the whole 30 yards

my first morning's breakfast
my first morning’s breakfast

I’m not a dieter. Denying myself the delectable leads to intense cravings for said taboo items. I have done a few juice cleanses with varying degrees of success (and by success, I don’t mean weight loss but improved complexion, better sleep patterns and more energy). Mainly, I try to eat healthily, though I do have my weaknesses, namely cheese, wine, and half and half in my coffee.

But on the morning of my dear friend Lauren’s wedding, I woke up resembling the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. My face was so puffy my sunglasses left a deep imprint after I had them on for only a few minutes. My abdomen was so distended I could barely bend over to put on my shoes. And the worst part? The bridesmaid dress that fit fine a week before? Yeah, well I was so swollen that it took the might of the three other bridesmaids to get the zipper up. Then, I exhaled. And the zipper broke. Five minutes before the ceremony.

If I’d woken up like this any other day, I’d have visited the ER. I warn you now, never WebMD “water retention” because the causes range from too much salt, alcohol, sun exposure (all which I had in spades) to kidney failure, liver disease and congestive heart failure. I was pretty convinced I was dying, but I had a wedding to stand up in. I drank my weight in water, abstained from alcohol, and MacGyver’d the dress until I could change into something else. After the reception, I returned to my room, cried a bunch, and devised a plan for a reset.

I’d just read Wardrobe Oxygen‘s post on the Whole 30, and while I’ve been dismissive of Paleo-style food plans, I was inspired by Allie’s positive experience eating only whole, one-ingredient foods. I decided to give it a shot.

As it turns out, my Whole 30 shopping cart didn’t look that different from how it usually would, with a few notable exclusions. I’m on Day 5 and so far, I don’t miss anything. It hasn’t been torturous to watch my kids devour chips and salsa. I’ve been around wine without longing. After a bit of experimenting, I discovered coconut milk in my coffee does the trick. I did almost lick the Nutella off a knife the other night after I made Jack toast, but that was more reflex than desire. The bottom line is after a few days, I’m sleeping better, and I have energy after only one cup of coffee.

I suspect there will be challenging days ahead (please don’t flaunt your pimento grilled cheese sandwich from Cheesetique) but nothing could be worse than how I felt on that morning when I could have lumbered through the town of Sonoma and caused more damage than the recent Napa earthquake.

 

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