Monday, January 18, 2016

Whole 30 Week 2: surviving a stomach bug, finding help for my anxiety, and learning more about myself



This little guy giving me so much joy this week!


I just finished Week 2 of the Whole 30 diet.  (Recap from last week: the Whole 30 diet allows meat, eggs, nuts, vegetables, and fruits, and that’s it.  But it’s actually surprising how many delicious, healthy meals you can make with just those food groups.  The Whole 30 diet is a great way to lose weight if you need to, but beyond that, it can help to reset your eating habits and to mitigate any health issues you’re facing.)

This week I lost four more pounds, with the help of a stomach bug that took away my appetite and all my energy for a couple days.  All I wanted was toast and crackers, but I made do with unsweetened applesauce, and when I was feeling a little better, fried eggs.

I also realized this week that I’ve been feeling much calmer.  Last year I struggled with postpartum anxiety and some insomnia.  Over the last two weeks, I’ve been sleeping well, and have felt more of a sense of well-being and calm.

There was one particular moment this week when I was washing dishes and suddenly all three kids needed urgent help immediately.  Normally in these melt-down situations I tense up, my heart starts pounding, I feel overheated, and it’s hard for my brain to focus on what I need to do first.  This time, I felt so calm and focused I surprised myself.  Something is definitely different in me physically.

I’m not sure what’s helping more—the Whole 30 diet, or that I recently started taking St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo Biloba, and Tryptophan.  I also cut back my caffeine intake to one cup of coffee in the morning.  I realized I was stuck in a cycle when I felt tired, so I would get caffeinated, so I would feel hungry and eat a lot to counter the effects of the caffeine, and round I would go again.  So much as I love coffee, having that one cup only in the morning is helping with both my anxiety and my weight loss.

I also learned something not so great about myself this week—though I reject most forms of the “buy now, pay later” mindset—“have your fun now, don’t worry about the consequences”—I was basically caving to that in my eating.  I crave sugar and chocolate and coffee, and in the moment (usually a moment of stress), I would indulge, not connecting my habits with how I was feeling.  I’ve felt so much better changing my habits these last two weeks, in addition to losing eight pounds.  It is totally worth the foods I’m not eating.

After all, here are all the delicious things I am eating.  Menu plan for this past week:

  • Breakfast
    • fried eggs
    • sautéed sausage and vegetables
    • fresh fruit
  • Lunch
    • leftovers from yesterday’s dinner
    • sweet potato casserole (with eggs and coconut milk)
    • salad with grilled chicken
      • I buy frozen grilled chicken pieces at Costco, so all the prep I need to do is put a few pieces in the oven.  I put a bed of spinach on a plate, chicken over that, then sliced hard boiled egg, avocado, tomato, and any other veggies.  I sprinkle on salt and pepper, then drizzle lemon juice and olive oil.  So delicious and fresh, and a meal in itself.

  •   Snacks

  • Dinners
    • Shrimp over “zoodles”—delicious!  Love this Romesco Sauce.
    • Chicken curry with coconut milk and vegetables (Ben makes this for me and makes lots of extra for leftovers).
    • Roast beef, roast broccoli, homemade French Fried potatoes.
    • Spaghetti squash with spaghetti sauce and ground beef.
    • Those are actually the only dinners we made this week because we were sick for a few days and just snacking and eating leftovers as we felt like it.

I had dinner with friends twice this week—once I brought my own food, and once I ate beforehand.  Ben and I went on a date, too, and rather than navigate the restaurant scene, we ate at home and did an activity date of touring the shops in the Old Town near us and then going out for tea at a coffee shop.  It was so fun (and cheap!) that I want to do more activity and fewer restaurant dates this year, even when I’m not on this diet.

Our date.  We brought along our own Whole 30 muffins.
What is keeping me on target this week?
  • Telling people what I’m doing so I can be accountable (and because messing up would mean losing face—you can’t really tell someone you’re doing the Whole 30 and then bite into a doughnut).
  • Having lots of great Whole 30 approved foods around the house so I can eat whenever I’m hungry.
  • Packing Whole 30 snacks with me when I leave the house (grapes, hard boiled eggs, Whole 30 muffins).
  • Keeping any tempting foods far away from me!

Here’s looking forward to Week 3!


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