Monday will be the halfway mark of the Whole30 so I thought I’d give a little update on the tricks I’ve been using to keep this manageable. If you missed my first post about the Whole30, you can catch up here. In the meantime, here’s a little bit about the program from their website:
Established by Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig (of Whole9) in April 2009, the Whole30® is our original nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.
Taking a few hours on the weekend to batch cook some food that we can have in the fridge during the week is awesome. There are a metric crap ton of Whole30 compliant recipes online but I often will just make our favorite recipes Whole30 compliant. For instance, we eat zoodles or spaghetti squash with meat sauce almost weekly but most store bought tomato sauces have added sugar (a Whole30 no-no) so I make my own sauce with canned tomatoes (or tinned tomAHtoes if you’re fancy), red onion, carrots, garlic, and seasoning. I also love tuna salad but most store bought mayos are not Whole30 compliant so I make my own mayo and that keeps in the fridge for about a week. I also chop up crudités on the weekend and then I can easily grab that in the morning along with the mayo, dill pickle relish, and a can of tuna. I usually mix the tuna salad at work – worst co-worker ever.
I always do the Whole30 with a friend, and this time around I’ve got my poor husband and a whole Facebook group worth of friends coming along for the ride. Having friends doing this with me means that I have sounding boards for recipe ideas, empathetic ears when I just can’t handle another bite of broccoli, and people who are always available to answer those questions that I’m too lazy to Google (usually they are among the, “can I eat this,” variety).
Accentuate the Positive
If you aren’t used to cooking all the time, and especially to cooking without grains, then the Whole30 can seem overwhelming at first. Add that to the first week’s detox and you can be downright miserable. I learned pretty quickly that the Whole30 is what I make of it, so whenever I feel myself getting sad or annoyed because I can’t eat something, I immediately reframe the question to what I can eat. I can’t have tartar sauce on my fish but I can have avocado crema and that’s way more delicious! I can’t have cheese on my burger but how about a fried egg with runny yolk? Can’t put butter on those veggies? Put some ghee! Looking for a sweet treat? What about some fruit, or heck, even freeze dried fruit for something a little different. Salty treat? Salted nuts are always great, or I usually opt for an avocado with some sea salt sprinkled on. The options are endless and I can guarantee that I am not remotely starving myself. There’s so much I get to enjoy!Check in on one woman’s adventures while completing the #Whole30 via @bookwheelblair Click To Tweet
Use Your Words
I cook as much as I can but inevitably there will be a few times during the month that I can’t escape eating out. In those instances, I explain my dietary needs and I ask a million questions. I recently found myself unexpectedly out of the house with no dinner in sight so I ran into a Peruvian chicken restaurant and asked what they rubbed on their rotisserie chicken, how they cook their plantains, and what’s in the steamed veggies. I was able to get a quarter chicken, grilled plantains, and steamed veggies with herbs and olive oil. It was delicious! So, while not the easiest thing to eat out, asking targeted questions means you’ll inevitably find something.
Consider the Alternatives
It’s sort of crazy to me how much life revolves around food and drinks. Having a celebration? Let’s eat out! Got dumped? Let’s discuss over pizza and ice cream. Friend visiting? Let me show you my favorite restaurant! I frankly don’t know how I have any money at all. I’ve been thinking of alternative ways to celebrate. For example, Mother’s Day just passed and our first plan was to go out to brunch and then to some vineyards for wine tasting. In other words, a Whole30 nightmare. Instead, I suggested that we cook brunch and go to a butterfly exhibit at a local garden. We fancied up brunch with fresh ingredients and sparkling juice in champagne glasses and then we enjoyed a perfect spring day outside. There are always ways to have a good time without bogging ourselves down with unhealthy food.
Drink All the Water, Eat All the Veggies
If people are going from a high carb diet to a Whole30 it’s not unheard of to have a little…stoppage. My registered dietitian recommends water. Drink it until you think you’re going to float away and then drink some more. Another potential reason for this issue could be not enough fiber, so be sure to eat those fruits and veggies!