When I got up this morning, I intended on starting the Whole30 Challenge with my family. I even stayed up extra late last night cleaning out the cabinets and fridge and then restocking with healthy, organic whole foods. There are no crackers or chips to snack on. The vanilla flavored coffee cream has been thrown out and I’ve even made a partial menu plan for the week. Go me!
These two photos are of my first two meals today which I posted onto Instagram. First I posted my no sugar green smoothie that I made for breakfast and then posted my beautiful lunch salad after that. After lunch I had an organic pear. I didn’t post that on Instagram….too boring, also, Hayley has made me aware that posting too many Instagrams on one day is considered poor etiquette.
However, while I had already read the basics of the Whole30 Challenge, no grains, sugar in any form, legumes or dairy, I hadn’t done enough research. Today I read that smoothies aren’t allowed and only certain, hard to find, bacon is allowed. I had the run of the mill bacon in my salad…oops. So here I was, two meals into this challenge and I’d already unintentionally cheated.
Initially the frustration started to creep in. I really wanted to do this, but hadn’t intended on needing to order my bacon online to get the compliant kind, nor do I want to give up our convenient and healthy green smoothies. Is it necessary to get up even earlier than I already do to prepare eggs each morning? I’d spent the greater part of last week preparing my family with pep talks about how great we’ll all feel when done. My Italian husband even agreed to give up his beloveds, red wine and cheese. Now what? I’ve got to go home and tell them that it’s even more of a change than they’d already feared. No way.
I know….I know….where there’s a will, there’s a way, right? Of course this is true, but I’ve also got to be a realist. Maybe it was too much to push my family to do something so drastic. I’ve already been cutting way back on grains and dairy over several weeks. The changes aren’t as overwhelming for me…or are they? I need some modern-day conveniences, like green smoothies in mason jars that can travel with us each morning.
I get it. There’s more to the Whole30 Challenge than just the food. It’s also about resetting mentally. Even Paleo compliant foods such as grain-free breads or pancakes are not allowed on this challenge. The reasoning is that we need to change our cravings from those kinds of foods to foods in a less altered state. I think this is great and I hope to achieve that goal, just not in 30 days from today.
I’ve decided that baby steps will be more helpful in getting my family to change to a more natural, high-protein, less processed way of eating. I have two kids who just got home from college, Tater Tot Central. Both desire a change, but I’m not convinced that now is the time to tell one that she can’t have a little honey in her tea or to tell the other that she can’t have her beloved humus with veggies for lunch. It’s too much, especially since those are both good food choices.
I’ve been telling my family for years that breads and pasta need to be limited. It’s only as of late that I’ve fully realized just how dangerous those grains are. I’m very happy to forego the conventional banana bread and replace it with Paleo banana bread. I don’t fool myself into thinking that it too shouldn’t be limited. Calories are calories, after all, and too many of them in any form is unhealthy.
I will be calling another family meeting this evening. While we’re stocked and ready to go with eating grain-free, dairy-free, we’re going to get on the sailboat instead of the speedboat. Get what I’m saying? We’re headed in the right direction, but we’re on bicycles instead of jet planes. Our green smoothies are back in. I don’t sweeten them with anything anyway. They don’t need it because fruit is sweet. I’ll make the beautiful egg breakfasts on the weekends. As far as the bacon in my salad, I guess I’ll leave that off for now….maybe, until I can wrap my head around hunting for or ordering the correct, made with no sugar bacon. Lunch is ordered in for us at work. I don’t think that I can request the meat from pastured animals or cage-free eggs. I’ll try though and will at least eat that way at home.
Do I feel as if I’m copping out? Not really. No, not at all! Healthy changes are being made. Mine started a while back when I realized that eating more Paleo-ish controls my pouchitis flare-ups. I was hoping to take it a step further and eliminate the cheating that’s been happening a tad too often. Hayley has been leaving off the dairy with great success in controlling her cystic acne. I’m proud of us and if we get there slowly instead of in 30 days, I’m satisfied with that.
Maybe we’ll end up as strict Paleos someday and maybe not. Maybe we’ll be 100% grain-free, but we’ll still eat a little dairy here and there. Maybe Frank will still drink his red wine, but will give up the sweets. As far as I’m concerned, taking baby steps is the best way for us, for now. The kitchen is clear of junk food and that’s huge.
How about you? Have you tried to make the changes I’m talking about? Have you succeeded, failed or somewhere in between? How are you feeling with those changes? I’d truly love to know.