Recently, I read a post by Jessica of What I Wore about The Whole 30. She recapped the experience from the benefits to how she ate and even some exercise she did while doing The Whole 30, and it got me keenly interested in this lifestyle change. I am not going to call it a diet, because really… it’s not a diet. It’s a change of life. A change of what you eat. A choice to put healthy food in your body and leave less-healthy foods by the wayside. I have been looking for this sort of information and backup for a really, really long time. It’s the kind of change I have been trying and failing to do because I haven’t had any information to reaffirm what I’m trying to do or inform me of ways to avoid the pitfalls.
After browsing The Whole 9 Life website, I decided to make the jump and get the book, It Starts With Food. And boy, am I ever ready to jump on board! Everything I read in the book makes perfect sense not only scientifically, but also emotionally and psychologically. Food affects our bodies, our emotions, our habits, our reactions… basically our entire lives.
So now that I’m armed with this great book, and a great plan, and now that I know why certain foods affect me the way they do, and why it’s hard to stop eating cookies, and why I keep going back to my old ways even despite my best efforts, I’m jumping in. Right now.
It is unlike any diet I have ever read– and again, it’s not a diet. It’s a jumpstart to a healthy lifestyle. That’s the BIG difference.
You can read a little more about The Whole 30 program here, and I’m not going to explain too much of it until Mr. Owl and I have been doing it for a week or so, but basically here’s the outline:
For thirty days, I will not be eating:
- Sugar, including maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc.
- Alcohol in any form, not even for cooking.
- Grains, including wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa.
- Legumes, including beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc.
- Dairy, including 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. (explanation here)
Before you protest that it sounds too restrictive, here’s what I GET to eat:
- Meat, including beef, chicken, pork, and fish of all sorts– with the effort to buy as clean and organic of cuts as possible, since most of the hormones and bad things farm-factories pump into their animals is in the fat.
- Veggies: do I need to make a list? Any and all vegetables are on!
- Fruits: with caution, as breaking the sugar habit is hard, and sometimes fruit can take the place of sugar and the habit doesn’t really break after all.
- Nuts and seeds (macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, etc…)
- Fats: avocados olives, coconut oils, clarified butter, ghee… and I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t remember…
For thirty days, my husband and I will be eating “clean” as it’s called, breaking bad habits, letting our bodies heal, learning good habits, freeing ourselves from being slaves to cravings and empty hunger, and discovering the beauty of eating nutritious food.
Please take the time to read about the Whole 30 program on Whole 9 Life before jumping in and saying this is a bad idea. It’s not a bad idea. It’s not a fad diet. It’s not unhealthy in the least– in fact, this is the most healthy thing I can do for my body. I will be getting more nutrients than I have ever gotten eating what I eat now. My body will be healing itself, and learning how to decipher hunger vs craving, and I will be learning how to tell when I’ve eaten enough.
Plus, the focus will be taken entirely off of weight and image, because for 30 days I will not be weighing or measuring myself at all. It’s all about changing my food habits and learning to eat, cook, and live healthy.
It’s not destructive to my health, or restrictive to my diet. Yes, I won’t be eating certain foods at all for 30 days, but that’s only for 30 days. After which, I can reintroduce those five food groups back into my diet one at a time and evaluate how they make me feel. Whether they upset my stomach, make me break out, make me tired, make me cranky, make me crave foods that are detrimental to my health (hello, Cheetos, I’m talking to you!), and whether they’re worth eating at all.
I’m very, very excited to begin this healthy journey.
Feel free to ask questions about The Whole 30, because I’d love to write a more informative post about it for those of you that are interested in the lifestyle or the 30 days.