My Whole30 Challenge: Part One
Let’s talk Whole30.
The basics: Go 30 days without eating the following:
- NO grains
- NO added sugars
- NO legumes
- NO dairy
- NO alcohol (sigh)
- NO cheats!
You in? If all of those NOs are freaking you out, fear not!I am here put the Whole30 to the test and hopefully give you some insight on whether the Whole30 program is the clean-eating program for you!
So what exactly is the Whole30 Challenge?
In 2009, Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig created the Whole30 program with the goal of changing the way people think about food and to restore your body to its best self. You can read more about this in their book It Starts with Food.The Whole30 program is a 30 day total mind and body reset during which you cut out all grains, added sugars, legumes, dairy, and alcohol. Why? These restricted food groups are known to cause inflammation such as bloating, skin conditions, fatigue, and joint pain, to name a few. The Whole30 program gives your body a break from all of that annoying inflammation and allows your body to heal. And the results can be life-changing!
What happens after 30 days?
After you complete the 30 day reset, you begin to slowly re-introduce those foods that you cut out, one at a time, noting the effects they have on your body. This re-introduction period is probably the most important part of the Whole30 because you have the opportunity to learn so much about your body and its tolerance towards different foods.Once you have re-introduced all the food groups, you can pinpoint which foods make your body happy. You can also pinpoint the culprits that make your body unhappy. You now have the knowledge to customize your diet that allows you to eat the foods you love and still feel great!
Say hello to Food Freedom!
With that powerful knowledge, you can conscious decisions about the food you are using to fuel your body. Considering whether the food you are eating is worth the possible consequences gives you the freedom to eat without guilt, while still keeping your body and health in mind.This is what Melissa Hartwig calls Food Freedom. I won’t go into detail about Food Freedom yet, but doesn’t it sound like a dweam come twue?If this seems like something you would be interested in, I highly recommend picking Melissa’s Food Freedom Forever for more information about Food Freedom.If you want more information on the Whole30 program, there are a ton of resources on Whole30.com!
My reasons for doing Whole30
So now that you have an idea of what the Whole30 program entails, I am going to tell you why I decided to give it a try.During my initial clean-eating detox diet back in 2015 (click here to read more about my weight-loss journey), I felt really great. I started training for a 5k, I was motivated at work and in school, and I was loving my new hot bod. I was definitely in the best shape of my life! But as soon as went back to eating “normally” all of those things went out the window.I went from working out two hours a day to two hours a week. I became a couch potato and I gained back most of the weight that I had shed blood, sweat, and tears to lose. (Side-note: maybe not the blood, but definitely the sweat and tears.) I felt terrible. I was weak, physically and mentally.I began beating myself up over the food I was eating. With every little bite of sinful food, the guilt was right there gnawing at my conscious. I hated feeling guilty for eating food that I really enjoyed. It sucked.
I tried other diets, tracking macros, but nothing seemed to get me back on track. My will power was shot. I couldn’t understand how I once had the will power to complete 6 weeks of eating the same meals every day, yet now I have no will power to turn down any sort of sweet treat, even if I don’t really care for it.After some self-reflection, I realized that the reason my clean-eating detox worked so well was because it was a strict program with strict, black and white rules. Like SUPER strict rules. Like I-ate-the-same-thing-every-day-for-6-weeks kind of rules. No variations, no cheats. But I was able to do it because rules were rules and breaking the rules was off limits.So when I found the Whole30 program, it sounded like exactly what I need. It is a strict program with black and white rules, a ton of resources, and an end game that didn’t leave you binge-eating all of the food. It was a familiar way to get back to feeling great physically and mentally. Sounds like the plan for me!
Ready, Set, Whole30!
I consulted my calendar and have penciled-in 30 days for the Whole30 program and 10 days for the reintroduction period. My partner in crime and diets, Justin, is on board and we are so ready to get back on track, look good, and feel great!I will be doing weekly recaps on the foods I eat as well mental and physical check-ins for the duration of my Whole30. I am so excited to share recipes, tips, and more during my journey, so stay tuned!