Some of my favorite Whole30 meals I cooked in January

I’m currently on Day 11 of my fourth Whole30 and the last couple days I’ve been questioning my sanity. At this point, I generally know what foods are not my friends, but it’s still good to reorient, especially after a vacation in which there may or may not have been cake available practically 24/7.

***To be honest, it’s actually not that hard to stay healthy on a cruise. Yes, you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. I don’t drink that much, so a few beverages over the course of a week (I think I bought four plus had some at the wedding reception) was really my main concession to ridiculous behavior. At our meals, I made the attempt to always have some sort of salad or veg, and often stuck with meats and potatoes and the like. I honestly don’t think I ate a single noodle!

Anyway, so after traveling through the Caribbean and having a (birthday) month of not eating so great, I knew that a summer Whole30 was in the cards in order to get myself back on track. I’ve found that doing these every six months or so has been very beneficial to my mental health because even though last weekend I wanted to eat ALLLLL the Pop Tarts, I generally have a sunnier disposition and am less crabby when I’m eating clean and healthy. Which – hmmm. 😉

So some of the things that I’ve learned while doing these include the following:

  • Milk and liquid dairy (sour cream, half&half, etc) are in generally not my friends. I seem to be able to eat cheese in general, in particular everyone’s favorite processed cheese, American… and cheddar. I don’t miss milk at all as I stopped drinking it years ago but I was definitely worried about cheese!
  • I do better when I eat low FODMAP as that seems to affect bloating and stomach pain. The things I’ve noticed that affect me are Brussels sprouts (*sob*), cauliflower when eating a lot of it (*sob* x 2) and a fair amount of fruit (no big deal, I don’t love fruit). I am still experimenting with this as there are a lot of items on the high FODMAP list that do not affect me such as beans, but definitely processed wheat products.
  • Bread and processed wheat products can be my enemy. Not all bread, but some. I find it gives me heartburn and sometimes contributes to stomach issues. I in general do not eat much bread in my day-to-day life and have not for some time, but I also have cut back on noodle products and am trying out various gluten-free noodles with mixed results. Gluten-free noodles are kind of lame. I don’t necessarily think I have a problem with gluten, I think it’s the processing and possibly the type of wheat we use here in the US, but since I have no immediate plans to go to Europe to test my hypothesis on the different strains of wheat, I shall continue to endeavor. 😛
  • Sugar… eesh. I generally don’t have a lot of it in the house but I do love chocolate and I especially love fruit gummy candies, and I SUPER heart So Delicious Cashew Milk ice cream. And coffee creamer. I have mostly been able to wean myself off sugary coffee creamer but I do love my sugary coffee beverages so much. :/
  • I absolutely ADORE munching on things like crackers and chips (inc. plantain chips) and this is a habit I need to try to break. I mean, it’s as simple as not buying these things but a salad is not a snack to me, nor is fruit. Crunchy things are! (I’ve never really been a nut person.) :/
  • Rice and corn have no effect on me and I shall continue to eat them if not with abandon, then with relish.

It’s good to know what affects me and what my weaknesses are. I am still working on my so-called “food freedom” and it will continue to be a work in progress. But I improve every day (hey, didn’t eat those Pop Tarts, right? …only because I couldn’t find them, tbh… still that’s a win!) so who knows where I’ll be in a year.

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