After all of the parties and barbecues and fun times this summer, my poor body has been screaming at the amount of sugar I have allowed to creep back into my diet… granted most of it was honey or maple syrup, but even that can add up when it becomes a regular thing.
To be fair, I have been incredibly stressed with the new job, and when I’m stressed, I have historically turned to junk food. Fortunately my paleo diet had allowed me to have sugary treats when I felt I most needed them without gaining any weight on the scale, but a couple of weekends of drinking wine, and a couple more of eating sweet potato chips, cheeses, paleo fruit pie, and Paleo Strawberry Lemonade had left me feeling swollen, tired, plagued with some nasty facial acne, and a little bit out of control. The scale said everything was fine, but my body told me it wasn’t.
When E.J. and I started our diet in September last year, I remember reading about people who would do 2nd and 3rd Whole 30’s or would schedule them annually like checkups, but given the misery I went through the first time, I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to do it again, much less regularly. Well, here I am, just coming up on our 1 year anniversary (Sept 1), and I actually feel the need to do it again.
So after E.J’s birthday celebration, I went 1 day without sugar, then another… and I didn’t die. In fact other than being a little more hungry since I wasn’t snacking, I felt way better. So, I told E.J. that second day that I was going to do another Whole 30, and that it was ok if he didn’t want to do it with me – but being E.J. of course he did. So now we’re on day 6, and the acne has cleared up, my clothes fit better, my fingers don’t feel like sausages anymore, and I just feel normal again.
It’s absolutely amazing how much difference it makes when I eliminate my sugar intake…I can’t quite get my head around it, but I’ll let you know if I have any more insight as we go.
To support us this week, I tried some new recipes, and so far they’ve been really good:
- Ancho Chile Mexican Meatballs – I did a double-batch of this recipe, and used a mix of pork and beef in the meatballs to give some extra flavor – this one is really yummy, and I will definitely make it again!
- Buffalo Chicken Casserole – If you love buffalo wings, you will love this one. I didn’t realize buffalo sauces like Frank’s are naturally Whole 30 compliant, but it is and it makes for some really flavorful dishes… especially when eaten with paleo ranch dressing.
- Paleo Sausage Sweet Potato Frittata – Sugar-free chorizo makes everything awesome. In this case, that plus caramelized onions makes for a flavorful lunch or breakfast option.
We also smoked a brisket, slow cooked some sweet potatoes, and Instant-Potted some beets for more options.
I guess the moral of the story for me is to simply listen to my body. E.J. talks about it a lot on his blog, but I often stop hearing it when life’s stresses are getting to me. If I’m going to maintain this lifestyle for the rest of my life then I need to learn how to listen, even when the going gets tough… maybe especially then.