Ok, ok...first thing I have to do is apologize to all my friends, real and imaginary that I've ever snickered at, turned my nose up at or told they were crazy for going Paleo. You know what I always said, as I sneered at them...."well...if the freaking caveman had cheetos...he would've eaten them!" We were meant to eat carbs...well grains that is. And dear lord, why would you want to eliminate whole food groups like dairy, grains, etc. I mean gosh...crazy right?
Ok, so let me explain myself a little more. I'm not only going Paleo...but I'm going hardcore Paleo a little plan called "The Whole30." Maybe you've heard of it?? But why would I do something so crazy and so extreme when I poo-poo'd the idea anyone else ever even thought about it? Well, if you've been following me long, you know I've struggled with stomach issues forever...or at least for what seems like forever. The reality is...I've already eliminated soooo many things from my diet and from my "bodybuilder lifestyle" that my body just seems to have forgotten how to process them. I already don't eat dairy, can only eat rice, quinoa and white potatoes for complex carb sources, have trouble with certain veggies...you name it...I've become sensitive to it. So, when a friend at work started doing the plan, I was skeptical of course, but also curious. So I read up on it. Now, don't get me wrong. I still whole heartedly believe you shouldn't eliminate whole food groups from your diet (well ok...but poptarts aren't a food group right?). But, their promises of "resetting" my digestion definitely got my attention. I am NOT a person to "fad" diet...so don't get the wrong idea. But...I thought on this for quite a while and came up with a few really good reasons FOR ME to try it. Me...not you..or even my husband...but ME. Here's what I came up with...here's my explanation of why I'm trying something like this.
1) I am definitely interested in resetting my gut. This gut of mine is all outta whack. All my own doing. All from the years of eliminating fruit, dairy, carbs, blah blah blah...all for the competition diet. I, no kidding, have eaten nothing but chicken breast, turkey, fish, egg whites, brown rice, quinoa, asparagus and broccoli for the last 2 years. And before that...was probably even more restrictive (take out the rice and quinoa). In the last 2 years, mostly because those are the only foods that don't bother my gut. And...because I got stuck in a serious rut...this was so freaking routine to me to eat just this, for 6 meals a day, day in, day out...sigh. Now don't get me wrong, I had the occasional pizza, fries, icecream, etc...but it would make me miserable for days. And you know what??? As 'oh natural' as I claim to be, there was still processed shit in my diet. I used the popcorn seasonings on everything (if you haven't discovered them...you don't know what you are missing and they make the best eggs and roasted veggies..but I digress), I had stevia in like 5-8 cups of tea a day and my 3 cups of coffee...and let's not forget about the artificial stuff in my pre workout, my bcaa's, and OMG some of my supps had rice flour and other stuff in them. So....maybe I was sensitive to one of these things? I was still putting artificial junk in my body and I was so messed up I had no idea what it was anymore....so I need a clean slate to start with!
2) Ok, here's the big one...ready for this? I needed a freaking break from the food scale, from the monotony and sameness that had become my "food prep.". I needed a break from the bodybuilder lifestyle. No, I won't stop training, and no, I won't stop eating small meals all day...but dear lord I had weighed and measured every gosh darn thing for the last 8 years! I retired from the stage for a reason, and I needed a major break from what had become my "norm". I needed a 'life' reset. Remember in a previous post I told you how I had let this lifestyle BECOME my life, lost track of what was important, forgot how to stop and smell the roses. I needed to break the chains binding me. So....I saw that this plan required no tracking, no measuring...just eating simple, real, from the earth ingredients with nothing extra. No sweeteners (eeekkkk my stevia was gone)...not even hidden in stuff! Yes, this plan is restrictive in it's own way, but it's also NOT! I can eat ANYTHING on a huge list of wonderful meats, fruits, veggies, nuts (OMG I freaking LOVE nuts)...I mean...OMG I can have bananas and dates rolled in coconut! Ok...got a little carried away there. So some of you might be saying...why couldn't she have those things before? Why? Well...sure, I could've...BUT...they were "NOT ON MY LIST/PLAN," so they were "forbidden or bad" foods. I know it's nuts right? Bananas are NOT bad food! It's crazy what happens when you get into this lifestyle and caught up in the food restrictions. When healthy foods like fruit become "taboo" to me...that's an issue and one I intend to correct! On this plan, for me, there are no bad foods. I will be eating a huge variety of things and I'm so excited about that...time to get out of this food rut I've been in...time to stop and smell the roses...or the dates!
Now...if you're reading this and you think I'm nuts that 1) I'm doing this or 2) I thought fruit was bad...remember...rationally I know fruit is not bad...but when you follow a comp diet (for years) where fruit is not allowed, it eventually becomes "bad." You know like the kid you tell is bad for long enough...they start to believe it? That's what happened to me. So when a food is forbidden...like nuts for instance...what happens the minute you aren't allowed to have something? You want it right? Well when I would allow myself to have nuts, I couldn't just have a few...I'd eat the whole freaking thing and that goes for just about any of my "forbidden good/bad" foods.
So I've explained why I'm doing this...let me tell you what I've learned in the last 5 days since I started the plan (and this blog...just took me a while to get it done).
- · I HATE coffee without stevia! Ha...this has been the hardest..but it's keeping me from drinking so much coffee! And I don't mind tea with no sweetener...it's actually quite lovely.
- · I'm eating...A LOT...when I'm hungry, not on any schedule...talk about freeeedommm! I get hungry, I have a meal or a handful of nuts or some fruit..it doesn't have to be meal 4 with 4 oz meat and 1 c veggies!
- · I'm eating a huge variety of foods I'd neglected for so long. Bananas, apples, dates, berries and other types of meat I had shunned like pork roast, scallops and shrimp! I'm trying all sorts of new things...although I'm spending a fortune in Wegmans and MOMS...but it's been worth it.
- · I haven't weighed or measured anything in 5 days...and because I'm still fighting this damn virus I got 2 weeks ago, I still haven't been to the gym...and I'M NOT GAINING WEIGHT! In fact, I've lost 2 more lbs...talk about holy crap...and I'm eating whenever and whatever I want (as long as it's on the Whole30 list that is). Oh, by the way...before you think I'm not having carbs, I do eat sweet potatoes (come to find out they don't actually bother my stomach) and fruit and veggie carbs. Again, not using the scale or being on a schedule has been so liberating, I can't even tell you how much really...just amazing.
- · I'm having fun making new recipes (that I promise to share with you all) and making things like my own spagetti sauce, chili, etc. I was the girl that always used those McCormick packaged mixes...but you read the label...full-o-crap!
Alright...if you are still with me, sorry this was so long, but what's my point here? Am I trying to convince the rest of you to go Paleo or Whole30...um...definitely not. When this 30 days is over, I intend to start, slowly, adding foods back in to see how they affect me. My intent is to be able to eat more when I'm done, not less or this restrictive forever. But I will continue to be much more conscious about what is in some of the seasonings, etc. I use.
So, no, I'm not telling you all to do this with me because it's so amazing. It's a personal choice, a tool I'm using to help release the chains that have binded me for so long. This is what's working for me...if you find yourself in a similar situation, you have to find a way out that works for you. I am aiming to become the fit, healthy, mom, wife and coach that I really want to be. I am not, Tina the Figure Competitor, any longer...my entire lifestyle is changing and I'm reaping huge benefits from it in just the last few weeks and days since retirement. I still have a long way to go, this is just one of many chapters in my life after the stage. I hope you'll continue to follow my journey as I make this transition. Stay tuned, I'll be posting some of the amazing recipes I've been coming up with!