Posted in Whole 30

Ridiculous and Authentic

All my adult life, I have read articles about health, weight loss, exercise, changing your habits, and whatever else might apply to my health. Loads of those articles are written by people who have made significant changes in their lives, and nearly all of them started out pretty sure they would never be able to change.

They say ridiculous things like: “I just have a slice of sweet watermelon if I’m craving a piece of cake,” and “If I am craving something crunchy, instead of chips, I just eat a handful of baby carrots!”

Oh, I think when I was younger, I thought maybe those things would work. But, then I bought a bag of baby carrots…and they were nothing like chips. Not for one second or in any way at all were they like chips. They tasted like water…and left my fingers wet. You know what chips do? They taste like salt and fat…and they leave my fingers orange (because the two best chips ever are Doritos and Cheetos). Those carrots were pretty good dipped in ranch, but then I learned that for all the calories I was spending on ranch, I could just eat the chips!

I have also read this sentence just shy of one million times: “When I stopped eating refined sugar, my taste buds adjusted, and fruit was decadently sweet enough to satisfy my sugar cravings; I don’t even crave my evening bowl of ice cream anymore.”

While I believed them that drastically reducing their sugar intake would give their taste buds a break from the ever-present sweetness of sodas and candy and other sugary things – and make less sweet things taste sweeter, I just didn’t believe that they were being authentic about not craving ice cream. Rather, I thought they were being disciplined.

Well, here are the ridiculous and authentic things I have uttered this week, causing my daughter, Sage, to call me out as “one of those people who say those things.”

  • Upon receiving the apple juice box that came with my hamburger happy meal, I said with delight, “Oh! This is going to be like drinking a soda!” When nearly all you drink is water (and unsweetened tea), apple juice is super sweet. It’s true. My taste buds will tell you it’s true. I’ll try not to tell you, though…unless you have clicked on this blog, then I’ll tell you because we are talking about this Whole 30 journey. But, if I’m at a fast food joint with you, I will not tell you that apple juice is just as good as soda. I promise.
  • While I was doing paperwork and munching on pistachios, I said, “Geez. These are so good. These salt and pepper ones are like eating chips!” To which Sage said, “Liar.” And through my laughter, I said, “No really! You have to taste the salt and pepper ones!” And she said, “Mom. I believe you that they are good. I do not believe you that it’s like you are eating potato chips.” You, Gentle Reader, don’t have to believe me about how perfectly satisfying these particular pistachios are. Drive yourself to Costco and pick up a bag. The bag is huge – which is good because you will eat a lot of them. And you might think they are as good as chips!
  • This afternoon, I stood at the kitchen counter, eating cherries and spitting the seeds into the compost bowl, and thought, “These are so delicious! They are sweet and perfect…and more addicting than candy.” I was only talking to myself. I was not being silly or even having a conversation with Sage. It was an authentic thought: these cherries are better than candy.

So, here’s the thing. Until you experience some things, they are only talk. Until you own them yourself, they lie beyond what you can imagine is true. That’s why it was so annoying to me when people said or wrote things like this.

Before I did Whole 30 – and the subsequent weeks of experimentation – I was absolutely sure I would be unable to quit sugar. (I’m not quitting sugar altogether, but that’s another conversation.) I couldn’t really even picture it. The first thing I did every morning was make a big mug of tea with a huge scoop of sweetened condensed milk in it. The first thing I did was give my tongue some (a lot of) sugar. And I did not stop refueling my sugar tank until I went to bed. So, hearing someone say that natural things like fruit can meet our physical need for sweet things…I guess it made me feel weak, like I was broken somehow, with no control over my sugar consumption.

So, I made lots of jokes about it.

But, in my gut I knew those jokes were stand-ins for courage.

And THAT’S what I think Whole 30 takes. Courage.

