Enter Whole30. (Wait, what is it?)
- Whole30 is a 30 day elimination diet. Yes, it’s a diet by definition but let me clarify; Whole30 is not a quick fix, disposable, crash diet for losing weight fast. In fact, stepping on a scale is explicitly forbidden during the process. Weight loss might be a byproduct of taking care our ourselves but it is not the goal of the program, and we have to emphasize that it’s not our goal either.
Our personal definition of being healthy is not synonymous with a lower number on the scale, it’s determined by how we feel. And, as we TMI’d earlier…we aren’t feeling great.
So, for the next 30 days our diet consists exclusively of meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit and natural fats. That means no sugar, alcohol, grains of any type, legumes, or dairy. Caffeine is okay, but cream and sugar are not. No corn tortillas, peanut butter, goat cheese, or honey/agave nectar/maple syrup. Just real food.
“Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.” (Read more on the Whole30 website. )
- After 30 days there’s a reintroduction phase. We will begin to slowly reintroduce the sugar, dairy, and grains back into our diet which will allow us to identify any sensitivity or intolerance.
Imagine you just moved into a new house (yay, go you!) with a beautiful flowering tree outside your bedroom window, and you love it. Shortly after you move in you start to have a runny nose and itchy eyes when you wake up. After a while you just get used to waking up with these symptoms. You consider it your “new normal”. It isn’t until you go on a long vacation and you realize that you are sleeping better and wake up with no symptoms. Eventually you realize it may be the beautiful flowering tree (read: pizza, aged cheddar, sourdough bread) that you love so much! So do you keep the tree — and therefore, keep the symptoms forever?It’s a personal decision.
Clay and I want to know what symptoms we might have adopted as our “new normal”. Being hangry, bloated, and dominated by headaches? Are these normal? (spoiler alert: no.)
- Unhealthy relationship with food. The goal of the Whole30 goes beyond just eating healthy. It wants to break up the relationship we have with food too. If we’re honest with ourselves we all may depend on food to fill certain voids, I know that Clay and I do. (They call it comfort food for a reason.)
In the words of a Whole30 moderator “…mindless snacking, wine every night after dinner, sugary foods when we are feeling down, eating for comfort and emotional eating in general are all things that contribute to a poor relationship with food. If you are using food to soothe, calm, reward, entice, belittle, punish yourself, you have a disordered relationship with it. If your only coping mechanism for a bad day that you can think of is red wine and pretzels, you might have a poor relationship with food.” Check. Check. Check.
I can’t tell you how many times Clay and I have said “Well it is Monday…I deserve this beer.” Except we don’t just say it on Mondays. And it isn’t just beer, it’s all the foods.
So from September 12-October 11 we’ll be in Whole30 mode. Hello veggies, eggs, fruit, and meat, goodbye cookies and midnight snacking.