1. Protein is your your friend. It’s your best friend, actually. It’s your dearest bff, the one who will support you steadfastly while you’re wildly cycling between highs and lows, and who will be there for every single meal whether or not you want it to. Especially when you don’t want it to, actually. Almonds, avocados, cashews, meat, meat, fish, meat, eggs, more meat…when this thing is finished, I’m going vegetarian for a week to recover from the sheer horror of having to handle raw flesh every single day. But, my children are eating things I’d never dreamed they might. And doing so without complaint (almost) for the very simple fact that there’s nothing else in the house to offer then in concession to their complaints. So, they’ve very quickly adjusted to eating what they’ve been served. (Note: I am still giving them dairy, because they’re little growing dudes, and I don’t practice the cow-milk-is-evil religion.
Last night’s basil coconut curry. I’d tell you it’s just as good without rice, but I’d be a liar.
2. Sugar cravings induce weirder dreams than drugs do. I’m making some assumptions, on this one, admittedly, but last night’s marathon REM episode featured a detailed trick-or-treat scavenger hunt of mini Snickers bars hidden by my little brother Patrick all over the front yard of my parent’s-house-but-not-their-house-just-in-this-dream-house. Some of the Snickers were intact and in wrappers, some were crushed up into ice cream topping, but my mission was the same: find and eat. Every.single.one. The next course for the evening was a vivid and detailed dream about fluffy, perfectly-porous pancakes saturated with pure maple syrup and eaten on the balcony of the condo from our Hawaiian honeymoon. People, I’ve got a problem.
3. Alcohol. Don’t miss it that much. What? So surprising, this one, especially given the respective ages of my children. And we’re dabbling (or should I say dribbling?) in potty training right now. But I’m fine without it. And sleeping so much more soundly than after a glass of wine.
4. Breakfast. Somebody just kill me now. No carbs and no cream in my coffee = a study in eggs and misery. Every morning when Dave asks how I’d like my eggs cooked, it feels like he’s offering me the option to take both kids to church alone for a 3 hour Holy Week liturgy in Latin at dinnertime, or travel solo with them on an over-booked United Airlines flight with a 5 hour layover in Atlanta. Um, neither. So I usually end up with over medium.
5. Clothing: feeling looser. In fact, I totally cheated big time and stepped on the scale yesterday after Dave commented on how loosely my expensive Walmart pajama pants were fitting, and I’m down 5 lbs. Um, that’s crazy. Because I ate my weight in cashews on Wednesday, and because it’s been 5 days. (Note: you are not supposed to weigh yourself or take measurements during the Whole30, because it’s a cleaaaaaanse, not a diiiiiiet, got it?) Which leads me to my next point…
6. Cheating. Confession: this week I’ve snuck: 1 vanilla yogurt, 1 gluten-free snack cake (stolen from my 2 year-old during his naptime, no less) and 1 bowl of gluten free cornflakes. Technically, this disqualifies me from the Whole30 experience, according to their self-appointed guidelines. But, but, I know myself well enough to know that if I admit defeat now, I’ll spiral into a McDonad’s-fueled tailspin of french fries and Coke, and it won’t be pretty.
So imagine my surprise when I was able to very calmly identify the infraction to myself and then…move on. It was like having a healthy, grown-up relationship with food. My internal dialogue went something like this: ‘Oh, I just ate that yogurt because it seemed like it would be really satisfying. I wasn’t supposed to, according to the guidelines of this program, but that’s okay, because now I’ll go back to eating the way I’ve committed to.’ When usually it would be all: ‘Yogurt was ILLEGAL, and now I am DOOMED and it doesn’t matter what I eat because I ruined it now I’m going to finish a whole box of cereal BY MY SELF BECAUSE I’M SCREWED.’
7. Stable blood sugar levels = non-crazy mommy. I’ve found myself much more receptive to my children’s needs and possessing a much higher tolerance for their varies and sundry missteps and misbehaviors throughout the day. Since I can no longer eat (or drink) my feelings at naptime, I have resorted to actually feeling them, evaluating them for evidence of truth, and then reacting accordingly. For example, I might have said, on Wednesday,’Oh Joey, you just coated the bathroom in urine because you insisted on picking up your own potty to dump it out? Okay, here’s a bottle of cleaning spray and some baby wipes. Get to work.’ Instead of early enforcing an early nap time and then inhaling a bag of taco chips to lift my pee-soaked spirits.
So there it is, folks, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I can’t believe we have 24 more days of this insanity…but, but…I’m curious and hopeful to see what lies ahead.