What if those people who annoyed me with their watermelon-instead-of-cake talk were actually bearing witness to something I needed to hear? What if even while I was rolling my eyes at them, my ears were hearing some things 48 and I would need down the road? What if those people I secretly (or not so secretly) judged as ridiculous were just being authentic in ways that would bring me courage someday down the line?

So, maybe the question is: How does one find the balance between being that preachy person who just sounds like she is bragging…and bearing witness to a new truth you didn’t know you had the courage to learn?

Posted in Whole 30

Bouncing Around – Post Whole 30

It’s about a month since I finished Whole 30.

I continue to learn a lot about my body, since I decided that my reintroduction process would be lengthy. Roughly, it has looked like this:

5 days of Whole 30 + Dairy: I didn’t have any health troubles with dairy. It didn’t affect my sleep, my arthritis, nor did I have any of those lactose intolerance symptoms people often report.

…then…

5 days of Whole 30 + Grains: My sleep and arthritis seemed to be fine, and I didn’t have any of the gluten intolerance symptoms.

…then…

5 days of Whole 30 + Sugar: BAM! Had one sleepless night and some swelling in my hands. Also discovered that I have very little power to be consume sugar in moderation.

Give me a little…I’ll take more, please. I paid close attention to how I use sugar. My habit has been to use a heaping teaspoon of sugar in my large cup of tea. And not having used sugar in my tea for 40 days, it was striking to me when I scooped up all that sugar on my spoon. It occurred to me that I have no idea how much sugar that is, so I measured it. And it’s easily 2 teaspoons, but nearly a tablespoon. Huh. Learning, learning, always learning.

…then…

5 days of Whole 30 + Nothin’: Just back on the Whole 30 program to reset before I did some more experimentation. In those 15 days of dairy, grains, and sugar, I gained back nearly all the weight I had lost. That was super disheartening, but it was a great lesson. There is no way that I ate thousands and thousands of extra calories that would add up to 7 pounds of gained weight. But, it’s entirely possible probable that those foods caused inflammation and water retention which accounted for most of the weight gain. This was proven when I lost all the weight again during 5 days of pure Whole 30. The only way I lost all that weight was if it was water and inflammation.

 

…then…

5 days of Whole 30 + Sugar 2.0: Tried sugar again (without dairy or grains, so no ice cream or cookies – just hard candies and sugar in my tea and sugar added to the fruit sorbet I made…sigh…and some soda). My sleep was affected, and my hands hurt. It also seemed I had more headaches, but I didn’t really keep notes on that, so I’m not sure.

So, my understanding is that our bodies process carbs (grains) into sugars, also. Therefore, having pinpointed regular sugar as an inflammation trigger, I’m wondering about grains. So, I’m now in the middle of…

5 days of Whole 30 + Grains 2.0: So far, I’ve had some sushi which has rice in it and croutons on my otherwise Whole 30 salad. I think I’ll have a sandwich for dinner with the whole wheat bread I bought. I’m trying hard to only add grains, not sugar…so nearly all cereals are out, and I don’t like oatmeal without some brown sugar in it, so that doesn’t really work. I’m trying to find a nutritional pattern that I can actually enjoy. And I won’t enjoy oatmeal without sugar…at least not now, but my tastes are changing.

Posted in Whole 30

Seriously?! Gout?!

I self-diagnosed myself today.

I have gout.

Apparently, gout is a kind of arthritis, but it is gnarly. People who consume too much uric acid or have bodies which don’t process uric acid well – we get gout. We also get kidney stones, which is awesome. I know that because my dad is great at making kidney stones, so it is not a surprise that we are uric acid twinsies. Anyway, gout’s main symptom is deep and sometimes out-of-nowhere pain. Its usual home is in the joint where the big toe meets the foot, but it is generous with its pain and allows it to radiate throughout the foot – and even up the legs.

