At the Beginning of the Beginning

The preparatory phase of this new eating plan began several days ago. All of the reading, researching, recipe finding, video watching and planning has taken time. It has become our number one topic of conversation. In preparation we’ve been more particular about what we eat, began phasing out ‘illegal’ foods and making wiser choices.

The groundwork has been laid. We decided to go on an eating plan, we went grocery shopping, we ate a salad – shouldn’t I be ten pounds lighter by now? I mean, granted we haven’t even started yet but, doesn’t all that prep work count for something? Of course it does. So much of making this successful is mental. Mentally I’m like Wyle E. Coyote waiting for ACME to drop off a package as soon as I put a letter in the mailbox. I’m anxious to get started.

Sister went through all the recipes she’s collected and carefully made out a shopping list. Thus armed, we struck out for the grocery store where we were greeted by the aroma of fried chicken as it wafted through the parking lot. I was more than a little bit hungry at the time. I remarked to sister that there would come a day when the smell of something fried would be repulsive, but today was not that day. (Sniff, sniff) She agreed.

We knew going in that shopping locally was going to be a challenge. We live in a little rural town with one grocery store. It is traditionally southern. Sister’s list was not typical southern fare. The nearest whole food store is an hour away. For some folks that might mean a trip across town. For us, it’s into the next county and three towns over. It’s quite the adventure shopping for whole foods. We have a trip planned but for now we were trying to meet immediate needs.

The first part of the shopping trip was easy: the produce aisle. We gathered and foraged amongst the fresh vegetables then made our way to the frozen vegetables. That’s where everything slowed down: label reading. There was no frozen cauliflower that didn’t contain some sort of forbidden ingredient. Back to produce for a fresh head.

As we label read our way through the store we found there was no brand of catsup that didn’t contain high fructose corn syrup or sugar. There was no brand of bacon bits that didn’t have sugar or any brand of sausage that had no sugar.

About three quarters of the way up and down the aisles sister started getting discouraged. She had planned her menus so particularly but couldn’t find the acceptable ingredients for her recipes. Many, many times we’d put something in our buggy, remember to read the label and put it back on the shelf. Sister made the comment that she knew it was going to be hard, but she hadn’t expected it to be this hard.

The longer we shopped the longer our list for Lucky’s Market became.

If you’re thinking about doing Whole30 it has required, and will continue to require, time and effort. We’re willing to invest that for the Lenton season, for our health and for each other.

And regarding Lent, I know that, for me especially, this journey is going to take more than 40 days. Whole30 is just the first step of many to come. I hope that what we learn and accomplish – and fail at – along the way will help and encourage you. We’d love to hear your story.

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