When I listened to Susan David’s recent TED talk, The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage (below), it really spoke to me. One thing I love about the online fitness community is how positive everyone is. Everyone is supportive of one another’s goals, encouraging when someone hits a roadblock, and always positive. But, there’s also a good amount of false positivity, where some people don’t believe it’s helpful to be sad, or angry, or have any non-positive thoughts. Dr. David refers to this kind of positivity as “a new form of moral correctness.” She’s absolutely right, and it’s absurd.
When doing Whole30, there aren’t really options for eating Chinese food from restaurants, even if you are careful. Soy sauce is in practically everything, a lot of foods are fried, and the sauces are sweetened. I missed not having Chinese food, and knew there had to be a way to make some of my favorite dishes Whole30 compliant. I made this Whole30 Kung Pao Chicken for a Whole30 Chinese New Year potluck, and this won best dish for the evening. It even won a bag of kale! What better award is there to win than a bag of kale? I made kale chips, and patted myself on the back while I ate them.
I’m officially done with Whole30! These are words I never thought I would say, both before I attempted Whole30 and while I was doing it. Of course, it’s not really over because I still have the re-introduction period, but I finished those 30 days of eating clean (and limited) foods. I plan on writing more in depth about it later, but here’s the skinny.
In my third week of Whole30, I:
- Realized my joints are not as inflamed
- Have significantly less pain in my neck (residual from a herniated disc)
- Successfully stopped myself from sticking my face into a cake and eating all of it (like I wanted)
- Realized that my acne has improved
Week 2 of Whole30 is when the cravings hit me. After not having many in the first week, I thought that I must be so strong-willed to not even have cravings in my second week of Whole30. Turns out, that was not the case at all. I had very, very strong cravings. Also, my bloating came back, which I think might be related to the sausage I ate most mornings. By the end of the week, I decided to change what I was eating for breakfast to see if that was the case, and I think it was.
Okay, I know I said that I wasn’t really having strong cravings in my first week of Whole30, and I really didn’t. But boy, on Day 10, the Whole30 cravings hit me HARD. All I could think about was rice, and rice noodles, and how much I wanted Pad Kee Mao. Rice is a weird thing for me to crave, because usually, I will crave bread. On Days 10 and 11, though, I mainly wanted rice and rice products. All I could think about was the texture of biting into those wide rice noodles.
I’ve tracked everything I could think of for my first week of Whole30, and I’ve broken out day by day how I felt, what I ate, and what exercise I did–and the dreams I had about food. If you’re considering doing a Whole30, this is what the first week was like for me, what I ate, and how many calories I consumed. I’m already feeling better!
I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to complete Whole30, but I’m going to try, starting on January 2. I tried to do paleo last year, and I lasted three and a half days–not a great record. Every year, my best friends do a January cleanse of either paleo or Whole30, and every year I thought they were crazy and that there would be no way I would join. This year, however, I’m going to give it a shot. To do that, I have needed to prepare myself with strategies to overcome the challenges I know lay ahead. This is how I’m preparing for Whole30, from a complete beginner.