Thursday, June 23, 2016

WHOLE 30 // week one recap

From Tiger Blood to Swiftness of a Sloth

I thought about writing this blog post a few times a day, but just the thought of it was mind bogglingly exhausting ...

I started out feeling great; I'm talking Tony the Tiger Great. The first couple of days were a breeze and my optimism in Day Two's blog post (read here) honestly sickened me later in the week. A few days in and it was like my head was high up in the stratosphere - above the clouds, losing consciousness. I've experienced Pregnancy Brain, sleep deprived brain, & intoxicated brain but I've gotta tell ya - detox brain may take the cake. I napped midday, I put the dishes away ... in the oven, I responded to clients with more errors I'd like to admit & no recollection of generating such response. By Saturday I was in such misery. I described my day to Austin like so, 
"well, I woke up alright then slowly started to feel like I was high & ultimately ended in me feeling like a jackhammer is perpetually penetrating my skull."


The fact that SO MUCH was happening to my body was a sign that a detox was truly taking place.

I always claimed to be the person who doesn't really eat dessert. I'd rather two dinners than dinner & dessert. It wasn't until I started Whole30 that I realized just how many "treats" I have a day. I don't even think about them  - and I definitely don't count them in my meal plan. But between the ice cream, cookies, froyo & all the other snacks ... it adds up!! I could eat 100% to my meal plan, then after 10 PM down a pint of almond milk ice cream or Wendy's double cheeseburger. And I wonder why I wake up feeling swollen, put weight on super fast when I take a few rest days, and just feel kinda bleh.

Snacking & eating at night are habitual. And habits are hard to break - hence why they're called a habit...

I'm assuming the detox was from sugar, as sugar is totally avoided on Whole30. I haven't had any cravings for bread (what I thought would be the most difficult), cheese, wine, or french fries. Instead, I've craved fruit juice (I despise fruit juice), chocolate, ice cream & more fruit juice. Seriously, what's with the fruit juice!? 

. week one meal plan & prep . 
Week 1 started like a sprint. I was so psyched to get started & couldn't wait to feel different. Now, over the last 2 years I've become pretty good and meal prepping & planning. This wasn't easy and definitely took a TON of trial and error before getting it right. Each week I spend between $70-125 on groceries for the week (more expensive weeks are when I run out of staples like coconut oil, olive oil, etc). Sunday is my grocery shopping day. It takes me under an hour to go through my kitchen and figure out what I need for the week, write it all down, and approximate the meals I'll be making. Then we hit the farmers market + grocery store as a family. It's not an all day affair, 2 - 3 hours total. 

Sunday before starting Whole 30, I once again hit up the local farmers market + Whole Foods to get everything the book listed in the 7 day sample plan. I adjusted the recipes to feed the three of us, but I wanted to follow it pretty exactly to ensure I wasn't making my own version of Whole30 which would result in just following my standard meal plan. 

I have to admit, this was an expensive trip. We spent around $350 that day on everything needed for the week. I wasn't too happy but I also really wanted to do this right. There were some staples I was either out of, or simply didn't have (things I won't need to purchase again for a while), which contributed to the cost. We don't eat a lot of meat in our family, so buying 5 different meats for the week was a real shock. I prepped for the first few days, knowing I would prep again midweek for the second half.
I'm also totally accustomed to replacing 1 meal a day with my superfood Shakeology. A lot of people cringe at the thought of Shakeology because of the price, but what they don't realize it that over a months time, you actually SAVE a ton of money on groceries/eating out! So knowing this, I expect this month's grocery budget to be a bit higher than usual.

The Whole30 tells you to make adjustments to the recipes/meal plan according to your needs & the needs of your family. The seven day meal plan I was following was just a sample, but I will say it was WAY too much food for us. I wound up freezing half of the meats for the next week, I only used a few of the non-perishables, and I was able to load my plate with fresh veggies at every meal. I suppose that's the most ideal way to eat though, so maybe it wasn't a bad deal!

So even though we spent over double our normal budget, the groceries we bought have lasted longer than the week I planned for. I am a huge meal recycler: last night's dinner into today's breakfast/lunch - so nothing goes to waste! Week 2 requires little purchases - basically, I'm calling it even.

