So let's start out by saying that I hate the word diet! Diet is a word that I try to keep out of my vocabulary all together. It seems too restrictive and it automatically makes people cringe. I feel that it's much more important to focus on LIFESTYLE changes including food choices and exercises/activity levels as well as mental and emotional well-being. This brings me to the Whole30 Program.
So what is Whole30 you ask?
The Whole30 program was created in 2009 by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. It is explained in detail in their book It Starts With Food. I am almost done reading this book and I've got to admit it's pretty fascinating and makes me very excited to see what changes happen for me!
Essentially, the Whole30 is a 30-day program in which you remove food groups that have been shown to have negative or inflammatory impacts on the body. The idea is that by stripping them from your diet completely, you are able to let your body heal and reset. After the 30-day period, you go through a re-introduction phase in which you test the food groups that were introduced one-by-one to really understand how they effect your body.
Why are we doing it?
Brandon and I are starting our first Whole30 on Monday February 8th. I have heard about this program for many years now and did dabble in reading articles and lots of blogs on it. However, the thought I always had was "that's impossible, I can't give up all the foods!". Then last October, my sister Ashley decided to do her first Whole30. I encouraged her along the way and asked her endless questions about her experience, what she found difficult, cravings, and her results. FYI, she lost 14 lbs in 30 days (she is not overweight by any means and already ate pretty well before) and she also reported feeling much better with more energy and less mental fogginess. My sister is a rockstar and a huge catalyst in me jumping on the Whole30 bandwagon! I've had digestion and skin issues for many years, so I am excited to see how positively this experience effects me.
Most people when I tell them about chosing to do this, look at me with a crazy expression on their face or they simply tell me "that's insane". I've also heard uneducated people say things like "well, what CAN you eat for 30 days?". You can eat vegetables, fruit, protein, and fats for 30 days. Sure you skip out on sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, and alcohol but I am discovering that the meal and food ideas are truly limitless.
Brandon and I planned out our first 2 weeks roughly and made a grocery list last night and I can honestly say I'm excited! Yes, I am a bit anxious about it, especially in social settings but I am determined to do it. It's only 30 days after all. This weekend, we will do before photos, measurements, and weigh-ins and I will try to share some of my recipes and thoughts along the way.
I just wanted to end by saying that I truly believe that food is medicine and it plays a tremendous role in how we feel, look, and perform on a day to day basis. I would recommend reading the book and doing lots of research and planning before starting though, otherwise you might set yourself up for failure.
Here's to testing my willpower and showing what I am capable of in only 30 days!
Would you ever consider doing a Whole30? What would be the hardest food for you to give up?