Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Whole30, the Aftermath

Well. I just realized that I hadn't given any sort of an update since I finished the Whole30 and reintroduced foods. Here's the lowdown. For two weeks I have basically been giving myself acne by ingesting various foodstuffs. Turns out that dairy and wheat are both horrible for my skin, and other grains aren't awesome. Wine is fine. I haven't checked on legumes yet; I just have little interest in them. Sugar is still a bit of a mystery, as I haven't added it back in an isolated fashion. There's always a bit of something else in there, like in the birthday cake I ate at my nephew's party and the mint brownies I had at the church school meeting. So my skin isn't wholly clear, and it might be the sugar, or it might be residual effects of all the other crap I ate these two weeks, but it's not horrible, and I'd rather just finish the container of chocolate covered espresso beans before I do the work necessary to figure it out. It's tough, after thirty days eating a very restricted diet, followed by two weeks of finding out that some of your favorite things are no longer an option for you most of the time, to go strict again and figure out how the last couple of forbidden foods affect you. I have thoroughly enjoyed the coffee cream chocolate bar from ALDI and the chocolate covered espresso beans from Trader Joe's that I've consumed this week. Which means, yes, that my sugar craving did not disappear.

The thing about my craving for sweets is that it's not a standard sugar craving. I don't want straight up sugar. I can't just eat fruit and be fine with that. In fact, I hate the really sweet, fruity candies, like Skittles and Sweet Tarts. I can only eat one or two Starburst at a time. Jelly beans? No thank you. It's the richer sweets I crave, things like good salted caramels and high quality chocolate. I have a sweet tooth that's tempered by something else...maybe fat? I'm not sure. But it doesn't surprise me that I still love sweets.

What does surprise me is how easy it has been to leave bread and pasta and cheese behind, how I don't really miss any of the starches that much. I truly enjoy the kind of dinners (protein with a big vegetable helping next to it) that we had when I was doing the Whole30, and it's been a no-brainer to continue making those kinds of dinners now. I really thought I would miss noodles a lot more, but not so much. And as for bread, what I really miss is the ease of ordering some Jimmy John's sandwiches to be delivered to our porch, and not the food itself. And that's good.

I have yet to figure out if I really want to conquer my sugar issue. I am undoubtedly eating less since many things I used to have sugar in are on the no-go list of dairy and wheat and other assorted grains. When I finally buckle down and figure out if sugar causes an immediate acne response (other things have produced blemishes in twelve hours or less, like a sick kind of magic), I might feel differently about it, but for now, I am not feeling the urge to cease picking up some chocolate that isn't dairy heavy from time to time. (And by "dairy heavy," I really mean things made with milk as opposed to heavy cream and/or butter. It really is true that the things I am sensitive to in milk are not in the cream part.) Maybe at some point it will be worth it to me, but I think for now I've got plenty of other things to get used to. I'll take it ten steps at a time, and leave that one last step for later.

For now I'm just enjoying knowing that there is a solution for my acne that doesn't involve rubbing in a gel for ten minutes every night and having to use only white towels and sheets, then sometimes still bleaching things because my hand touches my face and then I touch something with my hand. I really thought I'd be all right with using the zit cream if the only thing to come of this was to figure out what causes the acne, but I actually really like having the freedom that using just a cleanser and a moisturizer can afford me.

I also really like having all my clothes fit again. It's not so much that I have a majorly hot bod now or something (because I don't), it's just that what I see in the mirror now looks familiar to me. It's my old shape, without all the miles and miles of running. I'll take it. It's comfortable.

Thanks, Whole30.

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