Although I know a good chunk of my readers just come here to look at pictures and hear about my random adventures, a shockingly large portion of my internet traffic comes from people looking for some Whole30 results or advice. So here we go again...
I was doing pretty well at eating healthy before the wedding, because well duh, fitting into a gorgeous dress and wanting to look stunning in a zillion pictures is quite motivating. Then I happily stuffed my face on our honeymoon! I had lots of sugary cocktails. I had no problem finishing my rice and beans (covered in the best hot sauce) and usually some of Dave's (who lost some lbs during the trip, what?!). I may have even ended the trip with two personal pizzas chased with some beer at the airport... not my proudest moment ;)
When we returned I kept promising myself I would get back on track. It's summer, who doesn't want to look good during beach season?! Although I have cooked mostly healthy meals, overall I have lacked any self control at the first sign of temptation. Bagels at work, bread at restaurants, fresh baked desserts... these things are fine once in a while but I was indulging every chance I could get and my indulgences were over the top!
I've gained 7 lbs since the wedding and I feel like it's all in my torso. My stomach is completely swollen, my bras barely fit me, and no I'm definitely not pregnant! So now I'm going to do what I know works for me! I've had great success with the Whole30 program in the past. I'm ready for a reset!
January vs. April (2013) - one Whole21 in January, one Whole30 in April
If you're new here (or have been ignoring these posts but suddenly have an interest) - What is the Whole30?
Yes: Eat real food.
Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.No: Avoid for 30 days.
More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.
- Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
- Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
- Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
- Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
- Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee.
- Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits (chips and fries) and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold, and fingerling potatoes off your plate.
- Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
- No Paleo-ifying baked goods, desserts, or junk foods. Trying to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold will ruin your program faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” This means no desserts or junk food made with “approved” ingredients—no banana-egg pancakes, almond-flour muffins, flourless brownies, or coconut milk ice cream. Don’t try to replicate junk food during your 30 days! That misses the point of the Whole30 entirely.One last and final rule: You are not allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program. This is about so much more than just weight loss, and to focus on your body composition means you’ll miss out on the most dramatic and lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So, no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30. (We do encourage you to weigh yourself before and after, however, so you can see one of the more tangible results of your efforts when your program is over.)
So many people swear by the little phrase "everything in moderation" but I'm not sure I believe in it. Moderation sounds fine, but the definition is so vague. Moderation is whatever you decide it is. And in the moment, it's so easy to justify any choice you make in your head. All of those less than healthy choices add up over time and if you keep track of them, you may find out that you're making more unhealthy choices than you realize. Will a little bit of cake kill me? No, it won't... but every bite takes me further away from my goal. When I do a Whole30, the rules are set. There's no gray zone. Is this food Whole30 compliant - yes or no? The Whole30 takes away the debate in my head.
Some of you might be thinking, why would anybody want to do this?
Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff.
So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you? Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.
More than anything, I want to get back in control of my food choices! A lean stomach, glowing skin, and lack of tummy aches doesn't sound too shabby either. I'm actually going to do a Whole25 this time around, beginning on July 7th and ending July 31st. I plan on rereading It Starts With Food while I'm on the beach this weekend, to give myself some extra motivation. I found it very eye opening the first time around!
Sooooooooooo is anybody interested in joining me?! I'd love to put together a little support group! I know this program can seem a bit extreme to
some most people, but it's only 30 days (or however many you're willing to commit) and it might just change your life!
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