I few weeks ago I decided I was going to do the Whole30. If you don’t know what the Whole30 is, it’s a 30 day program where you eat real food. Certain foods like diary, grains, sugar and legumes could be having a negative impact on your body, without you even knowing it. For 30 days you strip out the inflammatory food groups while you let your body heal and recover. It’s like hitting a reset button for your body. It’s supposed to reset your metabolism, systemic inflammation and help you make better food choices.
I decided to start the Whole30 because everyday around 1 pm I become very tired. So tired I feel like I can barely hold a conversation while at work. So I thought I would give it a go and see if there were certain foods that may be causing this daily midday tiredness.
I’m on my first week of the Whole30 and it’s been pretty eye opening. I didn’t have a very bad diet before but would notice random moments where I would feel very bloated. I haven’t had that issue this past week. I’ve also noticed that I don’t eat just to eat. Before I would graze on food all day just because I was bored. Now I feel like I only eat when I’m hungry, which is about every 4-5 hours.
I did experience some negative effects for the first two days. I wasn’t just getting tired around 1 pm, I was exhausted the moment I woke up from the moment I went to bed. I could barely keep my eyes open I was so tired. I started to get worried, “Is this what it’s going to be like for 30 freaking days!?”, so I naturally Googled it. I was happy to find a Whole30 forum where people had the same issue. I read that it was normal and to not stress. They recommend that if you are very active you probably aren’t getting enough carbs and fat into your diet. So I started adding sweet potatoes to lunch and dinner. This definitely helped my exhaustion.
If you are interested in doing the Whole30 I have one piece of advice – READ YOUR LABELS! Let me tell you what happened to me. The book recommends you shouldn’t eat a piece of fruit on it’s own, so I tried to be good one day at work and eat an apple with another snack. In my office, we have containers with different snacks. I chose to eat cashews. The next day I decided to look at the bag of cashews behind the container, only to learn that it had peanut oil listed as an ingredient! Peanuts are not allowed on the Whole30 because they are a legume. My day 4 quickly turned into Day 1. I was pretty bummed but I learned my lesson, I really need to read my labels.
If you do decide to do it, here are some tips to make your Whole30 experience a bit easier in the beginning:
Self-acceptance – an individual’s satisfaction or happiness with oneself, and is thought to be good for mental health. I feel like self-acceptance is a common battle most women face. We have a hard time loving ourselves and accepting who we are and how we look.Unfortunately, our world and the media have a very narrow definition of what beauty. It’s become the norm for pictures to be photoshopped and heavily produced. We’re tricked into believing that these women on the cover of magazines or on billboards actually look that perfect. That beauty means being a certain size and being flawless.
But the problem here is beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. We can’t all be a size 0, have blemish free skin and a bronzed skin tone. It’s unrealistic. It’s even unrealistic for those models/celebrities who are picked apart in these photos, being “perfected” by someone sitting behind a computer. (Take a look at these celebrity women who spoke out about certain images that they were photoshopped in.) It’s a bit ridiculous isn’t it? These women, who are supposed to be the “ideal” image of beauty, aren’t even enough. The media is distorting our image of reality every single day. This is why people are suffering from body image issues due to the fact that we have this warped image of what the norm is for beauty.
And, because we all have this distorted image of beauty engrained in our heads, we start making unrealistic goals to try and look like these women. When we can’t reach these unrealistic goals, we get upset, and often try to make drastic changes to get that “perfect body”. This is where fad dieting becomes an issue, starting a nasty cycle leading to people eventually putting on more weight or getting seriously sick.
We need to stop comparing ourselves to this idealized image and start embracing ourselves for who we are. Start embracing what makes you unique! We all have things we don’t like about our physical features whether it be the size of your legs, the mark on your face, or the color of your hair.
For me, I used to be embarrassed about the scars on my arm. Anytime anyone would look at them I would get upset and I avoided wearing short sleeved shirts as often as possible. I started to embrace my scars when I was living in Ireland a few years ago. People would look at my scars, but immediately knew how to make me feel comfortable. They would ask about them and how I got them. It made me feel like it was ok to have scars. The Irish culture is different; their definition of beauty is more realistic. Models are more realistic in size, and advertisements don’t feel so produced. It feels more authentic. Since living in Ireland I’ve loved everything about my scars. They make me unique and they tell a story of something I went through. I’ve even had people offer to help tattoo my scars to make them disappear, but, I kindly declined because they are apart of me; this is me.
You too are perfect just the way you are. Be grateful for who you are and start to show yourself some love. The relationship we have with ourselves is vital because we will always have ourselves. So try to be nicer to yourself starting today. You deserve it.
Some good self love content:
When I go to work, I try and have a lunch made everyday. Not only does this help save money, but it also is a great way to know exactly what I’m putting into my body. The hard part about eating out is that we don’t know how they are preparing the food. I make it a point to make lunches everyday, even if my office has a catered lunch – because hey better be safe than sorry!
