I’ll never forget my first science fair project. Which Battery Lasts The Longest? It was first grade, and the scientific method was already being ingrained in my inquisitive brain.
My parents I compared the major national brands with store label batteries, and used Burt & Ernie bumper cars as the vehicle for experimentation (pun intended). I let the cars run in a contained environment until they all died and one could be named the victor (it was Duracell in case you were wondering, but don’t let this sway your next battery purchase as this experiment was not replicated for reliability and was done by a six year old twenty two years ago). Throughout my elementary school years, into AP Environmental Science in high school, my time spent conferring a psychology degree, and ever prevalent in my teaching career, the scientific method has been refined and utilized across multiple contexts. Naturally, at some point, aspects of everyday life started being approached with scientific forethought. And so here we are, a week into Whole30 (this would be the data collection stage fyi), and I’m already gaining plenty of insight:
- Three square meals a day — I was worried about no snacking, but quickly adjusted. I’ve been tracking the time between meals and when I start to get hungry, so having this general awareness has been really informative. I start to feel slight hunger pangs about an hour or so before I typically eat lunch, and since I’m at work so early in the morning, it’s a good 5-6 hours between breakfast and lunch. Drinking 2-4 cups of water between meals can at least defer some hunger pangs.
- Stew for breakfast — So quick and easy. Really, anything made in a big batch requiring minimal prep time in the morning. The stew was great because as I was reheating it on the stove I dropped a couple eggs in (shakshuka style!) for added protein, and topped it off with avocado for the right amount of healthy fats. This week, I made the quick and easy egg casserole pictured below using 10 whole eggs loaded up with a pound of ground turkey and lots of vegetables (recipe on my Facebook page). So far, so good!
- Natural alarm clock — There is a correlation in my data, between Whole30 and my sleep patterns. As any scientist (or social scientist) can attest, correlation does not mean causation. I’m heavily considering confounding factors regarding this matter, particularly the act of going to bed around roughly the same time every night, as well as the sun rising earlier in the morning.
- More dreams — Along with more consistent sleep patterns comes more consistent sleep cycles, particularly REM sleep. I’ve been dreaming a lot more this week. I thought it was too early in my Whole30 to be dreaming about macarons and gluten free cupcakes (seriously, brain, gluten free?)…
- Bye bye brain fog — My previous post was written in the amount of time it took me to eat my lunch (I know, I’m not supposed to be doing anything other than eating during meals. Oops.) Not being focused on food and eating makes room for focusing on the more important things in life. Like thinking, and doing my job.
- Regularity — Not just in the bathroom (though, that’s a great benefit as well). Being prepared and eating regularly is giving me a great sense of calm.
Not So Positives
- Bananas (or chia seeds, or bananas and chia seeds in combination) — I was eating my chia seed pudding as a PWO snack, but then started noticing I was getting rather gassy not too long after eating it. I’m pretty sure it’s the bananas, and probably high fiber of the chia seeds. Back to the drawing board on pre and post workout snacks.
- Couch/Bed FOMO (fear of missing out) — This is my greatest downfall in my life. First thing in the morning, I’d rather cuddle my boo than go work out/cook/eat breakfast. And when I come 4:30pm I’m ready to go home and make dinner with a side of adult conversation and quality time with the couch. I acknowledge this struggle. I will overcome it…. Eventually.
- Cookies and ice cream — When your partner insists on keeping a steady supply of cookie dough in the fridge (and who eats fresh baked cookies without ice cream?) … Sigh. Insert sad puppy face here.
Sweet tooth aside, I’m having fun with this experiment. Though I never really considered the idea of having any food sensitivities beyond your everyday lactose intolerance, I am finding Whole30 to be a great practice in managing food dependencies (hello, sugar) and lifestyle habits. As we’re grilling some super tasty meat out on the grill this afternoon, my amazing partner is being uber cognizant of my Whole30 rules, making sure I’m aware the fluffy potato buns he bought are for him, not me. And so is the cookie dough.
Happy Memorial Day!