An incredible woman who is a dear friend of mine decided it was time for her to go further on her quest for great health through clean eating. She put it out there to the Universe, and her Facebook friends, that she was hoping that someone would take the journey of the Whole30 plan with her. In support of my friend, I offered to join her. I am so glad I did. I wasn’t the only one though that decided to rise to the challenge as a great group of people joined together to support each other and share ideas and experiences along our one month challenge. My friend started up a group page on Facebook called The Whole 30 Clean Month Poutine Detox. What a perfectly fitting title since poutine had become a bit like a magnet for me (and her too by the sound of things) over the summer. I hadn’t had poutine in years since it is prepared using gravy (which = animal product) and I am vegetarian. I decided to make my own poutine so my kids could taste this delicious Canadian treat. A poutine monster was reborn. Lo-and-behold a new poutinerie opened in my city which makes vegetarian gravy for their mouth-watering poutine and an addiction of sorts was formed. I am normally pretty careful about what I choose to eat but for some unknown reason when it came to poutine it was like I went into a hypnotic state and my will to resist vanished. I didn’t like this new addition to my thought (and eating) pattern. And here is where the Poutine Detox comes in! I must say this challenge could not have come at a better time. I was ready for positive change.
Each of us in this support-type group are dealing with our own food demons or lifestyle choices that could have been better surrounding food. We all start at different levels in our dietary choices with the same goal – to be healthier. Who doesn’t want better health? So it is the Whole30 plan that is the base to our month-long clean food poutine detox. It is interesting to hear how others are doing on their journey. My journey feels a bit unique as I think I am the only vegetarian in the group. If I’m misinformed, feel free to tell me. I have had to make my own plan due to the fact that the real Whole30 is basically a paleo-type eating style. I will not under any circumstances consume another Being. Unless of course I am ever lost in the wilderness with nothing else to eat or I would starve to death. Hopefully I will never experience this. So, instead of consuming meat I have included legumes and beans which I eat a lot of normally with no ill effects. I have also discovered a love for nut butters and tofu as alternatives to meat.
A few things I have learned along my journey thus far:
- I no longer gag involuntarily at the thought of tofu.
- Eggs are not my friend.
- Sugar is nasty stuff that can control your mind until you break free of the cycle. I no longer crave anything sweeter than a fresh piece of fruit.
- Processed food is not our friend. I knew this going into this journey but the past couple of weeks has really amplified this point.
- The detox process (Day 2 and 3) were like having the flu. I seriously hate that feeling.
- Exercise is not evil but fun! Yup, I said exercise is fun. Strange but true. Although I draw the line at certain forms of exercise.
- The clothes in my closet are quickly becoming baggy. I don’t like saggy-bummed jeans. They are not at all attractive.
- I don’t feel gnawing hunger like I did a month ago come mid-afternoon. I feel great when I eat small snacks throughout the day that are fresh and wholesome.
- I am losing my taste for coffee! I’m not so thrilled about this one. I always filled my mug about 1/3 of the way with soy milk and now I’m drinking it black. It is tasty but I don’t feel the need for cup after cup all day long.
- My energy levels are pretty stable unlike they used to be. I would feel up and down in my energy all day prior to eating clean, whole foods only.
- Eliminating wheat has been a God-send. I wish I had done this years ago! It is ridiculous how many things our society eats that are centered around wheat. It was a difficult process to break the habit of wheat-based meals such as sandwiches or bagels with cream cheese. I feel so much healthier not eating wheat.
- Not eating dairy has been the easiest adjustment for me since I didn’t eat a lot of dairy anyway. Organic hormone-free dairy is a budget-buster for a family and I have no interest in the alternative of funding the corruption of factory-farmed business and the propaganda of the dairy board. I love to support farmers and what they do but ethics trump all else on this issue for me.
- I enjoy having curves, not jiggly bits. Being comfortable in my own skin is a great bonus to eating “clean”.
So I must give a big thank you to my wonderful friend over at Change My Body, Change My Life. Without her little push I would still be scarfing down poutine and pastries without a thought to how it affected the way I feel over the long-term. I found this approach of “cold-turkey” elimination of offending foods easier than removing one thing at a time. This isn’t for everyone. Removing something as simple as one soda per day or the sugar in your morning coffee will make a difference to your overall health. I would like to clarify something. This lifestyle choice to eat whole clean food is NOT a crash diet. It is not all about losing weight or being brainwashed. I think it is just the opposite. Eating food in its original whole form is the origins of nurturing or bodies and feeding our need for sustenance. Our body will adjust accordingly and will find its true weight. We have all been brainwashed to believe that convenient non-food items are good nutrition. That because a package states that the product inside has less fat or sodium than it used to makes it a healthy choice. Our taste buds have been primed to want things taste a certain way; saltier, sweeter, or just more of whatever we happen to be consuming. If we just stop to think a moment about the rates of obesity and illnesses that are diet-related it would become very clear that real food is superior to fake food.
“Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.” ~ English Proverb