I have not seen a doctor about this because my old doctor was a not nice guy, so I requested a new doctor…and she can see me mid-July. (sigh) So, it’s up to Dr. Jennifer to diagnose herself. Today, out-of-nowhere, I was plastered to the sofa, unable to talk or listen because of a shooting pain in my big toe joint. I did not bump it or even bend it prior to the pain.

Knowing what I now know about how food affects my arthritis (and sleep!), I googled “foods to avoid if you have gout” and discovered that sugar, caffeine, fried foods, beef, alcohol, refined carbs, processed food, and a few others are on the “avoid this” list for gout. Well, that’s pretty much Whole 30, now isn’t it?!

I have been adding in dairy (no problem), grains (no problem), and now sugar (uh, problem). I have had sugar in my diet for two days, and I am not good at moderation. I allowed myself a soda, and now there are four empty cans by the sink, headed to the recycle bin! Imagine what my body is doing right now – trying to process all this refined sugar after 40 days without any!

So, it’s back to Whole 30 for me tomorrow. I shopped, chopped, cleaned, cooked, portioned, and prepared my way through this evening, so I can go back to work tomorrow ready for Whole 30 eating again. Egg cups with broccoli, onion, and Whole 30 compliant sausage for the morning, and lots of veggies chopped and ready to eat all day.

I’m actually looking forward to it. My stomach has been distended and uncomfortable since I started eating sugar a couple days ago. I’m ready to drink gallons of water and unsweetened (decaffeinated) tea to keep hydrated and flush my system.

Here’s the empowering part:

I know that I can do Whole 30. I’ve done really well on it. This time around, I can simply say, “Yah, I better give up sugar altogether since I seem to have no control over it, and it’s likely causing gout flare ups.” That’s a very new power of mine. Just 6 weeks ago, I was sure I couldn’t possibly make it through Whole 30. I was wrong. Boom. Capable Woman reporting for duty, ready to manage my health.

Posted in Whole 30

Grain Week Post #2 – Whole 30

A SAMMICH!!!!!!

Pretty amazing to take a slice of bread out of the bag, schmear Whole 30 approved mayo on it and add sliced turkey and banana peppers to it. Slice some tomatoes and peel a tangerine, and you have a FEAST! (Please, please, please don’t let gluten/grains affect my arthritis or sleep! Pretty please! I just love bread so much – and I promise to eat it with care from now on, not eating half a loaf of French bread because I can.)

I did have quite a “moment” today with regard to old habits, rewards, and sugar.

Today was paperwork day. Now, if you have a regular brain that holds lots of details in check pretty easily, if you kind of like filing because everything has its place, then you really might not get this. But, paperwork, bill paying, filing, sorting through mail, and other paper-pushing activities are actually painful for me. I will employ every procrastination tactic to avoid it.

It goes like this: Oh! I know I really better get to that paperwork, but the dogs haven’t had baths in a while. Oh, I know owe my financial guy a call, and he’s going to ask me to find some piece of paper I should know how to find, but I can’t really concentrate since my sweaters are still in my closet in late May. I should switch out my wardrobe. I really should.

But, when I can’t procrastinate any more, and it’s time to make it happen, I have to set the stage.

I end up with lots of piles as I sort, and the table is never big enough, so I put these little shelves on the table, so I can stack things above and below.

I gather every scrap of mail I have opened and said, “I’ll get to this later.” Well, it’s later, Jennifer. Here we go. I get some pens and a stapler and post-its.

And I always, always, always pour a Pepsi. I deserve it. It makes the job go down easier. And, to munch on while I work – some Cheezits or chips or something super salty.

So, this time I had to be hyper conscious of my feelings and habits. This time, I heated some water for tea, and I worked without a salty snack. I still accomplished my work, and I felt all the feelings of inadequacy I always feel when that pile of papers whispers, “Normal adults can manage this, Jennifer. They don’t let things stack up. They aren’t behind on things and don’t forget to call their financial guy back. Grownups don’t have the same tasks on their lists for months. They don’t say, ‘Oh, I should call the electrician/plumber/tree trimmer/whomever,’ over and over without calling.” This time, the stack whispered the same things, but this time I didn’t feed my shame liquid sugar and crunchy salt to make it feel better. 48 and I just got our work done today. Well, it’s not done, but it’s all sorted into tasks for tomorrow.

