Whole30 Round 2: More PRs, New Foods, Zero Regrets
Another 30 days, another Whole30 challenge conquered!
Tuesday night, with an awesome breakfast-for-dinner feast of kale and spinach scrambled eggs with cocoa-cinnamon roasted buttercup squash, I finished my second round of the whole Paleo foods challenge laid out in “It Starts with Food.”
The next night, I celebrated with an amazing dinner (still Paleo) at Capital Grille with my guy that included one of the best cabernet sauv’s I have ever had and delicious salmon with asparagus and mushrooms.
This round felt easier, more natural, and stronger than the first round. This time around I knew how big my portions needed to be (ginormous, basically) at each of the three meals, and I was better at balancing fuel needs with my robust group fitness teaching and personal training schedule. I discovered new foods, like kelp noodles and buttercup squash!
The “Tiger Blood” phase came faster (by about day 5) than in Round 1, and it remained strong for the duration. I smoked a few 5ks and 10ks, hitting first place in my age group and/or top female overall in my last few races with paces of 6:48 and faster…
…and even amid one of the busiest months of PR work, community work, and fitness, my energy did not flag. Coming off this round, I feel completely elated and invincible, in fact. Like this:
Whole 30 gets huge credit for this.
There is no way that I could have sailed through April – one of the busiest, most high-stress months so far this year – the way I did had I been putting fast food and processed Franken-stuff into my Badass.
Best example: Amid the week of madness and stress that came with planning the 5.2 at 5 for Boston fundraiser for Boston Marathon victims, the saving grace was the dependability and stability of knowing I had all my healthy meals prepared and waiting. That whole food was vital, as I was definitely shorter on sleep and higher on stress trying to put together such a huge event in such little time.
During the week before this second Whole30 round, I enjoyed a rich, decadent homemade banana pudding that my good friend GingerMantra’s mom made for her birthday dinner. It was so delicious, and I don’t regret eating it. But let’s just say (without gross detail) that my body spent the ENTIRE night rejecting that super-sweet mix of dairy, grains, and sugar in a way that kept me up all night. I woke up feeling like total, sleep-deprived crap.
Message from by body to me: “Oh, hell no. We don’t like all that!”
I could not afford a sleepless night like that during this crazy-busy past month. Whole30 Round 2 saved my Badass big time. My Jawbone UP, which tracks deep sleep, confirmed that as soon as I went back on the second round of Whole30, my deep sleep periods improved while my light sleep periods decreased.
I needed every minute of that deep sleep!
So that’s really one of the big discoveries for me this round: Whole30 and Paleo eating in general makes me STRONGER. It keeps me ready to tackle any challenge, any huge undertaking. Preparing my foods for the week on Saturday and Sunday is a 2-hour investment that SAVES ME all week long from a huge amount of stress: “What’s for lunch? Will I have time to go get something from takeout? What should I eat? Will it make me crash at 3 pm?” With this way of eating, I never worry or go hungry or have sugar or energy crashes. I hum along all day long like a steady, strong train. It ROCKS.
Yes, I still love dessert. But I am realizing how much the body does not need nor LIKE some of these foods in regular consumption. Occasionally? Absolutely. Cake is YUMMY.
But Whole30 Round 2 proved to me that I perform best eating whole, real, unprocessed, unsweetened foods. I believe it so much, that I plan to prepare for my ZoomaRun Annapolis Half Marathon on June 1 by starting another round of Whole30 in mid-May – timing it so I am in full Tiger Blood by the time I get to that start line with a goal of beating my last PR of 1:44.
Tigers don’t survive on a steady diet of cookies, fast food and cake, people. So neither will I.