When Eating Healthy is Overwhelming

Some changes to your diet involve simple decisions, but difficult behavior changes. Others involve difficult decisions for simple behavior changes.

The decisions to stop drinking diet soda and to increase my water intake were obviously good choices.

Trying to eat more vegetables was the first decision that got a bit more complicated. It should have been simple: veggies are good for you, eat more. However, in the Information Age, there are often more questions than answers. Which ones can I buy organic and local? Which ones are most important to buy organic? Which vegetables are higher in sugar and more like eating fruit?

And with a personality like mine, you want to know all the answers before you start. Silly perfectionism!

This time, my search for more information led me to the Whole30 website.

I’ve had friends who changed their diets to be primarily Paleo or clean eating, but to be honest, the changes always seemed extreme. I had successfully lost weight with boot camp programs and using Weight Watchers before. Those plans seemed to incorporate food that was easy to find and easy to make. Clean eating sounded time consuming and Paleo sounded like a level of grain-free torture I’d never survive. What I couldn’t argue with was the length of time my clean-eating friends had maintained good health, even through injuries and surgeries. On top of that, they seemed to genuinely be happier and stronger than anyone I knew on a point or calorie counting plan.

And that is where I was when I landed on Whole30 and started reading the plan information. I was captured by the concept that food should be treated as the source for health. There were no branded foods or special shakes. There was absolutely nothing I needed to buy to start the plan. No coaching membership, no bizarre foods only sourced in a city like NYC or L.A. Just food from animals and plants, single ingredients. The plan, shopping list and recipes were available for free right on the website while links were provided to support groups on Facebook for free. Best of all, I didn’t need to count or track a thing.

There was a list of foods not to eat and I read the explanations as to why they were excluded. I quickly decided I could mostly follow the plan and have just limited servings of bread and dairy.

For about ten days, I essentially ate 95% Paleo with limited bread and cheese. I lost several pounds and started feeling better. I was more alert, focused, and almost never felt bloated.

And then my new friend Amy caught wind of my goals and challenged me to follow Whole30 strictly to the plan with her for nine days. SkipperClan said I was a total wimp if I couldn’t do it for just nine days. He didn’t volunteer to do it with me.

So the challenge was accepted. More about that next week!