After studying abroad in Paris for four months (meaning eating enough cheese, dark chocolate, and macaroons for the entire French population) and then returning home to lots of Paleo baked goods during my winter break (I can neither confirm nor deny eating an entire loaf of Paleo pumpkin bread in one day), I knew that I needed to get back on track. I had already been eating Paleo for a while and so when a few of my friends from the Simi Valley Crossfit in my hometown told me they were going to do the Whole 30 at the beginning of the new year, I decided to join them.
For those of you who don’t know, the Whole 30 is basically eating strict Paleo for 30 days (no sugar, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no sweeteners). I really like to be challenged, mentally and physically, so I was ready for the challenge (plus I live alone,so I knew no one would have to deal with the Kels detox monster). I also wanted to reset and find out what my “trigger” foods might be.
Once I stopped crying over my break up with dark chocolate, it really wasn’t all that bad.I have a big sweet tooth, so I definitely missed honey and maple syrup (I’m basically Buddy the Elf and carry a flask of maple syrup at all times). But with the absence of sweeteners, my taste buds changed and fruit became my go to sweet treat. Fortunately I love all things fat and meat (I have many a time publicly professed my love for bacon)and I have yet to encounter a vegetable I don’t like, so I never felt restricted and actually had some of my best meals.
Overall I’m really glad that I took part in the challenge, I saw so many improvements and physically felt amazing. I had some of the best sleep of my life, my joints felt great, I had so much energy throughout the day and my injuries faded away. And afterwards when I reintroduced foods, I found that dairy doesn’t really bother me, but sugar makes me act like a 4 year old. Everyone’s body is different and you have to find out what does and does not work for you. I will admit to a whole lot of maple syrup on day 31, but you gotta live a little sometimes!
Fun Fact: It takes 21 times for your brain to turn something into a habit. Try 21 days without something. Maybe not everything all at once, but try removing one thing at a time, it’s all about just getting started. Take it one day at a time, the same way you probably did with CrossFit. You all began CrossFit and maybe never thought you would be able to do a pull up or do a handstand; nutrition is the same thing. You can do it, believe in yourself! And if you ever want to have a recipe exchange, I’m down (just call me the Paula Deen of the Paleo world, but without the arteries filled with butter). I vote for a Santa Cruz potluck (at some point I hope my subliminal messaging will work).