Ok, I admit it. I went 16 full days without “cheating” at all on this Whole30 thing but then some personal BS occurred and I was going out to see a Fringe Festival show and all I wanted in the world was some damn red wine. So I had some.
Do I look at this as a failure? I mean, yeah, but I don’t really care. I look at it as doing the Whole30 imperfectly and since I’m doing this for no one else but myself, I get to make the rules. Does this mean that I’m going to be boozing it up for the next 13 days? Of course not. It would probably shock you to know that I had a cube of cheese a few days ago too because I was starving and had to go grocery shopping yet again and had nothing to eat. Impressively, I don’t feel like my progress was destroyed.
I sound super defensive, don’t I? I think it’s because someone was like “now you have to start all over” and I am saying, “Nah, not going to do that.” If you read the article on the Whole30 website it goes through a bunch of reasons why you have to and then it says the most important one, “But hey, you’re an adult and can do whatever you want to do.” Yup. I’m pretty much with Cartman on this one:
So, this is the supposed Tiger Blood week of the challenge and, as with all the other parts of the timeline, my experience is lining up pretty well. I generally have more energy, am sleeping much better, and waking up in a more alert, clear state. Of course, the wine from yesterday changed those things for today but that is not a new experience for me.
The hardest thing about this way of eating, and why I will not really keep up to this degree after the 30 days is the constant need to go grocery shopping. I have been going shopping every 4 days and buying a lot of stuff each time. When you’re eating fresh food all the time without a lot of filler starches and grains, you eat a lot more and instead of produce rotting in the crisper, you are simply always out of produce! I also eat larger portions of meat. And while there’s nothing inherently bad about that ,these things combined with cooking with every part of the coconut makes for a hefty grocery bill every time.
Eating this way costs a lot in money and it costs a whole lot in time. I feel like a lot of my free time is spent purchasing food, chopping food, and cooking food. And while I enjoy cooking, it is difficult to keep up the energy when you are also working a full time job and doing some house remodeling and keeping the house clean and chasing after a puppy. It’s not that I don’t have the time (or at least, it’s not that I can’t make time to do it), but I question how much of my time I wish to spend doing this.
I understand that the answer is planning planning planning, however, to make enough food for the rest of the week I feel like I would have to give my entire weekend to the kitchen. I already give a large part of my weekend to house upkeep and food. To spend every free minute making large pots of things to hopefully last the week just isn’t something I want to do. This challenge has shown me a lot about how I value my time.
The good side of this is that I have spent significantly less on eating out, simply because eating out is a pain in the ass with such a restrictive diet. Because eating out money is my personal money and grocery money is a shared pot, it feels like I’m saving a lot. But since I’m spending more on groceries (over the amount we actually budget for), I’m not actually. But it’s nice to have some money left over when I get paid. I like the feeling of living within my means. In this case, though, it’s pretty much an illusion because of the grocery aspect, I guess, but I always feel accomplished when I cook/make the majority of my week’s food.
Though this is “Tiger Blood” time, I have to admit that I am not feeling all that much “better” than when I’m generally being mindful of what I eat the rest of the time under less restriction. Yes, I am feeling energetic and I’m not experiencing all kinds of blood sugar crashes, but this is not a new thing for me. Whenever I watch my sugar intake and eat way more fruits and veggies, I feel better. I am lucky in that I don’t have any allergies or food sensitivities. I also feel way better in general since I started taking a vitamin D supplement, so it’s hard to say if the diet is doing anything majorly different or if I was just really deficient in vitamin D. I’m leaning toward the latter, combined with the knowledge that lower amounts of processed foods is a generally good idea for me health and happiness-wise.
The next part is a little TMI, so scroll past if you are squicked out by discussion of female biological processes.
One very bizarre thing that occurred was that I got my period way early. This is particularly strange because I am on the pill, so bleeding occurs like clockwork 3 days after ending a pack. But I did some reading and am thinking that the whole phytoestrogen thing is not a total load of hooey. Soy is packed with isoflavones, which are touted for various positive things (especially the easy source of protein) but they also mimic estrogen in the body. They don’t do the job of estrogen as well as estrogen, but they like to hang out on estrogen receptors. Apparently, most grains contain a bunch of these things too. So seemingly, when I cut out all grains and all soy, my body saw this as a significant enough of a hormone level drop to trigger bleeding. As I just finished a pack today, I wonder if that means I’m going to be bleeding for two weeks straight. Great…but kind of interesting and little bit disturbing.
So 13 days to go. I likely will not be wavering again in my Whole30 resolve, ‘cause 13 days ain’t no thang. I am certainly enjoying learning some new recipes and agree that eating this much produce is a good thing, but honestly, pasta is a requirement for a busy person with so much awesome going on. I look forward to having it back as an option!