An old high school friend of mine sent me an email the other day asking me how I got started and looking for a little advice. Specifically they were asking about the Whole 30 and my thoughts/experiences.
Instead of researching and giving them platitudes I decided to be real. I mean, this is someone I've know over 20 years, what did I have to lose?
And then, I thought, why not be real here, too. So here is my response, raw and unedited:
So - my diet pretty much sucked until I was 30 and actually left southwestern pa. Let's face it - I grew up near Pittsburgh, the land of pierogies, hot sausage sandwiches and beer. I just really got into the veggies in the past couple of years.
I started small & I don't know if any vegetables were really involved in the first few years now that I look back on it. They took me a long time to get used to....I had a protein shake for breakfast every morning, yogurt and fruit or a peanut butter and egg sandwich mid morning for a snack (it's good, don't knock it) and a pretty "normal" dinner like rice or potatoes with pork roast, chicken or fish, tacos with lean (90/10) ground meat. I probably also ate too much processed stuff - like protein powders, ready to drink shakes and protein bars but that is what worked for me and it was a good start.
For lunch I had leftovers from the night before or would eat something like a protein bar and yogurt or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a can of tuna & brown rice mixed together with salt and pepper. I ate nothing fried, drank absolutely nothing but water and had absolutely no fast food for about a year with the exception of pizza almost every Friday night and a 6-pack of beer. It was a major cheat night. (some of the never eating out had to do with the fact that I couldn't afford it at that point in my life but it helped tremendously)
I worked out 4-5 mornings a week and I leaned out pretty significantly. It took about 6 months to see a significant change in my body shape and to get used to always feeling at least a little hungry. I used gum and water a lot to keep myself from reaching for snacks. My weight didn't change but I went down 3 sizes in my clothes. (From a 10/12 to a 6, which might not mean anything to a man).
The Whole30 wouldn't have worked for me back then AT ALL. It took me 7 years of eating well to be able to do that successfully. Even now I struggle with veggies. I eat A LOT of eggs. A couple a day, sometimes more. I usually have one salad so it takes care of it all.
I relied heavily on EAS products. You can get them on Amazon or at Target. Or Walmart. Or you don't have to go with them at all; I just happen to like them! I did a post on protein powders on the blog a while back that you might have seen - but if not it's here: http://kristenlippencott.
To sum it all up in menu form, this was my life for about a year. I took comfort in the monotony of it; it made it easy for me to stay in control. This is really just an example to give you an idea of how I cut out calories and unnecessary evils and leaned up. I can try to give you more options if you'd like.
Breakfast (5 a.m. - pre-workout): protein shake - 2 servings of protein powder, 1 banana, 1 cup strawberries, 8 oz 2% milk.Snack (9 a.m.): sandwich - 1 scrambled egg, 2 pieces whole grain toast, 2 TB peanut butter OR ready-to-drink shake + fruit OR yogurt + fruit Lunch (1 p.m.): leftovers OR 1 can tuna + 1 cup brown rice with salt & pepper OR peanut butter & jelly on whole grain bread OR a protein bar + fruit or yogurt Dinner (6 p.m.): white or sweet potatoes with chicken, fish or pork OR pasta with lean ground meat and minimal pasta sauce OR rice with chicken, fish or pork
I feel like this is no where near specific enough in regards to lunch and especially dinner but I hope it helps a little.
And like I told him, if you have more questions or need some advice, let me know. You can always reach me at KristenLippencott@gmail.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kmlippencott
My diet now looks very different than it did when I buckled down in 2009. But it's grown as I have and balanced out as I understand the importance of flexibility when it comes to nutrition, exercise and specific goals as related to those.