We made it to the end of the first week without a hint of what the Whole 30 book refers to as the hangover. We’ve not experienced any cravings, withdrawals or much hunger between meals. This is subject to change in the next couple of weeks as our bodies transition from junk food, and in that I include all the ingredients in prepackaged ‘healthy’ food that you can’t pronounce, to fresh nonprocessed food.
Although we’re not that far along, we’ve learned a few things along the way:
Prepare mentally. We set a start date and started planning menus. We became more aware of what we were eating. We looked forward to our start date instead of dreading it.
Prepare physically. We started modifying the way we ate. When the Cheetos ran out we had our sandwiches without them. We stopped buying ‘illegal’ food and started eating green salads. I paid attention to portion control.
Have a good support team. It may mean telling only one other person but that person is there to cheer you on when you’re doing great, encourage you when you’re not and to hold you accountable to your commitment.
Shop frequently. It’s hard not to fill your shopping cart with all the colorful produce when you go to the grocery store. Resist the temptation. All that prettiness has to be prepped when you get home with it and has to be eaten before it goes bad. Shop more often and don’t get more than you can deal with for two or three days.
Accentuate the positive. Instead of fretting over what you can’t have, focus instead on all the things that you can have. You’re training your mind to stop thinking ‘convenient’ and to start thinking ‘healthy’ when it comes to your food choices.
Focus on your NSVs. Non-Scale Victories are the things you look for on a daily basis that don’t have anything to do with stepping on the scale. You’re fasting from the scale as well as certain food groups. Focus on what you are noticing each day. For us, food tastes better; I fall asleep faster and wake up less frequently; we learned how to make our own mayonnaise.
Keep a food journal. Ugh, I know! I’ve resisted for simply years. But they do come in handy. Take just a few minutes at the end of the day jot down what you had to eat, if you noticed anything in particular and note any milestones. You can bet that the day we made mayonnaise made it into my journal. They are also good to refer back to for menu ideas or if you have a reaction to something. Did you experience that before?
My big take away from the first week is that you’ve got to want to do this. It isn’t a casual undertaking. Our food journey is more meaningful to us because we’re doing this for Lent. But beyond that, it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to commit to this way of eating. Researching recipes, shopping, prepping, cooking – it’s a big job.
We’re looking forward to week two. New menus and cooking techniques. We’re trying our hands at making catsup next. What with mayonnaise under our belts we might become saucy little divas.