I have to say, I feel quite great about this change in my nutrition. I feel full but lighter. I eat when I am actually hungry and I have more energy. I am not craving sweets as much as I thought I would. Chocolate in particular is my weakness but I don’t really miss it. Cheese is another thing that I absolutely love! I don’t miss that either. I think there are a few factors that contribute to this easier transition:
- Being able to eat meat – it is quite filling and provides essential nutrients that you don’t miss otherwise. That’s not to say that vegetarian and vegan options are not good. They are. But for me personally, this is a big factor. I have low iron levels to begin with so having meat naturally brings those up for me. I know, I know… I can get iron from other foods. But some red meat was actually recommended by my doctor instead of taking supplements. I have never been a fan of anything that comes in a pill or powder. So no protein powder or other supplements for me. I only take a multivitamin pill if I feel that I am getting a cold. But other than that, I try to stay away from it.
- Not starving – so this isn’t a diet. It’s a complete nutritional change and lifestyle of food choices. Which means, you are not starving or limiting (intentionally) your calorie count. In fact, one of the rules of the program is to not go on a scale for the duration of it. A friend of mine who is a personal trainer once told me to watch my dress size, not the scale. She was so right. If you train and build some muscle, you might even gain a few pounds, but you will be a lot leaner (less body fat) if that makes sense. So only going by the scale is not going to make your eating habits healthy. On the contrary, you will deplete your body of good nutrients in order to show a smaller number on the scale. You have probably heard that a healthy lifestyle is 80% food and eating habits, and 20% exercise. I couldn’t agree more.
- Variety of foods – there are a few big food groups that are excluded from the program, such as dairy, grains, sweets. However, you still have a good variety of foods – beef stew loaded with veggies, fruit salads with nuts and coconut, cauliflower pizza topped with fresh tomatoes and basil… and the list goes on and on… Once you start finding recipes, you realize that all your favourite things are still there… just healthier.
Here’s a recap of Day 4 of my Whole30 program:
1 cup of coffee with almond milk
Leftover salad from dinner last night topped with prosciutto and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
A cup of tea with fresh lemon juice
Dessert – the last 5 of my Raw Vegan Cookies 😀
I had a little mid-afternoon snack before I took my boys to soccer – a boiled egg. 😀
A bowl of pasta sauce – I had made this sauce a couple of weeks ago and we couldn’t finish it. So I froze it and tonight it was the perfect thing to have. My boys had pasta with the sauce, and I only had sauce: sweet onion and garlic sautéed, a carrot, a stick of celery, and a bell pepper added, beef chunks that I browned ahead of time, 2 cans of organic crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, savoury, dry basil and oregano. All simmered for about an hour or until the tomatoes are cooked (don’t taste like raw tomatoes). Yum!
Desert – Cashews and sunflower seeds ground with 1/2 cup of dates for sweetness. I spread this sticky “dough” on the bottom of a pan and topped with: 1 cup melted coconut oil, 2 cups of shredded coconut, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Spread the coconut mixture over the cashew layer and put in fridge for an hour. It becomes a crunchy bark over a softer base. The dates make it sweet so obviously no added sweetener.
In the afternoon I went for a really nice walk with the boys today. Just exploring the neighbourhood. It was a warm day but breezy so it was very pleasant. I even had a chance to sit and knit while the boys played in the park. Whoohoo! 😀