The home stretch! Just a quick update regarding the Whole30, as It’s had it’s moments both good and bad over the past few weeks. I’m realizing though, those bad moments are directly related to the bad habits and cravings I’ve grown accustom to over many years of “no brakes eating”.
For so many of us, eating has more to do with our social and emotional environments, than our physical need for nourishment. In our homes we have pantries and refrigerators stocked with food and at a moments notice, we can get up off the couch and grab a handful of dry cereal, chips or can of soda. Why? Do we actually need it? Is there some sort of social or emotional cue that says, “Hey, a Diet Coke would hit the spot right now.” Or for me, as I’m about to head back into the home office and dive in on a project, I think “I better take a bowl of cereal in with me”. These cravings are not based on actual nutritional needs. Rather, as I mentioned above, an auto pilot routine response. It is also based on the American Diet consisting mostly of sugar, sugar, sugar. That leaves the brain to constantly crash and crave more sugar to hold our body off until the next meal. I am extremely guilty of these quick grab and go comforts and its probably the habit change I’ve struggled with the very most while on the Whole30. But, it’s the one thing for me and I’m guessing many others, that impacts my relationship with food.
Food is fuel. That’s all. Which sounds like NO FUN AT ALL, I know. But that’s where all of us tend to get off track. Food is comfort. Food is socializing. Food is delicious and meant to be consumed. Yup, that’s it! I’ve always felt the same way. And for the most part, being an athlete who puts in a number of hours every day, pushing my body, burning calories and consuming food… I can almost eat whatever I like. That’s where I’ve developed habits that the Whole30 have put into perspective for me and I hope to make the biggest improvements when it comes to my dietary needs and wants.
Changing habits and food cravings begin with the will and accountability to make a healthy change. Sure, i can turn away from a bowl of ice-cream or a handful of sugar cereal from time to time, but can I do it for 30 days straight without one single cheat bite? And after that 30 days, will I have the ability to make smarter choices that best suite my bodies needs vs desires? I believe so. Because the one major thing I’ve learned while on the Whole30, is control of those cravings. And when those cravings hit, I’ve been reaching for better, more wholesome and nutritious options that are less sugar based and more nutritionally packed with what my body can actually use and process.
We have just over a week to go and it’s full steam ahead. The weekdays have been flying by while the weekends are a bit tougher to wade through, but it’s all about being prepared. Shannon and I have set aside time each week to meal plan, cook, slice dice, and stock up on compliant options for both meals and snacks. We have to hit the grocery store more frequently because we’re consuming such large amounts of produce i.e.. real food. But we look at that as an inconvenience worth having for the tradeoff of eating nutrient dense whole foods. We’re going through fresh fruit and vegetables like crazy. We’ve always consumed a lot of eggs around our house and that continues to be a staple in our breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner. Sweet potatoes and zucchini don’t stand a chance in our spiralizer and our favorite dried mangos from Trader Joe’s can’t seem to stay on the shelf long enough. From our joint experience, you can count on this lifestyle and better choices to influence what’s being stocked in our pantries, refrigerator and ending up on our dinner plate from now on.
As for how I feel… Great! Again, I can’t explain how much I’m loving actually falling a sleep at night. I’m still not the best at developing good sleep patterns, and I know that a consistent bed and wake time would go a long way. It’s in the works though. I seem to have a fair amount of energy now that my system has transitioned away from its sugar burning dependency, but with the amount of physical activity I’m doing, I find myself having to eat, a lot. But I’m not at all concerned about the intake amount, due to it’s being higher quality and Whole30 compliant food options. For example: Fried egg Sweet Potato Hash.