As of January 1st, I had not dropped a pound since coming home from the hospital with Brennan over six months ago. I eat healthy, I exercise moderately, I breastfeed, and especially with this third child, weight sticks to me like it never leave.
That and I crave sugar, especially when I’m stressed. I realized over the holidays that my sugar craving was getting a little out of hand. When we got back from visiting Ben’s family in South Carolina, after three hours night’s sleep and many more hours of driving, when Brennan refused to nurse in the van during any of our stops and the older children were fitful, and we walked in the door to discover something leaking in our basement, so Ben went downstairs to handle that while I attempted to manage the three children and the unpacking (I know this is a run-on sentence), I accomplished amazing things in a very short time period. And I inadvertently ate an entire bag of chocolates while doing so. And I didn’t realize I’d eaten them all until afterwards.
I struggle with postpartum anxiety, and with too much sugar, too much coffee, too much scarfing something down and hurrying on to the next activity, too much weight, I know I needed a change. I did the Whole 30 diet successfully three years ago, that time to lose my baby weight from Elanor, so I was ready to try again. January 4th we began.
The Whole 30 diet is simple to understand: all you are allowed to eat is meats, eggs, nuts, vegetables, and fruits. Everything else (dairy, grains, processed foods, etc.) is out. If something is allowed, you can eat as much as you like, so this is not a starvation diet, and it’s completely healthy for both pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for children. It’s not even a specifically weight loss diet, though it helps me lose weight—it’s a “get healthy” diet, and is great for helping you get to the root of health issues or simply helping you establish better eating habits.
So, to drop the baby weight, to help my anxiety, and to get all around healthier, January was Whole-30-here-we-come. The first week was a success. I say that now looking back. There was that moment Friday night when I tried to use the beef organs in the freezer in a Whole 30 approved soup. It turned out absolutely hideous—gag-worthy horrible. It was a gray, cold night. Ben needed to work late. Dinner was terrible. I was grouchy. And I was craving hot bubbly pizza, macaroni with a thick creamy cheese sauce, hot chocolate—no, make that peppermint hot chocolate … I could go on.
So I had my moments. But I made it through Week 1 with no slips. The key for me is to make sure I have a lot of approved foods on hand for when I get hungry, and to try my best to have no banned foods available to tempt me. I asked Ben to hide the chocolates. He has more self-control than I do when it comes to chocolate.
Here was my Week 1 menu plan:
- fried eggs
- fried sausage, mushrooms, and vegetables
- fresh fruit
- leftovers from yesterday night’s dinner
- sweet potato casserole (with eggs and coconut milk)
- salad with grilled chicken (I get the frozen ready-prepared bag at Costco), sliced hard boiled eggs, and other veggies, with a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. So delicious.
- fresh fruit smoothie (using coconut milk)
- carrots/apples and almond butter
- raw fruits and veggies
- chicken pieces
- hard boiled eggs
- carrot cookies
- whole chicken with vegetables in crockpot
- Ben makes chicken curry with coconut milk and vegetables
- This is so delicious—he learned how to make it at an Indian cooking class. It’s one of those delicious dishes that is comforting and filling and isn’t missing a thing.
- sausage, potatoes, and other vegetables roasted together in oven
- salmon burgers (from Costco)
- beef cabbage soup
- sliced beef with broccoli and potatoes
- the beef organ soup … I will spare you the recipe … don’t try it.
I’m technically not supposed to step on the scale until the end of the Whole 30, but yesterday I decided to find out if I was making progress, and—four pounds off! In one week! There are plenty of Whole 30 recipes online, and I’m excited about my menu plan for the upcoming week. Here’s my beautiful daughter and our shopping cart from Costco (ignore the mac’n’cheese in the background):
Other things I’m prioritizing:
- Cut back to one cup of coffee a day. The Whole 30 diet allows coffee, but without cream and sugar. I use my immersion blender to add coconut milk, which is actually pretty good—at least much better than black. But I know caffeine is affecting my anxiety, so I’m down to one cup in the morning.
- Drink more tea! Ben’s brother gave us this beautiful teapot for Christmas and we are using it every day.
- Eat slowly and mindfully. No more inhaling food when I’m stressed and I don’t even know what it tastes like.
- Put a slice of lemon in my water.
This month instead of posting “Five Things I’m Loving This Week,” I’ll hopefully be posting weekly Whole 30 updates to keep myself accountable, and to give anyone who is interested ideas for healthy eating. Have a great week!