Wait. What? This isn't a foodie blog.
No, it isn't. (If it were, the pictures would be a lot better, and use lighting, angles, and depth of field to make the salad look glistening and delectable, rather than just...salady.)
I'm embarking on The Whole 30.
It's a Paleo/elimination diet. I've never done a full elimination diet before, though I've dabbled in it at various times. Recent health issues (I won't go into details, trust me, you don't want to know) as well as some issues in my larger family health history, as well as the Mind Numbingly Depressing Aura of Doom that always takes me over this time of year and makes me want to drive my car off the road--these have all led me to try to take hold of my body chemistry through exercise and diet.
And when I say "diet," I mean that I'm really just trying to focus on the foods I eat, not counting calories or points or grams. (Although I'm not going to lie; breaking through the weight plateau I've been on for a year would be awesome.)
A family member did the Whole 30 last summer, and she felt amazing upon completion. It's going to be tough, and I reserve the right to completely blow it, but I think I can do it. I've already made a lot of these changes, albeit not 100% in some cases, so I think it might be a bit easier for me than for someone who is starting from a more junk-food-y or even food-pyramid-y diet.
Here's the basics--see their website if you want more details: "Eat real food--meat, fish, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats."
No sugar (real or artificial), no grains, no legumes. These three are going to be the toughest groups for me to avoid. We already eat nearly 100% gluten free because of my daughter's celiac, but we still eat a lot of rice, quinoa, and GF breads and cereals. The good news is that I've learned to be creative about eliminating gluten while still cooking well for the family. Sugar, though. Hmm. I've weaned myself off of sugar in my coffee and tea over the past few years. I don't bake much because of the celiac issue -- I can, but I don't often. It's the bags of Skittles and bottles of pop in the checkout line that call to me. There's something so rebellious about eating a clandestine candy bar. And beans? Just when I was perfecting my chili recipe!
No alcohol in any form (even for cooking). Alcohol is probably next most difficult--I've been indulging a little bit too much over the holiday season...but, again, given my family history, learning to have more moderation is probably a good thing. And, I know I said I wasn't counting calories, but this group is all emptiness.
No dairy, no white potatoes, no processed foods. Dairy and potatoes were already nearly eliminated from at least my HOME diet (except for potato chips, yikes). It's amazing how I've gone from the biggest ice cream hound in the world to not even thinking it sounds good when I see it on a menu. We have had home fries and baked potatoes of late...but it'll be easy to replace those with yams or sweet potatoes, which are OK "in moderation." (Well, duh.) As for processed foods--we don't eat many, but it's going to be tough to go cold turkey on the potato chips.
I've made it almost two days so far. Yesterday was tough--we went to a New Year's Day party with tons of greasy, gooey, delectable, tempting hors d'oeuvres and snacks--but I subsisted on vegetables and water. (Lesson learned: pack food for parties.) I had a headache by the end of the day but otherwise felt fine, and then made homemade chicken nuggets for me and the kids (theirs breaded with corn meal, mine just with spice rub)...but I'd rather have a hungry/carb-withdrawal headache than the gut bomb I would have been feeling after filling up on pizza dip, buttered popcorn, ranch dressing, little smokies, and creamy dips and crackers.
So....I'll see how it goes. I'll report semi-regularly on recipes and experiences, and make sure to reflect on my progress when it's over. I even had my husband take "before" photos (these will probably NOT go on the internet, though.)