Tuesday, 31 July 2012

#WIAW - Whole 30 Update

 It's What I Ate Wednesday brought to by the Peas and Crayons
Confession: After about 6 days of Whole 30, I am Whole 30 no longer. (*sigh*) 

Okay so let me explain, because I feel like my Whole 30 post got a lot of attention - both good and bad.

The first few days of my Whole 30 challenge started out really well. I was feeling light and energized. And I was really surprised that I was not hungry, because I was so sure I was going to be. I enjoyed the meals I was making and was really excited about the whole process. But admittedly my training was light on both days. One was a rest day, following Warrior Dash, and the other included a 90 min Hot Yoga session.

Wednesday was actually where things started to go downhill for me. I ran 16 km (or 10 miles) on Wednesday morning. I stuck to the Whole 30 plan, which advocates a small light meal before exercise, and had trail mix and melon before I started my run. I completed the full 16 km, and generally felt good out there. It was at a slower pace than I am used to, but again the Whole 30 plan said to expect that in the first week. By 3 pm that afternoon my energy levels took a serious dive and my stomach wasn't too happy either. I knew I was making a lot of changes to my diet and still demanding quite a lot from my body physically, so I figured it would just take some time to pass.

I will spare you the details, but despite sticking with the the Whole 30 plan and my training, I spent Thursday and Friday being very sick to my stomach. I doubt very little of what I ate from Wednesday night until Friday night was actually absorbed as usable energy for my body. And by Friday afternoon, I was shaking and resigned to the couch.

Something was just not working for me. My body was not happy, I felt horrible, and I was missing my Friday training run. So something had to give. I made myself a bowl of plain pasta to ease my angry tummy, and felt better almost immediately!

The Whole 30 describes my symptoms as "carb flu", and is apparently common for a lot of people when they cut out grains. They also said those symptoms can last for quite awhile, but because I only have a limited time before my Marathon, I don't think now is the right time to try to wait it out. I know that the Whole 30 program has worked for a lot of people. And I know a ton of people who advocate this lifestyle. But diet is one of those things that is very personal. What works for someone doesn't always work for someone else. And at this point, with the type of training I am doing, this plan did not work well for me. Don't get me wrong, I think that the Whole 30 raised a lot of valid points for me...

1. There are a lot of extras in my diet that I don't need  
Sugars/Sweeteners, Diary, and White Potatoes are definitely things I am going to continue to try to do without. I have learned that dairy does make me feel sluggish. And I can drink my coffee black, skip the juice, and the protein bars filled with extra sugar. Those things are not necessary.

2. I rely too heavily on carbs for my energy. 
Prior to Whole 30 I would guess there were a lot of days where I ate processed carbs at almost every meal - granola for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, a bar of some kind of a snack, and pasta for dinner. I think I need some carbs to fuel my long runs, but probably not as many as I was taking in.

3. I still have a lot to learn about nutrition.
Which is why rather than continuing to experiment on my own, I have decided to start working with a Nutritionist. Let's just be honest and say that I really have no idea what I am doing, especially when it comes to nutrition and this type of training. So I am calling in the Calvary. Miranda Gibson is a Holistic Sports Nutritionist, and she is willing to take me on as a client and help me reach Marathon Glory.
(Note: you can click on her name to check out her blog and services)

So this week I am filling out a food and activity journal for Miranda to review and analyze for me, and we will take it from there. Nutrition is still something that I want to focus on. And an area I can definitely improve. It has just become very clear to me that I am out of my element and I need the extra help to be able to make that happen.

I will keep you all posted on the results.
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,