Paleo & the Whole 30
Woo Hoo! 30 Days Completed
And …. DONE!
Yesterday was day 30 of our Whole 30 program and we passed with flying colors.
The crux of the Whole 30 is simple. It is to cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. The difficult part of that is it included wine. If you know anything about me, or Stacy, we like wine. We like wine a lot. I’m not saying I’m a drunk but I am saying a few more prayers each day for those who have to continue to never drink again. Dear God we could never do it.
But to be 100% truthful, as much as I have missed the wine, I have much more enjoyed the fruits of this program. By eating properly we have both been able to:
• We have a more sound and restful sleep every night.
• We feel considerably less sluggish
• We are more alert (Stacy has to repeat herself less to me now) 🙂
• We aren’t hungry all the time anymore because the foods we eat keep us full.
• The need to snack is gone.
• We have both enjoyed some weight loss.
• Personally, I am more excited about sitting and reading a book without fear of falling asleep in the first 10 pages.
• By getting educated on all other foods, I have expanded my choices and don’t want garbage in me
So now that we have completed The Whole 30, what is next?
Well, February has 28 days, and the first two are Super Bowl weekend. So it would stand to reason that we have earned a weekend of food cheating and wine and beer. But that is not what we are going to do. There is no way in heaven, Hell or on Earth we are throwing away these 30 days of change. We will, however, indulge in some respects.
Today we shall each have a slice of pizza, because for all of my 45 years I’ve believed pizza ought to be a vegetable. We will have a glass (read: several) of wine. But that’s it. We are not going off the Paleo lifestyle because it simply makes us feel better living this way.
My favorite part, thus far, is that it is not a diet. It isn’t. It’s truly a lifestyle and the fact that Stacy and I have adopted it as a lifestyle will make the next 30 days much more enjoyable, instead of how the first 30 were bearable.
We have decided, however, that if we want a glass of wine with dinner, we will have it. But a glass is not two, nor is it three. It doesn’t mean every night. Well, ok, it will be every night. But one glass is all we will need. (Note to self: look into 750 ml wine glasses).
But again, I said it before and I will say it again, I do this to feel better and get healthier. My ultimate goal one day is to rid myself of blood pressure medication. I am a long way off from getting there, but there is no question that I am 30 days closer to that goal than I was last month.
Days 6 thru 10: do not rationalize …
When hungry we can rationalize anything.
Work has gotten in the way of blogging and that’s why I haven’t posted in days. The days and nights have melded and by the time I get home, dinner, dishes, a cuppa, brief time with my best then bed is the routine. Even yesterday, when off, the day was filled with chores.
Today is January 12, 2014 which makes this Day 11 of doing Paleo.
Stace told me on Friday (Day 9) that Days 10 and 11 are the days when most people give in; quit. I felt it. Yesterday my cravings were greater than they ever have been. I found myself rationalizing reasons to have a glass of wine, or have a bag of chips. It was a false sense of accomplishment. “Well, I did over a week of this, that’s something. It’s a week more than I would have done if I did nothing. What is one glass of wine going to hurt?”
Here’s a great example that happened yesterday with Stacy. Once a month she and her friend Diann host a support group for the caregivers of their members at the Adult Day Center. These support groups, although wonderful, helpful and positive, are emotionally draining. Folks dealing with loved ones who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease and a myriad of others. It’s hard for these folks. They need a place to vent, they need a place to share their stories. They need a place to feel connected so they’re not feeling alone. This is important for everyone involved. Stacy and Diann are absolute saints on earth if you ask me. But, it is a support group so that means it is going to be hard. And who, after a hard day – a genuinely hard day – doesn’t want to just have a drink?
Normally Stace would come home from Group, take a quick shower to rinse off the day and a glass of Chardonnay would be waiting for her afterwards. Not yesterday. That was a challenge and when it comes at a time when most Paleo adventurists quit, that didn’t help either.
But my girl held steadfast and didn’t budge. She had a crappo day, but held strong. I cannot tell you how proud I was of her. How proud I am of her. Granted, overall she wasn’t feeling all that great, a bit crabby and at times withdrawn, but we all handle our “withdrawals” our own way. She has been incredibly supportive of me that one day I was difficult, the least I can do is offer the same unconditional love and support to her.
But when you stop and think, quitting cannot be an option. I – we – cannot allow ourselves to fail. One glass of wine, a single potato chip, a tiny piece of chocolate is all bad.
“Oh life is too short. Why punish yourself?” People rationalize it that way. I have rationalized it that way. Well, it isn’t punishment.
Being a big fat fattie has been my punishment.
Being fat is the punishment I have gotten by indulging in that one tiny piece of chocolate which led to the two small bags of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Minis.
Just one bite, just one sip will trow everything away.
