Monday, September 7, 2015

#Whole30: 4 Things I've Learned

Well, my Whole30 came to an abrupt end last week and ended up being a measly Whole4. I spent days one through three compliant, but miserable. Everything I read and everyone I talked to informed me that this was just part of the process and I was "slaying the sugar dragon." And then Day 4 happened. And by "happened" I mean that vomiting, diarrhea (sorry, TMI, I know!), fever and severe fatigue happened. I wasn't able to keep anything compliant down except fruit and water. I gave my doctor a call trying to get an appointment and she made it pretty clear that I needed to stop Whole30 and focus on getting better. So unfortunately, that is where my first journey with Whole30 ended.

That being said, reading about Whole30 and getting encouragement from friends and family to try the program out taught me some very valuable lessons that I have needed to learn for a while.

  1. Sugar, Sugar - There is so much sugar in everything we eat today. Sugar in the bread, sugar in the salad dressings, sugar in EVERYTHING. Add to that the fact that I would add sugar to my coffee, to my tea and would need a pick-me-up during the day.

    For me, recognizing this has led to some small, but effective changes. I no longer add sugar to my coffee . And I keep nuts at my desk for when I get hungry rather than going to the vending machine.
  2. Reading Labels - When I was on a more restrictive diet a few years ago, I was great at reading labels. I knew what went into my food and it made me think more about the food I was eating.

    Simple, but important, I've gone back to reading labels. I'm not as strict as Whole30 recommends, but it helps when keeping an eye on things like added sugar and salt.
  3. Brown-Bagging - I've gotten complacent with my lunches. This isn't only a matter of physical health, but also a matter of financial health. When I look at how much money lunches out cost me, it's incredible.

    So I've started packing my lunches again. Not for every lunch, but brown-bagging the majority of the week still saves me a small fortune and makes sure that I'm eating foods that are better for me.
  4. Meal-Planning - This and the last one go hand-in-hand. It was mind-boggling to me how easy it was to put together a meal plan.

    As a lover of Excel spreadsheets, I will almost always jump at the chance to build a spreadsheet. Using a variety of tabs, I tracked days, recipes, shopping lists and other ideas. It was actually fun and it also took the endless question of "what am I going to make for dinner?" and nipped it in the bud. 
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