Whole 30 – Wholly Terrifying?

Okay friends…what I really want to do is write a quilt update full of all of the beautiful projects I’ve been working on.  But the whole reason I started this blog was to journal my lifestyle changes and effort to get the insane inflammation out of my body.  It’s been an interesting several months, to be sure, and I have definitely made some very positive changes.  I’ve cut back on drinking (for the most part) and I’ve cut out gluten and soy (for the most part.)  Cheese, though.  Cheese.  Damn you, dairy!

About that “most part” – it’s caught up with me.  Funny how patterns repeat themselves – this is just like grad school.  One “cheat” doesn’t hurt you.  It’s the one that didn’t hurt you that leads to doubling up that leads to total backslide and magically you’ve gained 90 pounds. No, I have no idea how that happened either.  Well, I do, but it’s not very festive to think about it.

Two good things – I recognize that pattern and I can stop it in its tracks.  Two – I have friends who do have healthy relationships with food and I’m paying attention.  Colleen – I listen!  I do!  Some things it’s taken me years to catch, but I finally only use glass containers and I only buy good quality proteins.  Seriously!   Vacation is vacation and normal life is normal life.

Most people can splurge on vacation and go right back to their regular, healthy lifestyle.  I’m not that person.  I don’t have the mindset that a treat now doesn’t mean all treats all the time.  I’m working on that (among other things) with a therapist, but honestly, a restricted “diet” is good for me.  Here’s why:

I’m reading “It Starts with Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.  They created Whole 30, and since many of the bloggers and instagrammers I started following this past year have mentioned it, I was curious too.

Four main concepts about the food we eat:

  1. Promote a healthy psychological response.
  2. Promote a healthy hormonal response.
  3. Support a healthy gut.
  4. Support immune function and minimize inflammation.

Wait, what?  Inflammation.  DING DING DING.  I’m listening.

I know it’s not rocket science, but sometimes reading it in black and white is really helpful.  I’ve learned more about my blood and gut health this past year than I ever thought I would know, and the research in this book just hammers it in.  HAMMERS it.  So thank you, UT Southwestern and your team of Hematologists and Gastroenterologists.  Not only do I know my blood and insides are totally jacked, I know how to fix it.

So back to this whole “restricted diet” thing?  Whole 30 is strict.  It’s meat, fruit and veg for 30 days.  No cheats.  No added sugar for my coffee, no booze, no whining.  Just eat regular food.  And not quasi veggies that are technically grains like corn, no ma’am.  I’m going to have to cook and prep.  I see a lot of boiled eggs in my future.

So back to the restricted diet?  I’ve been doing that since November.  I’ve slipped here and there, and I beat the crap out of myself mentally every time, unless I’m out of town.  That’s not exactly a healthy psychological response.  I just can’t do it to myself anymore.  It’s exhausting.  So I’m just taking it off the table.  Focusing on Whole 30 (and telling the world I’m doing it) is a great way to hold myself accountable.  I might not want to meet up for dinner in the next month, but I’ll happily meet up for happy hour, movies or a quilt class.  I’ll just be ordering a club soda with lime.  And that’s totally okay.

The book talks about habit forming – not having to think about just one piece of bread or just one drink (and then having four) helps create a healthy habit.  I’m lucky because I actually like healthy food.  I love veggies.  Maybe this month I’ll try salmon for the 100th time and actually like it.  Who knows?

I’m excited, though!  Looking forward to 30 days and seeing how unpuffy I am on day 31.  And making a ton of quilts in the meantime!

Cheers.  (With club soda.)

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