It’s now been over a month since I finished my first Whole30 and as I reflect on it I realize that I am extremely lucky to have my wife Alli not only for the constant joy and happiness she brings into my life on a daily basis, but also the way she has changed my food habits since we started our lives together 8 years ago. Prior to living with her, Mac and Cheese and hot dogs was a staple meal. Take out was a 2-3x a week occurrence, fish was for sport, not for eats, and vegetables were optional, not required. When we moved in together, change was gradual but consistent, and I found my tastes and my openness to new foods had expanded rapidly with the help of Alli’s cooking. I began to trust her opinion on trying new foods, eating a certain way, and thinking about food differently. She even helped turn my severe acid reflux problem into a non-issue, which was a pivotal turning point for me.
I gave up coffee in September of 2016. It was a slow transition and one that I was extremely skeptical of. I knew I was suffering with some adrenal fatigue and blood sugar issues though and coffee doesn’t help those situations. You see, when you use coffee to pick you up, your body has to pour out cortisol in response to the caffeine, which in turn stimulates a blood sugar increase. Too much cortisol leaves to a whole host of problems including fatigue, weight gain, hormonal issues, anxiety, etc. I’m not saying that everyone needs to go give up coffee right now, but if you are dealing with any of the above issues you might want to experiment for a couple of weeks and then try that beloved cup of coffee and see how you feel.
Although I finished the Whole30 a few weeks ago, most of my meals look the same with the addition of some white rice, occasional raw dairy and some dark chocolate now and again. Although as a disclaimer, when I go on vacation I am much more liberal with my diet (and I think that’s fine for most people!) Halfway through March, I went skiing in Utah with my Dad and Erik and while we always enjoyed a healthy breakfast, I definitely indulged in some delicious meals at restaurants and also purposefully “glutened” myself for some of the best cookies I ever had. Anyway, my point is that while doing a challenge is great and there are many benefits I experienced, and am happy to continue experiencing, it’s also nice to be able to bring some balance into my life with some wine and desserts when I want them.
Another Whole30 in the books! I have to say that this one was significantly easier than my first Whole30. I knew what to expect since I had did one before and I was just so ready to make a change. The holidays definitely brought more sweets around than usual and I’ve found that once I start eating sugar, it’s hard for me to stop. And it’s healthy sugar too (at least for the most part!) like Paleo cookies or some dark chocolate after meals. I don’t regret having these things at all, but I think it’s good to give your body a re-set when you find these items creeping into your diet more often than you would prefer.
When I used to pick up a packaged food item (and by packaged I mean anything that comes with a label and an ingredient list), I used to immediately look at the “nutrition facts” section. I would go straight to the serving size and the calories per serving. Calorie count was the main indication to me if a food was “healthy” or “unhealthy”.