners
  • No dairy (no more goat cheese on my salad and no more lattes…not even once a week)
  • No legumes
  • No grains
  • No alcohol (duh)
  • Nothing with more than 3 ingredients or ingredients I can’t pronounce.
Instead I’ll select whole, nutrient rich food that will nourish my body instead of my mind.  Yep…you read that right.  During my previous Whole 30 I realized that the hold sugar had on me (like the hold alcohol had on me) was more about what was going on in my head than what was going on in my stomach.
I know…I can be dense sometimes.
I’m keeping my coffee creamer (sorry Mary and Mrs D) and the jury is out on Pepsi Max…I’m going to give that a valiant effort but I’m not making any promises.  I’m going to try.  (Yes…I said try.  Screw you Yoda.)
So how about you?  If you’re already in the game how are you doing?  What are your challenges?  More importantly, what are your victories?  And if today is day one for you, what have you done to ensure your success?
Let’s do this thing!
Namaste

Food Notes from the Road

It’s hard eating well when you’re traveling.  Yesterday I woke up and had two scrambled eggs for breakfast; then we hit the road to Oklahoma from South Carolina.

About one we stopped to pee (me) and get something to eat.  I was a little panicked because all I saw was Golden Arches (my phone just spell checked that and put in the capital letters…how sad).  Anyway, I looked around and found my answer…right across the street was a grocery store!  They have bathrooms AND fresh food.
I got cut up watermelon and pineapple, a bag of grapes and some almonds and cashews.  Success!
Until dinner time rolled around…not a grocery store in sight.  I was left with two honey mustard grilled snack wraps from McDonald’s.  Gross.
We stopped for the night at a Marriott Property (I like their points).  This morning we went to partake of their “free” breakfast (at 120.00 a night that breakfast wasn’t free).  Powdered eggs, veggie sausage, sad looking strawberries and some pineapple and then carbs, carbs, carbs.  Fortunately they also had some hard boiled eggs.  I grabbed two and off we went.  I have a baby to see and a wedding to attend!
Here’s hoping today’s food options are better.  I ate way too many nuts yesterday. 
Namaste