 

Posted in Whole 30

Grain Week Post #1 – Whole 30

Dairy was fine. I figured it would be. No changes to my sleeping patterns or swelling of my fingers, so WHEW!

I went back to pure Whole 30 for two days, and today….

I ate a pita chip with my kabobs and salad at a Mediterranean restaurant. Okay, I ate a serving of pita chips which had lots of lovely salt and seasonings on them. And so begins the Grain Week experiment. No gluten or any grains of any sort for 37 days should mean my system is clear of gluten, so we’ll see if I have any adverse effects to it. So far, so good. My stomach doesn’t hurt or anything.

But, again, my issues aren’t so much intestinal inflammation/irritation as they are muscle/joint inflammation, so I think it could take several days for it to build up in my system and affect my arthritis.

Here’s what 48 and I are learning right now: We are a little afraid of food. I actually mean to use the word “little”. It’s not as though I’m not eating. It’s just that since it’s not easy to just grab any old thing, I find I hesitate to eat. Hesitate, not avoid. Also, I spent a week eating dairy, and now I’ve taken it back out (mostly – you’ll notice I forgot to tell them “no feta” on my salad today, and I ate a bit of it, but I pushed most of it to the side). But, my brain is not convinced of that, yet, I guess. I really enjoyed the Greek yogurt popsicles I was eating last week, and yesterday when I was eating Pure Whole 30, I nearly reached for one a couple of times.

So, I guess the way I was feeling on day 30 had some merit to it. I can do gluttony, and I can do Whole 30, but somewhere in between, when some things are allowed and some aren’t, I’m not steady. I feel vulnerable, like I’m going to fail…WHICH IS AWFUL!…because this is just about me. It’s not a test. There is no prize (besides better health). I am not competing with anyone. I’m actually doing pretty darn great! And STILL I’m such a terrible critic of myself. It’s like I’m my own coach for this sport, but instead of running alongside shouting words of encouragement, I stand there shaking my head slightly with a look of pity saying, “You probably can’t do this.”

That makes me so mad. You know why?!

Because I had the best childhood one could ask for. I have deeply moral, highly educated, incredibly creative, sacrificially loving, ridiculously funny parents who treated my brothers and me with oceans of respect. They told me they were proud of me. We are not a family who kisses each other goodbye or says, “I love you,” every time we hang up the phone, but all five of us know that we are loved with the kind of love that makes us feel safe and sure. My parents are partners. I really had the best model for marriage and family that I could ask for. No alcoholism. No abuse. My mother made dinner, and we ate together. Not one time did anyone tell me that I shouldn’t eat dessert because it would make me fat. No one was maniacal about exercise or diet, so that I would carry a bunch of emotional baggage into my adulthood about food.

So, if food is hard for me, if I am a scowling self-coach EVEN WHEN I’M DOING REALLY WELL, then how hard must this be for others!?!

If you are reading this tonight with tears in your eyes because it is so hard, and you are a terrible self-coach, and your childhood was maybe difficult, and you have some heavy baggage around food, then please let me tell you something.

So, this is the first time I have ever uploaded a video into a blog post, and it is enormous, I can’t figure out how to make the video take up less space — or move it around like I can do for pictures.  So, I’m sorry if my face is enormous and you feel like you are being yelled at by a big head!

Posted in Whole 30

Dairy Week, Post #3 – Whole 30

Okay, so I’m still writing about food. Not sure how long I will keep this up, but I’m still learning how to cook while paying careful attention to ingredients and my health, so I guess I’ll just keep processing this information by writing it down here.

