Whole 30 – Version 3.0?

Breakfast in the Making!

So here is the absolute truth as I see it:

*Right now, life is pretty dang good. Aside, of course, from wishing I was slightly less busy with work though it is trending in the right direction. So really, all is good.

*Concurrently, I am not at all happy with my body. But I’m not sure how riled up I feel like getting about this.

One of the great things I took away from the Everyday Paleo Seminar was the idea that if you aren’t managing stress, nothing else you manage is going to be super effective. I am a living breathing example of this right now, and while my stress management is also trending in the right direction, I can’t help but feel annoyed by the fact that I’m still exercising, still eating fairly well, and stock piling ALL OF THE FAT, EVERYWHERE. :) Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but only slight.

My natural tendency is to write down some goals, make a plan of how to get there and then execute at all costs. But something about that just feels like it might be…well, a little stressful, right? I am not dying to put another thing on my plate, but I keep thinking about the other thing I took away from the Everyday Paleo Seminar and that was the idea that we should base our eating (and drinking, for that matter) on things that help us look, feel and perform at our best. I am pretty damn happy with my bodies performance in life right now (I’m alive! I’m still PRing at the gym! I’m sleeping well! My stress level is getting back to normal!). But the look and feel part — well, those definitely needs some improvement.

I wish I could remember where I read this recently (I’m sure it was on a blog) but the jist was that when it comes to food, focus on addition and not subtraction. Don’t focus so much on avoiding everything awful, but rather make it a priority to focus on adding in the good stuff first. I thought that was such a great way to frame things. And for the past few months I have been doing just that: if I can squeeze some kale into my smoothie, I’m doing it. If I can have 3 vegetables with dinner instead of two — I’m on it! Water instead of coffee? BOOM. I’ve got the “addition” pretty dialed in, and yet I am still unhappy with look and feel. (Back Fat — seriously needs to EFF OFF!) So now I want to think a little bit about subtraction.

My first instinct was to do a Whole 30, but I certainly don’t want to make a habit of saying “I feel fat! Do a Whole 30!” That sounds a little yo-yo diet to me, right? Also, I have written about my experiences of doing a Whole 30 and there is no doubt that it is a challenge. Am I in the right mind frame to take on this challenge?

But here are the other facts: I am the type of person who actually finds relief in some rules/framework. Part of my stress lately comes from that fact that I am not making the time to take care of myself. And usually when I am in the midst of a Whole 30, I not only end up prioritizing cooking in a way that I love, but I also feel really free from the whole “Should I be make a bad decision and have this ice cream tonight?” type of anxiety because there are really only two choices during the Whole 30: Commit or Quit. Committing is more challenging, yes — but also in many ways, so much simpler.

Anyway…no resolution just yet, and definitely no commitment. My biggest takeaway from the Whole 30 has always been that it is the little things that make such a huge difference, and I would like to see some huge differences here shortly. But we are out of town this weekend (and coincidentally staying in walking distance from the best donuts in California) so something tells me I may feel a bit more passionate about when we return? Maybe I’ll take my copy of It Starts With Food with me for a little light vacation reading. :) I’ll keep you posted.

Any of you doing a Whole 30 soon?

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12 comments to Whole 30 – Version 3.0?

  • LizScott
    June 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    This assvice is worth what you’re paying for it, so take it for that, but …

    For me, I either eat this way, or I don’t. When I started experimenting with Paleo, I did what would now be considered a Whole30 — a month to detox, being strict and hyper aware. But when I came off that month, all that really meant to me was I wasn’t going to stress if food at the restaurant had hidden oils, or whatever, but I still kept to the tenants. If I’m out, I’m ordering food that is veggie/meat based. If I’m cooking, I’m not cooking with grains, or sugars, or whatever. I wasn’t buying ice cream for the occasional treat, because I didn’t eat that way. And if I *was* buying it, that’s cool, but that also mentally opened me up to everything else that I’d cut out, because if there is one thing I love, it sure is a slippery slope.

