Wow, that came up quick. Let’s all have a moment of silence for 2011’s September, because it had a short, fast life. October is coming, and I’m on the record as saying that I would start a Whole30 in October (see details here). So why am I so worried?
Well, you should know this about me: I don’t do anything half-assed. Except maybe the dishes and laundry. I’m cool with putting the dishes in the dishwasher, but I always leave the hand-washables out for my husband. As for laundry, it makes its way to the washer, then the dryer, but has the darndest time making it back into my closet…oh, what?
See what I did there. I’m STILL trying to avoid acknowledging this Whole30.
I’m going into my ninth month of eating Primally. I’ve lost about 14 pounds, acne, anxiety, digestive issues, and joint pain. Everything is easy and I feel great. So why mess with success?
- I’m curious about going dairy-free. I never eliminated dairy from my diet, believing that I’m not intolerant. However, when you cut out foods like cereal, oatmeal, and sandwiches, your dairy consumption naturally goes down. I would say I usually treat dairy as a garnish, although as we’ve gone into fall, I notice I’m craving a creamy taste and texture more, as evidenced by yesterday’s recipe. As I’ve discussed before (here), I’m not thrilled that I consume so much pasteurized dairy, so maybe the best course of action is to have none at all. The toughest part of going without is that I’m not sure what I’m going to do about my morning beverage. I drink chai every morning with milk, cream, and a bit of honey. Coffee isn’t something I can drink every morning, though I may switch to that with some coconut cream in it for the month.
- The sugar beast bites me sometimes. I almost never had sugar cravings before going Primal, possibly because my body was getting a steady stream of it anyway. But occasionally, I find myself going through phases of having a Larabar a day, dreaming of the muffins I’m going to make, or treating myself to these fun little candies I found in my co-op’s refrigerated section made out of coconut oil, almonds, coconut, cocoa powder, and agave syrup (I just had one while I typed that sentence, they’re delectable and melt in your mouth.) So while my sugar consumption is way down, it could stand to go down a little more. As mentioned above, I have honey in my tea every day, so it’ll be interesting to observe what happens when I have none at all for a whole month.
- Too much alcohol. Not in any problematic way (isn’t that what all the addicts say?), but I’ve been going about it in a less-conscious way. I also suspect it may be messing with my body composition and keeping me from being as lean as I’d like. I’m curious to see if this will pan out. In addition, I feel like I’ve become more sensitive to alcohol’s effects since going Primal. Anyone else notice anything similar?
- I welcome the challenge. I’m committed to this lifestyle and I feel fine going the way we’ve been going. But I think there’s a natural human inclination to explore how far we can go with something. Lately, I’ve been curious about foods that are as unadorned as possible. Not bland, but just as pure and free of ingredients that have labels on them as possible. In addition to dairy, I feel like another crutch of mine is the whole genre of uncured convenience meats: lunchmeat, bacon, salami. I’m not going to include sausage here, because to me, it’s a bunch of ground meat with spices, especially the stuff I buy locally (I’m not talking about those Aidell’s ones in the package, they would qualify as a convenience meat). Every commercially available bacon out there I’ve been able to find has sugar in it, and while I’m okay with a negligible amount that doesn’t even register as a gram of carbs, for the purposes of this month, I won’t partake.
Some concerns I have:
- I’ll lose more weight. I certainly don’t need to see the numbers on the scale go down. Which isn’t to say I don’t need improvements, I’m just not sure I want to get any lighter. I’m thrilled with where I am, even though I am still the proud owner of Dumpy Butt. It’s much improved, but the transition from butt to back-of-the-thigh isn’t as distinct as I’d like. This may be a genetic destiny sort of thing, though I seem to still have some fat stores on my lower body in general which has surprised me.
- Restaurants. Obviously. My husband has a conference in San Francisco and our plan was for me to stay with him in the city at his hotel one night so we could go out on the town while our little one stayed with the in-laws. This was going to be a perfect opportunity to grab some Vietnamese food, hit the open bar at one of his conference events, and have a heckuva date night. But alas. I will have to suffer through super-exciting medical schmoozey gatherings sober.
- No lazy cooking for convenience’s sake. No tamari. No Worcestershire sauce. No fish sauce. No ham. No bacon. No cheese. *Sigh* A lot of this stuff adds great flavor, but I will just have to fall back on my old friends garlic, mustard, olive oil, herbs, lemons/limes, and damn fine ingredients.
- Commit completely. What’s the point of doing this, only to not do it? I can do anything for 30 days. Any sidestep puts me back where I am on a daily basis, which is great, but it’s not a Whole30. No rationalizing.
- I’ll journal the process on the site. I’ll post my daily food intake and exercise, along with any observations. I’ll try to keep these brief so they don’t bore you—they’re mostly for me anyway. But at least you can see what one person’s Whole30 looks like in process.
Weekly challenges. I will try at least one new food every week. Maybe it’ll be liver or heart or fish roe or bone broth or sardines…the options are endless. There are a few things about which I’ve been dragging my feet since hopping on the Primal bandwagon (see here) and it’s time to just get it over with already. In addition, I’ll set a fitness goal for myself. I’m not expecting these to be earth-shattering or difficult, but more like ways to shake up my routine or track my progress.
- Cooking in bulk with lots of leftovers. I’m hoping this will save me from that dreaded “Oh crap!” moment when you open the fridge for some lunch and there’s nothing there that can be eaten without cooking. One of my favorite do ahead items is making my own roast beef using Mark Sisson’s recipe from the Primal Blueprint Cookbook with a bison tri-tip roast. And I’ll just bump up the portions on dinners.
- As far as restaurants go…I will do my best. It’s pretty easy to order a simple steak and vegetable if you pick the restaurant right. The thing I’m more worried about are all the vegetable oils they hide in there. I suspect I won’t be eating out very much this month, which actually isn’t all that different from any other month.
It’s going down October 2 – October 31. Who’s with me?