Guys, its almost time for a ginormous celebration in our house. Its really happening: I’m coming down the home stretch of my first Whole30! Today is Day 28 already. I am 90% done (with this round, anyway). Happiness and joy!
Much to my surprise, the month that I thought (at times) would never end has actually gone by in a blink! My elusive goal becoming a Whole30 alumni is almost a reality now. I know this may all sound so cheesy, but the past month has been a rich time of learning that I am not likely to dismiss the lessons of any time soon.
In the past month, I have discovered so much about what I do and do not need. I have had some moments of clarity that have helped me discover I am able to do a lot more than I thought I could. I’m also finding out that some of my “limitations” have actually been all in my head. All of this is why I feel confident that this is probably the first of many Whole30s I’ll do eventually. So today I’m sharing some things I’ve learned in the past four weeks.
But … coffee!
I bring this up because this is probably the #1 question I get from people. (“So, … if you can’t have dairy or sugar, … what do you do about your coffee?”) I get it, people! I feel ya! For many of us, coffee is our Sacred Cow. For the last 28 days, I have most certainly enjoyed my coffee. I put a generous spoon of full-fat coconut milk (from the can) in my mug, along with a spoon of coconut oil. This makes my coffee somewhat “creamy” (-ish), and gives me lots of good healthy fats.
What’s better is that while on Whole30, I’ve learned that I do not actually need massive amounts of sugar and cream to enjoy my coffee. This has been my biggest surprise of the journey, bar none! Granted, I miss my organic half-and-half. So unless I have a major reaction when I reintroduce dairy, I may bring it back. But if I don’t, that’s OK, too! Because I actually … like the taste of coffee! (Who knew?)
TRUTH: At night, when Mr. Bean gets the coffee ground and ready for the morning, I smell it and actually get excited to go to sleep … so that I can wake up and drink coffee.
But I have a family, and they are not all doing Whole30!
This is a controversial topic amongst Whole30-ers, and this might not sit well with some. There is a sect of Whole30-ers that adamantly believes you simply MUST get 100% of your family on board with YOUR Whole30 program if you are going to be successful. I am not of that belief system.
Before I began my Whole30, I talked to Mr. Bean about it. I told him that I felt this was something I needed to do for myself. I asked him how he felt. He let me know, in no uncertain terms, that if giving up cheese for a month was part of the program, he was definitely OUT! (I’ve never met someone who can eat as much cheese as he does!)
So, I had two options at that point. I could try to change his mind, get him to read the book, and make him eat stuff that he didn’t like (and may resent me for). OR, I could move forward with what I needed to do (FOR ME). Then, I could INVITE him to be a part of as much of it as he wanted, and support him in whatever he chose.
You can probably see where this is going. I chose the latter. And for us, it has worked! I do not feel that his cheese, chocolate or wine consumption has hindered my ability to be successful! For breakfast and lunch (and some dinners!), Mr. Bean has eaten all of the cheese his heart desires. Each time I make a Whole30 compliant dinner, I give him a heads-up about what I am making, and give him some possible modifications (“Mr. Bean, you might want sour cream, soy sauce, cheese, etc. on it”). Sometimes, he adds things to it. MOST of the time, though, he just likes the food I make! SCORE! In fact, he had THIRDS of last night’s dinner.
It should also be noted that of his own accord, Mr. Bean has made the colossal sacrifices of forgoing sugar in his coffee and some of his wine while I’ve been on Whole30. And has lost about 8 pounds, we figure. Life is just not fair sometimes!
But it just happens with age, right?
If I’m honest, I’ll admit that for years now, I have not been sleeping well. I have had trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, I wake many times in the night, and wake early in the morning. Because I hear so many speak of these troubles, I have come to accept that this is just my “lot in life,” at age 40+. How I have longed for the days (in high school) when I would sleep right through my snooze alarm, only to have my dad come charging down from the opposite end of the hall to turn off the alarm that was right next to my head! (Sorry, Dad!) These last few years, I have been such a light sleeper that it seemed my days of solid sleep were a thing of my youth.
Well, I’ve discovered on my Whole30 journey that poor sleep is NOT something I just need to just accept in my 40s! I am falling asleep and STAYING asleep better than I have in many years! In fact, one night recently, Mr. Bean was called to work very early the next day (3:30 AM). He questioned whether he would be able to wind down enough to go to sleep early enough to be able to log some hours before his 2 AM alarm the next day. I supported him by easily falling asleep at 7:30 PM! Great sleep has probably been my biggest non-scale victory (NSV).
My next task, when I start the reintroduction, will be to determine what food (or combination of them) has been preventing me from optimal sleep.
But what about peer pressure?
I’d pondered the quagmire of social eating scenarios quite a bit before beginning Whole30. In fact, it was one of the reasons I had for not starting the program earlier. But to my surprise, I’ve found it is actually not that hard to say no to foods that people around me are eating. With my “eyes on the prize” of better health, I simply let people know that I’m doing something different right now, and how wonderful I’m feeling, and that’s the end of it.
Sometimes, I bring my own food. Sometimes I eat before or after the social event. Its not that big of a deal and I’m not going to die! And sometimes, it helps me to get just have a good sniff of whatever they are eating or drinking! (Seriously. Weird, but true. I’ve sniffed my husband’s wine, Chik-fil-A sandwiches, pepper jack cheese, and more.) And I’ve always been OK. I never got an uncontrollable urge to take a bite or drink and go off of Whole30. Because at the end of the day, I have too much at stake to give in so easily.
So what’s next?
In these last 3 days, I’m taking some time to reflect on how I’d like the reintroduction to go. Not just for the two weeks or so, post-Whole30, but for LIFE. While it is not realistic to live a “Whole365,” it is my intention to keep living out much of these new habits as possible long after this program is finished. I’ll share more on this in a future post, but Whole30 has been a huge game-changer for me and I am so thankful for this amazing “Life Reset” that I’m enjoying!
Until next time,