But What Do You Eat?
 As I mentioned above - the sample meal plan in Whole30 was actually TOO MUCH FOOD for us to eat.
Please, please, please do not pass up on Whole30 in fear that you'll be starving. Contrary to what I am used to - there are no rules when it comes to portions. You eat until you're full. As a chronic over eater - this idea scared the crap out of me.
I've never been one to have a great deal of self control with food. If I like it, I eat it. And then I eat more of it. And then some more just in case I never, ever get to taste this tasty morsel ever again. #Normal

Anyway. The cool thing about this is once you take out all the crap our food is filled with, eliminate the chemical cocktails of shit we consume ... I'm talking GMO's, hormones, artificial sweeteners, sugar, & other purposefully addictive, hazardous ingredients the FDA deems "safe" for us to consume ... our bodies just run. They just work. You get hungry? You eat. Whole, natural ingredients & guess what? You get full. And you're done. And then a few hours go by and  you're hungry again. 
A cycle. A healthy, beautiful cycle. 
No more gorging myself till I can't button my pants then regretting it and feeling remorseful and ashamed, vowing not to eat anything bad the next day but end up repeating this horror story come 10 PM.

So without further ado, here's what I ate days 3 - 5! 

side note:
 I swear I did not have a single cheat or go off plan, even after picking up a homemade Carrot Cake for Austin on Father's Day from our favorite bakery then proceeding to go to a BBQ celebration. In fact, I brought my own food to avoid all temptations, and it worked! Problem is - I was in such a brain fog I completely forgot to take pictures to document what I was eating days 6 & 7. Let's just say that first weekend was a little, off ...

breakfast: bell pepper + cilantro omelet + avocado + fresh strawberries lunch: mixed greens salad + apple, dried fruit, cashews + grilled chicken + avocado + fresh pineapple dinner: spaghetti squash + homemade marinara meat sauce
breakfast: spinach, tomato, onion omelet + avocado + fresh pineapple lunch: chopped salad with grilled chicken + avocado dinner: slow cooker beef brisket + root vegetables
breakfast: tomato + onion omelet + banana Lunch: bell pepper + sunflower butter + fresh green juice dinner: salmon cakes, roasted yams, cabbage salad
Kill All The Things
This part of the 30 days is accurately named. 
Days 6 & 7 were honestly a blur. I know I just about drank my weight in black Iced Coffees ...

Saturday I just wanted to chop my own head off then take a nap. I even had to cancel on a friend, I could not muster the energy to even get myself ready to go, & the detox migraine was fierce. I've suffered from caffeine withdrawal headaches, and it felt similar to that but a bit more sad. I don't know if that makes sense, but caffeine headaches make me feel angry & agitated. This detox headache had me more sad and mopey. It was so bad I turned to the Whole30 book for answers, my memory vaguely recalling reading the "timeline" as described by previous whole30 testimony. 
This point in time was labeled "Kill All The Things". Yup - that about sums it up.

I have to say though, as weird as it sounds, I was excited to feel changes (even if they weren't good ones just yet). With so much in life, things need to get worse before they can get better. I was genuinely so naive & brainwashed by sugar that I thought this Whole30 business would be a breeze and I would be the only person on the planet who didn't suffer or have any real changes come from it.
Oh Ashley. You silly little fool...

Thank God my headache was gone by Sunday morning. I was able to wake up and teach my Total Body Bootcamp on the beach Sunday morning, which was beautiful. Seriously, if you're in the area you've gotta check it out. No better way to spend your morning!
I felt way better all day, and then around 4 PM my stomach started getting funky. I knew I had to find a bathroom fast - my body was literally expelling waste from my body. A few trips to the bathroom & I was done, but it was slightly intense. Sorry, TMI, but I know you all really want to know ;) 

I had some rough cravings Sunday night, probably from seeing my entire family eat all the Father's Day treats & knowing there was a tasty carrot cake in my fridge, but I held strong. The book says not to give into cravings. That even using fruit to subdue a craving is a no-no because your brain can't distinguish the sugar of a candy bar from a banana. Reward a craving with fruit and you don't ever kill the craving. I get it, really I do. But I totally had 4 strawberries that night. 
Don't kick me out of the club guys.

^^ i say this jokingly, but i actually was kicked out of a Whole30 Support Group for this.
more to come on that later ...

All In All
Alright so I've got to admit. There were moments I was miserable. But then there were moments where I felt amazing. My body is changing - internally and externally, and I'm only a week in. I've experienced ups and downs, highs and lows, and I am genuinely even more excited to see where I will be at the end of 30 days.
There is a rule of NO weighing yourself or checking measurements during these 30 days. I didn't care about that rule - I'm not big on weighing myself anyway. But I've gotta say I'm having a hard time keeping myself off the scale - I feel so light and my clothes are all fitting so much better, I'm really excited to see what's happening numerically. 
But it's a rule and I am here to play by the rules - so no tracking until the 30 days is up! If nothing else, I feel great and that's why I am doing this. So that's  huge win for me. 

xx Ashley


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