It’s a 3 day weekend! Yay! I’m currently enjoying a lazy day. Thus far it has consisted of Netflix, studying, and a 4 mile tempo run (maybe not so lazy on that one). I’m officially in 5k training mode. I feel both unprepared and optimistic for this racing season. I’m getting faster overall on my runs, but I’m not necessarily where I’d want to be on my max effort pushes. Almost all of the speed work I’ve done is speeding up my casual runs and some track workouts consisting of much shorter distances. At one point I did a more regimented track workout training program, but 1000m repeats are disgusting. This week I eased back into it with 5x400m repeats and then 2×200. I neglected speed somewhat over the holidays so this left me sore!

Back to my tempo run. I did 4 miles, with the inner 2 miles at roughly a 8:00 pace. My 5k time clocked in at just over 26:00, which is a good sign because it included my non-tempo portion! But I do the tempo part on a slight downhill. Overall, I felt good though! My next 5k is February 7 and while I may not be gunning for a PR, I’m hoping to place! I won my age group 2 years ago and I missed placing by a few seconds last year (it’s a quite small race).

I have some fun food to share, so I’ll scatter that throughout my thoughts on the aforementioned topic of today’s post—the Whole30.

I actually have fairly strong feelings about the Whole30. This year, it feels like everyone is embarking on the new year with the Whole30. As a disclaimer, I’ve never done the Whole30. I vaguely tried at one point, but lasted 3 days. So if you want to take my contemplations with a grain of salt, feel free to.


One of my favorite ways to eat Mexican food is in salad form. I love the fresh veggies+guacamole!

Disclaimer #2: I could never actually do the Whole30 or Paleo in general with my eating restrictions. I don’t eat red meat, and I’m allergic to nuts and coconut. That severely limits my options, especially for healthy fats!

If I’ve learned anything about health over the past years, it is that health is a journey. Different knowledge and experiences have drastically shaped my view of what is healthy. I think longtime readers will probably see this shift. I think my views have been to the moon and back since I started this blog.

If you read my early posts, it’s clear I was passionate and knowledgable about nutrition, but maybe not in a practical sense. I viewed sugar as the devil and always felt like I was poisoning my body by eating it. I did several no sugar challenges. A year into my blog, I did a real food challenge.


Pizza made on GF bread.

Then last winter I got sick. I no longer viewed food in terms of what was healthy, but rather in terms of what wouldn’t make me ill.

And now, I finally have a diagnosis, which brought even more changes. And guess what? My view of healthy changed again.

Here are my thoughts now. I still think sugar is the devil. I think overconsumption of sugar and processed foods leads to many of the health problems were are dealing with today. I think that eating 100% unprocessed food is probably pretty healthy. But here’s the thing. It’s not necessarily sustainable. When I cut out all processed foods, I felt fantastic. I looked fantastic. I was glowing. But I was also CRAZY. I felt so restricted. I couldn’t eat anything, and therefore I craved everything. I would eat large quantities of healthy food to try and stave off the cravings. And when it was over? OF COURSE I went back to the sweet stuff. So much.


I actually slept in until 8:30 this morning which I considered a victory. I rewarded myself with chocolate chip cranberry orange bread—the last piece. Plus some amazing turkey. I ended up not eating the broccoli—too early for spicy!

While my project wasn’t nearly as restrictive as the Whole30, it still made me crazy. And honestly? I like sweets. I don’t want to deny myself of them forever. And in the society we live in today? Honestly it’s not practical.


I got a 6 month fruit and cheese club for Christmas and this was part of shipment #1! Yay!

In the past couple of years, I started getting a better idea of what moderation is. And overall I was probably at least a little bit healthier. And now with my new style of eating, I really am understanding and practicing it. I honestly feel like I’m a different person now, and I can almost sense myself transforming. Maybe it’s because I was ill for so long and now feel so much healthier. Part of me wonders if gastroparesis is something I’ve always had a little bit before it flared up really badly and now I’m finally dealing with it. This is sort of unrelated to the subject of healthy living in general, but one of the symptoms of gastroparesis is blood sugar issues and I’m wondering if now that I’m eating in a way that seems to keep flare ups at bay, this is going away too. When I’m respecting my stomach, I’m not craving things like I did before, and I WANT to eat more healthy foods.


Flourless chocolate cake. Amazing.

I think that was a convoluted way of saying that unprocessed food is fantastic, and should make up most of a healthy diet, but we should also include some fun foods because life without flour less chocolate cake is just not a life I would want to lead. When we allow ourselves to eat “unhealthy” foods, we regain some of our sanity, in my opinion. When no food is off limits, it’s easier to build a healthy relationship. For me, this permission has allowed me to see my diet as a whole, and not just one food in isolation. This has made it easier for me to balance my diet. Am I always perfect with moderation? Definitely not. I’ve never been consistent with it but I honestly feel that with the way my stomach is forcing me to eat, I’m going to be much more successful.

Eating in moderation is one of the most cliche saying out there right now, and it’s more complicated than it sounds. It’s not just a practice. It’s a mindset. On the other hand, eating in moderation doesn’t mean eating lots of junk food in moderation. It means stacking your diet with the good stuff and allowing room for more decadent cuisine. And as I stated early, health is a journey. You will have lots of successes and lots of failures, and it’s messy, and there’s no “perfect diet.”

But right now I’m happy, so I’ll go ahead and call it good enough.


Have you tried the Whole30? What are your thoughts?


2 comments on “Life Lately, Healthy Living, and My Thoughts on Whole30

  1. Rina

    I haven’t tried Whole30, but given that I have a past of disordered eating, I think that Whole30 is ultimately unsustainable. It is difficult to completely avoid sugar without becoming restrictive, and difficult to be restrictive without being disordered. I think Whole30 has good intentions but it is not practical in the long run.

    1. astottler Post author

      I 100% agree and I’m glad you are able to tell what is best for you!

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