Thoughts from my “Whole 10”

Earlier this month I did 10 or 11 days of a whole 30.  This is not exactly the way the program is supposed to work, but it can be a helpful tune-up.  I made it through a weekend which I’m proud of.  Now I’m back to normal, but with some modifications.  Here are some thoughts about the process this time around:

If you are thinking of doing a whole30, but know going into it that it is OK to stop early, then you will probably stop early.  My goal was to try it to clean things up, but to stop when it made sense for me.  Which is fine.  But having that attitude–at least for me–almost guaranteed that I would stop early.  I was thinking about this because I’m toying with participating in National Novel Writing Month in November.  I haven’t done much planning, but the program says that can work.  I’m just not sure it will work for me.  I’m mostly hesitant because I don’t have an idea that I love.  And you really need an idea that you love if you are going to commit to 50,000 words in a month.  Part of me thinks, well, I’ll just try it.  Even if I don’t finish 50,000 words, it will be a good writing exercise.  But.  This approach dooms me from the start.  If I allow myself an out, I’ll probably take it.  So I’m not sure I want to announce to all of you that I am committing to NaNoWriMo.  Definitely not yet.  But I’m still thinking about it.

Paleo really is hard to do here.  This is particularly true on convenience food.  If we are out and about, the quickest option is pizza.  I miss having that spontaneity.  Although whole30-ing doesn’t really lend itself to convenience food anywhere.

I just shouldn’t keep chocolate or gelato or anything else too delicious in the house.  I have a lot of willpower about some things.  Not dusting off the bag of peanut butter M&Ms is not one of them.  There is plenty of room for treats when we are out of the house.

I should keep cutting out the glass (or so) of wine after the kids go to bed.  This one is hard.  But I think it makes the biggest difference on how I feel the next day.  I’ve been trying to have more booze free days and focus on more targeted drinking, such as date night, weekends, with friends, etc.

Less wine = nicer wine.  If I’m being more strategic, I don’t want to deal with a 4 euro grocery store grab that turns out to be awful.  So more trips to the legit wine store in our future.

I really should stop eating after dinner entirely.  If left to my own devices, I will nibble all evening.  If I am successful on not having treats in the house, this should help.

I’m trying to do pasta only once a week.  It’s an easy meal.  It is delicious.  But I’m limiting for health and to avoid pasta fatigue.  People who have been here a year tell me this is real, and even though I am scoffing at them right now, I will find myself in the same place.

This helped snap me out of my yogurt-for-lunch rut.  I find cooking paleo dinners pretty easy and Henry and I eat ALL the eggs for breakfast, but I was stumped on lunch.  Now I’m trying harder to have leftovers.  I’m also working to stock more convenient proteins to throw on salads like canned fish, anchovies, and smoked salmon.  Soup season is upon us which should help for leftovers!

So you're thinking about a whole30 . . .

So that’s where I ended up.  Less booze, more lunch ideas, and confidence that paleo is possible in Italy.  If you are thinking about a whole30, learn from my attempts:

  • Prepare, prepare, and then prepare some more.  If you wait until you are starving, you are screwed because paleo is often not quick and easy.
  • Definitely stock up on some make-your-life-easier essentials: ghee, almond flour, coconut milk, coconut aminos, canned tomatoes, nuts, canned fish.
  • Make sure you get enough fat in your meals.  You aren’t supposed to be hungry all the time.  If you are, you’re doing it wrong.
  • Avocados and sweet potatoes are your friend.  Roasted sweet potatoes are really good for feeling comforty when you just want carbs.
  • Let your crock pot also be your friend.
  • Sparkling water with lime is nice for when you get sick of regular water.
Have you ever tried a whole30?  Any other tips?  Would you ever do one?

9 thoughts on “Thoughts from my “Whole 10”

  1. maggie says:

    For a tiny, insane minute, you had me thinking about the Novel November thing. Then I snapped back to reality and decided that finishing an afghan by Christmas and also writing a novel are probably mutually exclusive. Especially since I have jury duty for the entire month of November and will probably find myself working late nights to make up for it.

    I’m not sure a novel is my thing. But I have had a book idea for quite some time, and I might actually have the credentials to pull it off now. I also think 50,000 words seems a bit ridiculous and extremely arbitrary. For reference, I just checked the word count on my dissertation. It’s 33K and change. More words would not have been an improvement. Also, it took 7 years.

    Anyways, all of that was to say that if you wanted to come up with some sort of write-along in January or March, or some other month than November, I’d probably be down to give it a try. We could set goals that are non-arbitrary and write whatever works for us, be that a novel or a guide to good science fair projects. Plus, we could be each other’s editors. I might know a few others who would try it too if we wanted to expand.

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