Cooking this week, trying to be sure to include some dairy, is pretty fun, actually. It’s not super simple because every recipe I thought of – also had some kind of grain or legume or something. So, I landed on one of my very favorite appetizers that I love so much I even totally make them when people are not coming over…and when people are coming over. Goat (or feta or bleu) Cheese Stuffed, Bacon Wrapped Dates! If you can read the name of this tasty treat, you have also read the ingredient list: goat cheese, bacon, dates.

Count out as many dates as appetizers you want. I chose 24.

Slice each (pitted – who would ever buy them with pits in them?!) date lengthwise, and pry it open just enough that you can fill it with goat cheese. When you press it closed, the cheese will just kind of act like glue to keep it in shape. Wrap that baby in a 3″ strip of bacon (with no sugar added) and cook for about 20 minutes at 400 – but watch them near the end. I burnt a batch of these once, and while the smell stayed in the house a few days, the very saddest part was certainly that after having put them together, none of them got to go in my mouth.

I covered them and put them in the frig, so I can cook them tomorrow. Can. Not. Wait.

I also had some backfin crab to use up, so I decided to make crab cakes…but without flour or bread crumbs or crushed chex for the gluten free recipes, it was kind of hard. So, I used tapioca flour to bread one of them. It’s the one in the pan that looks like a crab cake, not a crab pile. But, tapioca flour feels exactly like corn starch, so it just felt weird to dip this ball in tapioca flour, then egg, then more tapioca flour. So, I made one like that – and I tried to make crab cakes with just the crab mixture kinds of mashed into a patty with no breading on it. Exactly none of those stayed together at all. So, what I got on my dinner plate was one cute little, slightly browned, and perfectly fine crab cake…and a pile of decadent crab mixture kind of fried in butter FOR THE WIN!!! It was so delicious. I have no idea how one might serve it to guests, but I have to figure it out because it was outrageous! (Maybe like fish taco night?!)

Anyway, the dairy in this excellent dinner was the melted butter in the pan – and in the little bowl on my plate! In these little moments, I guess I’m pretty grateful that dairy doesn’t seem to be a health thief – at least not yet.

Posted in Whole 30

Dairy Week, Post#2 – Whole 30

Several dollops of sour cream, two tubes of frozen Greek yogurt, a few cups of tea with real milk or half-n-half, and a couple slices of cheddar cheese later – I feel fine. I slept well. My fingers feel the same.

According to the scale, I’ve lost 2 more pounds. But two pounds in two days is nonsense if you are considering calories in and calories burned, so the scale once again only confirms what I already knew. I felt kind of bloaty when I woke up on the day I was to weigh myself – Day 31. My back hurt (extra). I had a headache. And I had some abdominal cramps.

I was ovulating.

Sorry if that’s too much information, Gentle Reader, but it’s part of being a female person. You do it enough times (I figure I’ve ovulated about 12 times a year for 35 years, minus a couple of pregnancies, so let’s call it 400 times), you know how it feels. HOWEVER, when you are eating lots of chemicals and consuming lots of soda, it gets a little confusing. Am I feeling bloaty because I ate Doritos for lunch and washed it down with a Route 44 Dr. Pepper from Sonic® (with the best ice!)? Or am I feeling this way because my miracle of a body is preparing to make a baby if the conditions are right?

So, I’m guessing if Day 31 had not fallen on the-day-of-conception-preparation, the scale would have read two pounds lighter. This is only significant in that I spent 30 days eating so many foods that every diet tells you to limit, and I not only did not limit them – I ate loads of them. I measured, weighed, and counted zero food. I took the Whole 30 people seriously when they said my ONE JOB was to eat only the foods on their list.

I ate HALF an avocado at a meal (instead of the 1/8 of an avocado that is the usual suggested portion). I ate handfuls of nuts several times a day (hundreds of calories in each handful). I ate steak without trimming every bit of fat. I didn’t skim all the fat off the chicken broth I made. I ate bacon and cooked my eggs in the bacon grease. Mayo (homemade) was on the list – as was olive oil and clarified butter.

