It’s been about a week since I began the Whole 30 (discussed in previous blog), and I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy. An entire week of clean eating which basically means no legumes, no dairy, no added sugar. That doesn’t sound too crazy until you realize those three things are literally in EVERYTHING. Salad dressing, protein bars (makes post workout a real challenge), and obviously…all things yummy. It sounds intense, and it was… but I do have a few tips for surviving the first week.
Tip 1: Get all the crap out
Make your kitchen a temptation free zone. Don’t set yourself up for disaster by having bagels, ice cream, and all things junk food hanging around your house. Anything you can shove in your face during a moment of weakness (cupcakes) has got to go!
Tip 2: Go shopping for the good stuff
Few things in life make me quite as happy as planning and making list (It’s a problem), so this part excites me just a little bit too much. Making a little bit of an ordeal out of planning and shopping will take the guess work out of clean eating, and anything that makes it easier is a huge plus! So plan meals that actually sound appetizing, write out a list of everything you’ll need for said yummy-ness, stick to it, and avoid buying any tempting foods.
Tip 3: Get your hands on some Your Tea, Tiny Tea.
Seriously. You have probably seen this tea somewhere on instagram, as a magical tea all the fitspo girls drink. It sounds like one of those gimmicky diet teas that just makes you lose 10 pounds due to pooping your intestines out…but it’s not. This tea was a life saver this week as it really works with your digestive system to cut cravings, increase energy, decrease bloat, and clear up your skin. It is the bomb.com. Speaking of .com, go to www.yourtea.com and get some, you will thank me during this Whole 30 hell week.
Tip 4: Get excited about good food.
It’s easy to get bored with clean eating, but there is a way to switch things up a little bit. Go to the farmers market, go to cool restaurants that offer clean food (they are out there), and/or try new (semi insane) recipe.
Perfect example of this: I went to on a little field trip to a family farm to pick up a massive amount of fresh strawberries. They were picked that morning, super tiny, and SO sweet. They basically became lunch and snack and dessert and…you get the point. They were just strawberries, but something about doing something special to get them made the whole fruit loving ordeal, way more exciting.
Tip 5: Remember you do not have super powers.
Chances are, you are not eating nearly as many carbs as you were before and that changes things. And by things, I mean workouts. This diet requires a pretty serious cut to the major energy source known as carbohydrates which can make exercise a hell like experience if you don’t plan ahead. You are not super human, and you cannot workout on broccoli alone. I made the mistake of running for half an hour and lifting for a full hour, which, long story short lead to a full on barf feast. It was attractive, let me tell ya.
Tip 6: Avoid cravedom.
There is literally nothing worse than being struck by a craving AND boredom (let’s call this cravedom). Cravedom is a recipe for disaster. Stay. Busy.
I read, walked, kayaked, went to the gym, called a friend, braided hair, went for a drive…you name it, I did it. Boredom is my worst enemy and after letting it get the best of me once, I avoided it at all cost for the rest of this week. I’m really glad I did this…Being on a mission to stay busy led me to some pretty awesome adventures, such as my first kayaking trip…
WAY better than cravedom. So go explore something… it will keep you from spartan kicking everyone and/or devouring ice cream.
Tip 7: Cheat.
Yep. That’s right. The Whole 30 program says that if you cheat you should start over from day one. Um, no. Although I see their point as far as breaking bad habits, and living a healthier lifestyle…I also see my point as far enjoying life and not torturing yourself.
Now, I have never been a junk eater, it wasn’t how I was raised, and I never developed a love for crappy food. However, I am very much so the girl that always wants what I can’t have. That to say, I am fine with eating completely clean, I enjoy it 95% of the time, but every once in a while…this girl NEEDS ice cream. By day five, I was becoming the ice cream seeking monster. So what did I do?
First…I panicked because I was on the Whole 30 and cheating meant starting over. So I denied myself, because quitting is for quitters. Later in that day I found myself sitting in the park (avoiding cravedom), hating on my body for not allowing me to enjoy food without being a fat slob, AND contemplating how bad it would be to punch a five year old in the face and steal his ice cream. This kind of made me realize that I was depriving myself way too much and I was no longer just craving, I was obsessing and frustrating the crap out of myself.
I bought the ice cream, a box of cones, had a very clean day of eating, kayaked for like 23 hours, and ended my day with a nice, mint chocolate chip ice cream cone.
It was a magical experience. I was seeing ponies, and rainbows and life was better. I wasn’t shaming myself. I knew that one cone was going to be flippin’ amazing and I was not actually going to turn into a hunk of lard over one serving of ice cream.
Cheat. Go ahead, just make sure to follow through with tip 8.
Tip 8: Don’t go insane, get back on that train! (yep, that rhymes…you’re welcome)
I do believe you should cheat a bit, but at the same time, you do have to get back on the train. If you can’t handle having one bad meal and then following it up with another week or month of clean eating, I would really consider not cheating very often.
So if you’re dying and you need to give in a little, have something small (under 400 calories or so) at the end of a good week. If you can hold out, treat yourself to that burger and fries (800-1000 calories) at the end of a good month. I know that sounds a bit insane, but trust me, it will keep you on the wagon for more than five days and/or your first real craving, unless of course, the first sentence applies to you.
I am proud to say my post cheat meal was two eggs with salsa and sliced avocado. I successfully quenched my ice cream thirst, and today the Whole 30 is my best friend again. It’s called moderation, and it is a B-E-A-UUUTIFUL thing.
Tip 9: Enjoy life. The most important part of it all.
Food is meant to be enjoyed, life is meant to be enjoyed, and both can be done in good health. Love your body before you love a diet or the gym. Those things are meant to better you, not to make you a slave to them. You’ve only got one body, so treat it kindly and it will return the favor.
I will never be stick thin, and maybe that’s because I need ice cream once a week and I’ve got the metabolism of a lasagna noodle. But I would rather indulge my love of mint chocolate chip ice cream and enjoy life, than be a cranky bitch who hates on my naturally curvacious body and wants to punch five year olds all day. I’ve been at my “goal” weight and I’ve been at my “okay” weight (where I am now), and honestly… I prefer my “okay” weight. People still love me, hot guys still think I’m hot, I still feel like a curvy boss in my bathing suits, and I enjoy ice cream from time to time without the need to guilt myself into going to the gym for three hours (that’s not an exaggeration).
It’s not always about skinny(especially if you’re not naturally that way), sometimes it’s just about happy, healthy, and freakin’ sexy.