The past weekend, I learned how to golf! I have been bugging Justin to take me to the driving range, so now that it is finally nice out, he took me to the Belle Isle driving range. It was a blast! I really had no previous experience, so it was refreshing to learn something totally new.
I’ll be honest, I felt kinda silly at first. Sticking my butt out, hitting nothing but air. But once I got the swing of it, pun intended, I had a great time! Justin says he’s impressed and didn’t expect me to be that good. He says I’m a natural. I can’t wait to go again and actually play a game!
We are moving this week, so things are kinda crazy. Justin got his room mostly packed up and I went through my closet and purged a ton. We are moving the big stuff Wednesday after work. I am so ready to move into our cute little house! I can’t wait to make it our own.
A couple weekends ago, I went out to a celebratory going away dinner for a family friend. Since I had just launched my blog the night before, I was being showered in compliments and praise about it. It was great to hear that my parents friends (who all have know me since I was a wee babe) loved the blog and were excited to here more about it!
One of my old neighbors, who I lovingly refer to Mr. Cool, came up to me and started talking to me about the blog. Our relationship has always been rooted in sarcasm. Our conversations are always tongue and cheek and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I dish out the sarcasm so I can take it. When Mr. Cool approached the topic with this tone it was totally expected.
He started joking about how his teenage daughter read my blog and wants to start a strict calorie diet and starve herself. Though I knew he was kidding, it struck a cord in me. It occurred to me that people who skim through my blog posts about my weight loss journey or Whole30 might think that I was promoting a strict calorie diet and lifestyle.
I am happy to say that is absolutely not the case. During my Whole30, I did not count a single calorie. My only concern was that the ingredients were compliant with the program. If I was hungry, I would eat. It was so freeing, not having to worry about how many calories I was eating. Even still, I don’t count my calories or track what I eat in any way.
After my Whole30, I chose to continue eating whole foods and sticking to a generally grain free diet. But I also chose to practice Food Freedom.
As I mentioned in My Whole30 Challenge: Part One the Food Freedom plan was coined Melissa Hartwig, the co-creator of Whole30. In her book, Food Freedom Forever, she provides a great framework on how to eat what you want without feeling guilty, but still maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Okay, I know how crazy that sounds. It sounds too good to be true! But hear me out. The way that the food freedom works is simple. If its worth it, eat it. So what does that mean, exactly?
When you complete an elimination diet like the Whole30, it is important to reintroduce the foods that you eliminated slowly and one at a time. If you eat pizza with wine for dinner on the day after your Whole30 and feel really sick after, you have multiple possible variables that could be the culprit. Because you reintroduced gluten, grains, dairy, alcohol, and added sugar all at once, you have no way of knowing what exactly was causing the reaction.
Think of it as an experiment with controls and variables. If you space out each food reintroduction, you should have a good idea about how different foods effect your body. This knowledge is so powerful. With this knowledge, you can tailor a diet and lifestyle that is customized to your body.
If you take what you have learned from your elimination diet–in my case, Whole30– and apply it to your everyday life, you will experience such positive changes in your health, digestion, and maybe even your waistline.
But if you find yourself reacting poorly to your favorite foods, you might feel super restricted and not be happy with your diet. That is where the Food Freedom plan comes in to play.
Is it worth it?
This plan requires you to focus on your food and make decisions based on what you already know. Food Freedom begs the question, “Is this (insert food here) worth the (insert consequence here)?”
When you approach a food that you know makes you feel sick or causes inflammation, ask yourself that question. Is it worth the consequence?
If it’s your grandmother’s famous cookie that she only makes on Christmas and you look forward to this cookie every year, then yes, it might be worth the stomach ache. Eat one and savor every bite.
If it’s a sugar cookie with frosting and sprinkles on it from Kroger and you like it but you could live without it, then no, it is probably not worth it. So don’t eat it.
This way of thinking allows me to live a healthy lifestyle, while still enjoying life. It keeps me from the yo-yo diet cycle which, in my opinion, is no way to live.
Challenges, like the Whole30, aren’t meant to be forever diets. They were created to jump start to a healthy and maintainable lifestyle. It is not a quick fix. Its a step in the right direction. The Food Freedom plan is the forever diet. Because, as cliche as it sounds, what they say is true. Its not a diet, its a lifestyle.
Food Freedom Favorites
Since my reintroduction, I have found a couple yummy treats that I include in my Food Freedom plan.
Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Holy moly, these dark chocolate peanut butter cups are THE BOMB. They are such a delicious treat. They are 100% organic and lower in sugar. Reese’s has nothing on Justin’s in my opinion.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet
I tried Rachael’s Good Eats Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet shortly after my reintroduction. It is AMAZING! It’s so moist and decadent. The amazing thing is its grain free! If you would like to make it yourself, here is the link! https://rachaelsgoodeats.com/cashew-chocolate-chip-cookie-skillet/
Siete Nacho Tortilla Chips
These tortilla chips are not comparable to Doritos, sadly, but they are super crispy and have great flavor! BONUS: They are grain free! They are a little pricey and I have only found them at Whole Foods, but they are definitely an awesome treat!