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Friday, January 02, 2015

Clean Eating to Whole 30, a journey

I'm not one to change my mind--until I do.

For instance, I said I would never run a marathon, because that's just too crazy! I really wanted to run a half marathon and thought that wasn't too crazy....but the full 26.2? Totally nuts. People who CHOOSE to run that many miles, especially PAYING to do so, are absolutely nuts.

Then I ran a half marathon and felt dissatisfied. It wasn't the whole thing. It was only 'half.' And I really don't like half-assing things. If you're going to do something, do it right, I pretty much try to live by that. Call it a perfectionist problem. I've discussed it here before. And as I've aged, I try to cut myself some slack and not be so perfect....and I think I'm winning that battle in many ways! Not in all areas though.

As you know, via this blog, I decided to clean up our families diet about a year and a half ago. I had heard of clean eating prior to that and thought, meh...not for me. Mostly because I didn't WANT to give up ice cream, Velveeta, or boxed convenient options. I also justified not jumping on the clean diet because I didn't think we ate 'that bad.' And we didn't eat a lot of crap (there were veggies at every meal and I did bake some from scratch), we just ate a lot of processed foods.

But then I just kept feeling more and more crappy about myself post-J's birth. After G's I bounced back so well (duh, natural med free birth versus traumatic emergency C section), but I was a wreck after J's. I felt eating disorder mental issues creeping back in my mind and the more I thought about it; the more it became obvious it was because I wasn't happy with the fuel I was giving my body. I determined if I was happy with what was going in my body, then I had to be happy with my body. Because, after all, if your body works for you, it does no good to vainly aspire for some model figure that isn't worth it. I am who I am, and I don't get paid to look a certain way, and I am a woman of faith, so vanity is definitely a sin (even if you are getting paid to look a certain way, if you claim God as your father....you probably should recheck your occupation/spiritual life compatibility. Just saying)

I have always considered myself a good cook, and it comes naturally to me (sewing, does not, so there's that). I was excited for the challenge that clean eating would entail, and I definitely over did it in the beginning because I was learning. I got too stressed out making more complicated items, but it taught me a lot about the basis of cooking and using clean ingredients. Once you find the staples of your families diet, and understand how to cook from scratch, it becomes second nature to cook off-recipe. I really consider myself the next food network star, but what home chef doesn't?,

But Paleo? Oh hell to the no. I was on board with clean eating, because it makes sense. Giving up artificial crap is a logical move in my book. But giving up grains? They are natural. Not eating cheese? Crazy pants! Paleo people seem elitist and idealist. We are not rich over here. Not at all. Our grocery bill is already astronomical. Take away cheap meal options via beans and pasta? Bah humbug!

The basic principals of paleo eating make historical sense though, lots of meat and vegetables....Hunter/gatherer. I get it. But wheat grows in the ground and it's cheap and it's yummy. I get that cows milk is for cows, but man alive I love cheese and greek yogurt and butter. While we were clean eaters, we made grassfed dairy a priority and choose whole wheat. I felt pretty solid about those choices. And I still kind of do.

Now my confession. The past month or so was fairly rough with clean eating. Starting with an unclean Thanksgiving. I mean, it was delicious, don't get me wrong, and I tried to make the smartest choices while there....but it started us on a downward spiral into sugar filled land. The mindset became more of 'when in Rome.' When I cooked for us at home, it was clean, but we didn't eat at home nearly as much, and I baked birthday goodies using more sugar in 1 week than I had bought in the entire 2 years prior. Sugar is highly processed and we much preferred honey and agave to white sugar (it's not clean, duh). But I was tired of people giving me crap for making clean foods.

I also haven't been able to work out much over the past 6 months because I've been trying to figure out why, two years later, my stomach still spasms and my diastis recti isn't healed. I've tried two physical therapists, who have each imparted a small bit of wisdom upon my situation (in two different directions, interestingly enough). But nothing has been cured. My DR has closed a lot, but is still there. My psoas muscle still spasms and my hip hurts (And as you may have read, I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia). Needless to say, if I want to treat my body right, there are limited exercises I can do and they counter each other out.
It's like "oh, do pilates, it's easy on your hip" .... but generally, it's really bad for a spasming psoas and diastis recti
"go swimming!" .... great but that also pulls your stomach muscles farther apart
"do these cross body moves that will help pull your muscles together" .... actually that hurts my hip
"go for a light jog" .... and end up with a fake hip in your 30's thanks to your already ticking time bomb of a misshapen right hip socket.
cross fit is out, boxing is out....etc....

