Clean Eating 101

NaBloPoMo.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it when I started.  It’s tough to write something here every day.  So I made the decision to simply post more often and not try to force myself to write.  After all, the quality of my writing is much more important to me than the quantity.   My husband, my biggest cheerleader, said long ago that he could tell the difference between when I was forcing myself to write and when I was inspired.  I’m sure that you can, too.

So what has gone on this week in the world of my Graceful Mess?

I have been coasting.

Last week I felt as though everything was tossed at me all at once.  Busy with work, busy with end-of-the-school-year stuff for my daughter, busy trying to establish healthier habits in my life.  So very busy with all the things.  On Sunday our preacher preached a fantastic sermon and he opened with this quote:

If the devil can’t make you sin, he will make you busy.  

Think about that for a moment.

To me, that means that if I am busy, busy, busy with all the things, I’m probably not listening.  I’m not really growing a whole lot.  I’m not taking care of myself.  And I am without a doubt not reaching out and genuinely helping others either.  I’ve also realized that when I’m busy, I don’t prepare like I should and then I am rushing and settling for what is less than the best for me and my family.

So this week, I have slowed down a bit.  Taken time to breathe.

I also hit a milestone.

Tuesday was the halfway point of a month-long journey that I’ve been hesitant to share with you.   I was hesitant because I doubted whether I would be able to actually stick with this thing that I’ve challenged myself to.

I recently posted a list of 40 things that I hope to do before I’m 40.  I’ve been quiet about my progress, but I have put these goals into motion.  Some are goals that can just be checked off, some are goals that I wish to work into my lifestyle.

#12, I am happy to report, is halfway complete.

What is #12?  Here you go: For 30 days – cut out all processed foods.  

I am halfway there!!

This is the regimen that I have been following: The Whole30® Program.

Nourishing the Body: Whole30

 

Following the Whole30®  guidelines means leaving a few things out of my daily diet for 30 days.  This means:

  • No sugar of any kind, real or artificial.
  • No alcohol of any kind, not even for cooking.
  • No grains.
  • No legumes.
  • No dairy.
  • No white potatoes.

An additional rule of Whole30®  that I have NOT adhered to, no stepping on the scale or taking any body measurements for the duration of the program.  I have to admit, I peeked.  I promised myself after I did to adhere to this rule until I’m finished, but I’m so excited about a few shed pounds.

Here are a few questions that I’ve been asked by those curious about what I’m doing: How do I feel?  Has it been hard?  How can you give up ____________??

I feel amazing!!

It has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  BUT… Foods are more flavorful to me and I am actually eating more than I did before.

I am nourishing my body with REAL food.

The hardest thing is this: grocery shopping!  Do you know how hard it is to shop with the above limitations?  The two hardest items to omit from my diet have been sugar and dairy.  I’m now the crazy lady reading labels at the grocery store and when I go grocery shopping it leaves me very frustrated.

I am appalled at the ingredients of the foods on the shelves.  SUGAR IS IN EVERYTHING.   I thought I was eating fairly healthy before I started this.  One of my favorite go-to snacks – Craisins – has sugar in it.  Salad dressings – sugar.  If something doesn’t have real sugar in it – it has fake sugar in it.  I have always avoided “sugar-free” items because the fake sugar tastes bad to me, but there are other ways and brands that sneak it in.

The other thing that has been hard for me is preparing food for my family that I will not be eating.  I haven’t asked them to go on this journey with me.  They have tried a few of the dishes that I’ve prepared, but I don’t expect them to join me.  I especially don’t expect my sweet-toothed husband to drink his coffee black or go without sweet tea.  Or my kids to go without cheese.  But they have been very supportive and encouraging, and that’s all I need.

I’ve always had sleep issues, energy issues late in the day, sugar cravings, and tummy issues when stressed out.  I don’t have those issues anymore.

Another big change is that I’m no longer rewarding myself with food.   No icy coffee drink for me in the afternoon because I finished a project.  No sweet piece of chocolate after dinner because I worked out that day or ate a salad.  I’m rewarding myself in other ways and it feels great.

So wish me luck until the end of the month.  I am coasting now, learning new recipes, and becoming healthy bite by bite.  I doubt that I will add much back into my diet when 30 days are up, but one of those icy coffee drinks sure sounds good…

 

 

Jennifer Collins (GracefulMess)

About Jennifer Collins (GracefulMess)

Jennifer is a mom with a day job and she likes to write about her victories and messes along the way. She is living an adventurous life as a Georgia transplant learning to thrive in Maine, with a strong Southern accent that screams that she is "from away" and a new-found love for lobster rolls and timely snow plows. Jennifer's writing has been featured on BlogHer, iVillage Australia, Daddy Doin' Work, and Mamapedia.