I expected the pregnancy weight to just fall off after the twins were born.
The joke was on me. Though I ended up just ten pounds heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight one week after the babies’ birth, the scale just kept creeping back upward in the weeks after they were born.
Sleepless nights coupled with a complete lack of motivation to plan healthy meals converged to form a miserable diet situation. Manny was living on peanut butter toast and I was living on whatever required the lest effort and brainpower.
Unless you already have stellar eating habits, not thinking and choosing the easiest route = bad juju. All of a sudden my idea of a relaxing afternoon was chilling with the babies on the sofa, eating popcorn. Or Wint-O-Green Lifesavers. Or pizza.
It wasn’t pretty.
I’d been hearing a lot about the Whole30 thing but passed it off as just another diet plan. It wasn’t until someone in a cloth diaper Facebook group (of all places!) mentioned what a big difference it had made in her life that I decided to give it a whirl. The basics?
- no grains of any kind
- no legumes
- no added sugar, processed or natural
- no dairy
- no pizza. or donuts. or wint-o-green. or homemade buttery scones. or pasta. or or or…
It seems extreme, but our diet needed a major reset.
The driving goal behind the Whole30 program is not weight loss. It’s identifying foods that are physically or psychologically unhealthy. By eliminating the foods that are often inflammatory, gut-disrupting, or otherwise problematic, then adding them back in slowly after the 30-day reset, you can pinpoint the foods that spark cravings or make you feel miserable.
I especially needed to refocus and prioritize food, the stuff my body runs on. The twinlets are demanding, to say the least, and the fuel I expected my body to run on just wasn’t cutting it. After a trip to visit the in-laws, during which we splurged waaay too much (midnight run to Sheetz for donuts, candies, and all the sugar we could get our hands on? Cue sugar coma.)
After talking to Manny about the program, we decided to take the plunge. The first step? Clear out the stuff we wouldn’t be eating for a month.
Spring Cleaning the Pantry
We weren’t willing to actually throw away staples like beans, lentils, canned chickpeas, pasta, flour, cornmeal, sprouted grain cereals, oatmeal, and other stuff we already had in the house, so we boxed it up and hid it in the basement. It’s amazing how much that purging opened up the kitchen and pantry. I can actually see what’s in the fridge and cabinets now. Choosing meals is simpler too, because I have fewer options. I choose to look at that as an added benefit, because the less I have to think about meal planning, the better. Planning veggies, fruits, and proteins really simplifies the process.
Whole 30 In Review: Days 1-4
Today is Day 4. Truth: I’m sitting at a coffee shop wishing my black coffee and banana would morph into a latte and chocolate croissant. I’m wearing my bottle-cap earrings, though I won’t be having a soda anytime soon. But it feels amazing to know that I’m giving my body better food than I have in months–and setting myself up for success.
Actually cooking meals regularly has revolutionized our diet. It should be noted, though, that when they say that days 2-3 will be miserable, they’re serious. Holy headache, Batman. If that’s what a hangover feels like, I don’t ever care to get drunk.
The cravings haven’t been terrible. Despite my salads, greens, delicious walnut-crusted pork tenderloin, bananas smeared with almond butter, and sweet potato soup, it’s weird not to be able to just grab some crackers for a snack or a piece of toast or bowl of oatmeal in the mornings. Last night, Manny’s coworkers enjoyed taunting him with donuts, Mexican food, and candy when they found out that he was doing the program with me. But so far we’ve survived without major incident. I am realizing that I have a tendency to snack on fruit a lot, which I realize I probably need to substitute with more veggies.
The fact that I’m still nursing the twins (mostly just one twin, but still) means I have an excuse to eat more fruits and starchy foods like potatoes and squash, and I’m milking that (pardon the pun) for all it’s worth!
Though some mothers have voiced concerns that the Whole30 program would hurt their milk supply, I don’t see how switching to whole foods, eliminating processed sugar, and living on veggies, fruits, and meats would cause problems unless you’re just not eating enough.
This is long, so I’ll end it here. For the next few weeks, expect to see updates on our Whole30 journey, which may or may not turn into whining all I want is pizza vents on occasions. Wish us luck!