Friday, December 18, 2015

Five Things on Friday 12/18

I haven't done one of these in a while (well, let alone any post) It's been a fun week so I thought I'd recap.

-one- We had secret pals at work this week and our annual holiday potluck this morning. My secret pal was our music teacher and she gave me this awesome coffee mug amongst many other thoughtful gifts, including one for our kitties!

-two- My christmas sweater has cats on it. Nothing like wearing a giant sweatshirt, leggings, and boots to work. It's so comfortable that it almost makes up for having school until the 22nd. Almost.

-three- I love this time of year with my students and it's been so much fun lately. But this week, one of my third graders brought a bag of hair to school. Seriously, kids do the weirdest things. She had collected her rabbit's fur as it shed. She asked me if I wanted to touch it. I said, "no, but I'll take a picture of it to share with the internet."

-four- Last night Cody went to a florist and got real mistletoe. He was acting all weird and asking me to come out to the sunroom to look at something. I was being impatient and wanting to leave for dinner. But he was really standing under the mistletoe, waiting to steal a smooch. He's the cutest.

I didn't know this is actually what it looks like

-five- We might actually have a snowless Christmas in Minnesota which is so weird. Last weekend my parents, Cody and I visited the Hollidazzle village in Minneapolis which was full of vendors selling crafts, food, and tasty beverages. It didn't seem very hollidazzl-y without snow but we explored for a while and had some snacks. But this was probably the most worthwhile part :)

Cody and Dad as Nordic winter monsters

Linking up here and here!

Friday, December 4, 2015

My Whole 30 Journey - Where I Am Now

I spent September and October doing my second and third rounds of Whole 30. I did my first back in June and blogged about it regularly in several parts (1234). The first round was very powerful for me and showed me what a huge impact the foods I chose had on my physically and mentally. It also showed me that I could do it. While I was completely self motivated, I was really apprehensive about my ability to stick to it for 30 long days.

For those who aren't familiar with the program, Whole 30 is similar to a 'Paleo', but is more strict and meant to be a temporary (30 day) span. It eliminates all grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and many other additives found in many foods we regularly consume. While this may seem really restrictive, for me it was more of a refocus on nourishing clean foods. Vegetables, meat, healthy fats, and some fruits become everything you consume.

So, after completing my first Whole 30, I knew immediately I wanted to do it again. However, I was also excited to have some drinks and treats that I had missed for 30 days. It was summer, we were busy with fun activities, and suddenly two months of eating nowhere near Whole 30 had passed. And not surprisingly, all of the weight I'd dropped in June was back. However, I was excited to dive back in, knowing I had the knowledge of what foods made me feel good. I had heard that the second round of Whole 30 could be even harder than the first but I didn't find that was the case for me. I was still counting the days and making a conscious effort but I felt I settled into it pretty well. At the end of September, I finished my second round, we went out for tacos and beers, and I dove into my third round the next day. I 'slipped up' or 'cheated' a couple times in October with a glass of wine, piece of candy, or taste of something Cody was eating but it didn't feel detrimental to how I felt or my process. And it felt like October was over in no time. Completing nearly 60 days of Whole 30 taught me that it could definitely be a lifestyle for me.

Next, November came. We moved to a new place, celebrated our first anniversary, and then Thanksgiving. I definitely didn't fall as far as I had in July and August, but I was letting some old habits creep back in. I was still making healthy meals but I was having more drinks and treats. After Thanksgiving I was feeling like crud and to me, it seems the more I have these foods out of my system, the greater effect they have on me.

What do I mean by effect? When I consume gluten, dairy, and sugar I physically bloat, I get headaches, my acne worsens, my pre-menstrual symptoms increase, and sorry about the TMI, but my gastrointestinal issues get bad. Mentally, I get down on myself, become much more moody and sensitive, and feel like I'm in a fog.

I have been seeing a doctor to sort of these food sensitivities and it seems it might be due to a Leaky Gut, possibly a result of antibiotics taken over the course of my life. So I am taking action to correct some of that with dietary supplements. I don't think that gluten, dairy, and sugar are evil. But I do think that they have effects on everyone. It just seems they take a stronger hold on me and have more negative effects than some people. Sometimes this makes me mad and I feel alone in the battle. I get resentful that I have to be mindful of what I eat. And these feelings might come up for a while.

So, six months into this, I'm now at a place where I know I need to see this as more of a lifestyle than a 'challenge'. I don't want to be counting the days that I eat healthily, up or down. But I also need to make the parameters more livable. With Whole 30, it's difficult to ever eat out or be a part of social engagements. I also have to drive all over town to find compliant foods. Moving forward, I'm going to take the Whole 30 parameters and make them work for my life. So, I'm going to purchase almond milk that may have some carageenan in it. I'm going to make grain free pancakes, and I'm going to have the occasional drink.

I'm really proud of all of the knowledge I have gained about food and the new approach I have to eating. Years ago I was counting calories down to every piece of gum I chewed, guzzling diet soda, and eating everything 'lite' and low-fat. I would skip meals in order to stay within my count for the day. I chastised myself for lack of self control and resticted myself to a diet out of self-disgust. I feel so much better eating whole foods and feeding my body when I'm hungry, knowing that I'm consuming things that don't make me crazed without control. It's still a journey, but making food choices from a place of self-love seems like a much better path to be on.