It will ruin everything. I know it will. It was like when I quit smoking seven years ago, or chewing tobacco 13 months ago. You cannot break your string of accomplishments one day after another. It MUST be consecutive. It’s not “The Whole Nine, take a day off, then Do 21 More.” It’s The Whole 30. To have one glass of wine, a single potato chip, anything outside the Paleo lifestyle then I will have accomplished only one thing. Failure.
Well, to be candid at the age of 45, and having to work two jobs to make ends meet, it’s safe to say failure and I have met more than I care to admit to.
Quite frankly, as far as I am concerned, failure can go fuck himself.
Day 10 has passed and we made it. Day 11 is here and we WILL make it. Just as we will through Day 12, 13, 14, and so on until January 31 – our 30th day.
Failing is not an option and we are stronger than to allow weakening rationalizations get the better of us.
Day 5 – less sleep
Day 5 wasn’t all that bad except for the lack of sleep. I didn’t have my crazy cravings that I’ve had the first four days. I did want wine with dinner but I was able to fight that off. Especially since Stace ROCKED dinner (again). She busted out the skillet, cooked us some shrimp and chorizo in garlic and sauteed onions.
Mmmm Mmmmm Mmmm that was good.
My problem, however, was staying up later than I should have.
I’m too old for that.
And it was then I learned what “I’m too old for that” means.
“I’m too old for that (or this) is a cop out. Age doesn’t mean a damned thing. Ask every active senior you see. Ask every 50 and 40 something bust through a Tough Mudder competition and ready to go again. No. “I’m too old for this” means I am out of shape. It means I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. I didn’t do what I KNOW I should have done/been doing. In this case I should have gone to bed earlier.
I do this all the time. I don’t get enough time with Stace during the week. So I try and take an extra fifteen to thirty minutes more than I should at night. It’s awesome when we are together but truth be told I feel it at 4:00 am when the alarm goes off and more so when my feet hit the floor fifteen minutes later.
My point? Once healthy, the six and a half to seven hours of sleep a night will be enough. In my current shape? HELL NO!!!
Day 4 – I am Such a Tool
I knew a day would come when I was going to be an ass during this Paleo thingy I am doing and Day Four was it.
Irritable. On edge. Moody. Angry. Wanting the things I can’t have. I was a tool. A complete tool. But, if there is good news to this day, it was this: I recognized it early and after one discussion gone horribly awry I was able to reel it in. I apologized with great sincerity, taking full responsibility for my idiotic behavior and made it a point not to let the worst of me get the best of me again.
ESPECIALLY when we are in the kitchen cooking. We spent five hours getting chores done around the house, and preparing food for the week. But, regardless of any feelings I was having, I did what any self respecting man would do…I bottled the anger and rage.
That’s healthy, no?
But damn it I wanted wine! And tarralles! And chocolate! And anything else I felt like and didn’t want to have to say “no” to myself to. But it was that behavior that got me into trouble in the first place. That’s what got me on the blood pressure meds and cholseterhol meds.
It was a constant flow of total and complete self indulgent glutenous behavior. THAT is why I’m fat. THAT is why I can’t see my goddamned feet. That is why I snore. That is why my knees ache. That is why I feel like I am 75, not 45, when I am at work in the mornings at The Home Depot and I try to pick myself up off the ground when working a bottom shelf of a bay. That is why I have every health problem I have (except maybe the four herniated discs).
It is the result of a total and complete self indulgent glutenous behavior.
That is my motivation. That is why I will not quit. That is why – whether it works for me or not – I will not budge until I finish the Whole 30 and then make any assessments then.
Sorry I was an ass, Stace. I do appreciate you and all you do and I love you more than everything. xo
Day 3 – Crave City
Day number three of our Paleo lifestyle came with cravings, temptations, and the realization of how much wine, cheese, chocolate, and tarralles we really like to consume.
Although we were very well behaved in the early part of the day, while we were out shopping, it was later in the day where we met with our struggles.
We pulled up an indie movie with James Gandolfini and Julia Louis Dreyfus called “Enough Said” (good movie). After that we watched the rest of the Colts Chiefs game and then of course last night Stacy’s Eagles played against the Saints.
Sitting in front of a television watching football and not indulging any kind of adult beverage or snacks that we’re used to having this difficult. But I’m happy to report that we held steadfast to our goal and did not have any wine or chocolate or cheese or anything else we were not supposed to have.
I definitely suffered from a headache most of the day and into the early part of the evening as a result of this. All the books say this could be a side effect. I believe they are correct. Another side effect that this lifestyle has, in the beginning part anyway, is feeling fuzzy and unclear about things. I’m guilty of that as well.
Day number four can result in some of the same problems. I may feel a little fuzzy. I may have a headache. The cravings may continue to be strong. There is also a good chance I’m going to be a real asshole.
I have a little bit of insight in this “Day 4” because today is day four and I’m writing about day three and I know what an asshole I’ve been. God bless Stacy for putting up with my mood swings today.
