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Day One of the Whole30, and I had a meltdown.
But first, a rewind...
Starting last Tuesday, I tried to prep for the Whole30 by cutting down on grains, legumes, sugar, and dairy. I snacked less - compartively speaking. I mostly stuck to three regular meals, with plenty of protein and good fat at every meal. I also decreased caffeine. Not on purpose - we were travelling, and I am a terrible coffee snob. I had a few days of mild headaches from caffeine withdrawal.
On Friday, I shopped for Whole30 at The "Good" Kroger - i.e., the Kroger that is supposed to be "upscale", and is a 7-8 minute drive from my house.
Here is what I learned in the two hours I wandered through The "Good" Kroger:
1) This Kroger has less selection than the one around the block. Gah.
2) I read the back of every package of bacon, and every can of coconut milk and cream in the store. I looked at every type of egg to see if I could glean how the hens were raised and fed. I picked up so many things and read so many labels, I could barely think straight.
I still wound up with a coconut cream with metasulfites in it, and a box of bacon with nitrites that I somehow missed. SIGH.
3) I am nearly done reading "It Starts With Food", and I have learned so much about how food affects our body - in ways I never imagined.
With this new knowledge, I felt so incredibly lied to, as I examined box after box, and read label after label. The grocery store is chock-a-block full of lies. We all think we're making healthy choices in our eating. Guess what? We're NOT. We are being set up for failure: for obesity, for arthritis, for food allergies, for stomach ailments, for Alzheimers', for auto-immune disease.
And this failure is all wrapped up in attractive packaging, labelled "Gluten-Free! Low-Fat! Heart Healthy! Anti-Oxidants! Pro-Biotics!"
There were moments in the grocery store, where I felt genuine despair. We've pushed back the average lifespan for the human race over the past century. In a time where there is more food widely available than ever, when we have nearly unlimited options to eat, it's very possible that lifespan number is going to decline.
Everyone should read this book. You don't have to do the plan. Read "It Starts With Food", and work on your own nutrition goals. But read the book.
Day One (Saturday): Our friend Meech stayed with us this weekend, and agreed to do the program with us.
Breakfast: I chopped up leftover chicken and red onion, and cooked them together in balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil. This was the filling for omelets, which I cooked in a little bit of clarified butter. We also had chopped potatoes, cooked with red onion and garlic. Prep and cooking took about an hour.
My offerings were tasty (my opinion), but eyed skeptically by the others. Nobody said, "hey, thanks for doing this".
Because I still did not have a Whole30 compliant creamer option, I drank my coffee black, and joyless. I stopped at about half a cup. I also had a cup of unsweetened cocoa mate' tea, which did not deliver the promised kick of caffeine. Meh.
Lunch: Nobody wanted lunch. Several water bottles, and two packages of six-dollar, Whole30-compliant nuts were packed silently into the cooler, as the JC and Meech stared at me with eyes full of betrayal.
JC paused on his way out the door, 'So... you coming down later?'
And that's when I melted down. It was kind of epic. JC eventually fled down to the pool, and I sat and bawled for about half an hour. Then I took a bath, got dressed, went to Kroger (the one around the corner) to return The Nitrite Bacon and The Sulfite Coconut Milk.
Eventually I stopped feeling all sorry for myself, got my sh*t together, and went down to the pool, and had a good time.
Good Enough for Lunch: You aren't supposed to graze on Whole30, so I'll call this "an extended light lunch"... between breakfast and dinner, we all had bananas, almonds, pistachios, blueberries, and cold chicken. Not optimal, but good enough for the first day.
Dinner: We all binge-watched 'Orange in the New Black', and had a really good dinner: a Whole30 meatloaf (made with ground pork), and roasted carrots and sweet potatoes.
To recap Day One: Stressed, moody, slight caffeine withdrawal headache, but by late afternoon, I felt better, content, more at peace, I dozed off briefly at the pool, but never felt like I hit an energy slump. Also, I got my period Saturday night, which accounts for the anxiety and the self-pity.
Some thoughts on Whole30
1) I wish I had been able to read the entire book, before I started. I was about two-thirds through it when we started. But we're on a bit of a time crunch: we are going to the Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT next month, and I wanted us to have time to re-introduce some food groups into our diets, so that the trip doesn't shell-shock our systems.
I am nearly done with "It Starts With Food", and I've learned a few more planning things that would have given us an easier start. If you're going to do Whole30, I recommend reading through 'It Starts With Food', before you do.
But if, like me, your calendar has big events or trips on it... visit their site, scoop up as much information as you can, and go.
2) "Surfing The Crimson Wave"... usually, when I'm PMS-ing, I have one or two days where I Eat Everything That Isn't Nailed Down. I also have epic cramps - but not this time. They were milder, and easily controlled with ibuprofen. So even done partially the week before I started, Whole30 already had a positive impact on my body.
3) I didn't have any real cravings on Day One, but my sister - and countless internet articles - tell me that it will eventually happen.
Day One = DONE. We stuck to it.