First, a quick update regarding training for the Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon: my training in weeks 3 & 4 of my plan was awful, riddled with the migraine of the century and my first week of Whole 30. I did yoga when I could, made it to two (OK, maybe only one?) kettle bell class, and took nightly walks with Phil when the weather allowed. Not my best weeks as an athlete, but I’m moving forward and hoping to start RUNNING this week. Now that’s something to look forward to.
I’d like to share some of my Whole 30 experiences with you. First, let me caution you that I’m not trying to convince anyone to jump on this bandwagon with me, but only want to share how things have been going for me. If you read my recent migraine post, you know that I made a decision to do a serious elimination diet for 30 days. You can research this program yourself – all of the materials I am using for the program are free, thought I’ve opted to pay $15 for a month of daily emails with recipes, program info and encouragement. Second, I fear that these diary posts might sound a bit whiny, so bear with me. If you’re interested in doing your own Whole 30, as I sit here on Day 6, I’m telling you that you can do it.
Day One – 2/17 – This is my first day without medication, following my two trips to the emergency room over the weekend. It is also President’s Day and I thankfully have the day off to be at home, cooking, rather than teaching. I was nervous about my first morning, but sat down to a breakfast of scrambled eggs, strawberries and some sauteed zucchini and mushrooms. I made my first big shopping trip and was overwhelmed by the time I spent reading labels and trying to find a damn jar of salsa that didn’t say the word “sugar” in the ingredient list. Try it yourself sometime and please send me an email to confirm how long it took you before you were homicidal. I spend the rest of the day cooking, packing my lunch for the following day and feeling like a rock star. I GOT THIS!
Day Two – 2/18 – First, an unexpected blessing of a snow day. Praise Mother Nature, I got to go back to bed and spend day two at home. I got my first sugar-withdrawal headache today and it lasted FOR-EV-ER. I was afraid to take any medication for the headache and walked around fearing that it would become a full-blown migraine at any moment. Started to feel sleepy and a tad cranky. Went to yoga and came home and had half a grapefruit that tasted like the nectar of the gods.
Day Three – 2/19 – Back to work. For the first time in months, I sat down to eat a real breakfast (check out this recipe, IT. IS. DELICIOUS.) rather than drink a spinach/protein smoothie on my way to/from the gym. Shockingly, I am late to work and mystified by my lateness. Turns out I’ll need an extra 5-10 minutes to eat a meal each morning. I’m a bit shaky and headachy all day and finally give in and take some Advil. Headache gone. Napped in the afternoon.
Day Four – 2/20 – Wake up feeling a bit better. Headache easing, shakiness gone. Ready to face the day. Starting to wonder if I’m done with the adjusting phase of this diet when I begin to feel as if the small alien from Spaceballs will jump out of my gut at any moment.
I’m a bit, um, backed up, if you will? I’ve been chugging water, but read up on the Whole 30 site and discover that this stage is fairly normal as my body is adjusting to the newness of my diet. Great.
Day Five – 2/21 – Today presents a bit of a challenge. My coworkers are headed out after work and I am in desperate need of some laughter and good company, but I am hesitant about going to a restaurant/bar. I decide to go, back an awesome afternoon snack, eat it right before I leave work and made it through the event without alcohol or non-Whole 30 food. Feel awesome.
Phil and I had a night to ourselves and he agreed to tag along on my first visit to Whole Foods. We don’t have one of these near our house, with the closest location about 35 minutes away, I’ve skipped going there. Decide to head there to find some more “exotic” natural foods on my allowable list. I walk in to find what appears to be a wine tasting/food sampling event and am terrified at the 1000s of options I have to choose from (you’ll notice a theme here – I despise the grocery store, end of story). Feeling a bit like Jeremy Renner in the cereal aisle scene of the “Hurt Locker,” I ask for help and focus on getting just a few items and ignoring all the amazing samples that are being dished out to my fellow shoppers. Exit ASAP. We wrapped up the night with a trip to Chipotle, who post their full ingredient list on line and have Whole 30 approved foods. Home to watch House of Cards and relax.
And here I am on Day 6. Alive, well, and starting to feel amazing. No nap today, made it through the hottest hot yoga class I’ve ever been to and have been cooking, cleaning and running errands non-stop. If this is a sign of the energy to come, then I’m all in, all day.