In my journey to find “cleaner” ways to eat…I am always up for a new challenge. The Whole30 was one that I put off for some time, for quite a few reasons.
What is Whole30? It is 30 days where you eliminate all grains, dairy, sugar, and legumes. Basically you Eat like a Dinosaur (one of my favorite Paleo Cookbooks for Kids!).
Why would someone do this? It is found that many of these foods cause inflammation as well as other issues in people, and being someone who suffers from fibromyalgia & digestive issues, anything I can do to help my inflammation stay at bay is a welcome thought. Yet this seemed overwhelming to me.
So I was a good wife and let the hubs go first…He took the challenge and stayed true I would say 95%…he lost 16 lbs in 30 days, and even better than that, he felt amazing! When he finished the Whole30 he found that he did ok when he re-introduced most things, except dairy…who would have guessed? Since eliminating it for the most part he has been feeling better.
So seeing him accomplish this feet…I dug into my competitive wife side and decided to give it a go…and I did it right before Halloween….crazy but true, this year I did not consume any Halloween candy...I stuck to the plan for 30 days and after the first week of headaches and being a total bear, I found that I felt great!
I was in my second trimester, and I had energy, I was full and satisfied with what I ate, and I developed a new-found excitement in the kitchen of different ways to modify my favorites to make them Whole30 approved.
In the end…the scale was not my judge (being preggo), but I felt better as far as stomach and inflammation! And as I reintroduced things I discovered that in addition to gluten and beans (which I already knew bothered me), I also needed to remove corn, dairy, and most sugars…because once reintroduced they did not sit right with me….
So what does a preggo lady do with this knowledge? Does this mean I have to be ALL or NOTHING?
One thing I have found in the journey of clean eating is the need for Prudence when making food choices, Temperence when consuming things not on the “approved” list, and Moderation in all things…so I gained in virtue while doing the Whole30 and now I am embracing an 80/20 approach to my eating for the sake of how it makes me feel, and knowing although it is a sacrifice ( I LOVE TORTILLA CHIPS…and LATTE’s), its worth it to feel better!
This final Trimester, I wanted to give it a second go…do another round of the WHOLE30 as part of my Lenten Sacrifice…and I have found it very hard…WHY? Because my hormones are in charge most of the time, those virtues are a LOT harder to live when you emotionally are going through this waiting for the baby game…
But I have learned that even in this venture it’s still that motto I am constantly sharing with my challengers…Progress NOT Perfection. So I have decided to NOT set myself up for failure and be realistic again…
What I loved at the WHOLE30 website was that it shared once you finish the WHOLE30 to eat that way MOST of the time, but not deprive yourself, and also not binge…to live that moderation and in that find FREEDOM!
Knowing my body, knowing my limitations, and knowing how foods affect me has brought me great freedom. Yet I think the greatest freedom has come in learning to let GO of the PERFECTIONISM in a deeper way and forgive myself for the harsh standards that I can sometimes measure myself up against.
If you struggle with food, with how it affects you, and you are up for a challenge that will help you understand your body, I highly recommend considering doing a round. Just go to www.whole30.com for the guidelines, a grocery list, etc. It is all set up for you. If you want some added accountability and support reach out to me! I am going to be putting together a Whole30 support group on FB in the next couple of weeks to help others in their journey. You can find out more about that by liking my FB page and following me there! (www.fb.com/freedominthegift)
But most importantly, take some time to consider how you can develop & gain the virtues of Prudence, Temperance, and Moderation in your daily eating? It really challenges our Excuses and helps us to grow to love food as the gift that it is and love ourselves past our perfectionism. Sometimes its not about losing weight, rather it’s about gaining knowledge and tools to live a healthier life.
Have a Blessed Friday!