The first few days were really rough.
"Really rough" doesn't begin to define how I felt those first days. I couldn't get enough sleep--nine hours at night and a nap during the day, and by 8 pm, I was ready for bed. I'm naturally a sleep-loving gal, but this lid-drooping, full-body malaise surprised me. I couldn't think at all--I kept telling myself that it was good I hadn't gotten this wild hair while I was still in school, or I wouldn't have been able to finish my final paper. It was that bad. I was short and impatient with my family--little things that I normally wouldn't notice sent me over the edge of insanity. I remember one dinner sitting at the table and holding my head in my hands, convincing myself that they were acting normally and I was the one out of sorts. And the headaches--withdrawal headaches from caffeine, withdrawal headaches from too much processed food, plus the detox of no simple carbs. I found my body begging for a soda or sugar or carbs.
With a game plan and a few friends' support (thanks, Janette and Carson--you talked me off the ledge more than once!), I fought on. It took about four days, and one morning I woke up to a golden morning with a changed attitude and a happier body.
By far, the hardest part of this experiment is the time it takes to eat--the planning, the shopping, the label reading . . . and the COOKING! It's such a time sucker. For a few years, I've kind of wanted to learn how to cook well, and I invested in good knives and pots and pans this past year (and took my old ones up to the cabin--it was a handy excuse), so I had the tools I needed but never took the plunge.
I have a confession. I hate cooking. I hate it. Here's an excerpt from a text conversation I had this week:
"I've never been a foodie and I don't care about how food tastes or presents or any of that stuff. I eat fast and move on to the next thing. It's a total mindset change and the prospect of [being] in my prison/kitchen is most unappealing. I can't be nice when I'm in there. It's going to take a while before I think it's "fun," if ever. There are so many more interesting things to do and think about and fill my time with that have nothing to do with food. How's that for a crappy attitude?"
Although my attitude toward cooking hasn't changed much these past 10 days, I can see one of my excuses for not cooking disappearing. I used to say that my family doesn't really care what I cook and doesn't even notice. The last few meals, however, the kids have taken an interest in what is being prepared. They ask what I'm making, and every meal has been met with positive reactions, especially from Brad and Micah. So they do care, and if they care, I need to care a little bit more.
Another positive in the kitchen is that I've learned a few good techniques. Honestly, I never really knew the best way to cook a pork chop or sear a roast. I had only minced garlic once or twice in my life (I grew up using powdered garlic), but I've burned through two bulbs already. For the first time, I used (and broke) the food processor attachment for my blender (suggestions for a good food processor would be greatly appreciated). I made my own mayo (twice), ketchup, pesto, Thai, and chimichurri sauces. I made a roasted red pepper dip, and even made my own applesauce.
Soda has been and still is a challenge, but I've found that a splash of 100% grape juice in a high ball glass filled with ice and San Pellegrino takes the edge off. In ten days, I still haven't used the entire six pack. That's a small victory right there.
From where I am now, I can't imagine that I will make Whole 30 a permanent lifestyle change. What I do see Whole 30 doing for me is teaching me some much-needed kitchen skills and giving me a few good, easy, family-friendly recipes that I can make well. I have also become aware of a few bad eating habits. When I started the program, I never tasted what I was eating. I ate fast and didn't taste. I'm trying to slow down and eat meals, properly plated and sitting at the table so my body realizes it's mealtime, not just grabbing something quick on my way to something else. This was my breakfast this morning. First attempt at poached eggs didn't go well (there were two when I started), but I'll keep trying.
I'm not quitting today, thankyouverymuch.