Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The wise lessons you'll learn come day 17 of the Whole30

We're on day 17 of the Whole30 and I've been wanting to tell you about it for so long. For some odd reason, whenever I get a 'solid blog topic' in my head for lanlettie I get all plan-y and imagine it will take hours upon hours to put it all together.

I have since gotten over this out-of-nowhere, self inflicted pressure. So let's move on.

Whole30 yes. Basically take 30 days and cut out everything you've ever come to love and depend on. Or as the less dramatically inclined would describe it 'cut out stuff that's bad for you'. That means no sugar (obviously), gluten in any form, preservatives and additives (most), legumes and dairy... FOR 30 WHOLE DAYS.

Actually it's not as hard as it sounds at all. Here are a few things I've learned from this challenge so far:
+   Planning is key.
We know ourselves well enough to know that leaving meal ideas till the last minute will be setting our hopeful healthy selves up for failure.  So we made a two week meal plan. We're clever like that.

+   Simplicity is key:
At first, when I was researching the idea of taking on the whole30 I came across so many recipes that looked good enough to eat, but with exotic ingredients I've never heard of (and most likely won't be able to afford at that snooty health hippie store anyway). So we took a few meals we already enjoy that were approved and sprinkled them about our two week meal plan. Some meals we needed to leave out a few ingredients or replace things. Like leave the yogurt, add the coconut milk.
A big favorite around here is pork steak with sweet potato wedges and my famous Indian food. We have also since found a few easy and delicious meals to add, I should share those with you some time.
+   There is sugar in EVERYTHING.
I didn't think cutting out sugar would be that hard for us. We enjoy an occasional ice-cream but aren't sweet lovers really. But you guys! There's sugar in everything. Of course doing this challenge you become that yuppy in the grocery store scanning every label before you buy.  There's sugar in canned veggies, frozen veggies, jarred olives, taco seasoning, salsa, bacon and the list goes on. So there's some food for though for you.

+   Coconut milk in coffee is better than milk.
That's all.

+   If you've got 'what's for lunch' sorted, you're basically the winner at this game.
Lunch is the hardest part, because you can't rely on sandwiches, left over pasta or the occasional deli take away. We've been doing pretty well so far, planning our dinners so that there's always enough for lunch the next day works. Also slow-cooker weekend prepared meals are the best thing ever.
Speaking of...

+   My slow-cooker (crock pot) is the best thing ever!
We've definitely been spending more time in the kitchen on this meal plan. Lot's of prepping.  There have been times where we're cooking two dinners at the same time. But come that horrid Tuesday, after a long day at work, and you just need to heat your delicious Thai chicken curry and make some cauliflower. Your life will make perfect sense again. That's how I feel about it anyway.  Ben's prepping a slow pot roast for tomorrow as I type this. What a man.

+   Cauliflower is the new rice and squash is the new pasta.
It's not all bad, it's not all bad at all.

+   Sleep is more fun.
I'm not a good sleeper, in fact I often lie awake at night giving dirty looks at my peacefully snoozing husband as I battle to catch up on some good ol sleep. So far, I've definitely noticed the difference. I feel like I just sleep deeper and get more out of it. This is a welcome welcome addition.
I've also noticed that I wake up faster. Look, I dislike getting up and have to deal with an internal child that whines ' I don't wanna go to school today' almost daily, but once I'm up I feel like I'm present. It's like I actually have mornings before work lately. 

+   Skinny jeans feel better.
Let this be made clear: We're not on a diet! However, cutting out bread and beer for over two weeks does have it's advantages.

+   People might not get it.
They might think you're just following the latest fad or going on some crazy diet. It's not, it just makes sense to me to make better choices about our health. Whole foods= good, processed food =bad. So we're simply kick starting healthier habits while giving our bodies a well deserved break from dealing with a bunch of crap.  

+   I can't wait to bake cupcakes!
What was I saying about crap? I forget. Strange thing is, I don't really crave something specific, like you'd imagine 17 days in. What I do want it to bake. Bake beautiful pastries that's worthy of littering my instagram for the next two days. So I'm finding that kind of unexpected, because I honestly didn't bake that much before.

+   I will make banana pancakes for as long as I shall live.
It's not really pancakes. It just happens to look like pancakes. Basically you mix one ripe banana with two eggs and then you pan fry them for two minutes. You might want to add a dash of coconut milk and sprinkle of cinnamon, paired with black berries. This may or may not change your life.
So would I recommend you do it? Absolutely! Is it hard? I promise you, it sounds harder than what it is. What helps me is thinking about that glass of wine I'll have at the end how I'm further today than where I was yesterday. I imagine, what if I only started today, then I'd have 30 days to go, but I started 17 days ago and now I'm more than half way there!

We hope to take what we've learned on this challenge and apply it to our normal meal plans, so really, I can't imagine our eating habits changing much after this comes to an end. Only there will be the occasional cupcake, or cocktail or night out to restaurants where they have (gasp) sugar on the table!


  1. I keep bringing this idea to Ben from time to time but I get no excitement back so far haha It sounds like a good thing to do, but my soft pitching just fails. I mean I have to blame it on someone, right? haha Maybe one day. You're doing great!

    1. You know what. It took us probably 6-8 months of saying we should do it, till we finally started. And now we're done, just like that. I think you guys will enjoy it because you can really get creative with food. I'll post some of my favorite meals from the 30 days here sometime... might help ;) Now I need to go recover from this sugar hangover I have