My Favorite Whole30 Dish from Week 4
Whole30 Update: Week 4 Complete – Now What?
I have completed Whole30, Week 4. Now what? Well, let me start by saying that I am super pumped that I am alive and kicking, despite not having any processed or sugar laden foods for a whole 30 days straight! Yippie! While this may not be a big deal for some, for me it has been a great accomplishment and one that took will and a desire to improve my health. I am proud of myself, bottom line. I needed a restart and I definitely got it. I have definitely come a long way from Whole30 Week 1.
WARNING: If you are anti-Whole30, this isn’t the post for you. I have nothing but praise for Whole30 and what it has done for so many, including myself. Has it been easy? No, nothing in life worth achieving is easy. Has it worked for me? Absolutely. If you don’t agree with it, feel free to leave comments below. I am ok with differing opinions. Always trying to keep an open mind 🙂
My Family and Whole30
My family tried to get on board with Whole30 because they knew how important it was to me. Yet, each time they tried, days later one of them would ask, “Mom, can I restart tomorrow?” That question seemed to be a popular one in my household 🙂 Either way, none of them could stick with it for too long, nor did I expect them to. Yet, they did learn a great deal about their habits. They learned that they were used to eating too much sugar and that they needed to be more cognizant of what they were putting into their bodies. My eldest would join me for a couple days then decide to binge on carbs and find herself sick. She would then restart and then fall off again, only to find herself sick again. It is hard kicking the habit of sugar and other carbs. Hence, it is a work in progress in our household and I am ok with that.
My husband, as I have written before, was a huge reason I succeeded. He didn’t follow Whole30 like I did, but he really did try to eat better and most importantly, he helped by cooking delicious healthy meals. He has told me that he is grateful that I started this new lifestyle because even though he didn’t fully follow the program, he did eat better and feels better. That is really all I can ask for, is that my family keeps trying to be better. I will be honest, there were times when I felt that they all needed to put forth more effort regarding their food choices, but I know this isn’t something that is going to happen over night. We are talking about years of bad eating. People have to be mentally ready for Whole30 or any other lifestyle change. And, friends and family have to be ready to support them when they are ready.
During my 30 days, I did have some challenges. I did not necessarily have cravings, but every now and then I found myself eying a slice of pizza or cake. I attribute this to it almost being time for me to go back to work, as I am a teacher. Knowing that it is almost time to go back totally sends all kinds of stress signals running through my body. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but I have been wanting to try something different for a while now. Until then, I will remain positive and proactive. I am preparing myself right now for what I will do when I go back to work and I highly recommend you do the same. Here is my plan:
I am going to walk in the morning to release stress
I plan to take plenty of healthy snacks
Avoid the teachers’ lounge at ALL COSTS!
Talk to other colleagues who are eating healthy and staying active
Keep a journal for writing
What plan do you have to help yourself avoid stress eating? I’d be glad to hear about what you do! Or, if you don’t have one, I encourage you to think about what proactive things you can do to keep yourself busy. Please comment below with your ideas 🙂 I’m always in need of different perspectives.
During this last week of Whole30, we had family over and my birthday celebration. I am not going to lie, some of the foods were a little tempting. Just the other day, I was making rice for my family, and almost tasted it as I always do. Luckily, as I was about to place the spoon in my mouth my husband came in and asked what I was doing? At first, I didn’t know what he was talking about and suddenly it clicked and I threw down my spoon! Yikes! Not to mention that my birthday celebration, my day 26 of Whole30, consisted of a yummy chocolate cake, cupcakes, and cookies. I didn’t want to ruin everyone else’s time and so I planned ahead and made a fruit salad so that I could eat that deliciousness while others still had the birthday feel of a nice chocolate cake and other treats. Miraculously, I did it. I made it through my birthday without any refined sugars, etc… I know what the results will be if I try to eat something as decadent as the cake pictured below. I am not ready to go there. I like how I feel right now way more than how I know I will feel after eating a slice of cake.
