The Whole30 – or something really close

So, I did it. Pretty much. I did!

I stuck to the plan almost completely for 27 days. So, yeah, I know that isn’t quite the Whole30, but it’s close, right? Maybe it was just a justification or copping out or something, but I could not see getting to my 30 days and celebrating on a Monday. I really, really wanted to celebrate with my first test food, popcorn.

Ruby red popcorn from Bittersweet Farm -  Lake Elmo

Over the course of my life, I’ve given up a number of foods that I really love because they don’t sit well in my body.

milk

Milk, for one. I used to LOVE milk. I’d drink a big ol’ glass of it, just because. And then other dairy things, a little bit at a time. Then gluten – yes, I was only completely gluten-free for about 9 months, but since then, I’ve not been able to really, truly enjoy most of the bready, gluteny things that were once staples in my diet.

Next, potatoes!

potatoesall

When my Rumi pointed out to me that my itchy, red hands when I cut and peeled them probably meant that I shouldn’t be eating them, well, I have to say I was just sad. I tried to argue with her (in my head) but I could see she had a point. And I loved potatoes. Mashed, fried, scalloped, latke, cheesy potatoes, hash browns, twice baked, pirogi, potato pancakes, baked potato soup, jojos, clam chowder, tater tots, curry, gnocchi…

Ahem, yes. Ok. Back to the present. Where was I going with this ode to potatoes? Oh yes, popcorn. After choosing to let go of such foods that I loved dearly, I really didn’t want to have to give up popcorn. And hey, guess what? No need! I ate a nice, healthy (and by healthy I mean huge) serving on my 27th night and no adverse effects whatsoever! Yay!

I’m sticking with the plan (as directed) while I add in other foods. I had ramen the next day and hey, guess what? I was right the first time I gave up gluten. Which is not so much learning something new as confirming something I once knew.

So, what have I learned? I have learned that popcorn is ok and gets to stay, and remembered that gluten is not a friend to my stomach. I’ve also learned that I feel much, much better without sugar. Although I didn’t keep careful track, I think that my mood fluctuated less in the last month, without any strong dips or highs. Which shouldn’t be surprising, but still is, a little.

Which doesn’t mean I won’t be having the occasional sweet...

Which doesn’t mean I won’t be having the occasional sweet…

And I learned that if I tell people what I’m about, people are supportive of that (mostly – you know who you are). And it helps me, too, to tell people what I am up to. I mean, I can hardly say I’m not eating sugar then come out of the teacher’s lounge with a big ol’ cup cake. I also learned some tasty, creative ways to eat my slow carbs, mostly in the form of sweet potatoes, and to add veggies to my meal to help me feel satisfied (ala Volumetrics). And while this wasn’t about weight loss, I did lose weight. And I only ran twice this month (mostly because I’m still feeling the effects of the anemia)!

The next big thing I’ll be trying is beans. I love my beans and have seriously missed them. I already have my lunches for the week so I’ll wait till next weekend, but I’ll be interested to see how I do with them.

For now, I’m content to continue with the Whole30 eating plan, continue to be gluten free, continue to leave out the sugar and fast carbs (ala 4 Hour Body) and allow myself popcorn and something sweet one night a week (also 4 Hour Body). I’ll be experimenting with dairy free ice creams, and going back to gluten free brownies/cookies, too. Silly not to listen to my body, right?

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