I’ve written extensively about embarking on the Whole 30, and also about the very first time I followed a 30-day Paleo diet. But I can’t honestly write about making dietary modifications without admitting that my post-30 eating hasn’t exactly been 100% clean–or Paleo.
Let me explain a little. After completing my Whole30, I had less than two weeks before a jiu jitsu tournament in which I needed to compete at 134.9 pounds. (The next weight class was 164.9, which I didn’t really see as an option.) After a few cheat meals, including a lovely dinner out with friends (where I ate duck roulade en creppinette, with creamy chévre polenta, brussels sprout petals, pea shoots, fig compote and duck jus, followed by a dark chocolate truffle torte with port cherries, chocolate meringue and chocolate ice cream), I proceeded to cut out virtually all carbs in order to cut weight. This was followed by drinking boatloads of water (one and a half gallons a day), which I tapered off in order to dehydrate myself for the sole purpose of losing poundage. Then I hung out in a sauna suit for a while, even making my boyfriend drive me to weigh-ins with the heat in his car turned all the way up, as I baked in the suit (with clothes on top of it), trying to lose that last .2 lbs. I barely made weight, and then did the opposite of what was recommended. Although I managed to slowly drink my mixture of Pedialyte and water, I also stuffed myself that night rather than eating half-portions every several hours. I broke all the recommended guidelines by eating a combination of meats, yams with andouille sausage, chips and guac, collards with smoked turkey and some kind of chocolatey thing or other for dessert. After weighing in at 134.9 (barely), I think I was 138.2 or so the following day.
After competing, I decided to take a few days to just eat whatever I wanted. Although I cut weight following some recommended guidelines from experts (which included some awesome Facebook friends and modified recommendations from the Grappler’s Guide to Sports Nutrition), I still needed a break. I decided that no matter what I put in my mouth, it couldn’t be as bad for my health as what I just did to it. This was followed by some on-again, off-again traveling in which it is very difficult to follow a Paleo diet without a lot of time and energy. I just wasn’t up for it. Of course, I’ve felt sluggish and not quite at optimal health, so my caveman (who’d also been doing a bit of traveling) and I thought about doing a Whole30 again sometime in July or August. But we have tickets for Ultimate Fight Night in Milwaukee, and I really wanted us to go to Kopp’s which I hear from a writer friend has the best frozen custard ever. Last time I was in Milwaukee, I was drinking gallons of water to cut weight and frozen custard wasn’t on the menu. Of course anyone *can* follow the Whole30, but would you always want to?
It was then that we decided to further modify our Whole30. We’d already planned on adding bacon and pastured butter back in, but what about weekend cheat meals? Then we wouldn’t have to do a Whole30. We could just keep eating that way forever! I am still hoping to avoid gluten as much as possible, but am also hopeful that the occasional frozen custard won’t screw up my health and body composition forever, and adding in weekend cheats is also a lot easier than trying to count percentages (“If I have cheat meals 10% of the time, and I’ve had 3 meals a day with 0-2 snacks a day, and it’s Thursday, and my last cheat was the chocolate bar on Monday night, can I eat cornbread today?”)
I will keep you posted!