Well, the novelty has certainly worn off a bit. Kyle keeps reminding me how much he wants [insert junk food here]. I keep reminding him that he probably won’t enjoy it nearly as much after the Whole 30, but that remains to be seen. However, we are reallllllly looking forward to Shakespeare’s after church on Easter (the designated end of our Whole 30) 🙂
How am I feeling? Excellent. I have been changing up and experimenting with moderate-carb versus low-carb/keto, and I’m trying to figure out which works best for me. I’ve pretty much decided that low-carb/keto works really well in the morning as it gives me an incredible amount of energy and focus, while something a little higher carb works best at dinner.
So after the novelty of the program begins to wear off, how do you continue to stick to the plan? Meal prep. Do what you know. Find enjoyment in other tasks that don’t involve food. These are the same principles I tell all of my patients for maintaining weight loss. I will admit, I have “cheated” a little bit, somewhat unknowingly. I had plantain chips for dinner, and then found out after the fact that they were a no-no. I also had a tablespoon of regular butter. Oops. But really – I don’t think they’re going to make or break me. Another important lesson to this – even though I realized I wasn’t perfect and made an error, I didn’t throw in the towel and give up completely! Too often we expect ourselves and our diets to be perfect, that with just one “mistake”, we completely derail our efforts and the progress we have made. Don’t do that!
Here are a few of the meals I ate over the past couple of weeks:
Breakfast #1: 2 eggs fried in sundried tomato parmesan garlic olive oil over spinach, with 1/2 avocado and 1 apple.
Breakfast #2: 2 paleo-friendly hotdogs with sauerkraut and carrots – so easy and simple and takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.
Lunch #1: tuna (packed in water) salad including peppers, onion, broccoli slaw, and pepitas for a nice crunch, with avocado oil mayo. Again, this took less than 5 minutes to prepare!
Lunch #2: chicken curry with green beans, sweet potatoes, onion, and peppers – SO GOOD! I even made this twice. Got the recipe from The Real Food RDs – I used the slow cooker version since I don’t have an Instant Pot 🙁
Dinner #1: paleo beef chili over mashed potatoes – also DELICIOUS. Kyle even said I could make this again since it’s a lot of his favorite foods combined together in one dish! Get the recipe from Fed and Fit!
Dinner #2: hodge-podge, thrown together dinner – venison burger with onion, roasted squash and broccoli, and a bit of Kite Hill (almond) cream cheese on the side.
Really, a majority of my meals are thrown together and repeated several times so that I don’t have to spend a ton of time in the kitchen when I’m busy doing other things [i.e. grad school]. Kyle and I pick out a few recipes we’d like to make, and then eat leftovers or easy meals throughout the week.
Also! I just read Robb Wolf’s brand-new book Wired To Eat. It follows very similar principles as the Whole 30 (as they are both Paleo-style “diets”). He begins the book by discussing how our genes (back from prehistoric/caveman times) make us want to eat more and move less in order to conserve energy when food is scarce; but now that we live in a world of excess, it’s SO EASY to eat more and move less. And our genes haven’t changed much to prevent that.
Another unfortunate piece to the puzzle is processed food. These foods have become so hyper-palatable that they light up the dopamine centers in our brain to produce that feel good hormone, which makes us feel good for a short period of time. The more we eat it, the more we want it, and the more of it we need to release more Dopamine. It’s really a vicious cycle and throws off many of our hormones and satiety signals. So he starts off by explaining this process, and telling us it’s not our fault that it’s so difficult to lose weight and follow a healthy lifestyle in today’s day and age.
He also focuses quite a bit on insulin resistance and personalized nutrition from the aspect that everyone responds to carbohydrates differently. One person may have a greater insulin response to a banana versus a cookie, while another person may be the exact opposite. He recommends following a 30 day plan similar to the Whole 30, and then following it with a 7 day carb-test using a glucometer to test your body’s response to different carbohydrate containing foods. This process is designed to help you figure out which carbs you do well with or which ones you have problems with. It’s all about learning how YOUR body works, and evaluating how you look, feel, and perform.
Another thing he really stresses is the impact sleep (or lack thereof) has on our body. It helps to control our hormones, insulin resistance, gut permeability, inflammation, immune function, cognitive impairment, and tends to cause cravings (particularly for sugar). He also says that if you’re not getting enough quality sleep, it doesn’t matter too much what you do nutritionally – keeping in mind that it could always get worse – but that sleep has the ability to impact our health more than we probably realize.
In a “nutchelle”, this book was a good read and I HIGHLY recommend you read his book, whether you struggle with weight loss or not.