Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Whole 30 - 7 Need To Knows

I tried to begin the Whole30 Challenge optimistic - I still am, no worries!.  Already/Only 7 days, I've really tried to pay close attention to what my body is telling me. I want to know I feel different after finishing the Whole30 program. I've had many ups and downs, but in all reality, its just tough being a female. Despite the moments of struggle, I've done my best to follow all the program rules to maximize my gain. This is a fantastic food challenge, but before you get into it thinking its only going to be rainbows and butterflies there are a few things I've learned I feel you should know. 

1) It's Expensive
If you desire the live the best possible form of this challenge, you'll want nearly everything organic - especially the meat. Meat already isn't cheap and organic just adds salt to the wound. Other novelties like organic almond butter (upwards of $11 a jar!) and fresh produce [even on sale] rack up the grocery bill. 

Recommend: Either ensure you are in a good financial position before you jump right in, or take the extra time to meal plan and use coupons for the foods you will be needing throughout the coming weeks. My Whole30 partner in crime, Carling (you will see her mentioned quite frequently) is taking advantage of her Double Ad Wednesday tomorrow to maximize her dollar.
Read Whole30 Grocery Guide on a Budget and find approved substitutes like cashew butter instead of almond butter to save a few dollars.

2) It's a Cleanse
We all hope to wake up feeling like a millions bucks on day #2, but don't forget your body probably has stock piles of garbage to get rid of. I noticed today my skin is showing a few extra pimples than normal. There's also been a couple days I've felt a bit run down, my stomach and bowels were a little icky, and I pee all the time now! I'm not even preggers! 

Recommend: Remember to keep drinking LOTS of water to flush everything out, you eventually start feeling better. Secondly, make the extra time to get in your beauty sleep. Sleep is just as important as the food you eat on this challenge.

3) Stick to the Recipes You Know You Can Make

I think I've ran to the store 3 different times for ingredients I needed for a single recipe. I'm being a bit ridiculous, but I'm not exaggerating. I'm very eager to try new recipes and eat different meals, but I'm realizing quickly I can't keep this up for a whole month. Know your limitations, but don't be afraid to eat outside the box. Making new recipes has been one of the most exciting parts of this challenge, but I've gone a bit above and beyond for items I wouldn't deem necessary to make a recipe "pop". 

Recommend: Use what you have. This is the time to take advantage of your stash of herbs, spices, and meat rubs. Check the ingredients, but most rubs are just mixtures of spices you already have in your cabinets.

4. Tell everyone!
Not because you want everyone to join the movement (which would really be okay - see point #5), but if you want to succeed without eating alone every day, your friends need to know what you are going through. It's finally June! Summertime! The season of potlucks, hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream, and s'mores! The moment you think a half dozen people are going to show up to the picnic with salads and fresh fruit, you find 100 cheezy casseroles, salad with the dressing in it, and the fruit salad is pre-smothered in granulated sugar! So you are faced with a cheat day, starving, or running like a scared little pup. 

Recommend: For the group gatherings, bring a dish you will eat and tell, tell, tell your friends what you're doing. Ask them to keep the dressing and fruit dip on the side, and hide your own jar of almond butter to eat with your apple slices. For other occasions, keep a stock pile of Larabars in your glove box for those out of the blue sugar urges.

5) Don't Go It Alone
Grab a friend or link up with someone online via twitter or Instagram to do the challenge with you. Encouragement and accountability is HUGE. Sometimes you just need to whine to someone about how many minutes you stared at the bag of marshmallows when you politely declined the s'mores your friends continuously offered. 
"Am I really really sure i don't want a marshmallow? Absolutely not! I could eat the whole bag right now! Untoasted!  I mean... I love my raw carrots! Chomp chomp chomp!"
Recommend: Find a friend. Vent. Share. I love sharing and discussing new recipes with Carling. That's the fun part. Having someone else understand what you're going through, but give you high fives because they know the accomplishment is what makes all the difference!

6) Everyone Thinks You Are Doing This To Lose Weight

Okay let me rephrase this... Everyone will ask why you are doing this, and then, ask if you are trying to lose weight. Many of you may be trying to lose weight - and that's okay! But, have your answers ready. Know what you are doing before you do it. If you can't answer why or what you want to accomplish from it, try to take some evaluate what this challenge means to you - personally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Recommend: I personally want to discipline myself to mean plan. I want to pay closer attention to what I am feeding my body. I have a gluten sensitivity I don't respect, and want to remind myself how I feel when I don't indulge. There are more reasons, but losing weight isn't my #1.

7) Give Yourself Goals - Before, During, and After
Starting the challenge with an end in sight give motivation. Little goals through the week, like, "how many meals will be new recipes this week", is a good encouragement to keep you going.  But the goals that are most important are the ones following the challenge. I mean, what is a challenge if it only affects you for 30 days? This is designed to make you more aware of the food you eat and how you feel - before and after. 

So if day 31 you indulge on pancakes covered in butter and syrup with a large glass of chocolate milk, what did you accomplish? First, you will feel like crap for the next 3 days, and you're jumping right back into filling your body with the garbage you just cleaned out! 

Perhaps others had different experiences, or dealt with other "need-to-know" challenges, but 7 days in, this is what stared me in the face.

Hope this helps out a few of you, and remember, we're in this together!

.::A Far Off Britt::.

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