I kicked off my second week of Whole30 flat on my face. Okay that’s a bit of an exaggeration- I caught myself before face planting, but my hands were dirty, my knees scraped, and my good spirits took a hit. Don’t worry, I didn’t pass out due to malnutrition or anything, but the thing about depriving your body of what it craves, is that after awhile you become a little ornery. This week I found myself with a little less patience for people than I usually do, so on Tuesday after work I wanted to be as far away from humans as I could feasibly be while still remaining in Portland. I figured a run in the woods would do me some good.
You know when you try to do something nice for yourself and it just ends up making things worse? That’s how my run went. Less than a mile in and I tripped on some rocks and went down. While my leggings weren’t ripped (honestly my main concern) I was covered in mud and when I got back to my car, discovered I was bleeding. Now things could have gone a lot worse, I didn’t pull or strain anything, and like I said, my leggings were fine, so all in all I consider myself lucky. I just needed to share this to set the tone for the week, because this start was basically week two in a nutshell: not great, but it could have been worse.
My second week of Whole30 can be best summed up as a craving week. Week one was relatively smooth sailing so it only makes sense that in week two I literally had a dream that centered around me eating cheesy bread. I wish I were kidding. I honestly can’t remember any sort of context for the dream, but there was a box of garlicky cheese topped bread on a table at a party and I was putting it awaaaay. Ranch was involved and I was truly happy. Then I woke up.
At day 14, I’ll admit that the excitement and newness of the program has worn off a bit. My meals are starting to feel repetitive and I haven’t necessarily noticed any big changes in how I’m feeling, which I think I’d hoped would have happened by now. I understand everyone reacts to Whole30 is differently, but I think I hoped that reaching the halfway point would yield some more excitement. Maybe I’ll find it in a few days, but at this point two weeks might as well be years away.
In order to combat this feeling starting to settle, my goal is to try some new recipes, and to be better at meal prepping. I haven’t really prepped a whole lot, mostly just cooking enough food for one meal, which makes me feel like I’m constantly doing dishes, which probably just reinforces my desire for easy takeout. I’ve also been making a lot of repeat meals, or dishes with only slight variations that don’t help necessarily make them feel unique. I’ve got scrambles down pat at this point, I’ve experimented with cauliflower ‘rice’ numerous ways, and I’ve grown exhausted of balsamic dressing on salads. I’ve even started putting avocado in things. I don’t understand avocado. I keep trying to like it, I really do, and whenever I try to use it a new way, I think, “This is it! This will open a whole new world for me! A world filled with healthy fats and trendy brunches!” But it’s probably time to stop kidding myself.
That being said, Whole30 has pushed me to branch out with a lot of foods, and given me a balanced refrigerator filled with great colors. This week in particular has prompted me to consider my relationship with food when it comes to specific cravings. I’ve been able to better recognize when I’m craving certain foods, prompting me to consider why I’m craving them. Oddly enough it’s not because my body is signaling that I’m starving and the only thing that will save me is a cinnamon roll. I’ve noted trends when it comes to boredom, stress, or social situations and I hope that I can carry this awareness with me after my Whole30 adventure is over.
While week two was much more challenging than week one, I’m still grateful for what I’ve gained from it. Despite my cravings I found it easier to say no when offered noncompliant foods and not including those foods in my cooking or on my grocery list has already become more habitual. My goal in week three is to try a few new recipes and not only to think ahead, but also actually prepare them in advance. Hopefully after this upcoming week I’ll be able to get back to you having tried some new recipes and gotten a handle on these cravings and subsequent dips in mood!