One more week

The Whole30 challenge that I have bestowed upon myself has been going really well. I only have one week left and I’m still going strong. It has been such a great experience! I would recommend it to anyone who wants to start making better choices for optimum health. If you tell yourself: “I’m just going to try and make better choices” It becomes easy to slip up, make excuses, and fall back into old routines. It is SO true, that we need goals and discipline to keep us in line. It has been a lot of fun to talk to others about this food plan, and feels good to inspire other people. When I hear people say that they give me props or admire me… I kind of laugh it off. What I’m doing is NOT THAT HARD. Sure it takes a lot of planning and some modifying of habits… but once you get into a routine, it gets a lot easier. My friend Hannah asked me what the hardest part was. I would say, it is definitely the social aspect of it. There are so many parts of our culture that revolve around eating and drinking. Beers after Frisbee, dinner dates, happy hours, culinary festivals, brunches… it goes on and on. I miss having a beer, or glass of wine with dinner. But it hasn’t been that difficult to give up. I still partake in the socialization and it gets easier to just say, no thank you, when offered a drink. Most of my friends have been extremely supportive.

As for the next steps after the 30 days are up… I think the first thing I’m going to add back in is alcohol. Haha (I love beer!) Then I’ll probably do dairy for a few days and see how I feel. From other online reading, it looks like dairy might be the cause of many allergy symptoms, so I would like to see how I react after eating dairy. I plan to continue to consume sugar, but very sparingly… I really don’t need to be snacking on sugary things, maybe just once a week gelato, or another dessert of some kind. I really enjoy not having a sweet tooth that results in consuming hundreds of calories that only satisfy an emotional need, but that does nothing for me nutritionally. Gluten and other grains I also plan to re-introduce, but only once in awhile. I no longer want to revolve meals around a large portion of simple carbs. Whole grains will be fine once in awhile, but I really can get by without nutritionally low foods like bread, pasta, chips, crackers, etc.

I am really loving the way I feel when I eat predominantly paleo. I have super high energy all day long. I fall asleep immediately most nights, and wake up before my alarm. And the quality of my sleep has never been better. I put on my size 4 skinny jeans the other day and they fit great. Today, I’m wearing size 8, so it’s not THAT big of a deal. But it is fun to be able to wear more of my clothes and feel really good in them. It’s fun that other people are starting to notice that I look more fit. To see and feel changes so quickly has been very rewarding and motivating! I wish everyone could make a commitment to go through this experience and see how the things that we eat have a direct impact on how we feel. Everyone knows this, but actually going through the program will teach you so much more than reading about it. There is just no excuse for complaining about being un-healthy as a result of poor choices. Maybe it’s true, that people are victims of our society and the American diet, but I wish that people would not just sit back and be the victim, but learn to empower themselves to take their health into their own hands. I know that I can say with confidence that this experience has taught me lessons that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Que Sera Sera

“So are you married?”

“No Grandma, I haven’t found the right one yet!”

“Well that’s alright dear. It’s better to wait for the right one.”

“exactly! I’d love to be married, but I’m not in too big of a hurry. I’m fine with being alone for now.”

“Well that’s great, you just have to learn to make the best of it either way… whatever happens, you make the best of it.”

“You sure do. I have a great life and I’m happy.”

“I was lucky… I got a good one early.”

“Yeah, grandpa was a pretty great guy”

“We didn’t always see eye to eye, but we make the best of it… OH… I love that song!”

[the song, Que Sera Sera is playing in a commercial for some product I can’t remember. I love Irony.]

This conversation repeats itself 4 or 5 times throughout the 8 hours I spent with my grandmother last weekend. Snippets of wisdom from a woman who helped to raise me, yet doesn’t even remember my name. Alzheimer’s disease is just a heartbreaking disease. I was exhausted after just one day, and my dad has been her full-time care-giver for a year now. I don’t know how he does it. I don’t even think he knows how he does it. I was happy to give him a break, and have committed to giving more time to help him with her when I can. It’s important that he knows he can count on me. Certain things she remembers. She knew that she grew up on a farm. had 12 siblings, had three children of her own. Other times, she talked about packing up her stuff and being ready to go home. And wanting to go check on the “others” in the other room. She said she was anxious at the end of the day… “I just get a little anxious waiting for them, don’t you?” “Yeah, grandma… sometimes I feel that way too. It’s hard.” “Yeah.” she says. “It can be hard waiting. But you make the best of it anyway”

“Yeah. That’s all you can do.”