Life After Whole30

So I’ve been thinking all week about the upcoming Easter celebrations with my family (read=delicious food-centric southern family get togethers) and how I’m going to manage to stick to my healthy eating. We are two weeks post Whole30 and I’m trying to navigate the freedom from hardcore Whole30 while maintaining the overall guidelines in my daily life. After all, I still have a goal to reach and don’t want to undo the work I’ve put in so far. The truth of the matter is, until new habits become your new normal, eating in “real life” is hard. At least for me it is. All or nothing rules are so much easier to follow. Don’t eat this. Do eat that.  Deciding what to reintroduce back into your diet, how much you can tolerate without physical impairment or emotionally losing it (bingeing) and managing daily temptation is not easy stuff. It doesn’t help that there’s a cake in my line of sight at work and two boxes of cupcakes around the corner either. Sigh…..

There are a few things I have decided:

  1. Eating ketchup and sometimes even barbecue sauce from a restaurant is not the added sugar end of the world. I’ve still been making my own at home, but I’m not going to be restrictive to that level if we choose to eat out.
  2. I’m going back to my local store’s organic bacon. Yes, it still has a tiny bit of added sugar, but we really don’t eat that much bacon for me to feel like it’s a concern and it’s half the price with twice the volume of sugar-free bacon. It IS free of nitrates however, which I feel is the biggie when it comes to processed meats.
  3. I’ve been adding coconut sugar to my coconut milk coffee creamer. It’s a very small amount – so small I’m wondering if it’s even worth it – but I don’t feel bad about it and I may not even add it next week when I make a fresh batch.
  4. I’m going to eat sushi rolls containing rice when we go out for my son’s birthday to his favorite sushi/hibachi place and not feel bad about it.

It’s all a balancing act, but what I’m starting to realize is that you have to find what food lifestyle works for you and your goals. I still have weight to lose so it’s not worth it to me to bring grains and sugar back into my diet. Being at risk for Type II diabetes also makes them worth giving up. I can’t say that I’ll go the rest of my life without ever having pasta or tiramisu again though. You still have to live life.

What this journey has and continues to teach me, however, is to make better decisions. Make intentional decisions. Pasta or a traditional dessert will only be a very special treat, must really be good enough to be worth it and even then, I’ll still go for a smaller portion. I’ve learned by trial and error that potato chips are TRULY a food-with-no-breaks for me and so I’m better off just avoiding them altogether. (Case in point – Feeling mighty with self-control and all this new food awareness I tried to eat just one this weekend when my husband had them out and ended up finishing off what was left of the bag by the next day. FAIL!) Clearly I still have some psychological ties to break when it comes to chips.

But the point is, I’m learning and I’m being intentional in my thought process regarding what I eat. It does take effort to change your habits and no, it’s not always easy. It’s taken me 6 weeks to finally speed up my food prep process. I still sometimes struggle with wanting something sweet after dinner. But I’m hopeful that the longer we pursue this way of eating, the easier it will become.  It truly is a lifestyle change and that doesn’t happen overnight.   Those carrot cake cupcakes aren’t doing me any favors today though. 🙂

I’ll let you know how the family dinners go and I wish you luck on your food journey as well! Until next time.

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