I am pleased to report that I have survived the first five days of my Whole30 challenge. No wheat, grains, sugars, artificial sweeteners, dairy, legumes, alcohol or anything processed, packaged, or refined. This meant saying no to my daily morning coffee with cream. No bagel before my long weekend run. I had to pass on the basket of warm pretzel rolls when I met my grandfather out for dinner. I thought about crying when my in-laws opened a bottle of wine from one of our favorite Finger Lake wineries, but I stayed strong and even snacked on fresh fruit while everyone enjoyed cake for dessert.
Many of our eating habits are psychological. Our primal ancestors were hardwired to recognize rich tasting foods as sources of nutrient-dense calories. Modern man still carries this same survival mechanism, but our advances in science and technology have provided us with an unlimited supply of unnatural, artificially-sweetened, refined foods. We taste the richness of these foods and our bodies automatically crave them. Then, we crave more and more of them because even though they are full of calories, these calories contain very few micronutrients, which we need to function.
It has been difficult this week saying no to the many temptations that have come my way. But I am enjoying the rediscovery of the sweetness of fresh local fruit and the colors and crispness of seasonal vegetables. My body is still a bit confused by the change, but I’m excited to continue the challenge.