January 4th my husband and I started Whole30 for the fourth time. Our secret? Apparently the fourth time is the charm.
I tackled the “What is Whole30?” question a while ago, so if you aren’t familiar, take a moment to become acquainted. Then use your handy back button to return and finish reading. (I’ll wait for you.)
Tad and I are Whole30 evangelists. We believe in it. That being said, it is very much a love/hate thing for us–
We cry when we have to tell our restaurant server, “We’ll pass on the candied pecans in the salad,” and I have to give away ALL of my homemade sourdough bread when I make a batch. We miss the noodles in chicken soup. We miss the beans (legumes) in chili. Lots of things to miss (buh-bye Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie), so it’s best to focus on what you can have.
Basically whole foods as close to their original state as possible. High protein meat, seafood and poultry; healthy vegetables; moderate fruit; and my guiltiest of pleasures, nuts–cashews and almonds and macadamias, oh my!
Whole30 is not intended to be a “diet.” It is lifestyle change. It is more about well respecting your body, caring about your health, and exercising self control over instant gratification. We’re killing ourselves, people. Ignorance is not our body’s friend.
For 30 days you commit to not eating any sugar or sugar derivative, no added sugar (practically every processed food in the US has some form of added sugar…buyer beware), most forms of dairy, no pastas or legumes (including peanut and soy), no alcohol, no grains of any kind.
And I think it is ultra important to note we sign up for this for our overall health and to break our sugar addiction, not for weight loss. Whole30, similar to a Paleo diet, touts incredible health improvements in these areas:
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- type 1 & 2 diabetes
- sinus infections
- skin conditions
- bipolar disorder
- arthritis and joint pain,
- thyroid dysfunction
- Lyme disease
- chronic fatigue
- Celiac disease
- multiple sclerosis
and even more…!
Isn’t that crazy? But isn’t it worth a try if you have issues in any of the above areas?!
The first time we went through Whole30 we were legalists. The Hartwigs, inventors of all things Whole30, expect the best for you, setting compliance in all areas as The Standard. I didn’t even chew gum (artificial sweeteners), and to the degree that I could control meals out, I ate only the foods included in the program.
I’m not going to lie: No sugar and no grains that first time around were a shock to our systems. We not only counted the days, we counted the minutes of each day. Thirty days felt like 100.
But this go ’round has been easier. Much easier.
We’ve known what to expect. We are barely keeping up with the days (though with the end in sight, we’ve gotten to the point we’re over it….).
I’ve gotten more adventuresome. I’M ON MY THIRD FREAKING BATCH OF HOMEMADE MAYO and I might not ever buy it again! Clarifying butter is no big deal. I’ve made homemade barbecue sauce and ranch dressing, and some kind of avocado dip for veggies. I bought a julienne peeler to make zoodles and matchstick carrots and to shred spaghetti squash. I bought spaghetti squash for the first time! I’ve tried new recipes–some of which I’ve added to my regular repertoire, others that I’m happy to have tried if only to learn never again!
I mean it when I say I was the person who said, “I could never do that,” primarily suggesting I couldn’t go without any sugar for 30 days. So don’t give me that excuse.
The most common quote the Hartwigs hear from their book is one I’ve repeated many times to friends in conversation–
“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking our coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.”
Perspective shreds your sad, little, tired arguments to pieces.
Ready to try it? I’ll be your biggest cheerleader!
Related links that might offer a bit more encouragement:
Buy “The Whole30.” (A simpler approach to the program in five easy steps. HIGHLY motivating.)
(affiliate links used)