Firstly, I updated this post here to include some of the goals I wanted to achieve. They're pretty standard and an accurate reflection of how most people feel after completing the Whole 30. So hopefully they all happen to me, too!
Here's some thoughts I've had over the week:
- It's not. that. hard. I know that I'm only a week in, but I think once you're in the all-or-nothing mindset, you just assume you can't have ANYTHING, so you say no (either out loud or internally) to everything you're offered/in reach until you've thought it through. On Saturday I met a friend at a cafe for an early coffee, and scrambled up some eggs before I went so I wouldn't be hungry. It turned out that I could have eaten several things off the menu with a few alterations. I didn't, because I was full - but another reminder that it's not. that. hard. You just have to be mindful of everything you eat.
- The first week is all about trying things out and getting used to it. One day I ate way too much meat and felt full all day; another day I ate way too much fruit (which was enjoyable, but not part of the plan). I've now got a bit of a plan in my head for breakfasts/lunches/dinners and feel a lot better entering this week, knowing what my body can handle.
- Plans work for some people and not for others. I tried to really plan the first few days but found it a bit difficult and got sick of the food I'd mass-cooked. This week, I plan on doing a few basic chicken or tuna salads for lunches/dinners, and maybe I'll do one or two cooked meals if I feel like it, but I like salads so I might just stick with them.
- Breakfast mince doesn't actually taste that bad, but it smells sooo gross in the mornings.
- Also on the planning thing - aim to have a quiet first week. I hardly had any social events last week and that really worked for me. You can go home and think about what you're cooking/eating, instead of fretting about what you can grab on the run. Also, I know this doesn't work for all locations, but I was never far from a supermarket to grab a few pieces of fruit/veg/snack bag of almonds to have on the go, so hunger is always something that can quickly be dealt with if I didn't prepare. The whole not-overthinking-it thing works well for me.
- It's good to have a "treat" every week. Now I know this is totally against the Whole30 rules, as you're supposed to be kicking your treat/snacking/reliance-on-food-for-joy-habits, but hear me out. It's a huge thing you're putting your body through, and a huge achievement to get to the end of a day, let alone a week. So think of something Whole30 approved that you'd really enjoy, and just do it. Perhaps it's banana ice cream with berries and coconut chips on top, or maybe it's apple slices with slatherings of fancy macadamia butter that you treated yourself to at a really pricey paleo food store. Maybe it's the expensive brand of sparkling/coconut water that you can never justify buying, but now that you're saving all this money on no coffees or wine you know it's fine. Just something that you can sit down with on a Sunday night and feel like you are being rewarded for how hard you worked this week. Me? I went to the aforementioned paleo foodstore and had the most amazing smoothie with a friend. (read about it here). I know that smoothies aren't W30 compliant (you shouldn't drink your nutrients) but the ingredients all are, and I had to celebrate my friend's birthday with something other than wine!
Conclusion. Don't be too hard on yourself.