Hello, hello! Happy Hump Day!
Let’s quickly recap yesterday’s eats because I have a reader question to answer for ya!
Yesterday’s lunch was reheated Italian “hot plate” from the previous night’s dinner. The leftovers were even better than the original because the veggies had more time to soak up all of the delicious flavors. It was also twice as spicy. Holy crap, I was sweating by the end! Haha!
After lunch, I still wanted something else to eat, so I had a mug full of banana-coconut butter mashed goodness.
I ended up getting hungry again a few hours later, so I snacked on half of an acorn squash with a scoop of sunflower butter.
And then, on my way out the door to Zumba, I ate some grapes.
Last night, I headed into the city to take my very first Zumba class at Equinox. Sarah and I working on a new project, so I’ll have a full review of it on CNC in a couple of weeks. It was a lot of fun, and I’m surprised how much I liked it!
Shepherd’s Pie was on the menu for dinner last night, so, while I was at Zumba, Mal whipped up his own version with sweet potatoes, carrots, and ground turkey. It turned out great!
After dinner, I satisfied my sweet tooth with a handful of fresh raisins. Fresh raisins? Oh, yes, they’re different than the usual raisins we have in our kitchen, which hard and dry. These ones were soft and chewy and quite enjoyable to eat. Oooh, the little things in life!
And here’s the reader question with my response:
I know in the past you suffered from sugar cravings/addiction and have recently changed your diet due to your health condition. I’m super impressed how you seem to stay with the new way of eating (no sugar, grains or barely any alcohol). My question is was this hard to do? Did you suffer from cravings in the beginning? Is it hard to avoid these foods b/c Paleo/Whole 30 diet is not the ‘norm’ or the easiest to follow? I’m personally trying to eat less grains/sugar and more of the Whole30 lifestyle to detox from sugar cravings/binge episodes, so I’m curious how you dealt with the transition. Any motivation or tips would be super helpful.
Was it hard to do?
In the beginning, it was really hard for me to change my eating habits, especially since a number of the foods that cause inflammation brought me so much joy in my life (i.e. beer, iced coffee, cookies). Obviously, it was tough to say goodbye to them—even more so during a vacation—but, eventually, I found other foods and food combinations that I enjoyed. Now, I’m in a grove with my new way of eating and it’s not so bad. It’s even kind of fun discovering new foods and recipes. Also, learning how and why certain foods cause inflammation and other issues in the colon also made it easier to avoid them. I knew these fun foods would probably upset my GI track and make me feel crappy, so I didn’t want to eat them as much anymore. Plus, knowing it was a long-term goal and not a quick fix motivated me to find new foods and ways of eating that really worked for me.
Did you suffer from cravings in the beginning?
Yes and no. I had a pretty good grasp on my sugar cravings when I decided to embark on this whole Paleo-SCD-Whole30-diet (here’s how I beat my sugar addiction), but I still had cravings every now and then—not so much for sugar, but more for habit-related foods, like iced coffee in the morning or a beer on vacation or at a party. Those kinds of cravings were the hardest for me, but finding alternatives has really seemed to help. For instance, I don’t drink iced coffee every morning anymore, but Dandy Blend is an awesome alternative, and I don’t drink beer anymore, but I’m growing to love wine— in moderation, of course. (It’s still has alcohol in it.) Accept and adjust, baby.
As far as caffeine withdrawal symptoms (a lot of you guys asked), I really didn’t experience any. Thank God! In college, I gave up coffee for awhile, and it was a frickin’ nightmarel! I’d come home from class in the afternoon and pretty much die on the couch in agony. This time, however, it really wasn’t bad at all. I guess because I wasn’t drinking all that much caffeine when I went cold-turkey? I’d have my usual glass in the morning, but it was often watered-down with ice and almond milk, and it was my only source of caffeine for the day, so when I stopped drinking it all together, I didn’t experience any withdrawal symptoms. If you’re looking to reduce your caffeine consumption, try setting up a “weening schedule” for yourself. Each week, you can reduce your in-take by a set amount (depending on your current consumption and how your body reacts), so, overtime, you consume less and less.
Is it hard to avoid these foods b/c Paleo/Whole 30 diet is not the ‘norm’ or the easiest to follow?
It depends. At parties and events, it’s a little difficult to find foods that are Paleo/Whole30-friendly, but I usually plan ahead and eat something before I go or I make a dish to contribute. I’m also big on bringing my own food, especially when I travel. It definitely takes some extra effort and I probably seem like a total weirdo, but it’s important to me and my health. I really try to look at eating well as something I want to do and not as something that prevents me from enjoying certain foods. Sure, I’d love to drink beer or eat a piece of pizza, but I know it’ll probably wreck havoc on my digestive system, so I want to avoid it for health reasons. I also think finding alternatives that jive with my system have really helped get me through the transition, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I recently wrote a post for Health about some of the things I’ve done to make the transition easier: 5 Ways to Make Starting a Diet Easier. I’ve also found the Whole9 resource page to be really helpful, and I get a lot of ideas from Paleo and CrossFit blogs.
I hope you guys found my response helpful. Please let me know if you have any additional questions! I’m happy to help!