Before I really get into this, I want to make one thing clear: Flourless February is NOT the same as low carb. This is about not eating refined flour. The brain and body need carbohydrates to function properly; it’s just about eating the right carbs. Ok, moving on.
Coming into this challenge, I didn’t eat much flour to begin with. I’m vegan and typically stick to whole foods. In fact, I didn’t have to change my breakfast or lunch at all. My flour intake might just include crackers with my soup at dinner. I don’t know the last time I bought a loaf of bread or anything like that. I chose this because I believed it would be something easy, and I could see if it made any difference in how I felt physically. Going in, I knew it wasn’t something I intended to continue; it was just something I wanted to try.
However, you’d think I was a solid addict because since day one of this challenge, every single food made with flour has made its way into my view to tempt me. I’ve been eating almost exactly the same as before, but for some reason I’m hungrier and wanting snacks. I never snack! What is happening?! I recognize that it’s a psychological thing- having told myself I can’t have it, it’s all I want or seem to notice but good grief. On the positive side, as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been dealing with seasonal affective disorder since the beginning of January. This challenge has prevented a ton of emotional eating since all I want during those times is junk. So, yay for that.
At 10 days in, it turned out that the snack attack only lasted a couple days which is great, but then I had all these snacks I didn’t know what to do with lol. I assume I’ll get through them eventually. I wasn’t struggling at all with my meals. It’s when I saw something I wanted like a bagel or muffin that I don’t typically eat and then had to say no. I’m feeling fortunate I had this challenge to help me say no, but sometimes, it would be nice to just say yes. I wasn’t having cravings or anything which makes sense since I didn’t eat much flour to begin with, but it was hard not having the option for “easy”. I had to be very proactive with my prepping and planning because there are no quick and easy options that don’t have flour other than ridiculously overpriced salads. And no. Just no. I eat a lot of salad, but I’m not paying $10+ for it. Anyway, at a third of the way in, I felt the same. I guess that’s a good thing.
Yes, AND I started to feel like this challenge created a problem where there wasn’t one. Nothing felt different. I didn’t feel different. My food wasn’t much different. The only difference was now when I didn’t let myself have something, it felt like a sacrifice. Before I wouldn’t eat stuff just because I knew I wouldn’t feel good if I ate it, or after thinking on it realized I really didn’t want it. Then I went on with my day. Oh no. Not with this. This made it feel like I was sacrificing something, and I didn’t like that. The last thing I wanted was for this challenge to mess with what is finally a very healthy relationship with food that I have fought hard to attain. While I didn’t abandon it right away, it wasn’t a perfect 30 days, and I did end up quitting going into the last week.
I found myself in a couple situations of poor planning, and well, it is what it is. I’m not trying to be perfect, just checking things out and seeing what adds to my life. I will say that this did have more of an effect on how my body felt than I thought. In those poor planning moments, I felt it. My body didn’t love it, and I found myself not wanting those foods. I wasn’t expecting that because I really didn’t feel much different overall. I didn’t realize that my body felt better until I felt worse, if that makes sense. I’m also wondering if it played a role in the flare up of bursitis in my shoulder. There’s no way to really know, but I wonder. I don’t intend to never eat flour again, but it does affect me, and since the goal is always optimal health, that’s something I can do to better my life, and I can do it in a way that doesn’t feel like a sacrifice or making my life challenging. That’s not sustainable.
As soon as I quit the challenge, the desire for the foods went away, which on one hand is super annoying. On the other hand, it’s nice to know it was purely psychological. It’s always good to have more knowledge about what’s happening. I actually feel really good about ending this challenge which is another thing I didn’t expect. It lets me know how far I’ve come in making sure that I only do things that feel right to me. This wasn’t right for me, not this way. Eating better is always what is right, but I have to do it in a smart way that serves me. Life is too short for anything less. So, that’s a wrap on that challenge. I’m considering it a “fail up”, and I’m looking forward to the next one 😀
2 thoughts on “10 Months of 30 Days…Flourless February”
After a few weeks of trying to follow a low carb/flourless lifestyle, I found that my body became sensitive to refined flour. I would start to crave foods that were made with flour, and even when I refused to eat them, I felt a sense of sacrifice. By the end of the challenge, I had quit because the lack of options to have flour made me feel bad.