Whole30 Diary, Day 3--Getting Off the Slippery Slope
Hello, it's Elizabeth! My husband and I started a Whole30 on Sunday and I thought it might be valuable to document some of my thoughts around it here, since this is something that many of our customers and friends are curious about. First off, I bet you'd be surprised to know that this is only my second Whole30. My first one was nearly 6 years ago!
While we all know the good reasons to do a Whole30 (first and foremost your health!), if you're like me, you're also great at coming up with good reasons NOT to do a Whole30. For instance--
- I'm a baker--I need to try my recipes!
- What if there is an event and everyone is drinking and I want to have a drink too?
- My family goes out to eat every Friday night--what is that going to look like?
- And the biggest one for me: don't mess with my coffee. I can give up anything except the cream in my coffee. You will have to pry the heavy cream from my cold, dead hands!
Even though I had plenty of (not super valid) excuses not to do this, I had a lot of very valid reasons to do it.
A lot of you know I had some health problems this summer (not related to food or lifestyle--it was just a fluke I was born with). I spent a few weeks in the hospital, had to travel to receive medical care, and relied heavily on meals brought to us by amazing friends (who were so sweet to consider our dietary issues). Anyway, I had a lot of antibiotics, anesthesia, and other things pumped into me. I was sedentary for 5 weeks and I had multiple surgeries. My system just felt messed up and even after recovering, I was feeling sore all over, all the time, which I knew was due to inflammation. My husband's reason is that he was eating a lot of convenience and comfort foods as he sat with me in the hospital, which led to some weight gain that he was unhappy with. Not to mention that seeing people your own age in the hospital with severe illnesses is very sobering. It makes you want to work harder to stay healthy.
Another reason is that I knew I needed this is I feel like my entire family has entered what I've named the Slippery Slope of Healthy Eating. And as the primary food preparer/grocery shopper, I was the one taking them there. You see, when we first adapted this lifestyle, there was NOTHING ready made in grocery stores that was compliant. I was used to making everything from scratch (which incidentally is how The Joyful Food Co. was born). Now there are some things at the grocery store that are compliant and fit the bill (I LOVE seeing the Whole30 logo on items), but there are a TON of things that are only marginally good. Even finding marginally good things feels like such a novelty, that I'll end up buying them out of excitement! What I mean is, I'll find a snack that is grain-free, but sweetened with brown rice syrup. Or I buy some awesome cassava tortillas from Sprouts but use them to make quesadillas with cheese. Or I get a bun-free burger at Five Guys but add french fries and a root beer. Or I go to a Mexican restaurant and order fajitas with no tortillas, but I add sour cream and eat my weight in tortilla chips. The list goes on and on and suddenly, I'm not remotely living a Paleo lifestyle anymore (even though I know I feel so much better when I do). All of these small decisions add up quickly, and can make you wondering why you feel like crap because you thought you had a mostly clean diet.
So here we are on Day 3 and the hardest thing so far, besides not using heavy cream in my coffee, was making that initial decision to start--which is kinda how life works and probably why Nike's slogan is Just Do It. Just Doing It is hard and most things in life I want to Just Not Do. But this? Is so worth doing.
What about you? Do you need a reset in your diet? Are you falling down the slippery slope of kinda healthy-ish food? I know you can think of lots of reasons NOT to do a Whole30, but what are the reasons that you might really need this?