Yesterday was my last day of the Whole30! While I am pretty excited to try some foods that I missed (cheese, homemade bread, chips & salsa), I am not feeling the urge to completely binge or go crazy on those foods. I miss them on occasion, but what I learned from doing the Whole30 is that I don't need those foods in my diet. If I get home from work starving and craving pizza or something bread-y, I can take a little time to cook a clean meal and I am completely satisfied. It's been empowering to realize this.
It was definitely a challenge, but it really got so much easier by the 3rd and 4th week. I would say the hardest part was being completely strict, as in no leeway or cheat meals allowed. For the future, I've decided that I am going to do my best to eat Whole30/paleo during the week and then give myself some freedom on the weekends. It also taught me how to eat at home. It's so easy to choose to eat out, because, duh, it's easy. But since there really isn't much in restaurants that is Whole30 compliant, I had to eat at home, and it really wasn't bad. In fact, it was good. No, every meal was not amazing. Some were awesome (we made both shepherd's pie and pork chops twice!), and some meals were simple and nothing to write home about. But even if it's just okay, and I can still be satisfied and feel great afterward. It's good food that is nourishing my body, and that's what matters.
To be honest I wasn't 100% compliant, as I used some store bought chicken stock here and there that had a minimal amount of sugar, as well as ketchup on occasion (better than Heinz, but it did have a little sugar). The sugar was the hardest ingredient to omit, since almost everything store bought has sugar in it. I had a couple of non-compliant foods at a Super Bowl party, but they were still not bad - salsa with black beans in it, and hummus. I stayed away from the chips and cheese and I was so proud of that! Also, I did not have one sip of alcohol during the whole month, and it feels great to know that I can have that self-control.
W H A T W E A T E
Frittata or hard-boiled eggs
Fruit - banana, clementine, berries
Coffee with coconut milk
Leftovers from last night's dinner
Tuna salad and sliced peppers or carrots with guacamole
Burgers with homemade roasted tomato soup & green beans (Ina Garten's recipe loosely followed)
Zoodles & marinara meat sauce
Sausage & veggie soup
Crockpot pulled pork & roasted pepper salad
Tuscan pork chops - had these twice they were so good
Potato soup & salad (I used Pioneer woman's recipe and subbed coconut milk and almond flour, and it was AWESOME)
Salad topped with salmon, pineapple salsa, and chipotle mayo
Cast iron roast chicken & salad
Crockpot chicken & roasted veggies
Italian almond crusted salmon with green beans & mashed sweet potatoes
Grilled chicken & salad or roasted veggies (easy go-to that doesn't take much prep time)
What I'd like to keep doing after Whole30:
+ avoid sugar as much as possible, even in store-bought sauces and foods
+ continue make my own mayonnaise - this recipe is super easy and not time consuming at all!
+ consider bread a treat to be consumed only once or twice a week, rather than a daily meal item
+ aim for having half of my meal be veggies, almost every meal
+ consider eating out to be a treat as well - remember that it's almost just as easy to stop at the grocery store for some veggies to roast as it is to dine out, and I feel so much better afterwards.
+ meal plan for the week so my "quick meals" like breakfasts and lunches during the work day are planned out so they can be healthy