Until next time ….
Day 2 – Snow Day
Yesterday was day two and a day two was a challenge because we had an impromptu day off. Thanks to a snowstorm we didn’t have to go to work and therefore we sat around the house watching television.
As you can imagine when you sit around doing nothing the temptation is to eat. Both Stacy and I met with the temptation but somehow, someway found a way to fight through it.
Another benefit to having to fight through that day is the fact that we now have the weekend. Or in other words we dealt with our very first day off from work. Since we don’t go to work and meet with the same structure that we would normally expect me with a Monday through Friday basis we now have to be cognizant of our eating habits because we have much more free time on our hands.
I’m happy to report (provided you don’t include the 35 different cravings of wine we had every 10 minutes) we did very well and we were successful.
We also fought, and subsequently defeated, each and every craving for wine! I think it’s fair to say that was our greatest success of the day!
This morning Stacy shared with me something she read in a book about Day 3 and the challenges we will meet with today. It goes like this:
For some people, day is one of the worst days. Your body has finally burned through most of the unhealthy food that you got before starting the Paleo diet. You’ll almost certainly feel like giving up, but you can do it! Push through for a few more days and you’ll start to see some incredible improvement.
It’s funny, she read that to me this morning because the first thing I thought of when I woke up was a big loaf of warm bread.
Add to the fact we have to NFL Wild-card playoff games this afternoon and tonight, including her favorite team the Eagles, this should be very interesting day.
Bring it on!
Day 1 – Broke Alertly
Breakfast this morning
“…………..aaaaaaaand they’re off!”
I am happy to report in the Paleo horse race of my life my comment line will read “broke alertly for my first start” The 4:00 a.m. alarm continues to come earlier each day and today was no different. What was different was I didn’t start the morning off with a 1,600 calorie cinnamon bun and two coffees. And even though I have yet to have dinner, I am confident in saying that Day 1 of the Whole 30 has been fantastic.
Breakfast began with an apple, then three egg/bacon thing which Stacy made. They were – in a word – AWESOME. Look at the picture –>. There’s egg, and bacon and onions and hot sauce. Yum. To drink, I had tea. Black coffee is the only acceptable Whole-30 coffee and that’s not for me. Tea it is.
Lunch was a three part event, and I trust it will be for the next 29 days.
Part I happened at 11:45 a.m. with a slice of meatloaf that was spectacular. Seriously, Stacy makes an ass-kickin’ meatloaf. If meatloaf had an omnipotent entity in it’s life it would be Stacy. Meatloaf would worship her. Part II had nothing to do with food; it was power nap in my truck. Cold for sure, but it definitely didn’t suck. During the afternoon I snacked on a small handful of grapes and a few minutes ago I finished Lunch Part III (the second half of that aforementioned ass-kickin meatloaf).
So here’s the deal-eo with the paleo today: I never had to go without food, that is a terrific piece of news as far as I’m concerned. It’s important to note that has EVERYTHING to do with Stace. The hours of her choppin’, choppin’, choppin’ and cookin’, cookin’, cookin’ and next thing you know we are prepared for success. As far as I am concerned, if this is what it takes for us to succeed, then I need to devote several hours each weekend to her needs.
If she wants my help in the kitchen? You bet I’ll be there.
If she wants me the hell out of her kitchen? You bet, I’ll be gone.
Whatever she wants. It’s her kitchen. That’s not to say I can’t pick up a few of her weekly chores and do them for her. As long as she keeps filling Tupperware packages with really good food that help me get healthy, then baby she can write her own ticket. What ever she wants, whatever she needs, I’m on it!
The real test though? that wil lbe later when I get home from work. It will be when I have to go the night without a glass (read: multiple glasses) of wine.
Here’s hoping that same comment line on my past performances doesn’t read “gave way grudgingly.”
Except When You Order Two!
Two Big Mac’s, large fry and wine.
Today is the last day in which I will allow myself to eat garbage. At least for a little while.
Stacy said this is the last time are going to order McDonald’s for the rest of our lives… Or at least for three months. But the fact of the matter is our goal with Paleo is to not want McDonald’s anymore.
So today we indulge without guilt. We eat Big Mac’s. We eat fries. We drink wine. We do so freely, willingly, and happily.
Tomorrow morning we begin.
It is important to note, however, that nearly most of today was spent by Stacy preparing our Paleo foods for the next couple of days. I am learning quickly that without preparation for a Paleo lifestyle we are setting ourselves up for failure. Well, I have spent too many years allowing failures into my diet regimen. Not any more.
I did notice though that McDonalds has written on their sandwich boxes “There’s Only One Big Mac.” Well that may be true. Except in my house. Today. When there are two.
I’m gonna go be sick now.
Until next time, I have zero “Whole 30” days down, 30 to go.
Several Paleo deliciousnesses cooking.
Stacy making Paleo friendly mayo.