Monday, November 10, 2014

Whole7, Whole14...Eating Our Way to Whole30.

My wife and I started another challenge.  This one to jump-start some healthy living!

Whole30 Challenge

For this challenge, we're eating our way through Whole30, one week at a time.

There wasn't a particular reason why we selected Whole30. We're not trying to cut certain food completely out of our diet for the long-term, but since Whole30 does focus on a couple of our "pain" areas - grains and sugar - we thought this may be a good way to reduce these items from our normal diets.

Being somewhat reluctant to give up my daily popsicle (hey, they're natural fruit!) for more than a week, we approached this for seven days at a time.

Originally, we called it Whole7 (though I'm not trying to take or copyright any names here...).

That being said, we're already done with week one and have decided to continue for another week. Here comes Whole14!

I'm also happy to report that neither of us have cheated during the challenge! And this is with Halloween candy floating around both of our offices. We're now trying to figure out what to do for Thanksgiving (if we make it that long) - turkey and potatoes are in, stuffing and pie are out.

What to Eat?

So what is Whole30? In a nutshell - cut out grains (including rice), dairy, sugar, alcohol, and legumes.  Yep, I asked the same question...what's left???

Turns out there's a lot! You still have your vegetables (including potatoes), fruits, nuts, meat (though most bacon has sugar in it...), and drinks (coffee with no cream, oh yeah, and no alcohol).

The biggest three for us were grains, sugar, and creamer (for our coffee!!). We're still having a hard time with the coffee, but we've been experimenting with adding spices to the French Press...does wonders on the tongue.

Another part of Whole30 is getting out of the habit of eating just to eat. So even if we could make a healthy treat out of the approved foods list, we don't. This builds good eating habits once we're allowed to eat regularly again.

We have definitely not starved during this process, but we did learn just how much crap (as if we didn't know before) is in our food.


We did try to do some preparation before beginning this challenge, knowing that cutting out some of our favorite foods would not be easy!

Did you know spaghetti squash is a great replacement for your spaghetti noodles? You may have, but I had no idea! It's delicious! Cut it in half (no easy feat), bake it, scrap it with a fork. Voila! Spaghetti noodles with a slight nutty flavor.  (Again, we found this out before we started Whole30, but we've definitely used it as a meal - with homemade spaghetti sauce of course.)

Did you know that most of the canned beans you buy from the grocery store have sugar in them? It's almost impossible (and for some beans in the stores around me it is impossible) to find one without sugar! (We obviously learned this before we started Whole14, since legumes are not permitted in Whole30.)

In fact, sugar (in some form) is in so much it's ridiculous! Read what you eat...then buy as close to real food as possible and/or make your own dishes.

We're still learning a good technique for skinning a raw salmon filet - though the butcher was amazing and I'll probably just keep asking him to do it.

Our biggest lesson has been that planning, shopping for, and preparing a week of eating at home is no easy task! This has been a lot more work!

Completing the Whole30

Will we make it through a whole thirty days? We're not sure...and we don't care at this point.

We do plan to make it through fourteen days through and that would be considered successful.

With today's food, I'll keep eating this way forever - boiled eggs and a handful of walnuts for breakfast, awesome salad (with oil and vinegar) and baked chicken for lunch, an apple and banana for afternoon snack (yes, I still need some type of snack!), and salmon and arugula salad for dinner!

Whole14, here we come!

Yours in exploiting life!

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