30 Days of WHA?!?!

Well it's almost here. The end of my 30 day challenge to myself. To fill you in, I was completing what is known as the Whole 30. Basically I spent the last 30 (well, 28 so far) days avoiding grains, legumes, dairy, sugar and alcohol. What in the world did I eat? A lot of nutritious, delicious, non-modified, non-preserved food. Think meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables galore, fruit. It's pretty similar to the diet I followed in previous nutrition challenges.  The thing I liked most about these 30 days and what made it easiest to maintain was that I wasn't focused on dropping body fat. I just wanted to see how 30 days of clean eating would make me feel. Which means I was able to eat fruit (in moderation....meaning I had 1-2 servings a day most days out of the week) and starches like sweet potato!!

I should have blogged throughout the month but here's what I remember:

Days 1-7: Easy! I made a delicious mocha crusted steak the first weekend. I prepped food for the week. I felt good. I woke up fairly easily. I was starting to sleep more soundly. My workouts were terrible but that is typical.

Days 8-15: WHERE IS MY CHEAT MEAL!?!? I turned into a monster. I might have kicked a puppy or two. Any time I've done a nutrition challenge in the past I've always allowed myself at least a cheat meal per week and my body was looking forward to it. It got quite upset when I didn't reward it for a week of hard work. My tummy was revolting. I was constantly tired. And I just wanted to eat a cupcake. Instead I laid in my bed as much as I could. I stayed away from the gym (which only made any workout I did make it to that much harder). I did not want to eat anything that I was able to eat. I probably skipped a meal or two during this time frame because I just couldn't make myself eat something that wasn't fried. Eventually I ordered a burger (no bun, no cheese) with bacon, an egg and avocado and sweet potato fries from the bar next door. I thought sweet potato fries were ok because it's a sweet potato but it turns out fried form of any vegetable is out. So I guess technically it was a cheat. But I didn't know that until later. So I'm not counting it.

Days 16-23: Still being a monster. But I'm blaming that equally between diet, a gnat infestation, the supermoon and my period. Bad combo. But I was sleeping better and definitely having more energy.  I had a cup of tea (no sugar, no dairy) each morning but I typically felt like I didn't need it. I started getting comments from people that I looked a lot thinner and that I lost a ton of weight. (One of the rules on the Whole30 is that you aren't supposed to weigh yourself during it or take measurements....curious how much I did actually drop. I'm guessing about 5 pounds.) Overall I felt much better...minus the interacting with people.

Days 23-28: I ran a mile...fast. Fast for me. While I was doing it, I wanted to stop. But I reminded myself that the food I was eating fueled me to be able to do it. And I kept going. And it sucked. But I didn't die. My energy is good. I get tired between 9-10pm and I've actually been waking up without an alarm around 6am. Let's not get any crazy ideas...I make myself go back to sleep until my alarm goes off. But I think about getting up. My skin is smooth. My stomach stopped acting a fool. Today, at work, the doctor brought in caramel-sugar donut holes. They looked pretty darn good. But I wasn't even sad I wasn't partaking in them. I felt good with my breakfast of ground pork, mushrooms, dried cranberries, apples and almonds. It sounds like an odd breakfast (or maybe just an odd combo) but it was really really good. Just enough sweetness to make me not crave the donuts but lots of protein and healthy fat.

I have 2 more days and I feel confident I'll get thru them with ease. I've gone out in a few social situations and not drinking was pretty easy. If I were to do it again, I would make smaller portions of food so I didn't have to eat as many leftovers. I made an asian chicken that tasted good...the first 3 meals. I think I got 6 out of the recipe that I cut down.  By the end of it, I was pretty sure the chicken was my nemesis and trying to kill me.

I would recommend that everyone try this. It's 30 days. What's the worst that can happen? You find out that your body doesn't actually like gluten/dairy/legumes/sugar/alcohol? (Eesh! That would make me sad....I think that's not supposed to be the case but it's the truth) You find out that cutting those things out make you feel better? For me it was a huge test in willpower but I'm really happy I stuck with it. I'm a little worried about reintroducing the foods back in...but mostly because I really will be sad if anything makes me feel bad.

I'll try to remember to report back in a couple days with the end results.  And how I felt afterwards.


Twist Me Pretty

I"ve been on a braiding kick lately. I'm not particularly great at braiding but practice makes perfect right? I can manage a french braid. I can clumsily get thru a (I think) Dutch braid - think inverted french braid. Braiding under is WEIRD! But the waterfall? The fishtail? Anything else??? So confusing looking! But so pretty!
I came across this website and she's great at simplifying things. I used her instructions to waterfall braid tonight - it was actually pretty easy. Tomorrow I'll tackle the fishtail. And I'm thinking I might give this a try tomorrow night: