Anyway... The vacation was great but after quite a bit of eating out (we're used an average of 1x per week normally), I'm ready to bump up the super clean eating and not just feel good but great all over again! One of my cousins and I are going to do a Whole30 starting tomorrow, Saturday, February 22nd. I'm reaching out to see if anyone else would like to join us!
So what exactly is a Whole30? I'd be happy to fill you in... :)
The Whole30 is a program that was created by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. They are awesome but be prepared for a good dose of tough-love from them :D Many foods such as sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes might be having a negative impact on your health such as aches & pains, inability to recover from injury, inability to lose weight, digestive issues, skin issues, problems with fertility, low/non-exist energy, etc. The Hartwigs suggest stripping these foods from your diet for 30 days to see how they are affecting you. Their promise is that your life will change over the 30 days. I know it did for me & I'm ready to do it again!
The Whole30 Rules
I've summarized the rules but you can check out the official program and their other resources here.
1. Eat real food:
- Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds.
- Added sugar of any kind (maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, splenda, xylitol, etc.)
- Don't consume alcohol (not even in cooking)
- Grains are out (includes but is not limited to: wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, sprouted grains, quinoa, etc.)
- Do not eat legumes (black, red, pinto, kidney, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, any form of soy, etc.)
- Dairy (yogurt, kefir, sour cream, cheese, etc.) is out... with the exception of ghee/clarified butter. I know this is probably the toughest one for me. I tend to miss some quality cheese and butter but it's only 30 days!
- Don't consume MSG, carrageenan, or sulfites.
- Do not eat white potatoes
- No paleo-ifying dessert or junk food choices. Dallas and Melissa really stress the importance of not trying to "shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold..." With that, hold off on the paleo pizza, almond-flour muffins, and coconut milk ice cream for these 30 days.
- Last but not least... You aren't allowed to step on the scale during the 30 days. If you want, weigh in on the first day and on Day 30 when you're done if you're curious. If you don't care, don't worry about the scale. It's not a great indicator of healthy anyway :)
These are the steps I would suggest in getting ready but there are also some on the Whole30 site.
1. Buy coconut oil and Ghee/Clarified butter (or make your own) if you don't have any.
2. Stock up on plenty of quality meat (chicken, beef, fish, etc.) & tons of veggies!
3. Throw out anything that's going to torture you all month. If you don't want to throw it away, I'm sure you can find someone to take it off your hands.
4. Meal Plan. Keep it simple but you're much more likely to succeed if you have a plan. Having a handful of go-to meal recipes can also aid in your Whole30 success. Meal planning also includes looking ahead for meals away from home, where you may not know if there will be any Whole30 compliant options available. Take the stress out and bring your own food to eat.
5. Write down the current status of your body. Examples of this would be acne, body acne, bloating, join paint, poor sleep, routine headaches, low energy, for the ladies - missing/painful/irregular periods, etc. Anything you're not happy with, write it down and see if anything changes in that area within your Whole30. It will only take a couple of minutes but be specific. Instead of listing "joint pain", write down "right knee pain" or whatever it is. When you feel amazing after your Whole30, I want you to have something to look back on so that you can really see just how much progress you've made. It can be hard to notice and remember all the positive changes when feeling really great all over becomes your new "normal."
6. Take measurements (waist, thighs, arms) and a picture. Sometimes we don't know the progress we've made until we have a visual. If you just want to feel good in your skin & clothes don't worry about this step.
7. Make sure you have a support group. I have started a private group on Facebook for this Whole30 group so we can cheer each other on, share recipes, talk about successes and struggles or whatever you want to use it for! There's also a Whole30 Daily Newsletter that you can sign up for, a Whole30 Forum, and Whole30 logs, to help you throughout the challenge.
My Thoughts on a Whole30
Is it hard? In my opinion, yes. Especially the first few days but it gets easier quicker than you think it will and actually becomes very freeing. Our bodies want to be healthy and will show signs of healing pretty early on during the 30 days.
Will you get positive results from doing a Whole30? Absolutely! I can promise you that. Each person's results are different, which is no surprise, right? It's not a weight-loss program but I'd wager to say that most people lose at least a little bit of weight during a Whole30. That's what happens as your "hormonal clog" starts to clear and your body is being nourished! I definitely lost inches, especially off my thighs and waist during my first Whole30. It only took about a week to notice that my clothes were starting to get baggy. I also had bloating disappear, skin clear up, and my hormones started regulating normally again. I could go on and on about all of the positive things I experienced!
If you decide to join me for a Whole30 and have been eating a lot of grains and/or processed foods, make sure you eat plenty of protein and healthy fats at the start of these 30 days to help you feel full and satiated. It will take a little time for your body to get used to the substantial drop in daily carbohydrates.
Do I have any takers in trying out a Whole30? Send me a message or leave a comment if you're going to join us in doing a Whole30. We'd love to have you along for the ride!
Also wanted to check in on this week's challenge. Have you found some fun ways to share wellness?