I’m always experimenting with my nutrition so last week I decided to do the Whole 30 in my own way; because, most of you know me, I can’t follow a plan to save my life, I have to add my own twist.
As a base, I have a very limited diet as to what my body likes and what gives me fuel for my performance. I have been dairy free and gluten free for 10+ years now and meatless for 30 (minus my pregnancies). My blood type is A+ and I like to adhere to the blood type diet as much as possible.
For a while now, my usually grumpy gut has been grumpier than usual and I was feeling more inflamed, bloated and higher up on the scale than I wanted. I tell my nutrition clients to eat intuitively for a week or two when we first start to truly pay attention to the foods that make them feel good. So I took my own advice and lately, I had been feeling like a few of my staples were just not beneficial for me. So after some research, I found Whole 30 would be a great start.
Prior to this endeavor the only things I ate which was not Whole 30 compliant was my Ezekial bread (yeah, I know it’s not technically GF), coconut milk yogurt, rice, cereal, granola, peanut butter (GASP) and probably a few treats here and there with added sugar. I had been thinking that grains were not friendly to me but have always justified them because of my already limited diet. I needed a push and a change so I figured 30 days couldn’t hurt.
I knew I was going to have to come up with some different snacks other than my peanut butter, egg white sandwich and my beloved bedtime cereal and my granola and yogurt over my egg whites in the morning. Not to hard though. Creating meals is my creative outlet and I LOVE IT. Challenge accepted.
Here’s what I used to eat vs. what I ate last week and if you choose to read on, I will share my experiences with you after that.
Breakfast before: egg whites, spinach, granola and coconut milk yogurt
Breakfast now: egg whites, 2 whole eggs, sweet potato hash
Snack before: two slices ezekial bread with peanut butter and egg whites
Snack now: Smoothie with spinach, frozen fruit, maca powder, unsweetened coconut flakes, butternut squash and 1/2 cup liquid egg whites
Lunch Before: spinach, tuna, veggies
Lunch now; spinach, tuna, veggies, avocado
Workout snacks: (mostly banana or dried fruit so stays the same)
Dinner Before: salmon, spinach, some grain (usually rice)
Dinner now: mostly the same, just higher volume!
Bedtime Snack Before: Cereal and peanut butter
Bedtime Snack now; almond butter and plantains or sweet potato
Here’s what I have learned so far:
my body doesn’t like tuna (sad); it gives me horrible tummy pains.
I actually CAN digest fats. Now that my body isn’t fighting to process the grains or legumes, my body has the ability to process fat instead of store it (I still keep my fat numbers relatively low for now).
I never had your typical “bad skin” but my skin seems to be more hydrated and less wrinkly
I have WAY more energy throughout the day. no more 3pm slump in the office when I feel like I need to pry my eyes open. I need less caffeine through the day to keep me at a base level (actually NO extra caffeine other than my coffee in the morning!)
I’m more energetic in my workouts and my strength is just FINE.
My headaches seem to be lessening (I suffer from daily headaches, if not weekly migraines)
Aside from the tuna, my stomach is less gassy and a lot happier. (this week I am eliminating tuna and will see how that goes. A+ blood type suggests tuna only once a week, if that).
Here’s how I am straying from your “typical Whole 30”
Whole 30 is a lifestyle change for most people; I didn’t feel like I needed to revamp my whole approach to healthy eating or eating habits, I just needed a reason to eliminate grains, extra sugars (in my yogurt and other sneaky places) and my beloved peanut butter.
It advises against snacking but for the sake of my children and anyone around me; I NEED TO SNACK. I cannot sustain my lifestyle with only 3 meals a day, I need 7 :) Snacking doesn’t get me in “trouble” its my food choices that need to change to allow my poor gut to heal.
I am eating unsweetened yogurts such as CoYo or Kite Hill to keep up the pro-biotics in my belly.
They also suggest against smoothies because we want to EAT our food, not drink it but I love them and I’m sticking with them.
I am tracking my food and my weight because my training depends on it.
Here’s a recap of my week:
Day 1. Headache most of the day, was really craving my bedtime cereal
Day 2. SO BLOATED. Still energetic despite my 14 hour work day!
Day 3. Bubbly stomach upon waking, not hungry like usual. Didn’t sleep well the night before (caloric deficit usually breeds insomnia for me). Struggling to get in the correct amount of protein and carbs without my supplemental grains
Day 4. LONG day and felt great, bloating and gas still around but definitely not as much. Scale was up 3+ lbs but it was also day 1 of my period (which usually means sugar cravings).
Day 5. no sugar cravings during my period and had a great work and training day; didn’t eat enough when I was busy and started to feel the crash later in the day.
Day 6. solid training day and was a Saturday with little food in the fridge but stomach was feeling better and actually down 4 lbs even with my period. feeling leaner and sleeping better. Even though I’d like to think I’m creative in the kitchen, it’s been fun to add more variety to our meals, especially not fearing FATS so much!
Day 7. Today. Sunday. Prepping for the week ahead with some different foods. Really been able to drink water which is something I hate doing and don’t crave, but it’s actually tasting good these days! Headache today, but can’t attribute it to anything?
Looking forward to week 2 with a long work week and a hard training week!