Top 10 ways to be successful on Whole30

Here are the top ways I was successful on my eating adventure this past month.

1.  I made the journey public. So, this may not be for everyone, but for me, I knew that social pressure is very powerful for me.  The times that I wanted to give up or cheat, I knew that I was going to be accountable to a lot of people, so I was as public as I could be without taking out a billboard on the side of the highway.

2. Buying Well Fed and reading Whole9's blog. Even though I am a VERY simple cook, eating this way is boring if all you do is eat chopped veggies and chicken.  (I do this a lot, because it works for me, but I can start to feel the boredom set in sometimes.)  There really are ENDLESS ways to eat very, very well by sticking to the Whole30 plan, but you have to be a bit adventurous and get out of the box.  Well Fed saved my ass many times.  Recipes are easy, and ingredients are basic. Boredom with your food is a sure way to want to cheat.

3. Spend some money at Penzy's. I can not even begin to tell you the power of well placed spices.  Kale with spices, meat with spices, lemon infused green beans....just go to a spice store  and realize that your whole world is going to explode with flavor.  I didn't realize how much processed food is just stuffed with salt and sugar until this experiment. Now I am in love with different spices.

4. Plan ahead.  This is the one that probably was the biggest factor in my success.  The only times I even felt like cheating were times that I didn't have food on hand or I hadn't planned ahead.  The times I did think ahead, my days sailed perfectly. Sunday was cook-up day and Wednesday or Thursday was restock day.  I am now in the habit and enjoy listening to pod casts or good playlists while I cook and chop and prepare.

5. Eat enough.  Since my appetite took a nose dive, I found on some days that I didn't eat enough and my energy sunk.   You need to force yourself to eat sometimes, just so that you don't let the tank get on empty and find yourself wanting to dive headlong into a pizza.

6. Ask for support.   I learned through this process that I tend to avoid asking for help when I need it most.  So, this time, I did ask for help from those closest to me.  I asked friends to support me when we went out, I asked readers to keep me on track, I asked yogis to keep me honest.  You are not alone, and you will need the support.  This is not easy.

7. Know why you are doing this. There are days that are tough, but if you know why you are doing this, and you can anchor yourself in the real reason.  For me, I was really motivated by changing my overall health. I want to keep cancer away, keep inflammation down, and keep my energy sky high. I have a lot of stuff I want to do in this life, so I want the energy and stamina to do it all.  A good anchor.

8. Ease up on exercise for the month.  I dealt with a lot of energy peaks and troughs in this experiment.  The only exercise I did was the rather gentle kind.  I did yoga, I danced, I took some walks, but in general, I dialed it back.  I am going to layer it back in this month, as I progress on my journey, but it would have been WAY too much to handle energy wise if I had also had a tough workout schedule.   Changing one thing at a time (and your entire eating philosophy is a BIG one thing) is really helpful. (PS, I will also tell you that I worked out a LOT before this experiment and never really noticed changes in my body.  The key really is FOOD!)

9. Keep a journal.  My blog helped a lot. It's interesting to look back and see how you are changing.  Even if you only write ONE sentence a day that sums up the day.  Super helpful.

10. DO NOT make this about weight.  I have NO IDEA how much weight I lost. I don't even care.  My body has changed - there is no doubt. My clothes fit better, my skin is clearer, my mood is better, my sleep is deeper, my loving nature is restored.  I wouldn't change ANY of that for a number on a scale.  But I also know from past experience that if I had expectations for weight loss, and I didn't meet them, I would have felt discouraged and given up.  FUCK that scale (sorry for the f-bomb, but I really mean it).  It doesn't matter.  What does matter is that you feel happy and healthy.

There are probably more, but ten seems like a good number!    If you are on the journey, I would LOVE to hear what you think makes you successful!