Nalle30 Update

Most of the time, when there’s no update, it means I have a backlog of photos on my camera, waiting to make it onto the computer, then the internet, then the blog. I can’t blog without a photo to talk about.

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The amazing dessert spread from Katie’s birthday dinner. Also known as The Day I Fell In Love With Macadamia Nuts.

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These pork pineapple kabobs were AMAZING!

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It’s almost tomato season! Are you as excited as I am?

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After this, we decided that red onions and avocado should be a new food group.

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Coconut chicken? Yes, please.

Now, let me update you on the last two weeks.

My Nalle30 ended with a bit of a tantrum. I’m still processing what I learned, and how it’s going to impact my relationship with food, but I can say that it definitely changed my relationship with food. Unfortunately, I don’t think all the changes were healthy.

I’ve always had a positive relationship with food. I’ve never struggled with an eating disorder, have never tried or been tempted to try a fad diet, and have always enjoyed eating fresh whole foods. This, I realize, is fairly amazing and I thank God and my parents for all that.

What I have struggled with is being a rule-following judgmental prig. (In christian circles, one might call this “legalism.”) This has expressed itself in so many different ways in my life – excessive fear of TPing someone’s house as a kid, straight-A student fierceness, unwillingness to attend parties with underage drinking or drug use, relational awkwardness – but it had never entered my food experience, until Whole30.

In my thirst for knowledge and perfect execution of this food adventure, I quickly discovered that I could google almost any food question + whole30 and I’d find a forum filled with people who have answers, experiences, and strong opinions. I LOVED THOSE PEOPLE AND THEIR STRONG OPINIONS! They were helping me to sort the world of food into Good and Bad. I was so angry about the bad food, because My People were angry too. But then, I was judging people around me for associating with that bad food, and I knew I didn’t want to do that, but YOU GUYS THE INTERNET AGREED WITH ME!

And then, strangely and hilariously, the internet turned on one of my friends. It’s not my story to tell, so I won’t, but it was totally innocuous, and we all laughed about it, because everyone has crazy stories about people yelling on the internet. But it made me step back and take a good hard look at this community I had started to identify with. I realized that they were making good choices, and they were working hard for their health, and so much of what they were doing was admirable…but there was no grace. There was no room for mistakes. Literally. The hard line of Whole30 is that if you eat something outside the diet, you should start over at day one.

So, a few days before our expected end date, I was feeling a lot of anxiety. I found some dissenting views online, that helped me to clarify what I was thinking/feeling. In dramatic fashion, I blurted out at dinner that I needed to break up with Whole30, and that night I went out to buy some greek yogurt and some Graeter’s ice cream. I had the yogurt immediately. I waited until the next day to start eating the ice cream.

I discovered that dairy consumption increases congestion in my sinuses, which is exactly what I was hoping to learn from this diet. And though I still need to test individual grains, I discovered that they lead to joint pain.

I’m in this uncomfortable middle-ground where my old diet is no longer acceptable (because of the negative affects on my body) but I need to emotionally separate myself from Whole30 (Katie wisely suggested I give up THE INTERNET FORUMS instead of the diet). To emphasize the break-up, I had lots of ice cream this past weekend, and pizza, and a cupcake. I bought a candy bar at the drugstore yesterday, and ate it all. I didn’t really enjoy it, though. I might have been craving sweet potato chips instead.

Three out of four in our house decided to continue on a paleo-type meal plan, and to split responsibility for buying food and cooking meals. I think it’s a great transition for us, but I’m probably going to have an awkward relationship with food for a while. This makes me sad, and a little angry, but I’m sure I’ll get back to a healthy place in time.

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First meal post-Nalle30. Potatoes and summer squash from our CSA, tomatoes from our neighbors garden!

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