Today I begin my first Whole30. I’ve never done one before because I’ve never needed to. My usual diet is pretty spotless. Out of all my clean-eating friends, I’m the one who eats the cleanest and doesn’t “cheat.” And it’s not even hard for me because I have such a sensitive constitution that I feel like crap if I don’t eat really, really well. However, my diet tanked when I got pregnant with Mira. I was so sick for the first 22 weeks that I ate whatever I could keep down (which wasn’t much, I lost a lot of weight early on). Although I wasn’t throwing up much during the second half of my pregnancy I was still queasy most of the time, so I was picky. Kale just didn’t sound delicious, but ice cream, french toast, and french fries sure did! I ate roughly a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every day for the last couple of weeks. Ew.
Things have been better since Mira was born (four months ago! where did the time go?!) but I am still eating ice cream and french fries regularly. Last week Brian traveled to DC for work and brought back cupcakes from Cakelove in the same flavors we had at our wedding. Of course I had a few…and then this past weekend my wonderful mother-in-law ordered a pizza. We’d done a hike that morning and even though I’d had lunch I was still hungry and the pizza smelled really good…you know where this is going. I had two pieces and am still paying the price two days later. And even worse, so is my sweet baby girl. Based on her gassiness, fussiness, and obvious stomach pain, I think it’s clear that she’s as sensitive to wheat as I am.
So, I’m going clean. The funny thing is, the food prescribed by the Whole30 is basically the same stuff I usually eat, minus the occasional grain-free “treat” like paleo apple crisp (I need to post this recipe for you guys, it’s amazing), almond-butter cookies, or paleo granola. I used to eat a treat like that once every couple of months at most. For the next 30 days I will have no treats, as honey & maple syrup are not allowed during a Whole30. There is also no dairy allowed during the Whole30, which normally wouldn’t be an issue for me as I am sensitive to dairy and don’t usually eat it. But when I’m pregnant or nursing and need more calories I often eat cheese or goat yogurt. In fact, I think the hardest things for me to give up will be the cheese and yogurt. I will miss them more than my beloved Green & Black’s 85% dark chocolate. I must be insane!
If you’ve read this far you’re probably wondering what my motivation is for doing a Whole30. In simple language, I feel like crap. I stay up too late, wake up too late (with aches and pains, brain fog, and zero energy) and am cranky. My skin doesn’t look that great, my muscles all feel incredibly tight, my joints are stiff and achey. My digestion is out of whack. It’s clear that my system isn’t functioning anywhere close to optimal. I also need to reset my taste buds. The past year (!) of eating so many refined foods has really screwed with my sense of taste. I want to get back to the point where I feel like a Lara Bar is too sweet. It can happen, trust me. If you eat clean enough for long enough your cravings for crappy food disappear, it’s wonderful.
In addition to the Whole30 I’m also working on resetting my sleep schedule (normally a morning person, not so much since sweet Mira arrived) and adding in some exercise to my routine. I went back to CrossFit for the month of May and it was horrible because I wasn’t sleeping enough or eating well. Until I can get my food and sleep sorted out I am going to stick with things I can do at home (post-partum ab rehab being the big one, along with yoga, Pilates, and some simple bodyweight stuff like squats, push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, etc.). I will be reporting on my progress here as often as possible, maybe even every day so that I have a record for myself.
What are you doing for your health? Do you want to join me for a Whole30?