CANT FREAKING WIN  I tell you....

So the other day it got to the point where I said screw it. We joined the gym (mega awesome gym, thanks to my husband's good discount via work) and I'm doing what I can. And I feel awesome about it.

But in the past 2 months I have gained 10 pounds. YAH and I'm not pregnant. Pretty horrible. I felt super bad about myself and no one deserves that.

I don't believe in supplements or magic cures. I don't even take birth control because my body should operate just as it was intended, thanks so much. I believe food should be as God intended it and we shouldn't screw around with chemical compounds to make food last longer at the cost of our gut's health.

I understand that without food scientists, most of the world would starve, and I certainly don't wish harm on anyone....but seriously?? The world is over populated if natural food and agriculture can't sustain us. Do I volunteer as tribute to die for one less person in the over populated world? Certainly not. Although, if God deemed it was my time, maybe I would go? Back to the paleo tale.

If I want to heal my gut, and fuel my body to be a healthy momma, and a happy wife....I must give myself the food that optimizes my time on earth. I even consulted a priest with if it was sinful to be 'picky' with food. And he said it was not! He said since vanity was not my reason, if I truly felt called to eat a certain way to maximize my vocation, then he agreed it was a smart choice.

HUZZAH!

So I found Whole 30 as a good introduction to the Paleo lifestyle. And I doubt after Whole 30 is over we maintain a 100% Paleo life. I mean, I imagine it to be an 80/20 balance unless being lacto-paleo counts, and in that case, I'm fine with being 100% lacto-paleo. Unless I go to Italy some day, because in that case, I'm eating pizza.

But back to Whole 30. If you aren't privy, it's a 30 day 'challenge' or 'detox' if you will to eat no grains, no legumes (even peanuts), no dairy, no sugar (not even honey), no artificial crap (obviously), no alcohol. The goal is to cut ties with emotional foods and eating. It's to retrain your body into looking at food as yummy and healthy and only that. Protein, fat, and vitamins/minerals are what your body needs. Certain veggies contain enough carbs to keep you going. Whole 30 and Paleo are not 'anti-carb' ways of life. They are anti grain because of how it affects the intestinal tract. It's really not a good fuel for your body. Fat is a much better option, as it leaves you satiated. Fat doesn't make you fat. Sugar does. Google it. It's gospel.

So I convinced, fairly easily, my sweet hubby to agree. My mom was all concerned about our kids...but just know I am not being nearly as strict with them. They are still having dairy and some grains. I'm really focusing on the sugar with them, and trying to boost their meat/veggie intake. But if you know my kids, you know they already eat healthy (veggies are not an issue, it's usually meat, sicne they always want ketchup with it. I curse they day I offered that), so this is not that hard. And I'm not pushing it on them. They haven't eaten anything different (though I tried to get G to eat avocado mixed with some chicken and grapes and boiled egg and she had a meltdown--J on the other hand had seconds). I've just cut the snacky unhealthy filler stuff and sweet treats.

I did SO much research about this Whole 30. I poured over the internet reading people's advice, stories, transformations, and meal plans. I determined it really was right for me, and I couldn't wait to get started. My husband was a bit reluctant, but hasn't said a negative word. I'm happy he's doing it with me, the family support makes a world of difference.

I read that people learn 'so much' about themselves during a Whole 30, but I really doubt that happens. I knew going in dairy would be the hardest for me, and alcohol for my husband...and it's day two, and guess what? We were right. I think that if you have clean eating principals in the forefront of your mind, a Whole 30 isn't hard. I mean, if you're going from eating Burger King weekly, to now uber Paleo, yes, that's hard. But I feel totally prepared for it, it just sucks when I'm cutting some cheese slices for my kids and know it's off plan to nibble on it. Maybe after day 30 I won't even want dairy anymore? Hopefully.

I really don't even miss grains or sweets. I guess I had enough of them in December, that I'm actually sick of them. They are yummy and convenient but I know I don't need them, so I'm like 'peace out!'

Over the next month I'll post some photos of our daily meals so you can see that we are thriving! It's all about what you should eat, not what you "can't" eat.

much love~

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