I wanted to share one of my lunch recipes my boyfriend and I make a few times a week. It’s super easy, healthy and it will keep you feeling full.
Ingredients (serving for 1)
So to start you want to boil either quinoa or barley. I base the serving size based on if I worked out in the AM or not. If I did workout, I usually do 1 1/2 – 2 servings for myself. If I didn’t workout I just stick with one serving. When you are making the quinoa/barley you can make it more flavor filled by putting some cumin or curry powder in the pot. This is a great way to add in some extra flavor. Just throw some powders or spices into the pot when you put the pot onto boil. Mix it in so the powder is distributed evenly.
While the quinoa/barley is cooking, start chopping up some vegetables you can eat raw. As mentioned, we usually go with carrots, celery, green onion and peppers with a few random vegetables every week. This week my boyfriend started adding in some sliced pineapples which surprisingly tastes delicious!
Grab yourself a tupperware and lay a few pieces of lettuce down. This is an easy way to get more greens into your system! Then we usually put some garbanzo beans, corn, and chickpeas on top of the lettuce. Then throw your raw chopped vegetables on top. You want to put a bit of olive oil with some salt and pepper on this bit and mix it around. This will give the lettuce and vegetables some flavor and also will prevent dry lettuce. (bleh)
Once the quinoa/barley is done, strain it and put it on top of the salad. Then mix in some more olive oil and salt and pepper.
Once you mix it all together it really makes for a great lunch! I put mine in the fridge at work and don’t heat it up. The barley and quinoa actually taste really great cold so I don’t fuss with it too much.
If you read my blog about bread, you know that I used to be in a committed relationship with it. For a long time, bread equaled happiness for me. I always found it so tasty and it always put me in a good mood.
About four months ago I realized that I wasn’t feeling too great about my body on a daily basis. I didn’t understand why, I was working out regularly, eating the same foods I’ve always been eating, so what was the issue? My boyfriend recommended cutting different food groups each week, to see if I could notice any differences. Since bread was my main man at that time, I decided to give up bread, pasta and potatoes, and was shocked with how different I felt.
First thing I noticed was my bloat was gone. I always felt bloated and just chalked it up to putting too much salt on my food. Obviously that wasn’t good but I believe my bread intake had a big part in that bloat too. Next was normal bowel movements. I used to use the bathroom like every 4 days. (Sorry for the overshare!) Yes, 4 days I typed that correctly. I oddly put that in my head that that was healthy for about 5 years that I didn’t use the bathroom that much, clearly that is not true. When I cut the bread I was back on a normal system. This probably helped calm my bloat down too since I wasn’t so backed up. But the last thing I really noticed was how I didn’t feel sluggish anymore. I have more energy to get me through the day, I almost have a sense of feeling lighter. Since I felt so good, I just kept with that system and have kept cutting out those three foods.
Since I was on such an awesome path and realized how great I felt, I decided to keep listening to my body and try and figure out what it was telling me. I then noticed that I would often get headaches, but didn’t really know why it was happening. Turns out I was getting headaches from foods that have lots of sugar. I don’t eat a ton of foods that have processed sugars to begin with, but I found if I maybe went a little too far with a box of Oreos or if I had too many Reese’s pieces mini cups, I would get a raging headache. I even noticed that Starbucks would give me headaches, which REALLY bummed me out. I would get a latte everyday from Starbucks because they have one in my office building and about an hour later I would have a headache. I couldn’t figure it out until one day I grabbed a latte down the street instead with my sister. One hour later, no headache. I went to a different coffee shop the next day just to see if it was just a fluke and I still had no headache. So I started listening to my body and stopped going to Starbucks.😦 Unfortunate since there is one on like every corner these days!
At the end of the day though, everyone is different and foods effect everyone differently. So do your body a favor and start to listen. Listen to how your body feels and notice how it reacts to foods after you eat. If we start eating foods that love our bodies back, it will really help us in the long run.
Every morning when I walk to work I listen to my favorite podcast, The Wellness Wonderland with Katie Dalebout. The podcast I listened to today had Jessica Ortner as a guest. Jessica is a health coach who specializes in stress reduction and weight loss.
Listening to her podcast was quite inspiring. When she was talking about working out, she said something that really resonated with me. “If you’re not enjoying it, you won’t stick with it.”
This may seem like an obvious statement, but it was something I never really thought about before. If we do workouts we dislike, we will lose motivation quickly. If we do workouts we love or know we will feel great at the end, we have a better chance of staying motivated.
It made me think – what kind of workouts do I like? I started to reflect on my current workout program and workouts I’ve done in the past and it was really eye opener for me.
I currently do the Kayla Istines BBG workouts, which consist of high sweat 28 minute resistance sessions, partnered with some low intensity training. I’ve been doing these workouts a little over 3 months and absolutely love it. I love the intensity of the workouts and the set program each week. I haven’t missed a workout in 3 months, and I haven’t had the desire to. I’m constantly motivated and it’s such a great feeling. For now, I know that program works for me.
