After all of those amazing Christmas cookies I made in December (which we thoroughly enjoyed), Scott and I decided to do a Whole 30 January. So, no added sugars, grains, dairy, legumes, and alcohol.

Now, as I always tell you, this wasn’t about being punitive or restrictive but about giving our bodies the reset they were calling out for. Any time you take on any restriction, the most important thing you can consider is your WHY.

We made a couple of planned exceptions (which of course the Whole 30 will tell you not to do, but, guess what?  You get to make your own rules. Making planned exceptions rather than just randomly giving into desires/cravings is interesting to play with.)

The big takeaways for me and “food for thought” for you are:

  1. Cravings are generally mental, not physical – and challenging your mind to get out of its habitual desire/reward cycle is very worthwhile.

When you have a craving for something, but you don’t get the sense it’s what your body really wants, can you pause – and just be with the wanting?  Usually it will pass.  If not, get curious about what need it is filling for you that might be more effectively filled by something else.  Even just delaying gratification for 5 – 10 minutes starts to rewire your brain!

 

By far, the most challenging part of this for me is the alcohol. I am always looking to recalibrate my relationship with alcohol.  As you have seen, we enjoy making craft cocktails and having lived in New Orleans and now Charleston, alcohol is a big part of socializing in many crowds — a huge topic to write about at another time.  But overconsumption is neither physically nor financially viable.

For the most part, going without was easier than I thought, except when…

  1. It was time to celebrate! I had a couple of big wins that I really wanted to mark, and it became starkly apparent that we celebrate by drinking – going out for a nice drink or two.  Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but this no-go zone really gave me pause.  I had to make a choice of either not celebrating the win or finding a different way – I was forced to get a little creative.

What did I choose?  A dance party!  Thankfully, Scott was willing to go along with my plan so we blasted some music and danced around like fools.  It was really fun!!

When you are used to using food or alcohol for purposes other than nourishment – to celebrate, to de-stress, to unwind, to socialize – intentionally finding another way – expanding your repertoire, so to speak, is a unique challenge that will open up new pathways for you.

How do you use food and alcohol?  Take an inventory.  See if you want to make some changes.  And if you need help and support in finding another way, I’d love to be that for you. Book a free call with me to discuss your challenges, goals, opportunities!

May your days be truly delicious and satisfying!

Hi! I’m Laura Jarrait and I work with women who adore good food but feel like it’s running or ruining their lives. They don’t want to diet or quit socializing around food but are tired of feeling less than their best and guilty, obsessive, or confused about what they eat. I help them keep the pleasure and drop the stressful thinking and extra weight, so they feel confident, light and free — all without ending their love affair with food!

I would be thrilled to help you do the same! Get my free Beautiful You guide that teaches YOU how to eat with pleasure and thrive at your natural weight or learn more about how I can support you in your eating, body love, and weight-loss goals.