What I learned while on Whole 30

We celebrated Tet this year in Houston with my family and it was loads of fun and excitement for John.  I made red longevity noodles for the first time and looked with forlorn envy as everyone ate my aunt's bun bo hue, I skipped out on my mom's homemade banh tet, and even bypassed my birthday cake.  Ok, it was only 1/3 of my birthday cake.  It was the 'February birthdays' birthday cake within my dad's family and I actually brought it so there was no surprise there.  All this sacrifice and withholding is due to my new resolution to try a month-long elimination diet trial.

You heard right, I'm attempting Whole30!
But Christine, you freaking love grains, alcohol, added sugar, legumes and dairy!
Why yes, I do, but for the sake of my continued health, and to see if there is a nutrition-related link with Bell's Palsy (every holistic health person tells me this), I'm going to do some self-experimentation.  Let's see if cutting out sugar, grains, alcohol, legumes, or dairy truly help with my chronic inflammatory condition.  And, let's be honest, I'd like to fit in my work pants again...

So in the name of 'science', let's see if I see any differences over the next 30-40 days.
In the mean time, here is pictures of my son eating all the carbs (I may or may not be creepily watching him and living vicariously through his ability to inhale all the things carbs)

What I learned:

  • Sugar is in EVERYTHING.  I mean, I knew fat and sugar were added in almost everything to make them more appealing in processed foods but things I really didn't expect had sugar in them.  It wasn't until I started reading labels and breaking down recipes that I, like most normal food consumers, eat way more sugar then needed.  
  • I don't drink enough water.  I kinda knew this already and I try to make a conscious effort to drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, but I noticed while doing Whole 30 that I was thirsty all the time.  This is pretty common to notice during Whole30 since you eliminate a lot of processed foods that have a lot of salt and there is less water retention in your body.
  • I slept REALLY WELL.  Like, passed out and drooling deep sleep.  I've always been someone who needs a lot of sleep, but I don't usually sleep that deeply and often wake up several times in the night.  But on Whole30 I'd go to bed at around 9:30pm and sleep extremely hard until around 6:00am.  Like, Reid could poke me and I wouldn't wake up kind of hard sleep.  I found myself less exhausted and tired through out the day, though.  
  • I eat and drink my feelings.  I think a lot of people do this, but when I did Whole30 in really made an impact on me.  When I'm a little down, for tired, or celebrating, I like to have a glass or two of wine/alcohol and eat carbs.  Because those things were off-limit during my month, I had to actually confront those feelings and be present during celebrations.  It was actually really nice.  
  • I cooked at home a lot more.  Because options when eating out are pretty limited, I cooked at home and did more meal prep.  I always gave the excuse that I was 'too busy' in my current life to cook, but with a little planning and prep, I cooked almost every single meal at home.  And save a lot of money!
  • Speaking of saving money, I was able to buy better produce!  Cutting out a lot of carbs and processed foods allowed some savings to spend on quality products.  I ended up buying more ethically-raised and sourced meats and eggs and bought bulk organic items which ended up costing the same amount as my normal groceries
  • My work-outs were more focused and I had more energy to work-out: maybe because I couldn't sit on my couch and eat Cheetos, but I actually worked out more often while doing Whole30
  • Ghee is amazing.  I mean, it isssss butter (without the milk proteins).  It keeps really well and is super flavorful. I even started drinking my coffee with a tiny bit.  I think I might have to start using it more
  • I did creepily watch other people eat.  Husband said it was getting out-of-hand at one point...
So will I do this again?
Probably not.  I've always been a huge proponet of 'everything in moderation.'
But I'm super glad I gave it a try and learned a little bit more about myself.  I also gained a better understanding about the food that goes into my body and was pushed to be a bit more creative with recipes and home-cooking.  I also loved making it a point to sit down and eat with my son and husband during this month.

A typical breakfast


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