Fact: You are most likely to quit your Whole30 program on Day 10 or 11.
I can’t believe I’m on Day 10, really. A third of the way to my goal. Has it been easy? No. Absolutely not. Has it been hard? Well…
I am brought back to the words written in It Starts with Food:
“It is not hard. Please don’t tell us this program is hard. Quitting heroine is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.”
Having said that, I was ready to throw in the towel on Day 3. My head felt as if I had slammed it against a brick building. Or downed shots of tequila the night before. Or both. Luckily there are very helpful guidelines in terms of what to expect over the course of the 30 days here. I recommend reading them only AFTER you’ve committed to starting the program and declared it official on social media. Otherwise, you might quickly change your mind. Please don’t. I am very hopeful some significant and positive changes can and will happen over the course of a month – or I wouldn’t be championing the program and doing it myself.
I have learned a few things along the way. Since at least three Eat Clean. Live Dirty. followers have started the program in the past week AND 10 others have purchased the book, here goes.
Early Lesson learned:
- Find a friend. It has been much easier having a partner do this alongside of me. Reluctantly, I recruited my mom to join me on this 30 day journey. I had mentioned it to her back in May prior to finding out my dad was sick. I had set a tentative start date of June 1. At the time she said, “I could give up grains and sugar. But I don’t think I could give up dairy. I eat yogurt every day.” Yep. And I drank wine every day too. But after some mild coercing – and skimming the book herself – she agreed to come along for the ride. Our new start date was June 29. She’s done amazingly well (she breezed through Day 3!) – and we’ve had a good time planning meals. I do find we talk about food. ALL. THE. TIME. It makes my husband crazy, but keeps us sane. So we’ll keep doing it.
- Don’t focus on the foods you can’t have, but instead get creative with the abundance of foods you CAN have! This program is delicious. Truly. My mom is heading back to Missouri with a book titled Paleo Slow Cooking (if you needed proof of just how much your mindset can change over the course of 10 days). The food we’ve had has honestly been A-Mazing. We’ve tried two Paleo-friendly restaurants in Portland: Dick’s Kitchen and Cultured Caveman. Found countless Whole30 recipes online. And replaced our nightly glasses (bottle) of wine with kombucha tea. Dick’s even served kombucha on tap. That was a little gift from heaven on a Saturday night out.
- Pre-Plan so you’re not standing hungry at the Farmers’ Market on the verge of tears. A good rule of thumb is to plan ahead at least three days’ worth of meals. Obviously, we haven’t always followed this rule. We went to the Beaverton Farmers Market on Saturday planning to purchase smoked salmon for lunch. When we reached the stand where we had bought the salmon two weeks prior, I quickly asked (salmon in hand), “This doesn’t have any type of added sugars or sweeteners, does it?” And learned it was smoked with brown sugar. Fail. So we decided to walk down the row where food carts serve up fresh dishes like crepes, barbecue ribs, tamales, etc. I was SO hungry and the food smelled SO good and I almost broke down angered by the fact that every. single. thing. that’s “good” is made with dairy or grains or sugars or legumes. And I couldn’t eat it. I needed a drink. Doh. Again, fail. Eventually, we made it home and I felt better after filling up with a Whole30-approved lunch. But I don’t want to find myself in that kind of desperate situation again during the 20 days that remain.
- Cook in massive quantities. Left-overs are a saving grace. It makes me so happy to go to the fridge and have food that simply needs to be reheated. Yes, it takes extra time to make food in large quantities, but it is ALWAYS worth it. You’re already going to the effort of meal prep, might as well double or triple the amount you’re making. The Egg McMuffins I eat daily are made with whatever leftovers I can find in the fridge (browned sausage, mashed sweet potatoes, asparagus, etc.). My mom and I packed leftover pizza and green beans on yesterday’s flight to Missouri. And leftovers make summer picnics or outings with the kids a cinch. I do plan to post some recipes BTW – as soon as I can find time to step out of the kitchen. I share quite a few simple recipes on my Facebook page, along with daily meal-wrap ups to help in meal planning.
- Wash and cut your veggies the day you bring them home. Wasting food is sad. But it’s easy to forget about the red bell peppers or head of cabbage in the crisper – especially when there are easier, more accessible options. Again, the time will be worth it in the long run.
- Find a source of inspiration each and every day. Talk to your friends. Read the Whole30 forums. Go to yoga. Whatever helps keep you focused and on track.
- Read the book, It Starts with Food. Prior to reading the book, I thoroughly read the Whole30 site and browsed the forums. But there’s nothing like a text book that you can quickly reference or reread to help you through this process. It sits on my kitchen counter top and I often go back to the pages I’ve bunny-eared or refer to the plethora of recipes and helpful tools the book provides.
- Take it one day at a time. This is a journey – and while I’m not seeing mind-blowing results each day, I know they are slowly happening. I have to trust the process – and trust I’m doing goodness for this one body I’ve been given. I read this quote in Fitness magazine yesterday:
“Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward it.”
That’s all for now. Who else is doing this along with me?