I ate as much as I wanted of these decadent foods – and I lost nearly 10 pounds in a month.

This means it is not all about calories in/calories out. It’s more complicated than that. And it’s more simple than that. It’s about spending some time paying attention to your miracle of a body and learning the lessons she is teaching you.

I didn’t take any pictures yesterday of food or whatever. So, here’s a picture of my silly dogs for your viewing pleasure. Eleanor Rigby sometimes sleeps in ridiculous poses, and Roxy would like to be as close to me as possible – so, if I’m on the sofa on the other side of the gate, she’s up against that gate.

Posted in Whole 30

Dairy Week – Whole 30

I had half-n-half in my tea this morning, but no sugar. It was no different than Nutpods creamer in my tea. Of course, Nutpods is way more expensive, so I will only choose it if dairy ends up being a health stealer.

I had a slice of cheddar cheese. Just by itself. Because cheese.

I had a FANTASTIC lunch at Chipotle. Since they don’t have additives in any of their foods, it’s a pretty good place to eat. I had a salad with chicken, pico de gallo, sour cream, and cheese. The dairy in that bowl was so decadent, and the sour cream and pico made a great dressing. And since I just drank water, it was less than $7 for the healthful, delicious meal.

I stopped at the grocery store and got some sour cream, 2% milk, and some Chobani yogurt in tubes (like Gogurt). This morning, I read the Whole 30 email about Day 31. They said if you are choosing to reintroduce dairy, you will get some sugar in there with it – and that’s okay. But that feels confusing to me, so I’m not planning to do much of that. They said have yogurt in the morning, and a scoop of ice cream in the evening. So, I did buy some Greek yogurt, but Chobani has less sugar than most other yogurts, and I’ll just have a frozen tube of yogurt once a day this week. Also, the packaging is Wonder Woman’s logo, and I feel a lot like Wonder Woman lately, so…Day 31 dinner

But, before my yogurt treat, my dinner also included dairy. Leftover steak, fingerling potatoes, sour cream, and strawberries.

Thoughts on reintroducing dairy: It felt decadent to have creamy things. I have missed them, but I’m not craving them. If I had to live without dairy, it would be complicated, but I could totally do it. As far as my physical reaction to eating dairy today, I feel fine. Seriously, I’m not going write here every time I have a bit of gas – none of us need to share all that news with each other. But, I honestly feel well today eating dairy. My fingers feel the same. We’ll see how I sleep. And as I have said, I really think it will take a few days to see if my fingers feel swollen or my sleep is affected. I never did think I was lactose intolerant or had a dairy allergy, so I’m looking for more subtle reactions.

Posted in Whole 30

Day 31 – Whole 30

7 pounds. That’s the answer to the question I’ve been asking. I lost 7 pounds this month.

But, here’s the most interesting part: I was waiting and waiting to get on that scale. 48 and I are VERY accustomed to measuring our health by that number. But, then I stepped on the scale, saw the number, and thought, “Huh. 7. Okay.” It simply didn’t change anything. I knew I had lost weight because my clothes fit differently. I knew I had lost weight because my stomach wasn’t so much in the way when I painted my toes. I already knew – but I needed the confirmation of the scale. I even wrote in my health journal last night. “I think I’ve lost between 5 and 10 pounds. It just feels like about a pants size or so.” I already knew. But, the simple bathroom scale held all kinds of authority. Perhaps the most important thing 48 and I have learned about ourselves is agency.

We get to choose our food.

We have all sorts of power to refuse foods that hurt us.

We actually know our body. And we are learning more about it every day.

We are surprised at how fantastic our body is, how it responds to food and sleep and safety and laughter.

