It’s time to hit the reset button.

It’s time to hit the reset button.

Today finds me unexpectedly at Day 5 of my second (and a half) Whole 30 of the year.

I’ve been thinking I needed to do another Whole 30 before the year was out. (My thoughts about it are complicated, but objectively it’s really good for me.) I feel better when I’m on it, but afterwards I’ve always let my sugar (including wine) consumption creep back up after the 30 days are over.

It’s time to hit the reset button again.

So when Will came home this week and said, “If you wanted to do another Whole 30, I’d do it with you,” I said yes and we started two days later.

(This is Will’s first attempt at a for-real, no cheats Whole 30, as opposed to his prior halfhearted efforts.)

We had a crazy September, and October got off to a hectic start. My brain and body are tired. The timing’s right. We’ll be on the Whole 30 over Halloween, which I consider a good thing because I’m a much better abstainer than moderator. But we’ll be finished before the holidays, which is a relief because my family is already difficult enough when it comes to eating in community.

A few details: This time I am NOT giving up coffee. That’s not part of the official program (thankfully!); it’s something I tried back in January because I was trying to discover what was triggering headaches I’d been having.

We’ve stocked up on chicken and canned tuna and frozen vegetables. I’ll eat eggs pretty much every day for breakfast; I have a short list of go-to lunches; dinner will look pretty normal (for us). I ordered a new cookbook just for fun.

So, wish me luck. Let me know if you have any questions. And if you’ve been thinking about doing any kind of short-term health experiment–whatever that may look like for you–can I encourage you to do it now, while you can still wrap it up before the holidays?

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  1. Amy says:

    This is so intriguing to me! We don’t eat a lot of processed food, but we don’t have any food sensitivities, so we eat a lot of grains, a lot of sweets, and a lot of dairy. I’d love to try this, but it’s such a radical shift from the way I eat now, I’m not even sure what exactly I’d eat. I know you shared generally about the foods you at last time, but what did that look like in the course of a single day? What exactly did you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and how did you fix it?

    • Anne says:

      Breakfast is usually eggs, fruit or veg of some kind, and avocado if I have some. Lunch is hopefully leftovers, or a big salad (or in the winter, maybe soup). Dinner is some kind of protein (fish, chicken, burgers) with a vegetables and salad or soup. Snacks are almonds, apples, hard boiled eggs, veg and dip.

      I hope that’s helpful!

      I went gluten free a few years ago (doctor’s orders) and the first two weeks were really hard. Like, I’d open the fridge and wouldn’t have a clue what to eat! I think it’s that way with any big dietary change, whether you’re going vegan or gf or paleo. But after the first two weeks it gets a lot easier–you get used to it, really.

  2. Amy says:

    I just finished up my very first Whole30, and all I can say is WOW. I feel like every addiction has been broken. Unfortunately my headaches aren’t completely gone (I suspected they were purely heredity-related rather than food-related), but over all I have more energy, I’m dropping weight, and I can no longer STAND to eat sugary things or junk food. Yuck. I’m definitely adopting a paleo-type lifestyle for good based on my results after just these thirty days. I ordered that same new cookbook you did and can’t wait to get it! It comes out on my birthday–what a fun present. Good luck this month!

  3. Katherine says:

    Whole30 looks like something I would jump into eagerly, and then struggle to stick with after day 6 or so. I am ALWAYS drawn to the idea, though, and love learning more about myself- so maybe I’ll try it soon. Your point about the holidays is a really good one! It’s now or…2014:)

    • Anne says:

      Ha! You may enjoy perusing the “official” whole 30 timeline. 🙂 It’s funny, but in a truth-in-jest kind of way.

      (Day 6 = “I just want a nap.” Day 10 and 11 = the days you’re most likely to quit. Days 16-27 = tiger blood.)

  4. Corrie Anne says:

    I’d like to try a Whole 30! My husband and I did an openutrition challenge at our gym which was an even stricter version of paleo. I hated it and had a hard time eating enough to keep up with my active lifestyle. Plus we ended up doing some unexpected travel which made it really difficult. I think Whole 30 is more manageable and something that would help me cut back on sugar!! I would probably choose not to cut out coffee too for my purposes!

  5. Sarah says:

    I really need to so something like Whole30, but I’m so convinced I wouldn’t be able to stick to the plan that I don’t even start. How’s that for not giving myself any credit?!

  6. Leigh Kramer says:

    Anne, you aren’t going to believe it but I’m starting it this coming weekend. I’m taking this week to finish reading It Starts With Food and get groceries and meal plan. I ordered the Well Fed cookbook this afternoon. My friend Jen coached me through a bunch of it yesterday so I feel like I should take the plunge. And this will allow me to finish before I go on vacation. Hoping it leads to some good insights about my health!

