Eating less junk

eating less junk
I went out the a bang celebrating our anniversary yesterday: donut, salted caramel latte, nachos, yogurt covered pretzels, bread and cheese dinner, and wine.

I hesitate to share self improvement-y things. The goal of this blog is never to impress people. My goal is for people to feel encouraged and at home. I hope you say “me too” sometimes when you read.

I don’t feel that way when I read about amazing things people are doing that I feel I could never do.

I am sensitive to those potential feelings, and try to only publish things here that will serve readers. If it’s self serving, I can write it in my journal.

So, I hope this post does serve you in some way, and that it doesn’t come across as, “HEY! Look at me and how awesome I am!”

That’s my preface for today’s post about a radical (at least to me) 30 day eating plan called Whole 30.

I’ll be eating real food for 30 days: protein, vegetables, fruit, and good fats. I’m also stripping foods from my diet that likely have a negative impact on my health: grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and legumes.

I’ve been familiar with programs like this for at least the past few years as family and friends have touted the benefits.

I’ve always resisted, or tried to just “eat healthier” without a structured approach. You can guess how that worked out. I’d spend two weeks obsessing over every bite, and then end up right where I’d started.

Since I did P90X, I’ve realized that short bursts of drastic, dramatic change complement my personality and help me make long term changes.

It took years for me to come around. These were my objections (and how I overcame them):

I’m too picky. The Whole 30 website says that your tastes will change, which was a huge encouragement to me. I had never stopped to think that my tastes have developed based on what I’ve habitually eaten. If I eat different foods, I’ll learn to like them.

It will take too much time. I’m keeping it simple and challenging myself to make low maintenance meals. A piece of meat and roasted veggies will be dinner most nights, and that’s a quick and easy meal.

It’s too hard to eat out or at a friend’s house. It’s only 30 days.

It’s too expensive. Processed foods cost a lot more than vegetables. I’ll probably spend more on meat, but I won’t be buying alcohol or dairy products.

Why I’m finally doing it:

I’m an abstainer, which means it’s easier for me to abstain completely than it is for me to indulge in moderation.

My sugar addiction has concerned me for years. Research keeps stacking up that proves the harmful, long term effects of sugar. Knowing it’s bad for me hasn’t been enough to limit my intake, because it is truly addictive.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been thinking about something I heard Tom Rath say in an interview about his new book, Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes: “Sugar is the new nicotine.”

Unlike nicotine, sugar hides out in places we’d never expect. I was listening to the interview while I made dinner. A quick glance at a salad dressing seasoning packet revealed sugar as the number one ingredient.

I have a lupus, an autoimmune disease. Most symptoms link directly to inflammation, and gluten, dairy and sugar are all known to cause inflammation.

It’s only 30 days. It hasn’t been worth it to me to give up the convenience and indulgence of my favorite foods, but I don’t know what the other side looks like. I’m only committing to 30 days, but I’ll be able to make an objective choice about whether it’s worth it after 30 days.

What I hope to gain:

Perspective: Knowing how I feel on the other side.

Sugar independence: I want to enjoy some holiday treats, but breaking the sugar cravings should help me say no most of the time.

More energy

Better health: I hope my body will be healthier on its own so when I need to go off my lupus medications, the transition will go smoothly.

If Whole 30 doesn’t sound worth it to you, I was with you for years. If you’ve done it before, I’d love to hear about your experience! Never tried it but interested? Let me know that, too!

I wanted to include my Whole 30 launch as part of my series on doing less to build more, but this blog doesn’t typically feature diet or food related posts.

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2 thoughts on “Eating less junk

  1. I am interested in doing this as well, do you add foods moderately back into your diet after the 30 days to see how it effects your body?

    1. Yeah, I think that’s the idea. Then you can see if any of the foods bothers you. Our bodies tend to adapt so we don’t even notice some of the negative effects. (At least that’s my understanding.) Let me know if you give it a try!

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