Okay, been nibbling away at this post for a few days now so I’m just gonna get to it…
Week 3 of the Whole30 was my hardest week so far.
Matt was traveling for work, which meant my meals could stretch farther, but I also didn’t have a back-up if I forgot to buy something at the store (or if I ran out of something). As a working mom, my schedule is tight. I get home from the office just in time to put Benji to bed so if Matt isn’t home, there’s no leaving the house for a quick grocery run.
What I did well.
Unlike week 1 or week 2, I actually put time into learning some new recipes for week 3 and prepping my meals in advance. Unfortunately, I’m a cooking novice so some of my recipes didn’t pan out. For example, I had this delicious slow cooker turkey recipe and when I was opening the turkey I had just purchased, some of the edges didn’t look quite right – almost like the air had seeped in through the packaging. I cooked and ate it anyway, but the next morning I was sick in the bathroom and then I was too afraid to eat the leftovers.
I also made some egg and broccoli mini frittatas that called for 1.5 tsp of salt that turned out to be waaay too salty. Like I couldn’t eat more than one and it made 12 in a batch (quick breakfast option). So I had to throw them out. Next time I’ll just salt to taste, but I didn’t know that the first time. In summary, I had to give myself credit for persevering even when all my time and effort resulted in no food to eat for a couple days (my back-up dinner one night was a Trader Joe’s beef stick, avocado and fruit). Uh, yeah.
What I could have done better.
Obvs had more back-up food in the fridge in the event a recipe goes awry.
I also gave in to some cravings with fruit and started to recognize my tendency to replace my “processed sugar binges” with raisins, bananas or strawberries. I know, I know. It’s just fruit. Not like it’s bad for you. But I was relying on my Whole30 to help me with my sugar addiction so it’s the behavior that needs changing, not just the food itself. But, now that I recognize this weak spot, I’ll be more intentional about using my tools to better distract myself from future cravings.
One of the best things I learned about how to tell the difference between hunger and cravings from It Starts With Food is to ask myself, “Are you hungry enough to eat a serving of fish and broccoli right now?” If the answer is no, then I’m experiencing a craving. I think it’s so important for us to know the difference here.
How I felt.
Pretty good overall. I still felt mentally stable and in control of my emotions. I’ve still been sleeping better than before my Whole30, even when I only get 5-6 hours at night. Energy levels have been good, but I think they’d improve with more sleep, more exercise and more water. I’m really learning that every week has it’s ups and downs. Just like life, it will never be completely flawless. That’s why the effort should always be rewarded.
Lastly, here are 5 things that really helped me survive week 3…
Pay attention only to your wins. It’s easy to feel like you’re failing when things don’t go perfectly as planned (i.e., my recipe flops). Dust yourself off and keep going.
Make meal planning work for you (get creative).The Real Plans app (mentioned in my last post) that I started using for meal planning has been a game changer because I can browse recipes that work for me. I don’t like complicated things with thousands of ingredients, so being able to try new dishes and not spend a ton of time learning how to make them has really made this whole journey possible.
Remember your WHY.I’ve talked about this in every post so far because it’s my north star. Whenever I forget that this is about health and not appearance, I start to lose motivation. Staying focused on your WHY will help you stay the course.
Visualize your ideal lifestyle. I’m a futurist so this is the fun part to me. I love seeing myself in a future state, and getting specific about it. How does it feel to be me in the next 30 days? What do I see when I look at myself? How do I act around other people? Am I confident? How do I explain my lifestyle when people challenge/question it? Remember, making these changes a lifestyle, not a diet, will change your whole perspective and take your “persevering” to living! It’s exciting to do something different and feel good for once. Embrace that energy.