If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you might have already seen I’m smack dab in the middle (er…the first week) of a Whole 30. One of the questions I got when I so boldly announced I was going to swear off cheese for thirty days to a world full of internet friends and strangers was, “What the heck is a Whole 3o?” Great question. I can point you to the official website where they explain this cray to the cray endeavor I’ve decided to journey on. But, I’ll give you the gist: It’s thirty days. No grains, beans, dairy, sugar, or anything processed. You can eat all the veggies, meats and fruits that you want, along with nuts, seeds and good fats like coconut oil or coconut milk. Try to keep it organic. The less processed the better. You know — blah blah blah — healthy things.
If you read too much about Whole 30, you are cautioned about “having sex with your pants on” (yes, this is a real metaphor that is happening–I did not make this up–go ahead, read it). This is the part where they liken eating a cauliflower pizza crust to having sex over your pants. Let me just tell you, cauliflower pizza, even though it’s dang good, is nothing like sex over, under or around your pants. They also caution you about trying to create Whole 30 desserts, or things that represent the food items that you aren’t supposed to have. I get it. It’s a slippery slope. Pretty soon with all that dry humping you’ve been doing with that cauliflower pizza, you’re like… who needs these pants? Take ’em off. I have a date with a raw vegan truffle. I can see their point (kinda-not really-maybe stop saying sex over pants-um, thanks). I don’t doubt these rules have the best of intentions and if you feel like making zucchini noodles or grinding up some cauliflower to look like rice is a dangerously sexy road to go down, feel free to abstain. In the words of my good friend Jennifer from Predominantly Paleo, “No one has ever gotten pregnant from eating plantain taco shells“. Well, at least that’s what she said to me in a private text conversation — but, those words are so true that I just had to put them on the street. High five, Jen! I will totally rescind this statement if you HAVE gotten pregnant from eating a paleo-friendly taco shell. I’m not a monster. Please e-mail me. I want the deets.
At the risk of being arrested by the Paleo Police or receiving a steady stream of hate mail from stricter (non-pizza humping) Whole 30 soldiers, I’m going to explain to you why I choose not to be so militant with myself in these thirty days. If you’re anything like me, you’re hard on yourself. In life and in love I strive to be empathetic and non-judgmental. I will keep your secrets and give you hugs and tell you how beautiful I think you are. However, it’s so much harder to hold this stance with yourself (honestly, when is the last time you high-fived yourself?). I struggle with that crazy-mean inner voice. You might know the one. For example, you’re trying your best, you’re working your hardest, you almost go to high-five yourself and then the little voice in your head casually mentions, “hey, you’re really bad at this. Also, you’re fat and your bangs are stupid. Did I mention how many people are better than you? Yeah. And everybody knows it.” Mean stuff, right? Essentially, it’s a voice in my head preaching a gospel of “you’re not good enough”. Told you. This inner voice gal can be a real B to the Itch. If we’re honest, I’ve only recently started to fight back and mentally punch this voice in its stupid face (do voices have faces? Meh).
So, in this struggle I’ve decided to be more gentle with myself and a little more lenient with the high fives. If I am following a program (in this case the Whole 30) in order to better my health and cleanse my body, there is no space in my brain for stress and self-judgement. Well, at least not without defeating my goal of being healthy. I can’t do something good for myself while my stomach is tied in a debilitating stress knot. I decided to take the stress of being “perfect” out of the equation and to simply do my best. If there was a blip (um, see Day 5) — acknowledge it, and then get back on the horse and do better tomorrow. Giddyup. There we go, into the sunset. This is just one girl’s opinion, and I respect your right to do the program as you see fit. No one knows you and your body better than you.
Shall we take an honest day by day look at my first week? I’ll tell you everything, even if it isn’t pretty. Let’s just get real about it. Oh, and did I mention I got my husband to do this thing with me?! That’s love.
