A few months back, my friend, Steph, tweeted about this thing called a “Whole 30.” The rules were fairly simple in theory: 30 days with no grains (including corn and pseudo grains like quinoa), no legumes (including soy), no sugar or sweeteners (including Stevia, agave, and honey), and no dairy.
Is it any surprise that it’s a HUGE challenge to cut those things out of your diet?
Thing is, it’s almost impossible to stay on track while eating out- and I’m not about to become one of those people that eats a dry salad while her friends are eating delicious looking hamburgers. It just will NOT happen. They’ve also suggested bringing my own food into restaurants, but I believe that is just RUDE.
Even with my setbacks (like getting pulled pork at Qdoba because the allergen list on the nutrition guide said it’s soy-free, even though the ingredients state “soybean oil”), I did pretty well for the first five days. Coconut oil became my best friend. I made huge salads for lunch. I even sent back the poor excuse for a “fresh fruit cup” I got at Fridays because it had mandarin oranges which were more likely than not soaked in some kind of sugary syrup.
Come Friday, however, I was clearly suffering from the “low-carb flu” I’ve been reading about. I was MISERABLE. I knew, however, that this was only supposed to be temporary, so I tried to push through it. Unfortunately, my best way to evade temptation is to completely avoid it, and it wasn’t going to happen.
On Saturday, I was put on cotton candy duty at an open house at my job. Not only did a sugar-deprived Lissa have full access to unlimited, free pink vanilla spun sugar, but there was no way to get out of it. As soon as the little whisps of cotton candy started floating up into the air, I was done. All control went straight out the window, and I had no regrets.
Over the day yesterday, I realized that the Whole 30 just is not realistic for me. I needed something that allowed me for flexibility to eat out without feeling deprived. That’s when it occurred to me that I need to become a “Paleo Snob.”
I realized that I can fairly easily follow the Whole 30 Guidelines at home, although I miss my Chobani terribly. I also realized that with my hectic work schedule, I don’t eat out nearly as often as I used to. I used to eat out 5 to 7 nights a week, plus daily fast food and/or frozen convenience lunches. Now, I eat out maybe two or three times a week.
So, I’ve decided to set some new rules for myself:
- I will follow the Whole 30 guidelines when purchasing food at a grocery store or preparing food at home.
- I will not purchase restaurant food for myself unless I’m eating out with friends (no McDonalds for lunch, etc.)
- When I eat out with friends, I can eat whatever I want on the menu, but I must eat the best. If I don’t like the bread as much as the rest of the burger, I will leave it off.
- If I honestly do not want anything on the menu, I will eat the most “Whole 30 approved” thing I can find. However, my entire meal does not need to be “safe.” I can still have dessert or an appetizer with a “safe” entree.
I decided to jump on the scale today, a week after starting the Whole 30. Even with not following the plan yesterday and Saturday, I am still down 6.2 pounds. It’s the most I’ve been down in one week EVER. So, I think there might be something to this Whole 30 thing, I just need to be able to LIVE in the process.