  7. Amy G. says:

    I am starting Heather Bruggeman’s (beauty that moves) 30-day vegan course today. Looking forward to more veggies but will miss the dairy. It will be tough but rewarding 🙂

  8. Miranda says:

    I only recently started following you and I can’t remember the post. I spent 30 minutes reading the whole30 website. I don’t think that would ever fly at my house but it did inspire me to make a stir fry with some veggies instead of eating left over pizza. I hope you make it through your thirty. I cant wait to find out how you feel.

  9. Jacey says:

    I am starting my Whole 30 on Sunday- the day after our anniversary date so I won’t be restricted for our celebration. I’m nervous but excited. I remembered you giving up coffee last time and couldn’t find it anywhere on the Whole 30 website. Thanks for clarifying that giving up coffee isn’t part of the official program! I may give it up anyway, since I usually drink it with half and half, or I may decide to try it black. My question was going to be about lunches and snacks, but you answered that in the first comment. I’m working on a Pinterest board to help me meal plan. Any other tips you have for a first timer, let me know!

    • Anne says:

      Yay for coffee! (If you go black, the first week is tough. But after a week you may never want to go back. This only works if the coffee is good and preferably strong!)

      My biggest tips would be to prepare yourself for the scarcity mindset: it is really easy to open the fridge the first two weeks and sadly think, there is nothing here that I can eat. That will happen, and you’ll get used to it.

      I’ll also say that a gamechanger for me was discovering these no-can-opener required cans of really good tuna over at Amazon. (more expensive per ounce, but it’s worth it for me to keep them on hand.) They’re the perfect size for a lunch serving, and I can mix it homemade mayo at home, or make a nicoise salad with greens, olives, capers, and frozen green beans, or eat it on the go with an apple and some carrot sticks (not my first choice, but way better than a larabar.

      Also, I learned this tip from Melissa Hartwig: it’s really easy to paleo-fy sandwich or pasta recipes: just dump the ingredients over salad greens for a cold dish, or wilted spinach for a hot dish.

      Good luck!

  10. Paige says:

    I had never heard of this, but now I am intrigued. I think I will research it more and may try it in November. I am already struggling with the meal planning. lol Hopefully I will find enough ideas to be able to start by next month. Oh, but to drink black coffee? That will be my biggest struggle!!!

  11. I actually did Whole30 for all of Lent, including Sundays and it was going so great I kept it up like a week or two longer. I came in at 50 days, crazy stuff. I S-W-O-R-E I wouldn’t go back to gluten and refined sugar…but, here I am! Recently figured out caffeine turns me into like mega-grinch. Black tea has been my weaning, and I guess I’m ready for decaf coffee now. After researching I would love to do primal, which if I’m understanding, is basically paleo with dairy. I just can’t get my husband to jump on board 100%. Giving it time. Maybe we should start 2014 (is it already nearly here?!) with a Whole30, it might just be the game changer we need.

    ps What sort of doctor did y’all see to figure out your daughters allergies – our little girl gets these horrid black circles under her eyes (the librarian asked how she had two black eyes). Leaving out gluten is so-so but I’m wondering if its actually refined sugar doing the damage. or maybe both! Any direction of where to start is appreciated. 🙂

    • Anne says:

      Our pediatrician steered us in the right direction but didn’t perform tests. She said what we needed was to do an elimination diet, and provided us with some resources.

      My friend Randi that I posted about yesterday did major dietary interventions with her kids, and she’s discovered that refined sugar gives her daughter big black circles under her eyes. (Sugar gives my kids other symptoms, but they’re not necessarily ones I want to make public!)

    • Anne says:

      “I S-W-O-R-E I wouldn’t go back to gluten and refined sugar…but, here I am!”

      I also should have said that I completely relate to that, and it’s a reason I’m doing another Whole 30! My backsliding looks a little different, but it’s backsliding all the same. 🙂

  12. Heather says:

    Hi Anne – I have red the “It starts with Food” book and really want to do the whole 30 – just have to take that “leap”. We’re doing with thanksgiving here in Canada so I don’t have to worry about holidays til December. Did you subscribe to their website/encouragement notes too or do you do it on your own? Do you find the Well Fed book has practical recipes in it too? I’m just a farm girl in Ontario who doesn’t make too fancy of meals – meat and potatoes here. So I don’t want a book I’m not going to use.

    • Anne says:

      I didn’t sign up for the extra daily encouragement emails, so I have no idea what’s in them! I thought Well Fed was practical, especially for those who aren’t real comfortable in the kitchen, but you definitely don’t need that information to pull off a Whole 30. I know there are free previews of Well Fed and Well Fed 2 available for download on her site if you’re interested in checking those out.

      You can do it!

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