October 23, 2012

Whole30 Days 21 - 25: One day (or meal) at a time




The 

Have you ever had one of those days when it feels as if someone punched you in the gut? You know, the same kind of feeling you get after eating a burrito from Taco Bell.

Whole45 Diary

Day 21
I was sitting on the living room floor on a Sunday afternoon eating some leftover turnip/mustard green saag with cucumbers, tomatoes, a boiled egg, and a cup of bone broth (Yep, I’m drinking this stuff now. Weird.) I was almost finished enjoying my thrown together meal when the phone rang. I hung up, threw my mostly empty dishes in the sink, and began to pack. I am very thankful I had prepared some food for a week or so. I packed a to-go dinner, some cooked veggies for breakfast, and was out the door.

Day 22
I had a good day. Mostly. I ate well. Boiled eggs, just a few almonds, eggs with veggies, a deconstructed taco, more veggies and chicken. All in all, this way of eating is getting easier. All that food I prepared definitely came in handy. But by the end of the day, when I was alone with my thoughts, I wanted something sweet. Though I had access to a quick banana ice cream, I didn’t go for that. Instead, I made coffee. I blended up a few dates for the sweetness and comfort I desired. I mixed the date paste in coconut milk and made myself a guilt-filled (technically compliant) latte.

We’ve all had something happen to us at some point in our lives, something that brings our whole world crashing down. How we handle it can make all the difference. But mostly, what we learn from it can completely change our lives. It can bring us to our knees or make us stand taller and stronger. Sometimes, it does both.


I drank my slightly sweetened coffee with pleasure. I allowed it to decrease the weight on my chest, if only for a moment. I thought about what is said when someone is going through a divorce or faced with a death in the family. One day at a time. As I finally began to doze off (don’t drink coffee at night, people - just don’t), I reminded myself to take this sugar addiction, as we have to do with life at times – one day at a time. 

In the morning, I ate a big plate of cold chicken, avocado, and tons of veggies. My lunch of eggplant stacks with a bolognese sauce with more vegetables was already planned. I had control. I was fully aware of what happened, but I chose to learn from it. I have a choice. I choose to stop and think about the implications of my choices. I’m not saying I will never enjoy my coffee sweetened with sugar or dates or whatever I may choose. But I will ask myself why I am doing it - if it’s because I need it to fulfill a perceived purpose or because I just enjoy coffee. Once I complete my Whole30 (or Whole45), I plan to enjoy my homemade lattes once again. But it won’t be for the reasons that I would sometimes drink three a day or would feel a need to go to Starbucks every time I drove by. It will be for pure enjoyment of my life. No overdoing it, no feeling guilty, and no more Starbucks (well, maybe on the rare occasion).

Sometimes we go through life in a monotonous trance. It isn’t until we are dropped to our knees that we really know what we are made of. Focusing on one day, one choice, or one meal doesn’t make us weaker. And even with those moments when we curl up in a ball and cry or we add that sweetener to our coffee, we don’t let it destroy everything we have worked to accomplish. Everything that we live for. We wake up and face the next day. One day at a time.

A sneak peak at the next Whole30 meals post...
While the Whole30 is nowhere near as difficult as some of the things we have to face in life, we can follow the same philosophy. One day at a time. One meal at a time. Don't focus on the end point or how much longer you have to go. Don't think about how hard tomorrow will be or if you can survive without sugar for two more weeks. Focus on one meal. One day.
 

A note: This blog is about real food (and living naturally and unprocessed). I never intended for it to be about more. But what doing the Whole30 has made me focus on (among many things) is that the emotions we deal with in our daily life have direct impact on our food choices. Maybe you are just tired and stressed, so you succumb to eating fast food for lunch every day. Maybe you mindlessly munch on chips when you think about the loss of your mother. Maybe you reach for that chocolate bar when your kids are throwing twenty questions at you and you’re not sure how to answer any of them. Switching to real food, whether you take baby steps or jump right in, is about being aware of what’s in your food. But it’s also about being aware of those habits or choices that might hold us back. So if you just came for the food and natural products, and not for the tales of my Whole30, stick around. There will be food, there will be homemade cleaners, and when I can drink my coffee with sugar once again, there will be witty and sarcastic humor.

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