My alarm went off this morning like every other day at 6:45. But where a month ago I used to push snooze and could barely open my eyes, this morning I was already awake. I woke up at 6:43 and yesterday it was 6:40 and the day before that it was 6:44. And not only that but when I wake up, I'm just magically awake. Eyes open, grogginess gone, feeling refreshed and most of all feeling rested.
This is unheard for me. At least unheard of since about 2005. Ever since I got hurt my quantity and more importantly quality of sleep went down the drain.
BBQ'd chicken w greek salad and grilled asparagus. Yum.
This is huge.
In It Starts With Food, the authors talk about all kinds of illnesses and health issues that are believed to be related to the foods we eat (things like sleep, Crohns, IBS, MS, digestive issues, chronic pain, diabetes, inflammation etc.). Reading the book alone was enough to make me wonder. And although I wasn't particularly worried about many of those health issues in myself per se, after doing the Whole 30 I am just that much more convinced we could help ourselves away from so many of these health issues if we all paid more attention to how and more importantly, what we eat.
I can't say that I've had any health issues magically go away but I can say that I feel fantastic...
My sleep is deep and uninterrupted and restful again.
My body feels lean and light and clean.
My tummy hasn't bloated in weeks.
I've lost weight and my body feels great when I run.
I ate tons of food and never once suffered that horrible after-dinner tummy ache
I look forward to my meals and get excited about what I'm going to eat and know that I won't feel gross after any of them.
I missed the sweets and treats but those hard to ignore cravings disappeared over the month.
Other than the sugar withdrawal headaches at the beginning I haven't had any headaches.
Sesame ginger pork tenderloin with stuffed portobello and brocolini
The other big outcome of Whole30 for me is my awareness of the food I'm eating. I will honestly say that before this, I couldn't have cared less whether my food was organic, local, ethical or natural. It just didn't matter to me and quite frankly, I found the cost prohibitive. However, after reading how so many foods affect our hormones and then all the results of that, suddenly it all clicked. The quality and origin of our food does matter (duh). Garbage in equals garbage out and having eaten so clean for this month I can definitely see the effects of that.
And that is also huge for me.
So yes, my Whole30 month has brought about some amazing changes both physically and mentally. In the beginning I wondered how on earth I was going to survive a whole month with no sugar, no wheat, no dairy, no soy, no legumes and no alcohol. Now that its done I'm kind of wondering how on earth I could possibly carry on any other way.
No, I am not saying I'm never going to eat any of those things ever again because personally, I don't think that's feasible for me. However, I now realize that I don't need them and you can bet I'll continue limiting them as much as possible. But I do feel there is a place for those kinds of treats here and there, it just doesn't need to be at every single meal like it used to be. Not now that I realize it's at the cost of my health to include as much of them as I did before.
Pistachio and apricot encrusted salmon
You see that's kind of the whole premise of It Starts With Food. Our foods can either make us more healthy or less healthy. So really, why would we choose to eat so much of the stuff that makes us less healthy. It wasn't until I read this book that I fully understood the connections between our food and our bodies. It was pretty much revolutionary for this self-professed french fry addict.
So what happens next?
Well the next part of the journey is to reintroduce those eliminated foods so that you can fully understand how they affect your body. I'm not terribly worried that I have sensitivities to them but I now know that I much prefer the way my body feels without them. The book suggests a reintroduction plan but I will probably kind of make up my own to test things out. For me, it will be about testing how much is okay and on what kind of basis.
I do have to be 100% honest and admit that I decided to reintroduce the burger and fries food group first today though...
Yes, it was just a White Spot burger but it was delicious and I just had to get it out of my thoughts. I do not recommend doing this on Day 31 but I had to, just had to. And you know what? I loved it but pretty much right away was reminded of why this kind of food just doesn't need to be part of my life very often. Nice for a special treat if you wanna call it that but seriously, even my understanding of "treat" has changed immensely.
Anyhow, I have lots of follow up thoughts I'd like to post in the next few days because there is still much to be said for Whole30. I am also very excited to say that I might even have a little giveaway coming up in the next few days that is Whole30 related. If anything I've said about Whole30 has piqued your interest please check back because you won't want to miss the giveaway...