I consider myself to be a little smarter than my cat, so if she can be strict paleo, then so can I, right? She is perfectly content on a diet of high end grain free kibble, raw organic meat, and, if she can get to it, grass. So if this little pea-brained creature can do it, then why am I so terrified to eat clean for 30 days? The same thing that sets me apart from my little bengal is the same thing that makes the Whole30 so challenging; my brain! For example, here are some thoughts that pass through my head:
- How can I relax without a glass of wine?
- What if I accidentally eat a cookie? (Let me explain... I am sometimes so unaware of what I'm eating that I'm actually afraid I might put a "no" food into my mouth when I'm not paying attention. Or while sleepwalking.)
- What if I feel like shit and become a total bitch face?
- Beans are healthy; this is dumb. (If you are wondering why beans aren't allowed check this out)
- How can I survive social events without delicious treats and cocktails? Mostly, cocktails.
- I like to cook... but not every meal. Ugg! So much work. And dishes!
- What am I supposed to eat at the movies?
- One glass of wine a day is good for you. I should do that.
- My social life is going to go down the toilet.
- But I love going out to eat and I deserve it!
- Deprivation is stupid.
While these are all (semi-) valid concerns, I admit I’m an over-thinker. My therapist told me it’s because when I was little I needed to overthink in order to deal, and it served me then so I do it now as a way to protect myself. My cat doesn’t overthink anything. Can you imagine? “I really want to eat this grass but I’m not sure if I should because it might make me throw up, but I really love to eat grass, I’m so torn, I just don’t know what to do… maybe I should go talk to my therapist before I take a bite? But I deserve to eat grass dammit! Maybe just one blade. No, if I have one then it just makes me want another. Shit, maybe I have a grass addiction? Is there a meeting for that?” NO!!! She eats the fucking grass because she decides to and then gets on with her life. Whatever happens happens. If she pukes, she pukes. She deals. She moves on. She doesn’t learn from her mistakes, but she gets over shit quickly. Sheba rocks.
My point with this cat tangent is this; I will be less miserable during the Whole30 if I get my head out of the way and just do it. I have reached a point where I’m ready. I am generally healthy, but I want to take it to the next level. I don’t strive for a 6-pack, but I could lean out. I would like to sleep better and be less anxious. I’ve been using the life stress I’m under to justify my bad habits like too much sugar, bread, and alcohol. I’m a great athlete and trainer, but I want to be better! About a month ago, my sister asked me if I wanted to do the Whole30 with her, and my initial reaction was “that sounds cool but no thanks.” I was full of reasons to NOT do it, but the truth is that I was scared. I wanted to stay in my comfort zone and taking on a commitment this big felt like too much. However, my fear of committing to it was the motivation I needed to actually do it, and I finally reached a point where I went from “interested” to “committed.” I invited my clients to join me and a few have also committed! If I cheat I let myself down, and just as importantly, I let my clients down (I’m a people pleaser so this would crush me. I know...I have issues!).
I love the saying “worry is using your imagination to create something you don’t want.” Worry does not serve me in any area of my life, yet I still do it. It’s a daily struggle. Not to get all deep, but the Whole30 is more than just a lifestyle, diet or cleanse; it’s personal growth. High five!
I was excited, motivated and empowered, and that helped me rock the first couple days. I even poured a half bottle of Kim Crawford down the drain and that takes guts. Here’s what else happened…
Day 1: I trained clients for three hours and did an hour long cardio crossfit class on three cups of coffee and no food. Just because coffee is allowed on the Whole30 doesn’t mean you should have three cups for breakfast you guys. I suffered severely for the entire crossfit class which served me right. But a quarter mile run down Ventura Blvd carrying a 10# medicine ball on your shoulder is a pretty brutal warmup. And it only got harder from there. Just sayin’. So by lunchtime I was starving. One of my clients gave me some of her homemade paleo mayo (amazing!) so I made egg salad lettuce cups with four eggs, intending on it lasting for two meals, but I ate all of it with a side of fruit. What an oinker!
Dinner is what I’m scared of. (Be like Sheba! Don’t be scared of dinner!) But I am and here’s why…
I LOVE coming home from a long day at work, pouring myself a glass of wine and cooking whatever the hell I feel like. It’s my reward and my relaxation. I can’t live without it. But on night one I was still in my “Fuck yeah Whole 30! Let’s pour wine down the drain!” state of mind so a Whole30 approved dinner was easy: baked sweet potato, bacon and sautéed asparagus. (Side note: most bacon contains sugar so be sure to buy the fancy shmancy Paleo bacon at Whole Foods. Having said that, be sure to check ALL your labels…the enemy sneaks sugar into everything!)
Day one: no cravings, no issues, crushed it!
Day 2: After yesterday’s coffee bender, I decided to start my day with beef bone broth instead. Then I moved on to one cup of coffee, fruit salad, and a hard cooked egg. Crossfit went WAAAYYY better today, go figure!
My fridge is full of Whole30 approved food. Earlier this week I spent 200 bucks on grass fed beef, all sorts of potatoes and vegetables, even a whole chicken. The problem is I haven’t cooked any of it yet, so the only solution for lunch was another round of egg salad lettuce cups since I was hungry and tired and who roasts a chicken at 11:30 in the morning? I whipped up a killer dish to have on the side, which brings me to my first recipe:
Race Car Driver Don’s Favorite Salad
1 apple (any variety you like except red delicious because they are gross), matchsticks chopped
6-8 brussels sprouts, shaved, grated, or very thinly sliced
Handful of chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 T aged balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste.
Tonight I will be cooking up a storm because, well, nine eggs in two days people. Check back soon to find out what I made, and for regular updates during my Whole30 journey!