New Year’s Resolution – Healthier Eating

No doubt about it, I love to cook, take pictures of food, and try new recipes. I am especially attracted to desserts! Pioneer Woman recipes are some of my favorites, and it’s no secret she loves to use sugar, heavy cream and butter. As 2013 approached, I decided it was time to tame the sugar monster a bit and attempt to prepare healthier dishes. How better to do that than Whole30, “an original program designed to change your life in 30 days…a short term nutritional reset”. Thirty days to eat real food; nothing overly processed with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Not only would this be good for me, but I knew EZ and my mother would benefit from it as well. I liked the structure and thought, “Thirty days…I can do this!” So I began it on January 2nd, and much to my surprise, I did it and I liked it! (I am not a nutritional expert by any means, and I understand this may not be for everyone, but feel free to read about it and decide for yourself.)

My grocery items looked way different than they used to:

Here is a fitting description from Whole30 of what I needed to do for the next 30 days:

Your only job for the next 30 days is to focus on making good food choices. You don’t need to weigh or measure, you don’t need to count calories, you don’t need to stress about organic, grass-fed, pastured or free range. Just figure out how to stick to the Whole30 in any setting, around every special circumstance, under any amount of stress… for the next 30 days. Your only job? Eat. Good. Food.

It’s pretty simple…no sugar, dairy, grains, MSG, alcohol, sodas, white potatoes, or legumes. That means your grocery cart will be filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, quality meats and seafood, eggs, good fats, nuts, and sweet potatoes. And no weighing for 30 days…it isn’t about the weight as much as it’s about how you feel when certain things are eliminated from your diet. One thing I know for certain…I felt better and was so proud of myself for being able to say no to certain foods, regardless of what people around me were eating. I never thought I could have that kind of self-control.

Below are some of the meals we made on the plan:

After the first 5 days or so, the hardest thing to do without for me was creamer in my morning coffee. Just couldn’t handle it black, so drank mostly apple cinnamon tea. For the most part we didn’t feel deprived, fruit never tasted so sweet (my favorite dessert became grilled pineapple), we loved the beautiful color of fresh fruits and vegetables, our stomachs and appetites shrank, we didn’t crave sweets, no more acid reflux, bowels became very regular, and we all had more energy. After the 30 days I had lost 9 pounds and EZ and my mom lost pounds as well (they weren’t as hard core as me). I have kept the weight off and lost an additional pound or two, even having some dairy, sweets and grains occasionally. It has definitely helped me think about what I buy and what I put into my body, and I am still making much better choices for the most part. I am probably going to do another strict 30 days soon, just to keep from opening the floodgates of sweets, dairy and breads again. Anyone else have healthier eating and/or weight loss as a New Year’s Resolution? Would love to hear how you are doing with it!