Truthfully I just went with the most generic title for this post. Alternative titles were:
Clean eating isn’t easy
Clean eating and my clouded thoughts about burgers
If I eat one more sweet potato I might kill someone
Whole30 lasted a hell of a lot longer than thirty days
I have kind of put off writing this post because I don’t want to come off as one of those people. You know, those people who preach their eating habits and you can just hear their judge-y thoughts seeping through. I am not one of those people. I honestly and truly do not care how other people eat. I just think of it this way, we are all adults here, we should know what healthy choices look like. And not everyone has to take it to the extreme of “clean eating”. All that to say that since I have been on this little cleaning eating journey for the past two years, I have gotten plenty of questions. Emails. Direct messages. Many questions come from Snapchat since that is where I post most of my meals. I’m not consisted with it, but whenever I do post something I get questions that fall into three categories. How did you get started? How do you maintain eating like this? And, do your kids eat this way too? I want to try and answer these as best I can without this becoming a novel of a post. Which by the length of this paragraph alone seems like a challenge. So if you want me to bore you to death, keep reading. If not….I’ll never know.
Okay, so Chris and I did our first Whole30 a little over two years ago, when I was about seven months pregnant with Odette. It was totally at random. I had seen tons of bloggers posting about their experience, and I brought it up to Chris thinking he would laugh it off. Next thing you know he orders the Whole30 book. We both read it and then decided to go for it. I just kept thinking, what is 30 days? Well, 30 days is a long time as a pregnant lady! And I have never been someone that does healthy eating well. For one, I am Italian, grew up in a traditional Italian household with all the foods! Chris is the same, but he adopted more healthy habits. He has always been a pretty healthy eater as long as I have known him. Me, not so much. Fast food was my lifeline. When I thought about dinner, it always included something simmering in butter and heavy cream. Basically whatever the Food Network was cooking up that day. So I struggled through my first round of Whole30. The cravings were BAD! I was a total bitch. Chris on the other hand acted like he could fly. So happy and peppy and I just wanted to scream and jump into a bath filled with cheese and bread. But, I kept going. By the end of it I did see huge differences. And when we did the reintegration of foods afterwards, I learned a lot about how certain foods made me feel. It was really eye opening. I felt great, and I noticed when I did make unhealthy choices how awful I felt. Chris and I both wanted to keep it going, and get the kids on board too.
I never approached clean eating as a “diet”. I have never dieted in my life. I have, and still do rely heavily on my fast metabolism. That was also a reason I wanted to keep the clean eating going. You hear it all the time, working out is 80% diet. So I decided to tackle that first. Ha! Now to get this whole working out thing started. (I’ll take all your recommendations on that one).
I would say that eating whole30 all the time is hard, and it takes a lot of work. I feel like I spend the majority of my time in the damn kitchen! Every Sunday I prep as much as possible for the week. Making salad dressings, mayo, ketchup. Roasting veggies and preparing meats that can be easily incorporated into lunches. This is the KEY, prepping for it. Because if you don’t have something to eat you will just go for easy. Easy doesn’t always translate into healthy. Now, after eating this way for awhile we have adopted our own little system. We eat clean all week, and then have one cheat day on the weekend. Because it is all about balance! And wine. Not to mention, deep down we are foodies and we like to go out and try new restaurants and capitalize on each and every place the military takes us too.
The majority of questions I get have to deal with the kids. Do my kids eat like this? The simple answer is yes. And that is because we give them NO CHOICE. When we first started it with them we basically did a prison style raid in the kitchen. We threw out every single thing that was not whole30 compliant. My children about had a heart attack the first time they looked in the pantry. I want to say they ate relatively healthy before whole30, but they did get the usual snack foods. The only one that gave us a hard time was Pierce. It took a solid month to get him to sit down and just eat the food in front of him. There were many many nights where he went to bed without eating his dinner. I consulted our pediatrician who said “he is not going to let himself starve, stick with it”. And so we did. We made it passed all the crying and hysterics in the kitchen. Every time he protested a meal, we just removed him from the table. There was never an alternative meal made for him, or options given. Eventually he got the picture. It was rough. But I am just from the school of thought that, I am the parent. I am not going to fight my child to get him to eat a hot dog and mac and cheese. If we are going to war, it is going to end with ground turkey and brussel sprouts, and I will be victorious. But, my kids are still kids and they want the fun kid foods. So Chris and I surprise them with little things every now and then. The boys get snacks handed out at school, and I don’t want them to be like “oh no no no my mom is a crazy lady and will kill me if I eat that”. I want them to enjoy it.The biggest take away for me, is that I now know the importance of reading labels!! It doesn’t matter if it says “organic” or “all natural”. I flip the label and see for myself. We aren’t crazy people about it all, we just try and make the healthiest choices we can. Hopefully this answers some questions. I know this wasn’t very detailed, but if anyone wants a more detailed rundown of what we eat on any given day, or what a week of dinners looks like, our favorite whole30 grocery items, or hell….what I pack the kids for lunches, let me know. You can find some of my go-to whole30 recipes here.
And if you made it to the end of this, I am sorry. I won’t blog for another month, promise.That’s a lie.