+Health & Fitness

My New Lifestyle

Upon my completion of Whole30, I was surprised in my results of how I felt and looked in the mirror. In truth, it wasn’t necessarily the number of pounds I dropped or the inches I lost from my waist, but the fact that I felt and looked healthier. I had a choice to make at the end of my experience. Do I continue eating the Whole30 way, do I reintroduce some foods back into my diet or do I say “to the hell with this whole program” and go back to my old ways? Well after some reflection, I decided that there was no way that I was going back to my original eating and non-exercise life plan. I was successful for the first time at something for as little as 30 days and there was no reason why I should stop. I originally was going to title this post “The New Diet”, but in essence this eating plan isn’t a diet at all. I’ve chosen to continue this lifestyle because I now have a better understanding of what types of food help me be the best version of me I can.

So with my new motivation grappled at my helm, I decided to continue eating on a Whole30ish plan. While I was able to follow the rules and regulations of the program very easily, there were some foods I wanted to re-introduce back into my life either on a daily basis or special event basis. There were also some foods that I definitely did not want to have back in my diet, so instead I made some adjustments.

Grains

Okay, so grains have always been my weakness no matter what. But after cutting them out of my life for 30 days, I wasn’t keen on letting them back in. Since I’m a pre-diabetic, any sugar or carbs (that digested as sugars) I ate were not the greatest help in my health endeavors. nuggetsI’ve always been a carb lover, any pasta and all types of bread was my go-to for quick meals or meals out at restaurants. When my college girlfriends and I were planning on heading out to a party on the weekends, we would always eat these big carb induced meals of Kraft macaroni and cheese and Pillsbury crescent rolls before consuming all the alcohol. The thought of eating that meal now makes me sick.
At a July 4th BBQ, I treated myself to a hamburger on a bun and I will never again to do that to my stomach. So for the time being I have decided to cut grains from my diet as well as balance on a low-carb lifestyle. If I decide to indulge in carbs for any reason, I will do so in a gluten-free environment.

Sugar

I’m almost curious to add up all grams of sugar in the foods I used to eat on a daily basis. I’m a visual learner, so if someone was to do the math of how much sugar I ate in a day and physically pour it in a bowl for me, I think I would be scared. I’ve talked before how much I depended on sugar especially in my energy highs and lows. But once I learned that energy could come from greener, healthier foods and how well you take care of your body I started to change my mindset. After my wine tasting early celebration, I woke up the next morning with a raging hangover. NOT from the alcohol, but from the sugar alone in the sweet wine. I forgot what that felt like; to constantly have a sugar-induced headache and it’s not a feeling I wanted to revisit again. At a fireworks display on July 4th, my friends and I had a small gathering where a few friends brought some cookies to share. Since it was a holiday, I made the choice to indulge in two sugar cookies. The next morning, bam sugar-induced hangover headache. My relationship with sugar is like the relationship you have with your middle school fake bestie. The one who is only a friend with you for a certain ordeal before she slaps you in the face the next day by not speaking to you. So while I may make the choice on the special occasion to enjoy a sugar cookie, in my day-to-day life I will remain sugar-free. I’m also going to remain free from any added sugars as well. I’m proud to say I can drink coffee now without any sugar substitutes! 🙂

Dairy

I didn’t have a bad precursor with this food group before Whole30. I enjoyed it on the daily with no problem: cheese, skim milk, yogurt, ice cream….until about a month before I started. Anytime I ingested something with dairy, I would have lots more problems with my digestive patterns. So much so that I started to research about what the symptoms were for lactose intolerance. bjIt never fully made sense to me; I had been eating dairy for 24 years with no problems, so what was up? I’ll never find out I guess because after Whole30 I decided to be dairy-free. In a huge part it was because I had a major ice cream addiction and while ice cream is good in moderation I needed to crack this bad habit. If I chose to indulge in ice cream now, I will select the many (thankfully) non-dairy ice creams out on the market. As for yogurt and milk, I won’t miss them much as I’m pretty happy with the almond milk alternative I’ve found. And as for cheese, well I can’t say I won’t miss it, but in truth I’m too scared to try it after a month and a half of none of it. Let this sink in, I haven’t had pizza in that timeline either and quite frankly I don’t wish to have it. If I find a gluten-free, dairy free pizza that won’t break my piggy bank then maybe I’ll reconsider.

Alcohol

I’ve strictly chosen to only have alcohol during special holidays or celebrations. In truth, I wasn’t big into alcohol before Whole30. I enjoyed the occasional happy hour or a beer with friends on the beach. But unlike my mother who has a glass of wine each night with dinner, I’m more of a laid-back drinker only going crazy when it’s someone’s birthday or at family holiday parties while ignoring questions about my future from relatives. At a July 4th beach BBQ I had two hard ciders and an additional beer with friends. Considering my new health concerns if I decide to have a beer I’ll make sure it’s gluten-free.

There are some new changes in my lifestyle, but they are happy ones and ones I know will help me feel and look healthier. For example, as I type this I’m happily sipping on a Pure Leaf unsweetened black tea; in the past I would have grabbed their sweet tea. I’m up for the challenge to put my new gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free lifestyle in place. On Friday, I’ll have a post to share about the food products I love thus far that accommodate to this lifestyle.

Peace & Love, 

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