As the month of January comes to a close, there are a lot of things that I have to be blessed about for the beginning of 2015.
Today is my last day of Whole30. I am really proud of myself for completing this month-long clean eating venture. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to go thirty days with no dairy, no grain, no added sugar (natural or otherwise) no soy, and no cheat days! I knew it would be a big test of my self-control and will power, which I really believe I lacked. I know differently now, that if I set my mind to something that I want bad enough, I can do it, and do it well!
One of the most difficult things about doing Whole30 is the restrictions on my social life that were put in place. As such a social person, going out for dinner and drinks are some of my favorite things to do! Time after time I had to turn people down to go out, simply because it would be too difficult to explain my eating habits or find something that is whole30 compliant on the menu. However, I’m really happy about the fact that I can shift my priorities to things that are important to me. This month, my personal health was one of my top priorities – and I was able to hold that above my urge to go out with friends.
Something interesting that I learned while on whole30 is how easy it is to eat healthily in China. Initially, I believed the complete opposite, and really believed it would be really difficult to stay whole30 compliant living here, where there are no Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc! However, what Shanghai lacks in organic-over priced-whole30 compliant grocery stores, they make up for in fresh produce. Fresh fruit stores are a dime a dozen in this city, and any time I’ve forgotten to meal prep and am running around with a grumbling stomach, so long as I have 20RMB (3USD) in my wallet, I can get a healthy, raw, delicious meal. I love it so much! I buy my meat at Carrefour(French brand grocery store), by I really only visit the grocery store once a month, where I stock up on meat, most of which I freeze when I get home. Everything else I purchase at the wet market that is a 5 minute walk from my apartment door. If I bring 100RMB (15USD) to the market, I can get more vegetables than I could even carry home, plus two dozen eggs. My favorite vegetables are cauliflower (can make cauliflower hummus, cauliflower rice, and my favorite, roasted cauliflower), sweet potato (roasted, chips, baked, boiled), zucchini, bell peppers, and spinach! I really like eggplant, but haven’t really figured out the best way to eat it.
My one guilty pleasure is shopping off of kateandkimi.com. They are an online grocer that caters to expats, and has a lot of foreign brands. This is where I can get homemade nut butters (almond, cashew, peanuts aren’t whole30!), homemade almond milk, smoked salmon, spirulina & maca root powder, avocado oil, almond meal, and all sorts of other super food goodies that I would never be able to find in Shanghai.
I’m not very good at listening to my body, which is one of the goals people usually try for when the do whole30 – seeing how their body reacts to certain foods, or lack thereof. For me, if I feel differently one day, I just attribute that to the fact that it is a new day! I want to learn how to listen to my body, but for now I’m not very adept at it. However, I do feel better because during the last month I’ve not once felt uncomfortable from binge eating, felt gross and bloated from eating junk, or experienced feelings of disappointment over my eating choices. I’ve also slept more soundly, and I did see an increase in my energy. Tomorrow, when my whole 30 is officially over, I will weigh myself and take progress pictures, and I have a feeling those will be very exciting.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do tomorrow. I know what I’m not going to do – I’m not going to go out and buy candy bars and chips and breads and everything that I couldn’t have last month. My body doesn’t even crave them any more, and I don’t know how much I would enjoy them. Additionally, I don’t want to ruin all the progress I made in the last month. There is a whole30 reintroduction process that slowly, over time, works restricted foods back into your diet, which may be a good option for me. I think I’ll try to stay as close to paleo living as possible. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to do four rounds of whole30 this year, and I’m so proud that I’ve gotten one done already.
I’ll do my best to post pictures of the tangibles of my whole 30 (pictures, weights, meals, etc), and next post I will be able to tell you more about intermittent fasting!
I would challenge everyone reading this to pick one thing to challenge yourself with for the month of February. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it!
Stephen Covey says changing our habits can be a very difficult, painful process. “It’s a change that has to be motivated by a higher purpose, by the willingness to subordinate what you think you want now for what you want later.” I agree with him 100%, but can personally attest to the fact that getting closer and closer to whatever it is you want ‘later’, makes up for any pain you feel during the process.