    If the Whole 30 resets you to a mental place where “this is what I do” feels natural, rock on. If you can get there with out that, also rock on. I don’t know what the right answer for you is, because there’s never a “right” when it comes to food — there’s just decisions you make that make you happy, and decisions you make that make you unhappy. And sometimes ice cream after dinner DOES make you happy. But if it’s coming at the expense of you feeling crappy overall, maybe not, ya know?

    Ugh, this is a worthless comment that can be summed up with “I dunno, maybe Whole 30 would work? or like, not?” YAY LIZ FOR HELPFUL THOUGHTS

  • LizScott
    June 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Also, please appreciate that I saw the “Sonoma Cheese Factory” tag off to the right as I posted that and now I’m having indecent thoughts about that sandwich we had there and GRRRRR WHY Y GOTTA BE SO TASTY, BREAD?

  • Holly
    June 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Well it was on the heels of a mostly unhelpful post of 25 paragraphs of Should I? Shouldn’t I? haha So no worries. I like what you said about resetting to a mental place of “This is what I do.” Because YES. That’s what I feel like I’ve gotten away from. AND I MISS IT SOMETHING FIERCE. It does almost feel mental, which might seem weird…like doing this physical/challenging thing will mentally get me in the right place but it’s true.

    How’s that for a totally useless response? :) Also, PS — HEY, HI! I LIKE YOU AND MISS YOU! XO

  • Jennifer
    June 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    ‘Focus on adding in the good stuff’- that is genius! I had never thought of it like that before. It is amazing how just switching your mind-set around can have such a profound impact on how you feel and how you go about making positive changes! THANK YOU FOR THIS!
    I did my first Whole30 in January and I felt fantastic while doing it but then massively deflated when I didn’t lose any weight. I know, i know, it wasn’t about the weightloss etc but it still was a pretty big knock. However I totally agree with you that the strict rules was actually less stressful than if I did a more general eating well thing. You have me thinking about maybe doing another one in July hmmmm. Let us know what you decide, it may push me one way or another;)
    Awesome blog by the way!

  • mellissa @ ibreatheimhungry
    June 5, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    It’s crazy how much you and I are on the same Whole 30 cycle! We seem to be in synch with when we start thinking about doing it again! I almost did it in June because I put some weight back on after my allergy issues when I could eat whatever I wanted again. Now I’ve tried getting back on the horse with low carb Paleo eating but I’m not really making any progress. June had way too many pitfalls and social obligations which was stressing me out, so I’m thinking July for sure. I have a wedding in October that I want to look smoking hot for so that is also motivation. The framework of the Whole 30, while restricting, does make it easier somehow to not have that drink or cave and have a Krispy Kreme donut. Like you say, it’s commit or quit and I’m actually looking forward to committing because I know I’ll feel better and lose weight for sure – and I won’t have to think so much about it and make decisions every day about whether or not to eat healthy. So yeah, long answer but I’m in for July! You with me????

  • Melissa "Melicious" Joulwan
    June 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    I feel you, sister! Back fat, front fat, etc., etc.

    And I agree with you: turning too often to a strict Whole30 makes me wonder if I’m using it as a crutch (which I’m also not sure I’m too worried about… I mean, there are worse crutches, no?!)

    Anyway. What I mean when I say “Whole30” now is something of a corruption of a true Whole30 — and I only recommend my adulterated version to people who’ve done at least one pure, strict, totally by the rules Whole30. For me, what I mean when I say it now is that I will eat only approved foods at home and eat out only once a week, choosing foods that are whole30 approved when I eyeball them. That means I’m still getting some seed oils in there at restaurants and probably some added sugar, but I don’t stress about it. And that’s the biggest key, I think: I don’t stress about it.

    It sounds like you’re doing an excellent job of managing your life right now. As my dad would say, “Just enjoy yourself, honey.” All the pieces are there, and you’re awesome, so continue what you’re doing… love you bunches!

  • savychacha
    June 6, 2013 at 7:53 am

    I’m using the Whole 30 as a basis this month. I’ve done them in the past, but I don’t want to be as strict right now. I already eat Paleo, so it’s not a very big stretch, but it helps me keep my sugar intake under control.

    I feel like once the weather gets nice all I crave is cheeseburgers, sweet potato fries and ice cream. Oh, and don’t forget a few margaritas to top it all off. I’m using the month of June to reset myself a bit on my indulgent weekends. No more eating out – if I want something I have to make it myself. I’m making sure to watch my portion sizes, and quality of the food I’m eating. I’m also getting in more exercise by walking the dogs for a mile before work each morning. Because it really IS about the small changes that become habit.

    You’ll find your balance soon enough. Maybe jumping into a strict Whole 30 isn’t something you should do if it’s going to cause more stress, but instead, focus on the ideals behind the Whole 30 to guide you. That way you don’t have to feel like your challenging yourself to much, but at the same time, you’re making the effort to be more conscious of the food that you’re eating. Maybe do a little bit of meal planning for the week so you can get creative with your cooking? Or jazz up the weekends with a few new recipes you’ve been dying to try out?

    Sorry, I intended to be more helpful, but the brain isn’t working so well today. Either way you’re amazing, and smart and funny and I’m sure you’re body will get the memo to catch up soon enough. I know how discouraging it can get, but everything will fall back into place.

  • Jacki (@JackiRHayes)
    June 6, 2013 at 8:18 am

    I’m in the midst (day 6) of my 2nd whole 30. I like that you mentioned it could easily become a yo-yo diet. It’s so very true. Remembering it is a reset, I think helps, but I definitely don’t want to be jumping on and off every time I feel fat.

    This time around, I intend to go Whole45 to lead into 100% paleo for 90 days. I’m looking at it as a way to permanently transform my relationship with food, and I know it can do that, if I let it.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

  • sizzle
    June 6, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I don’t know if I will ever do Whole 30, honestly. But I might do a 3 day juice fast just to give my body a break. I used to thrive with lists and rules and routine but for some reason in the last year or so, none of that works for me. I have no idea why!

  • Allison B
    June 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I’ve completely been contemplating when I can do another Whole30. I’m about to go on family vacay, and then I’m finally moving out to Cali(!!), so I don’t think those are super conducive to being successful. But I do know this is the heaviest I’ve EVER been (thanks super stressful work schedule for the last 6 months) and I need to do this to clean up again. So I’m predicting mid-July when I finally get moved, and the kitchen is unpacked. I’m both dreading and gleefully looking forward to it. I’m also excited to find a new CF box out there! Hopefully theres a good one in the area. I can’t see commuting to SF :)

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed
    June 12, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Hmmmmm! I don’t know. I’m not interested in a Whole30 at all haha. I have been kind of all over the place with my eating but we recently started getting our CSA veggies every other week, so now the fridge is full and I have no choice but to eat the produce.

    Maybe a Whole7 or a Whole14 would be a good way to test out the waters…

  • Michelle
    June 19, 2013 at 5:47 am

    I feel like I could have written this post too! I really like the part where you mentioned when you can’t manage your stress, it’s hard to manage everything else too. The last 4 months of my life have proved very trying and was the craziest my life has ever been, so all the stress related to that meant my eating and workout habits took a backseat. I too thought about doing another Whole30 but am also worried that I’m using it as a crush or “punishment.” As much as I praise what my full, complete, no cheating Whole30 has done for me, it was a lot of work and I don’t feel like I have enough energy to throw that back on my plate. I tend to do better with it in the fall and winter months when I’m not out and about as much so in the meantime I’m just going to eat as clean as possible during the week so that when summer BBQs and drinks with friends come up, I won’t have to have so much anxiety over what to eat.

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