Whenever someone hears I’m on the Whole30, more often than not, the first question to come up is, “But what’s left for you to eat?”
I never judge this question. I understand the place of fear and insecurity where it stems from because I have lived there countless times during my life. Look – we place a lot of emphasis and meaning on food. It’s been known to provide a celebration for when we succeed, a comfort for when we fail, and it even serves as cultural representation for a person’s own unique heritage. (#Italiangirlsgetatme)
Threaten to remove these familiar pleasures for even 30 days, and watch any individual immediately respond with tension, defensiveness, and panic.
Over my years of recommending the Whole30 to various clients, it’s remarkable how quickly the response is often, “Okay, but I NEED my latte.” Or, “But who am I without my morning bagel?” Quite frankly…if the threat of removing a single food item for 30 days spins your entire existence into question, choosing to remove said item for a short period of time could actually prove a very healthy decision.
Dare to live 30 days without (insert crutch/food item). Discover that the world still spins and you are still you – bagel or none.
I don’t mean to sound flippant here. I understand all to well how attached to various comforts we all can get. I know how scary it is to have something you feel you depend on taken away from you, but please allow me to point out one major thing…no one is actually taking anything away from you. You alone hold the power to stick to the Whole30 or to choose the cookie. You are a strong, unique individual. No one can force you to adhere to any one diet plan. It’s your choice and your decision.
So back to our original question of “What else is there to eat?” Holy poop-balls Batman! Only an entire world of fruits, veggies, and proteins!
Do you fear you’ll never enjoy a bowl of broccoli as much as a bowl of pasta? Congrats! You probably won’t. And that’s okay! They are completely different things. No one is trying to pretend a bowl of steamed cauliflower is a bowl of creamy Alfredo (…okay, no doubt someone out there is, but clearly they’ve got their own problems to worry about…).
My point is, the Whole30 doesn’t have to be about 30 days of deprivation. It can just as easily be 30 days of exploration. Instead of focusing on all the things you “can’t” have, why not take pleasure in all the things you CAN. The experience is your choosing, why not pick the right mindset to help back it up. What’s more…it’s only 30 days. Which, in the great, wide span of things, is nothing.
Take some of the weight out of those big, Whole30 sails. 30 days is EASY, and what’s more, it just might give you the space you need to develop new perspectives on a shitload of other things.
Can you live 30 days without your Starbucks latte? Yes. Do you have to? No. Could you benefit from exploring your world and discovering other available options? Definitely. Do you have to? No. Might you feel better cutting out a bunch of sugar and processed food temporarily from your diet? Probably. Do you have to? No.
Is my point starting to resonate yet? Good, so let’s get on with the actual food, shall we?
Looking to my own Whole30, here are a few things that have worked for me. In regards to my favorite quick grab ¨bites,” I’d name…
- Roasted Garlic Cloves and Kalamata Olives – stay with me on this one. I can’t fully explain it, but I have found myself on multiple days craving this flavor combination. I wouldn’t recommend chowing down on this pairing prior to a date…although let’s get serious, the chances of dating during the Whole30 are relatively unlikely… The combination is magic, and the fat content of the kalamata olives is incredibly satiating.
- Cauliflower and Guac – No, I’m not trying to sell you on cauliflower replacing tortilla chips. However, this unlikely pairing makes an awesome Whole30 approved snack. Super easy for on the go or even as a side plate for dinner. Pick up a pre-made, Whole30 compliant guac at Trader Joes, and it’s even more easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.
- Eggs and Fruit – sounds odd, but it all works out in the end. In truth, itś been my go to breakfast for the early mornings I work. Itś super easy to pack and proves a quick devour for morning fuel.
- Mixed Nuts and Coconut Chips – The perfect sweet and savory blend. Be sure to check your labels to make sure all ingredients are Whole30 approved. My favorite is to find a roasted nut blend and add the extra toasted coconut. Such an easy grab and go bite for days at the office.
- Oysters with Tapatio Hot Sauce – scrunch your noise up all you want – this snack is super satisfying. Make sure you pick up the oysters packed in olive oil. Add hot sauce to your liking, and enjoy. If you’re anything like me, make sure to drink the liquid gold once you’re done 😉
As for the rest of my Whole30 experience so far…it’s been really solid. It’s proving to be my easiest Whole30 yet. Getting beyond the detox symptoms as detailed in last week’s post here – things have been going great. My skin has cleared up, my energy is consistent, and meal prep gets easier every day (mostly because I now know my go to meals to pack).
I’ve had no real temptations or feelings of ¨but I wish I were eating that,” although I did find myself at a movie with my brother during which he enjoyed a bag of buttered popcorn. While I noted that the butter smelled amazing, I didn’t actually want to partake in having any. Since indulging in movie theater popcorn is a big trigger for me, I felt this was a major win.
I have had two noteworthy “Paleo Guilt Dreams,” in which I turned to sugary treats to help cope with whatever reality my dream had cooked up. During both dreams, I was left feeling so disappointed for not completing all 30 days. I woke up each time completely relieved that the scenario had only been in my mind.
The things I’ve missed the most:
- …more wine
Like I said, surprisingly I’ve had little to no cravings; however, I do miss the indulgent self care of pouring a glass of wine to curl up to.
The things I’ve discovered I actually enjoy:
- Sweet Potatoes
Sorry all you veggie-heads, but I’ve never fully been sold on kale. However, on this go around, I have found multiple ways to enjoy the denser green. Also, sweet potatoes…I admit there was a time I overdid it with those golden beauties. Apparently, however, enough time has passed that I’m once again ready to worship the tender spuds 😉
So there you have it – I’m ready to charge into week three. For next week’s post, I’m going to ask your help for feedback. Would you prefer an article on how the Whole30 effected my menstrual cycle? Or would you more enjoy hearing about the types of workouts I’ve been completing during the program? Be sure to comment here, or via my Instagram or Facebook pages. Give a like or a follow while you’re there 😉
Until next time…