April’s Whole Food Challenge

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend! And lucky to all you non-USAers who have Easter Monday off! We enjoyed great weather for most of the day, family, fresh food and desserts, and then some Spring storms!

It’s now Monday, April 1st, and the start of my eat clean month long challenge. I learned a lot about myself and eating habits this last month and I’m hoping to continue to grow and learn this month as well.

A few people I know are challenging themselves this month to eat better, and while our eating changes may differ for each individual, we are all doing this to improve our health and create or reinforce healthy habits.

whole food challenge

What does my particular Whole Food Challenge look like?

  • No counting calories (counting calories these last couple weeks have made me neurotic!)
  • Eat non-processed, natural, foods
  • No refined sugar or starches
  • No hydrogenated oils or soy
  • Limited “healthy” desserts, such as paleo treats
  • Non-cured linguica and bacon are exceptions

What does your Whole Foods Challenge look like?

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Food aversions and junk food

The last month or so has been a bit sad when it comes to cooking and nutrition. Pregnancy nausea (because morning sickness is not a valid title when it is throughout the day) and food aversions have left me locked up in the bedroom with the door open while my husband cooks dinner – for himself.

I hesitate to call what I have been eating “cravings;” I see it more as non food aversions. It’s not that I’m craving over-processed food, it’s that these are the only foods that sound even remotely palatable and don’t make me sick to eat or think about. It is usually only¬† a couple items that don’t make me sick and it changes every 1-3 days.

Here are a few foods I am ashamed to even have in my house, let alone consume:

  • Graham crackers
  • Frozen waffles
  • French bread pizzas
  • Corn dogs
  • Frozen lasagna
  • White bagels with strawberry cream cheese
  • Poptarts
  • White bread dinner rolls

If you remember, I was doing the Whole30 Paleo Challenge. That lasted 2 weeks; the week before my period was due, and the week after we found out I was pregnant. At approximately 6 weeks I no longer wanted vegetables, meat,eggs or nuts. Even thinking about these foods made me sick – and that was the majority of what I was eating! My diet these last 4-5 weeks has made the Primal/Weston A Price lifestyle in me cringe! At least I have been able to eat apples, oranges and bananas!

Luckily this last week my nausea and food aversions have subsided a bit and probably will be improving even more as time goes on. Although it’s still not stellar, I was able to enjoy homemade green sauce chicken enchiladas last night for dinner and cinnamon toast for breakfast.

The other day I read Food Renegade’s old post: Pregnancy Cravings Make No sense and all the notes and it made me feel a little better.

Hopefully I will be able to nutritionally redeem myself during the second and third trimester!

 

Whole Foods, Primal, Paleo, WAPF – which lifestyle?

Around January or February I was told by someone specializing in fertility that I should cut out all processed grains since they are processed by high heat and are toxic to the body and to avoid white flour and sugar because there is no health benefit to consume them. On top of eliminating white flour, sugar, and processed grains, I was encouraged to add more eggs and cod liver oil in my diet, consume only whole dairy products and eat whole foods.

For several months now, we have been on a whole foods diet and I feel a lot better. Currently my ideal diet is free of processed grains, processed dairy, and processed food in general. I also prefer to cook with almond flour over any other grain flour. However, there have been plenty of cheat days and some weeks are better than others. My husband is slowly losing weight, but it seems like he is having quite a bit of stomach pains and various ailments.

We are becoming more and more interested in the Primal diet and lifestyle and we are considering taking the jump by starting off with The Whole30. The Whole30 is a strict, no cheating, dairy-free, grain-free, legume-free diet designed to allow the body to heal from inflammatory foods. Once you are done cleaning out your body from inflammatory foods, you can gradually add in some dairy. I don’t think I am anti-dairy, but it would be good to know if either my husband or I might be intolerant or sensitive to it; if not, we can gradually add in butter and raw milk and yogurt and see how it goes.

I’ve been following more of the Weston A Price diet – Sprouted grains and soaked legumes, animals and animal fats, vegetables and fruits, with an encouraged emphasis on fermented foods (which I’ve only been consuming kombucha…), but I am starting to cut all grains out of my diet. I feel better without grains – lighter, less bloated, happier.

I’ve looked into Paleo vs Primal and Primal seems the way to go. Paleo suggests lean meats and limiting egg consumptions – which doesn’t make sense to me since you are already limiting so many foods and cavemen definitely ate dark meat! There are different leaders of the Paleo movement that aren’t as strict, but from what I have read, Primal is a bit more gentle; allowing any meat, and some sweet potatoes and tubers. Primal also allows more non-processed dairy and includes more advice on exercise and lifestyle. Mark Sisson, one of the leaders of the Primal Movement has an interesting blog post on Paleo vs Primal. And if you are a WAPF fan, they gave Sisson’s book, The Primal Blueprint, a thumbs up and many of the Paleo books thumbs down.

Saturday we are throwing a big party and my husband is a big fan of good beer, and we are all fan of cupcakes, so that will be our last hurrah as we start the Whole30 challenge come Monday. Hopefully I will be able to kick my sugar-cravings without hurting anyone! In order to not cheat AT ALL, we will definitely need to keep our kitchen stocked and snacks prepared. I will keep you updated on my progress!

What is your opinion on these lifestyles/diets?