I also love to take classes, but I noticed that a few of them didn’t stick with me long term. I got really into Bikram yoga for about 2 months, but eventually stopped going. I didn’t really notice I stopped going either until I thought about it today. I think I stopped because I need something a bit more cardio heavy. It was a great class and I definitely would go back again, but I wouldn’t go frequently.
Spinning is another great example of a class that didn’t stick with me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good spin class, but I think I look at it more as a class that’s great to throw into my workout routine every once in awhile. In the past, I bought a month package and found I got sick of going to the class and doing the same thing. It became too predictable for me. I eventually stopped going because I had lost the motivation to go.
I’ve learned that I really enjoy workouts that involve some cardio, and something that isn’t predictable.
Today’s podcast made me realize how important it is to stay motivated and do workouts that we enjoy!
So what types of workouts do you enjoy?
I don’t believe in diets. Any diet I’ve ever attempted, I’ve gained the weight back over time. I believe diets are for temporary purposes. If you have a wedding coming up or an event and you want to look more trim, then I understand the purpose of dieting, but if you are looking to STAY trim, you will struggle.
The problem with diets is that they mainly cause you to cut something out dramatic such as carbs. You can’t cut out carbs for the rest of your life, that is unrealistic. Carbs are essential for you to function properly. Carbs are key for maximum energy, speed stamina, concentration, recovery and better fluid balance. But when most people think of carbs they think of things like bread, pasta and potatoes. I was guilty of this 6 months ago, but carbs are found in fruits and vegetables too.
Fad diets tends to create unhealthy relationships with food. At least for me, I’ve noticed that when I tell myself I can’t eat a certain food, I crave it even more. Some people go with intuitive eating, which is an approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind and body. It helps get rid of “food worry” thoughts and you learn how to make peace with food.
For me, what’s worked is really listening to my body. I know what foods make me feel good and what foods don’t make me feel good. I don’t have a desire to eat the foods that make me feel bad. To me, one of the worst feelings is that feeling of regret. I used to feel that a lot about a year ago. I would tell myself, “just one more Oreo” and 10 Oreos later I felt terrible. Now if I feel like having something sweet, I try going for a better option such as chocolate covered almonds or dark chocolate. Or if I am out and it’s someones birthday, I have a bite of cake rather than eating a piece and a half. It’s all about finding that balance.
If you are really struggling with cravings, I suggest taking a look at the Whole30. The Whole 30 is a program designed to help put an end to unhealthy eating habits and cravings. It’s a way to reset your nutritional system and balance your immune system.
Realistically we can’t diet for the rest of our lives. But if you start to adapt healthy eating habits, when we you eat something that isn’t great, it won’t set you back. If you are looking for some healthy eating habit tips, check out this great article to help get you started!
To say that I grew up on bread is probably an understatement. Growing up, my dad worked for a bread company in San Francisco called Boudin Bakery for anyone reading in the Bay Area! Every night, he would bring home a bag of baguettes for us to nibble on before dinner. Nibble, eat a whole baguette… eh same thing right? It became such a habit that when we would go to an Italian restaurant I would just eat the bread basket and not touch my entree. My connection to bread was so intense, I even bought a bread phone case that had baguettes on it. Don’t judge.
I love bread so much that I studied abroad in Paris for a summer just so I could get my hands on some of the best bread in the world! Ok, kidding… but it was a huge perk of living in Paris. I would eat a baguette with cheese for lunch and a baguette (or two) for dinner with meat or hummus. It was the best summer of my life, and Paris wasn’t too shabby either.
Fast forward about 15 years and 1,589 baguettes later. I’ve recently been listening to a lot of health podcasts lately because I’m in the process of becoming a wellness coach, and the ongoing theme is to really listen to your body. So I thought I would give it a go and listen to how my body feels after I eat certain foods. This turned out to be great news for me, terrible news for bread.
I realized that when I ate bread, I always felt really bloated and sluggish. The biggest problem though was it never fully filled me up. I always felt like I could eat more bread, which can be quite dangerous when you’ve already tackled a full baguette to yourself in 30 minutes.
So a few months ago I decided to do what I considered unthinkable and give up bread, potatoes (I still eat sweet potatoes) and pasta. Now let me breakdown how these 3 foods alone are so big in my life. I have some Italian blood in me so I grew up on pasta, my boyfriend is Irish and they eat potatoes on the daily, and you just learned about my relationship with bread for the past 25 years. So to me, giving up these 3 foods seemed impossible, but I did it and my body is thanking me for it.
I’m not saying bread, potatoes or pasta are bad, but for me, it wasn’t a healthy relationship. Everyone is different and people react differently to food, which is something I’ve really started to learn over this past year seeing friends struggle with gluten and diary allergies.
It’s important that we start listening to our bodies more. Try thinking about how certain foods make you feel after you eat. Do you feel bloated? Backed up? Tired? Or do you feel happy and full of energy? Your body can tell you so much, we just need to start listening!
Just a girl writing down her thoughts on life post-trauma, body acceptance and wellness.