You guys. I’m a little off this morning. It’s one of those mornings where we ran out of coffee (I mean, I could just stop there – disastrous), then I couldn’t find a parking spot outside of any Starbucks (I know, my life is so hard), and then once I finally got to one that I could actually get into, the line was almost out the door. And it was one of those lines where it was at a dead stop and no one is at the register and everyone is looking around at each other like what the heck is going on? and crossing their fingers that 10 people in front of them are going to jump out of line because they’re so annoyed.
The good news is – I now have my HUMUNGOUS coffee in front of me and I’m READY because I have been wanting to post about this for awhile. Because the #1 question I get asked when it comes to my diet is whether or not I eat Whole 30 all the time.
And the short answer is no, I don’t. But I want to explain.
A little while ago I talked about my health issues and my never-ending search for reprieve. And honestly, it wasn’t until I completed my first Whole 30 (aka my Whole 27 – read about it here) that I was finally able to strip my diet down to the bare bones and figure out what my “trigger” foods were for my health problems.
But I didn’t just want to talk about what I eat now. I also want to talk about what I used to eat.
Because sometimes people will literally text me and say they don’t know how I eat the way I do, and they would still be starving if that’s all they ate.
So let’s back up.
Like wayyyy up.
Like 2010. Because in 2010 you could probably find me in the Wendy’s drive-thru munching on nuggz & fries drenched in Ranch at any given second. And that’s how a lot of my friends know me, too. I was the type that ate whatever I wanted 24/7, and even though it didn’t look like I was gaining weight or hurting my health, eventually it caught up with me.
Like… literally to the point where I was in the fetal position after every meal because I was in SO much pain.
And yet I would still fill my plate with fried chicken wings, pizza, nuggz (always a favorite), mac n’ cheese and wonder why don’t I feel good? Why am I tired all the time? And especially why am I hungry all the time?
It honestly wasn’t until I tried Whole 30 that I finally realized how it felt to feel satisfied and energized and content after I ate because I was putting real food in my body.
But before I did it, I thought there was NO WAY I could eat like that.
Sometimes I would literally get hunger anxiety. Do you know what I mean? Like I would see a small portion of something and it would give me anxiety because I would look at it and know I would be hungry in an hour.
And I’ve tried dieting before and it just left me hungry and sad. I focused on calories and carbs and “healthy” foods like low-fat Greek yogurts, hummus, and bleak salads covered in sugar-filled dressing just so it was palatable. And then I would be so hungry that I would just throw in the towel and eat until I was stuffed and vow to start again the next week.
We all know that vicious cycle, right? I know I’m not alone here.
When I first heard about Whole 30 I genuinely thought that anyone that could do it was a psychopath. Like, literally had a problem.
But I got to the point where I was tired of feeling exhausted, grumpy, and constantly hungry. I felt like I was always gaining weight or always feeling bloated. OH, and I was super tired of feeling miserable after every meal I ate with no explanation.
I really didn’t expect Whole 30 to have that big of an effect.
But you guys… it seriously did.
Once I cut everything out of my diet and “reset” my system, this crazy thing happened where I became super in-tune with my body after meals. I was actually able to figure out that what was causing me all of this pain and misery was DAIRY. And that wheat makes me itchy and sugar makes me anxious and irritable. And that when I eat real food, regardless of the calories or carb count or whatever, it actually makes me feel so full and content.
So, you get it, I figured it all out yadda yadda yadda.
But I want to get to the real question – do I eat like this all the time now.
And I know the short answer is no, but the long(er) answer is… kind of.
I like to call what I eat “paleo-ish” – and seriously I know you’re mid eye-roll right now, I don’t blame you, that phrase is so annoying but it’s honestly true.
Eating a Whole 30 diet 24/7 just isn’t realistic. Or good for my social life. I really like wine. And Paleo cookies. And popcorn.
Plus I don’t shy away from small amounts of rice or soy ingredients (that’s why I call it Paleo-ish).
BUT I have completely cut out dairy and cut out most of the wheat in my diet (ugh, idk, I’m a sucker for pita bread and pasta!!!) and I really try to avoid sugar as much as possible.
You guys, HONESTLY though, I feel amazing. It makes such a difference to have figured out my triggers and to eat real food. And if you told me in 2010 mid-nug that I was ever going to eat like this I would have LOL’d so hard at you, omg. But I swear it’s not too hard once you just make up your mind. And you really do feel fuller after smaller portions because your body is functioning the way it should.
So… what do I eat?
I love Mediterranean and Greek food. I get chicken schwarma or gyro meat with some lemony potatoes and dunk it in Tahini sauce or garlic sauce (which is amazingly dairy-free!). I seriously eat this for lunch almost every time I eat out. I also love Mexican food – especially Chipotle – and I get bowls with brown rice, chicken, hot red salsa, and guac. Yes, it makes me SO sad to not cover it in sour cream, but YOU GUYS – try squeezing a lemon over your Chipotle bowl. It is SO good.
When I’m craving snacks, I love making a trip to Whole Foods because it’s like they do all the hard work for you – most of their “snack” foods are minimal ingredient and super good. You guys know – I’m obsessed with beef jerky if I want something salty.
Other than that I cook at home a lot, which I’m sure you can tell from my recipes, and I try to keep them pretty simple and cheap and easy to make. Trust me, I know I’m not Emeril over here. LOL.
But yeah, there you have it! That’s kind of how I’ve adapted the Whole 30 diet to my everyday life. And it’s made me feel pretty darn good. And I know this is so People-magazine-how-they-lost-the-weight of me but I really do feel like if I can do it, you can too!!
So tell me… what does your diet look like? Do you have any “trigger” foods or a specific type of food that you avoid? Are you also a former junk food addict? What helped you change? Or have you changed? Tell me everything! I will be back tomorrow with a new COFFEE TALK and I can’t wait!!! Xo.