A few friends have commented that I normally eat a close-to-Paleo diet, so why the Whole30 challenge? This is very true, I generally don’t eat grains in any form, dairy or legumes. My biggest issue is the added sugar, in the form of my daily icy-cold Coca-Cola.
However, let me define “generally” for you (as this applies to my cooking at home….restaurants are a different story for a different post).
Tacos or burritos are on the menu at our house almost weekly, but I usually wrap mine up in a leaf of lettuce. However, a few, ok….a lot! of organic corn tortilla chips might make their way into my mouth. And it’s very hard to resist my favorite tortillas, so if we have them on hand I’ll have at least two.
I very rarely make pasta, and when I do it’s usually for my kids and I don’t have any at all. The one exception is the few times a year I make Fancy Mac-n-Cheese (a recipe I’ll have to share sometime), which I enjoy in small amounts so as to avoid some painful indigestion.
While the rest of my family still eats bread for sandwiches, I have decided it’s just not worth it to me. I may have a bite or two of my kids’ grilled cheese every so often, but that’s it for me. Not worth the tummy troubles anymore.
I enjoy a sprinkling of cheese on a taco or burrito, or on my chili verde or Mexican soup, and really like a cheese quesadilla made with my favorite tortillas….but it’s not very often and it’s never very much.
While I love the taste of Greek yogurt, it does not love me in return and I usually have a stomach-ache a few hours after eating it, so it’s not worth it.
I don’t keep ice cream in the house, but we do go out to Baskin Robbins (World Class Chocolate is the best ice cream ever!!!!) maybe every month or so and I’ll have a kid-size cup. Yum!
I also don’t keep milk or cream in the house on regular basis. I’ve never been a milk drinker and I take my coffee black (after giving up the heavy cream early this year).
I do cook with butter….real, sometimes organic, creamy, yummy butter. It’s not a daily thing, but it’s common to find me sauteing some veggies in butter before adding my eggs to scramble, or adding a bit to some steamed brussels sprouts.
I’ve never really loved beans and once I tried eliminating them and adding them back in I learned that they don’t love me, either. You know that old song, Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit…..? Well, there’s a reason for that song. Don’t deny it….they affect many of you the same way, don’t they?
We’re not big bakers here, and when we do bake I usually cut the sugar in half (this doesn’t affect most recipes). I’m not a big believer in artificial sweeteners, so I’d rather just use less of real cane sugar in our baked goods.
Sugar tends to find its way into grain and dairy items quite a bit, so by avoiding those I do a pretty good job of avoiding sugar.
My downfall is soda, Coke in particular. I don’t keep it in the house because I have no control over myself….I’ve been known to drink several cans in an afternoon. And by several I mean 4-6. I know, terrible. Awful. Disgusting. That’s why I don’t have it in the house. If I have to make a trip to buy it then I don’t consume as much, though I manage to find a reason to leave the house and hit a drive-through most days of the week.
So you can see how there are some variances to the Paleo-diet that are pretty habitual at my house. On a daily basis I’m eating or drinking at least one thing that is not strict Paleo. We eat out once or twice a week, and I am usually wheels-off in a restaurant, eating whatever sounds good, forgetting all about Paleo and/or possible physical after-effects.
And in reality, I don’t think that’s a bad thing (except for the daily soda). I don’t think it’s necessary for me to follow a super-strict regimen 24/7. The 80/20 or 90/10 rule has served me well, eating really clean 80-90% of the time, and being more indulgent the other 10-20%.
But those few habits were sneaking up on me. The tortilla chips were happening more often. Taking a few more bites of grilled cheese that my kids didn’t finish at lunch. Suggesting a trip to Baskin Robbins more often. Helping myself to just one more refill at the soda fountain. The shredded beef nachos at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop are just oh-so-yummy-I-must-have-them-now, and now means at 9pm on a Thursday.
That’s why I wanted to do a Whole30-eating super clean for a full 30 days. I want to get rid of those habits that were taking up residence in my daily diet.
It’s been almost a week…..and I’m starting to feel really, really good!