Thursday, August 29, 2013

Whole30 – Long-Overdue Update!

So much for updating along the way with our Whole30 challenge!  We finished several weeks ago, went back to eating forbidden foods (on a very limited basis) for a little over a week, and now are back on Whole30 with a few exceptions.

My goals, and reflections are listed below:

1.  Cut out the cravings for sugar and grease.
This was the biggest change that I noticed.  I still long for fat and sweets; however, when I did indulge afterward they tasted completely different.  Coca-Cola was disgustingly metallic, my oatmeal peanut butter snack bars were overly rich, and a brownie in a mug was grossly sweet.

2.  Cleanse!
Yeah.  Eat ground flax meal on a regular basis and you will be cleansed.  We added a tablespoon of flax to our smoothies, and I rolled chicken or tilapia in flax, then cooked the meat in coconut or olive oil.  Delicious and very high in fiber!

3. To identify any other dietary headache triggers that one or both of us may have. (I have already identified MSG, aspartame, and excessive food coloring such as in Skittles as my migraine triggers)
I didn’t find any other triggers, and still got headaches.  This revelation was frustrating, but at the same time, it’s good to know that I can’t do any more, diet-wise, to reduce my migraines.  I hypothesize that the remainder of my headaches are due to things like weather (barometric pressure/humidity) and hormone cycles.  Unfortunately, these cannot be controlled.

4.  Segway into a healthier way of eating.  We pretty much eat a standard American diet, save for avoiding the items I listed above in number three.  I think we each manage about one vegetable and one-two fruits per day, and I want to do better than that.

Done.  My cart at the grocery store is now loaded with fresh produce, meat, frozen fruit, and eggs.  I use almond milk instead of cow’s milk for cooking.  I will eat cheese once or twice per week, but it’s a small amount, and way less than pre-challenge.  We don’t buy soda, flour, or sugar anymore.

5. Get better sleep.  I've testimonials of other people that have conquered this challenge and said they slept much better on this diet.  Since I still struggle with insomnia now and then, that'd be nice.
I saw no change in my sleep.  Disappointing, but again, I guess it’s good to know that I can’t do anything else with my diet to fix my insomnia.

One unexpected quality that I gained from this challenge is confidence in the kitchen.  I’ve been less afraid to experiment in the kitchen, and have had to force myself to learn how to work with unfamiliar ingredients such as flax seed, coconut flour, etc.

Our workout challenge (Focus T25) is going great!  I feel so strong and am really seeing better muscle tone.  We are on week seven of ten.  I’m both looking forward to the end and worrying about how to continue this level of fitness.

Between the two challenges, I lost eight and a half pounds during the first week and about two more in following weeks.  I gained a few during our week off and am still working on getting back to that initial number I lost, plus lose more!

No comments: