Whole 30 Has Begun!

July 8 is a date that’s been circled on my calendar for some time now. That’s the day I was supposed to start a new Whole 30 round with my pal Sarah.

Whole 30 is pretty intense and it seems like every 30 day round is tougher than the one before so it’s a good idea to have a buddy.

Unfortunately, it seemed that I kept eating crap with the reasoning that I won’t be able to eat it after July 8. And you know something? My body has been hating me for all the mistreatment.

When I eat well, my mind is clearer, my body stronger, my endurance impressive. But when I eat sugar and processed foods, I’m tired, sluggish, temperamental and simply feel bad.

So I decided on a whim Monday that my Whole 30 round was starting right that minute. And I’m so glad!

The anticipation was literally killing me and there was no reason to hold off since I know the rules and how to eat. I just need to do it.

Funny thing though – within an hour of saying “today is the day,” my mother texted to say she’s having a holiday cookout and wanted help with making an ice cream cake. Not long after that, at work, we scheduled an event with a lunch later this month.

It just goes to show, there’s never a perfect time to do what’s good for yourself. But if you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.

I’m taking my own food for the cookout – grilled fish, baked potato and a nice salad. Dessert will be fresh fruit. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? And as for that work function – I’m there to work, not to eat, and can do lunch on my own later. It will be ok.

Not sure what the Whole 30 is? I wrote about it here and here. It’s actually meant to help people identify foods that cause digestive issues, intolerances and other health problems. However, it’s a great way to refocus your attention and your taste buds using clean eating and real food. It is not for everyone but I feel amazing when I eat the Whole 30 way.

And, as for Sarah, I’ll just be a week ahead of my friend but intend to extend this round by a week so she won’t be in it alone. I’ll give you an update a little later and let you know how it’s going.

Crisis Averted

So the headline is a little melodramatic but I was beginning to think a crisis was on the horizon.

You see, since starting the Whole 30 last year, I have become dependent on RX Bars as meal replacements on the go. Even when I’m not following the Whole 30 (like right now), it’s a great way to avoid fast food when there’s no opportunity to eat a decent meal. They also make terrific pre-workout fuel because they taste good but are made with just a few ingredients you can pronounce.

Sadly, a recall due to possible peanut dust exposure left the shelves bare of almost every RX Bar flavor sold in southern Ohio. My supply has been dwindling and I was starting to worry.

Finally, though, I was able to lay my hands on a box yesterday! I also grabbed a new flavor of Bubly because I evidently am an impulse shopper. Doesn’t Blackberry sound yummy?

Isn’t it funny the habits we fall into and how challenging it is to face the prospects of changing even if just for a short time? Is there a product you use that would feel like a catastrophe if you couldn’t get it? Tell me about it!

Recommitting To Myself

new years 2019I’m not a huge fan of the New Year’s Resolution. Maybe it’s because I believe every day is a perfect time to commit to doing something that’s necessary or good. Maybe it’s because I see how quickly most people fail with their resolutions. It takes at least a month of commitment to form a new habit. Sadly it takes one bad decision and about five minutes to revert back to our old ways. Then discouragement sets in and before we know it, we’re waiting for next January 1 to repeat the process.

Last spring, my beautiful friend Sarah introduced me to the Whole 30. It’s designed to help kick a sugar addiction and it’s an elimination diet to help folks with health issues figure out their allergies or other food related problems. For me, it became more of a lifestyle to stave off sugar cravings, lose weight, have increased energy and greater mental focus. I even found that food was causing some mild Rosacea like symptoms.

I quickly learned that I am happier when I eat whole foods and avoid heavily processed stuff. 

It’s a real commitment to be a Whole 30 Pescaterian. It’s a lot of cooking and most convenience food is off the table because it’s packed with sugar and all sorts of nasties you can’t pronounce and probably shouldn’t digest. For most Whole 30’ers, the prospect of eating in a restaurant is enough to incite panic. In other words, it’s a commitment and a challenge. And unlike most diets, if you make a mistake today, you don’t just pick up and go on tomorrow. You go back to day one with every slip up. So if your goal is to just get through the thirty days, it’s stressful when you’re new or when you’re trying to eat on the go.

Like I said, I have achieved a place of lifestyle where I try to stick with it as much as possible but am not bound so tightly by the rules of being on a thirty day round. This healthier diet gave me more energy for hiking, working out and going on adventures. After a few months of being really strict, I gave myself a season of leniency – more or less to see what my tendencies are, what my weaknesses are and what I do if given some leeway.

Turns out, my weaknesses and natural tendencies are appalling.

So today I start a new Whole 30 round and recommit to some of the lifestyle choices that made me so happy last year – drink lots of water, fuel my body with good food, get outdoors when possible, hike a lot, read good books, listen to amazing music, write daily, and surround myself with people and things that make me happy.

I’m also doing a reset on my budget. The holidays and poor self control on this last road trip tell me that I simply cannot be trusted with food, money or anything else. Ha, ha… ahem.

So, I’m not making a resolution. Instead, I’m making conscious decisions to recommit to what’s good for me and to what’s really important.

If you are among the many today who are committing to a resolution, here’s my advice – PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!!! Write out your strategies, write down what you’re doing, study your choices and reward yourself for good performance.

If your goal is to cut spending so you can pay off a credit card, you would need to make a budget, write down every penny you spend, study your spending habits and chart your progress as the credit card balance decreases. Then periodically reward yourself with something special but not necessarily something that costs money. Maybe you invite a friend over for coffee or take a long, hot bubble bath. If you have kiddos, plan a picnic at a local park.

You get the idea.

Whatever you do, remember that the thing you want – the slimmer body, the fatter bank account, the life without cigarettes, or whatever it is – you can work toward every day of the year. You don’t need a calendar or a silly annual tradition to make it happen. You WILL need some elbow grease and a commitment to make it reality.

I have my plan together and I have a goal to be good to myself. And really, my friends, what’s better than committing to being kind to yourself?

Best wishes with your resolutions or goals or whatever it is you call them. Go forth and conquer every day this year! Let’s make 2019 our best year yet!

Today

These last few weeks have been a struggle. Ever since the burglary I notice that I’ve been giving myself a free pass. A pass to eat that cookie because it comforts me, a pass to spend $20 on scrapbooking supplies to preserve my memories, a pass to stop worrying about anything because, after all, life is short. Why waste it worrying?

While science and common sense prove that stress will kill us, I have swung too far in the other direction. I don’t really worry about anything. Nothing seems to scare me these days.

Debt no longer weighs heavily on my mind and, consequently, I have been spending too much money lately. To be fair, much of the spending has gone toward home security measures and replacing the phone I ruined dropping it in water because I was terrified to be without it for even a minute. But the total has been creeping up and I just don’t care.

This isn’t like me.

It also isn’t like me to eat out a lot or to indulge in foods that I know are bad for me. After all,  I’m trying to clean up my diet, improve my lifestyle and become healthy. Cookies and garlic bread are not part of the plan. Neither is the pizza and Diet Pepsi I guzzled at a meeting last night.

My behavior is wrong. I know that. I should be sleeping, drinking water and eating a more balanced diet. I should stay away from stores and be happy with what I have and stop spending money on fast food and magazines (Magazines have long been a vice. I’m much happier when I’m not reading them too. Will have to cover that in a future post!).

I need to face the fact I’m struggling to pull it together and that I’m not especially happy most of the time. I keep thinking tomorrow will be better, next week I will be back to my old self, after I eat this wonderful slab of Chef Mary’s Cornbread Salad I will be ready to go again. But it never happens.

Today hasn’t been awful. I ate a good breakfast and reasonably balanced lunch. My snacks have been within reason. I haven’t been near a store and haven’t spent money on anything today. After work I plan to walk two miles before heading home to see my parents. I’m having dinner with them to celebrate the eight year anniversary of my dad surviving a heart attack.

And see? You would think the fear of bad genes and bad lifestyle choices would scare me into making better decisions! Not tomorrow but today!

Today I will be happy. Today I will treat my body kindly. Today I will pay attention to what my life needs. Today I will take charge and choose the good stuff. Today.