Day 1: I receive a confirmation e-mail that my brand new ice cream maker has shipped. I didn’t think this through very well. It’s okay. How hard can this be? I’m just going to eat a lot of this BLT Breakfast Salad. Everything will be fine. I really want some cake. Like a huge slice of chocolate cake. I don’t understand why I want cake, I don’t even have that big of a sweet tooth. Oh, well. I’ll eat a peach. Same difference. #Nope
Day 2: Shizz starts to get real when you’re watching TV and you find yourself salivating over nasty commercials for The Olive Garden. I don’t understand why I am drooling over a fork full of fettuccine alfredo. I haven’t been to an Olive Garden in over nine years, and the last time I went the only leftover I took home was EXTREME gastrointestinal distress. I question my own sanity. I turn off the television. I drink a smoothie. It is everything. I actually feel pretty good. I make Kalua Chicken Tacos for dinner (without the shells) and dunk pieces of chicken into guacamole as if they were chips. This is extremely satisfying. I make raw bites out of dates and nuts for dessert. I know, I’m totally having sex with my pants on. Leave me alone.
Day 3: The ice cream machine is here. It’s sitting in my front entryway. Ugh. It makes me think about all the things I want to make this summer. I tell myself only 27 more days. This comforts no one. I make a smoothie. Ah, so much better. SMOOTHIES ARE MY LIFE. Also, sweet potatoes are saving me from certain death. Yes, it’s that dramatic. Did I also mention I feel pretty awesome? Because, that too.
Day 4: This is starting to feel normal. I only kind of want cheese. Progress. My digestive system is a happy. I won’t go into details.
Day 5: I feel incredible. I pretty much sprung out of bed singing and dancing. I make my husband and I a breakfast scramble and then we go on a long walk. I love how much energy I have right now. We come home and I make us Watermelon and Mint Slushies (recipe coming soon). I high five myself. I buy a big hunk of sashimi for dinner — I am still convinced this was the best decision in my life aside from marrying my husband. Later in the evening we get invited to my husband’s boss’ birthday party at a swanky speakeasy-like bourbon bar in the city. We decide to go. I plan on drinking seltzer or water or something equally heroic. We get there. The room is small and hot. I am shoulder to shoulder with lots of strangers. I can feel my back sweating. Did I mention I am claustrophobic? Like, a lot. It’s an open bar and there are all types of expensive bourbon. I drink some. It tastes like sweet and spicy unicorn tears. That, my friends… total sex with my pants off. Yikes. I stop at In n’ Out on the way home. I order something they call a “Double Meat”. I hope this will soak up the booze. My stomach hurts. I’ve made a tiny huge mistake.
Day 6: Turns out when you’ve been eating extremely clean for five days and then you put a hefty glass of bourbon on top of it, along with a “Double Meat”, you feel as if you might DIE. Oh, friends. I learned my little lesson. I woke up at 4am sobbing because I felt so crazily bad. I went through extreme bouts of being disappointed in myself. Everything is really dramatic when you’ve gotten two hours of sleep. I drink my weight in coconut water. I wait to feel better. I sleep. I spend the rest of the day eating cucumbers and leftover sashimi. I feel slightly ashamed and wonder if I should talk about it on the internet…I decide heck, this is real life.
Day 7: Huzzah! I feel normal again. It feels pretty natural to be eating this way. I have been craving carrots and cucumbers (WHA?! Must be working). I notice I have more energy and less blood sugar spikes. This leads to less hanger. Good news all around. Oh, it also feels really great to not feel like you’re drowning in bourbon. I make soup for dinner. I make this smoothie again. This smoothie is everything. My husband agrees.
So, there you go. An honest account of week one! Sorry that this got lengthy! I will try to make week two a bit more brief. But, until then, I leave you with the smoothie that I’ve guzzled as if it was *gasp* dessert for the last seven days! Enjoy!
Coco-Berry Superfood Smoothie
Add all of your ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth! Enjoy!