Confession: I was a monster the first week of the Whole30.
Snippy with coworkers, crabby at my beyonce, poopy toward my friends and family… I would say no one is happier than me that Week One is over, but I really don’t think that’s true.
In my last W30 post, I gave you a play-by-play of the hurdles, challenges and emotions I experienced during my first week. Sure, I could do that again, but really, isn’t that just unbelievably boring? I think so, especially since week two was less of a roller coaster ride. Aside from the the fact that I felt bloated and yucky on days eight through ten, there wasn’t much to report. Cooking was easier, I craved less no-no foods, and I finally worked up the courage to eat in a restaurant… three times!
Instead, I am going to give you a list. The Internet loves lists. I love lists. It’s a win-win. Without further ado…
13 Mostly Non-Food Related Things I’ve Learned Through Whole30.
Skip a workout, ditch out on a meeting you’re too overwhelmed for, tell your sorta-kinda friend that you can’t attend their party bus birthday because you’re washing your hair. You’re going to be exhausted for a few days during the W30. Own it. Give yourself some time to relax for once. Quit doing whatever is going to keep you from being successful on the W30.
2. Do Simple, Nice Things for Yourself.
On Day 3 of the W30, I did something out of the ordinary: I lit a fancy candle while I was getting ready. I can’t explain why this felt so luxurious, but it did. Why have I not been doing this every morning?! I have zero guilt treating myself to Dogwood coffee and no shame in listening to old school George Jones in the shower & blasting Enrique Iglesias’ “Escapar” on my commute to work. I even built a Spotify playlist with songs I want at my wedding (I’m so cheesy. I don’t care… I love it!). You can listen to that here.
3. I Am a People Pleaser.
I always thought the hardest part about doing something like W30 would be making other people uncomfortable. Asking friends to make tweaks to menus for me, saying no to dessert or snacks or a beer, and just being a general P.I.T.A. Guess what? No one cares! To think I’ve spent years eating and drinking things I haven’t really felt like ingesting all because it made ME, not THEM, feel weird when I said no thanks. Wow.
4. I Have Way More Support than I Ever Knew.
I thought I’d get more eye rolls than I could count regarding this new eating plan. Instead, I have literally had dozens of people ask me about it and if I thought they could do it, too. Hmm… maybe I’m not the only one who feels like crap every time I eat ice cream.
5. Eff the Haters.
I’m sad to say this, but I’ve not been one bit surprised at who ISN’T supporting me through my W30. Are there negative Nancies in your life? I can 98 percent guarantee those will be the people challenging you and telling you that you’re going to fail. You’re probably already used to them infusing an unhealthy dose of negativity into your life. Screw ’em.
6. Not Drinking Isn’t that Big a Deal.
Really, no one will probably notice. And you won’t have a hangover the next day.
7. Dietary Restrictions Aren’t As “Annoying” as I thought.
My beyonce & I were recently discussing the fact that yes, the W30 is really restrictive. However, the food you can eat is so amazing and hearty and healthy and satisfying! When you think about it like that, it doesn’t sound so bad.
8. Being a “Food Person” Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Love Healthy Food.
I don’t know why people in the food biz (like myself) feel like you have to eat junk to be a true food freak. C’mon, how hard is it to make a burger or pizza (two of the most glorified foods on the planet) taste good? I’m never, ever going to completely stop eating burgers or pizza (’cause c’mon… they’re burgers and pizza!), but I’ve decided I am more impressed with a chef who can make amazing healthy food. That’s a skill.
9. Happiness is a Phone Call About Bacon.
Last week, my W30 compadre Liz called. She could barely contain herself, nearly screaming into the phone, “I FOUND BACON!!!!” A sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon… at Whole Foods! It was the highlight of both of our days. Like I said, it’s the little things.
There is almost no such thing as over-seasoning on W30. I’ve gone through so many spice containers (cumin and paprika mostly). Really, you almost can’t over-do it.
Get rid of any containers you can’t see into (like old yogurt or sour cream containers) or ones you can’t find the lid too. Instead, buy nice tupperware, in all different sizes. Buy twice the amount of containers you think you need. No, really. Invest in ones that you trust will stay sealed when you throw them in your bag. And buy a handful of tiny containers for sauces/dressing. We got the ones pictured above from Crate & Barrel and they are rocking my world.
12. Raisins are candy.
So are apples, bananas, clementines, craisins, grapefruit and other naturally sweet things you never considered a treat before. I am beginning to wonder what actual candy will taste like post-W30. Like eating an actual spoonful of sugar?
13. Don’t worry if your meals don’t look like food porn.
Look, I like eating pretty food as much as anyone. Your dinner doesn’t need to look like it was styled by Food & Wine. Just remember, most bloggers/cookbook writers/Instagram freaks spend a lot of time styling their images. This isn’t my best example, but just for a frame of reference…
This chili (also from Well Fed):
Actually looked like this:
Feel free to share any of your thoughts/questions/W30 coping strategies in comments below. I am all about sharing helpful info! Oh, and one more thing… I am still pretty exhausted. Any tips on that (aside from getting more sleep… I am getting about 8 hrs a night)?