I’ve been talking about my dining habits lately, most notably my February participation in the Whole 30 and the major realization that I’m an abstainer, not a moderator. I wanted to take a moment to stress just how important it is to get clear on which of the two groups you belong to. The other day, I came across a comment on a friend’s Facebook page that was something along the lines of: “There is such a thing as being healthy while indulging in certain things (at least in moderation)….Balance is a beautiful thing.”
Those are obviously the words of a moderator.
And that theory works wonderfully for moderators. It does not, however, work for abstainers. And when the thing to abstain from or to moderate is something that isn’t particularly healthy for you (be it dairy if you’re intolerant, wheat if you’re allergic, or even something completely different such as drugs), it’s vital that you get clear on what works for you: moderation or abstention.
See how important it can be to figure out who you are? It’s a complex question, with many ways of answering it. And this helps me lead into my own adventures in dining. I initially planned to extend the Whole 30 (actually, more like a Whole 29 in my case because it was February plus March 1st) into March. But then I decided to take a day off, eat some junk that I was craving, and then launch into another Whole 30 (ish) for the month of March.
So that’s what I did on Saturday: I ate wheat, and sugar, and dairy. Actually, I based all three meals and snacks around these evil three, partly in an attempt to get in all the foods I had been craving toward the end of the month and partly to remind myself of exactly how these “foods” make me feel.
In one word: horrible.
It was a fantastic reminder of exactly why I need to abstain from these foods. Some of it was enjoyable, some of it wasn’t. I had been missing wine with meals, but then remembered it wasn’t a big deal at all. And actually none of it was a big deal: not the French toast with maple syrup, not the sourdough bread with butter, not the artichoke and spinach dip with cheese. Yes, it was a wheat fest. No wonder I felt awful much of the day. I was also extremely thirsty, but of course the added water made me feel even worse.
So I’m back on my Whole 30 once again. I’ll be sure to post in the next few days as to whether there are any detox effects since I only ate junk for one day (fingers crossed). And I’ll also mention about whether it affects my cravings.
And onto the burning question: will I take another “break” at the end of March? At this point, I certainly hope not.