Whole30 has changed my life. Like, seriously. I had been discontent with my body all year, but didn't really care what I was putting into it. The weekend before October, I thought enough was enough and I was going to challenge myself. 30 days without sugar, grains or dairy. Only meat, veggies, fruits, and nuts. During the first week, my body went through sugar withdrawal and my stomach HATED me. But after week one--and learning how to get enough food by snacking throughout the day--eating healthy became pretty easy. 

I went from being someone who cooked a sweet potato in the microwave and making scrambled eggs for dinner to cooking meals every night--enough for dinner and then lunch the next day. It's been two or three weeks since I finished Whole30 and I've decided to stick with it, with a few cheats here and there. I've had about a 1/3 of a tortilla twice, cheese on a few salads, and salad dressings that I know included sugar. And, once a week, I treat myself to three to five pieces of Sprouts' white chocolate caramel chews. So good.

Aside from that, I still grocery shop at Sprouts once a week for the bulk of the food that I'll consume for the next seven days, and another trip mid-week for fresh meat/fish. And while I'm no great cook by any means, I've been preparing meals that I find to be quite tasty. I've found that sweet potatoes are my favorite and can be prepared so many delicious ways and that the oven is my friend. One whole medium sweet potato, forked and lightly covered in olive oil + sea salt, at 450 degrees for an hour. Add a few chopped walnuts + coconut chips. Divine. You can also eat it plain, super soft + delicious. I've also prepared sweet potato chips. Peel the skin, cut super thin slices, put in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes, flipping once at 10 mins. Or chop up a sweet potato or two into small chunks and bake at 450 for 20 to 25 minutes. Mmmm.

Some other favorites are cooking grass-fed ground beef to make lettuce wrapped tacos. I add avocado and prepare pico de gallo for mine (chopped onion, green onion, chopped tomato, cilantro, half a lime, garlic powder, and salt + pepper). I buy small sirloin steaks at least once a week. I also bake a lot of fish--salmon most of the time, and tilapia occasionally. I make asparagus for a quick and easy side. Half a bunch, lightly drizzled with olive oil + salt + pepper + garlic powder in the oven at 350 for 12 minutes. For breakfast, I always eat a chopped banana + raw cashews + coconut chips. My splurge snacks are Lara bars (the ones without chocolate or peanuts) and salt + vinegar almonds (better than chips!) and sliced granny smith apple topped with almond butter and coconut chips.

The biggest thing I've learned about this new lifestyle is that if you want it bad enough, you CAN do it. You can have self control. And that's with anything. If you want it bad enough, you can succeed. If you don't, it's not going to happen.

Test of my will power: The other night I went to a waffle food truck with my family and packed sliced apple with a small container of almond butter to eat. Simply put, I don't want to go back to putting everything in my body. I love feeling full like I'm getting the perfect amount to eat and not feeling overly full. I love feeling like my tummy is flat again. And I love knowing that I know what ingredients are going into my body. I never cared before and now I do. I believe that what we eat does matter. For me, this is the first step of being healthy. Now if I can just apply this much self-discipline to exercising...