It’s Day 10 of my Whole30. What’s a Whole30, you ask? I’d LOVE to tell you.
(Side note: I get it. Another cah-razy diet that “cleanses your body” and “makes you eat like a rabbit.” How many of these are out there? Honestly, I’m sharing this one because for whatever reason, it’s clicked for me. And I’m purposely going to focus first on what a Whole30 is and what I can eat, rather than list off the things I can’t. Mostly because I don’t want to scare you off with the “can’t” list, but also because the “can” list is incomplete without the “why.”)
The Whole30 is a 30-day committment to eating whole food. Whole food is food that you know you should be eating, but never crave. Just kidding! It’s a focus on food that helps your body get to a state of equalibrium, subsides cravings, and promotes weight loss. Or, as the authors of the book WAY more eloquently put it, “Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food.”
Whole30 food consists of fruits, vegetables, meat, healthy oils and nuts. Sounds pretty simple, and it is. Sure, there are complex pieces to it, like the authors encouraging organic, free-range, cage-free pastured meat. What that really means- animals that were allowed to live as normal a life as possible in turn making their meat INSANELY expensive. But man alive, the difference between organic pastured ground beef and regular ground beef is astounding. It’s incredibly more delicious. For serious.
Here’s what you really want to know. What can’t I eat? In short, no legumes (beans), no dairy (yes, that includes cheese and no, I haven’t died of cheese deprivation YET!), no grains (no bread, couscous, quinoa, rice, corn), no sugar, and no alcohol. A few people I’ve shared this with over the last two weeks said, “but that’s my entire diet!” Well, it was mine too. And I’m still finding things to eat, and actually enjoying them. There is life beyond bread people, I swear.
Here’s what to expect. The first week or two will be tough. You may even feel flu-ish, aka “the carb flu.” The kind of food you’ll be eating will require planning and preparation, and a lot of it. This is not grab-and-go food, though with enough planning you can make grab-and-go type of meals. And around mid-week, during week two, a little sprinnkle of magic from the Whole30 fairy will rain down, and you’ll start to see the benefits. Sleeping better. Waking up with energy. Stabilized energy levels during the day. Better, umm, digestion. And my favorite- pants that fit last week are now too big.
Interested? I certainly was when I first read about the Whole30 from another blogger. She’s about my size, and finished her Whole30 an amazing 15lbs. lighter and feeling incredible. I thought, ‘if she can do it, I can do it. Umm, and I’d like to lose 15 lbs over the next month.’ So I bought the book, read it in two days, and started my Whole30 two days later. After a trip to a donut store I’ve been wanting to visit. Just getting it out of my system!
Here are my tips if you’re going to dive in head-first…
-Buy the book, “It Starts With Food” By Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. Read it with the purpose of preparing yourself for your Whole30.
-Pick a start date a few days away. You HAVE to plan and prepare to be successful.
-Make a meal plan for at least the next five days, planning every meal. Shop for only what you need.
-Relegate non-compliant snacks to one spot in your cupboard, far far away from your Whole30 food.
-Before Day 1, sign up for the daily emails from the Whole30 site. They are informative and inspiring, with great tips and recipes, and at the end of each day you get to click that you finished another day Whole30 compliant.
1000% absolutely totally and completely I would recommend a Whole30 (and not just to have others to
commiserate with share recipes and encouragement!). Though I’m only 10 days in, I can already see a difference in my sleep, my skin, my energy level and the fit in my clothes. I feel really great, not only about the results but also about my resolve. I’ve navigated some tough situations that I’ll share over the coming weeks.
I do have to admit- I cheated once. I weighed myself after week one. Whole30 encourages you to take a month off from the scale to focus on how you feel rather than what you weigh. Honestly, I just wanted to be sure all this work was paying off. And was it ever- I was down 6 lbs in 7 days. Now I’ve decided to be totally Whole30 compliant and have taken the scale out of the bathroom, not to return for 20 more days.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and if anyone has tried a Whole30 before how it went for you!