Cooking was another challenge. I am not someone who likes to cook. So, this at times was a problem, but I forced myself to get things done. It turned out just fine for me in the end. Those of you out there who are like me and don’t like to cook, have no fear, just take it one step at a time. If you prepare yourself ahead of time, things will be better for you. If you start without having the foods you need or don’t know what kinds of foods that you would be willing to prepare, then it will be harder for you to succeed. Find easy recipes and focus on one meal at a time. Refer to the Whole30 book and Whole30 Cookbook for help if needed. Or, check online for ideas. You can do it.
What about exercise? What if you are someone who can’t exercise right now? What I would say to that is first, see a doctor and figure out what is going on physically and just how much exertion he/she recommends. If you simply don’t have the energy to go out and do light work outs, I can assure you that your energy level will spike and more than likely, you will want to end up outside performing some kind of physical activity. Take it easy and do what you can each day per your doctor’s advice. Personally, I have been more active, taking my kids to parks, hiking, and walking with friends or family. However, I have done so with a swollen ankle. I advise you not to do what I am doing. If you have pain, see a doctor if possible. You never know what may be wrong and you don’t want to cause yourself any unnecessary pain that may spread to other body parts. Exercise does so much for our bodies and mental health that I am an advocate for getting out and doing any form of exercise that is suitable for you. Exercise has been a challenge for me because of my ankle, but once I see a doctor, I plan to go full force with exercise.
How Did I Benefit from the Whole30 Program?
Fewer body aches
Fewer Allergy symptoms, especially nasal congestion! What a blessing.
Feeling less bloated
I want to go out and enjoy my life now, whereas before I really didn’t want to leave my house!
Feeling so much happier
Way more energy
Feeling more confident
No more stomach aches or cramping
Clothes fit looser (I can wear pants two sizes smaller!) So, don’t throw out your old clothes. You got this!
Sugar cravings – They diminished big time! I can stare at sweets and not grab for it. Wow!
Any weight loss? – I haven’t checked the scale yet. But, I can guarantee you I lost weight.
More than those benefits listed above, Can you see the difference in me?
Week Four Whole30 Foods:
Round 1 on Whole3o Complete -Where Do I Go From Here?
Now that I am done with my Whole30 Progam what do I do next? If you think I am going to hop in the car and run to Starbucks and order a latte with whip cream and a slice of lemon loaf, you are mistaken. Sure sounds good though. I really thought that one out. LOL! In all honesty, I am feeling too good to go back now. There is no way I can stop. I have a long way to go to get to where I want to be. So, I have decided that I will continue with round 2, with one exception. I might throw in an alcoholic beverage every now and then if my friends invite me out. I want to be able to continue on this lifestyle change and if I am going to be real, I have to allow for times where I go off the Whole30 Approved list and be ok with it. If I can do this, I know it will be a true lifestyle change. I don’t want to eat or drink something off the list and then feel so bad about myself that I go right back to my old ways. I will keep you posted on my progress and maybe in a couple or a few months, I will post a weight update and a full body pic to go along with it. I’m not ready for that now. Wishing you all the best as you strive to be happy and healthy.
Tips for those less hyped about cooking:
- Make veggies your friend by preparing bags of carrots/broccoli/cucumbers, etc…
- Make yourself a salad in a jar. Easy and yummy to boot.
- Yukon Gold potatoes!!! I absolutely love them and I know you will too. Slice them in half, add salt & pepper, and a dash of extra virgin olive oil, if you wish. No butter needed! I promise! Sorry for all the exclamation marks, but that is how much I love them!! 🙂 You can store the left overs in the refrigerator and reheat them the next day. Boom! Win-win!
- While I am on potatoes, How about slicing up some sweet-potatoes, seasoning them, and baking them for a yummy and healthy alternative to fries.
- Canned shredded chicken and tuna (drain all the water) – OMG!!! with guacamole, salt & pepper, on a bed of lettuce, is totally amazing and easy to make.
- Find compliant deli meat and make lettuce wraps – Super easy and yummy!
- Prepare fruit bags with a side of cashews or almonds! My personal favorite.
- Have a snack bar every now & then, like LARABARS, though probably not something Whole30 would recommend.
- Eat left overs!! If you make a meal, save some for the next day.
- Order food online if you need too, Barefoot Provisions Whole30 Kits. Or, try Thrive Market.
As always, I encourage you to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading about my journey back to life! I wish you the best.