Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Brunch Philly 2013: Whole30 and more!

Welcome to 2013. With all the New Year's Resolutions and new starts going around, it seems like January is as good a time as any to experiment with new foods. Last year, I tried eating only raw foods for a week. You can read about it here: Brunch Philly's Raw Food Experiment 2012.

This year, I've embarked on something much longer and personally bigger. But let me back up a minute. For health reasons, I've unfortunately had to eliminate gluten from my diet. It's not something that was easy to do and not something that I would be doing if I could avoid it. But after (finally) following my doctor's advice to remove gluten from my diet for 30 days, the results were obvious. I'm hoping that with enough time, someday I may be successfully able to incorporate it again.  But for the time being, I've been eating wheat-free since August.

This makes brunch a bit different, since my favorite brunch foods are the sweet ones: stuffed french toast, pancakes, crepes.... yet you may have noticed that in my most recent reviews I've ordered the eggs. But 2013 has brought an even bigger change.

Some additional health issues have lead me to a place where my body just doesn't feel like me. I needed a "reset" button. Through the wonder of the internet, I stumbled across Whole30. It's a fairly specific plan for 30 days that promises renewed energy levels, no more food cravings, and more.

Brunchmates can attest to my love of all things dark chocolate. The idea of removing it almost entirely from my diet for 30 days (with the except of baking cocoa to be used as a spice), was bittersweet. Cravings gone? Sign me up. Dealing with cravings until they're gone? No fun.

But the need for a reset was strong. So I signed up for Whole30 a week ago today.

I considered doing it as a vegetarian. I had been one for 9 years. But ultimately I decided that if I was going to do this, I was all in. So, yes, I've started eating some limited meat again. This has reminded me why I became vegetarian to begin with: I'm not really a fan. That said, I've decided to stick with it for 30 days and then reassess because so far my body is a lot happier.

This blog entry has gone on long enough, and without enough photos, but a few final things:

1. After the first 3 days of eating only foods approved on the Whole30 list, I am happy to report that indeed, food cravings are gone. And along with it the urge for late night snacking.   While I do really look forward to Day31 when I can eat some chocolate again, I'm already planning to include it on a much more limited basis.

2.  I will be updating Brunch Philly with photos & recipes that I'm trying. Similar to the Raw Foods Diet, one of the best things I find about these food experiments is that it challenges me to cook with new ingredients and expand my horizons in the kitchen. Take for instance tonight, I cooked swordfish for the first time ever along with an amazing creamed cauliflower dish and some homemade pineapple-avocado salsa! I promise that I'll be sharing recipes soon.

3. There are some much bigger things in the works for Brunch Philly. I cannot say more about it just yet, but we (yes, I've lured some brunchmates to join me in this project) have some pretty big things in store for 2013. So if all goes according to plan I'll have some pretty exciting news to share in a few months time.... Stay Tuned!

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