We started this journey with an interest in being gentle with ourselves, to stop believing that we simply have no will power, that if we were simply more disciplined we would put down the Pepsi. We were ready to figure out how to silence the voice in our head that called us “weak” and “loser” and “gluttonous” every time we ate Doritos. And we did it! 30 days with no sugar, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no additives, and no alcohol (the last of which was zero difficult for me) means we are powerful and strong and capable. So, we intend to listen to that voice, the one that tells us we are powerful strong and capable…even when we are choosing a slice of cheesecake.

The number 7 is exceedingly important at the end of this Whole 30 journey. But it’s not the 7 pounds. It’s the 7 hours of sleep I get each night. It feels like a miracle. It feels like healing and wholeness. So, sorry, Bathroom Scale, you are not king of my health. Sleep Number Bed is king.

Posted in Whole 30

Days 28, 29, and 30

These last three days have been so busy. Just zany. So, I fell into bed without blogging about them.

Day 28
was Mother’s Day. I drove to my parents’ house for a great meal with fantastic family. Mom made a Whole 30 meal for us, so it was easy for me. There were a few choices I skipped, like whipped cream and pound cake…but ate a bowl of delicious berries while they ate the cake. It was not hard at all, though I think it might have been hard for my mom to serve me a plate of berries while she served the others such decadent fare.

She had a baked potato bar, so there was cheese, butter, and sour cream on the counter, but I didn’t find it difficult to skip them and scoop the delicious ground beef and broccoli onto my potato. I ate the whole thing and loved every bite. I brought a container of Nutpods creamer, so I could have a cup of hot tea, like I always do when I am at my mom’s. But, I usually have a giant scoop of sweetened condensed milk in my tea. The best part of all of it was sitting around with my family, chatting and enjoying each other’s company. My daughter had work that evening, so after I got home from my parents’ house, I waited for her to get home from work, and around 11:00 p.m., we had our favorite Whole 30 dessert: frozen pineapple chunks and orange juice blended into a smoothie.

My brother and his wife brought me a bouquet of stunning roses for Mother’s Day.

Day 29
was Monday, and I had back-to-back meetings all day. I made the mistake of not eating enough during that time, and I didn’t really notice until I started to feel really lousy. Then, I ate the salad I brought, and not too long after that, I had an RX Chocolate and Sea Salt bar. Then, I felt fine – and had another meeting!

I also took this picture of my fingernails on Day 29. They never look this nice. Honestly, never.

So, then, just like that, it was DAY 30!

But, when I woke up this morning, I didn’t feel like I was at the end of anything. I actually felt a little nervous – like I know how to do gluttony, and I know how to do Whole 30, but I’m not so sure I can do the in between very well. I also intend to do a very slow reintroduction process, so I’m far from being “done” with the Whole 30 world.

My intention is to eat some dairy tomorrow. I bought some sliced cheese, and I have some cream cheese. Adding dairy back in makes me think of strawberry yogurt in the morning – or a scoop of ice cream in the evening – but that’s dairy AND sugar…and I just get one. I also thought of butter on a slice of bread…and that’s dairy AND grains. So, I don’t think I’ll be all that decadent tomorrow. Just have a slice of cheese or put some cream cheese on some celery or something.

I think I’ve said this before, but I seriously can’t believe that I’m not dying to put sugar back in my diet. I truly am a sugar addict, so how did this work for me??! How can it be that I have no intention to pour a Pepsi tomorrow? Actually, I do intend to reintroduce sugar right after dairy because I miss ketchup and salad dressings. I tried many and varied recipes for ranch and ketchup, and while some of them were fine (Caesar was the best) – none of them were great. And it’s also very time/cost/mess intensive to do.

So, there you have it.  My daughter and I did Whole 30. It wasn’t terrible like I worried it would be. I learned a LOT about myself, my body, my food, my emotional connection to the numbers on the scale, my sleep, my swollen fingers. I am not dying to go back to the way I was eating. I am not craving — really anything, actually.  And, I’m thinking about doing this every year…but ask me that again next year.