I had originally planned on doing a book report entry on Gretchen Rubin's Better than Before, but I loved the book so much that I feel like it deserves a second, closer look before I write about it. It's so densely packed with fantastic, helpful information that it needs a better entry than I could write at the moment, as I'm a bit short on time.
Instead, I'll write about what many people are probably sick of hearing about - my second Whole30!
This is my second Whole30, but my first time doing it with friends who actually live in the city. That's been a fantastic boost to the overall experience - in addition to sharing recipes and tips and commiserating with my awesome mom, who is doing the Whole30 with Jim, I can do the same with besties who live right here in Queens.
There are way more soups and fewer salads this time around, as opposed to gloriously warm June. I have more kitchen toys to play with and have roasted and trussed my first few chickens - a delicious way to stretch my Trader Joe's dollars!
My favorite thing about the Whole30 - even more than feeling lighter and having more energy - is the mental affect it has on me. First, it frees me from the daily mental battles I have with myself when I'm not eating Whole30 of how much and when to eat chocolate, cheese, tortilla chips, wine, and my other vices. It's a constant battle between my desires and my manager-self and it goes on 24/7 in my head. Gretchen Rubin actually talks about this - moderators vs. abstainers. Sadly for me and my sweet tooth, I function much more happily as an abstainer. More on that in the book report!
Second, it keeps me hyper aware and hyper accountable. There is no room for cheating or slip-ups if you're committing to the Whole30 as written. There's no crazy portion control or calorie counting either, but in terms of what you eat - no wiggle-room allowed. This helps me to notice my near reflexive-like reach to the chip bowl at a party, it helps me to notice that I don't need alcohol to have fun and I don't need dessert after a meal. So much of people's social identity tends to get wrapped up in what they do and don't consume and the habits therein - it can be scary to go a different way and buck expectation, but it's so freeing.
Tomorrow brings a new Whole30 challenge I have not yet faced - Traveling on the Whole30! I'll only be gone for a day and a half, but I'm a little nervous about my plans for feeding myself while I'm gone - and my first ever opening night party with Marc without a celebratory drink! (or five!) Luckily, I have an incredibly supportive husband who is well versed in the Whole30 rules by now, and I'm confident it'll go well.
Today is Day 18 of 30 - more than halfway there! If you're interested in doing your own Whole30 or just learning more about it, check out http://www.whole30.com