Starting the Whole30

I mentioned on Monday that I was starting the Whole30 (or Whole7, in my case) and I wanted to write a little bit more about it.

It all starts with the book It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. I'm reading it for my Yoga class and it's actually pretty interesting.

image source

It's an anti-inflamatory diet that allows you to still eat real food (and most of the things you've already been eating). The "plan" consists of meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and many other natural and unprocessed foods.

Basically, the only rules are what you can't eat--prepare yourself:

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. (See below for details.) 
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. 
Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients. 
Scary? It's okay, you'll get over the initial shock.

I've honestly eaten the best this week than I ever have before. (I actually made baked sweet potatoes for the first time!). However, I know that I haven't eaten enough each day. That's something that's really hard for me when it comes to putting everything together and having to cook.

Plus eliminating grains meant no oatmeal--so I only had fruit for breakfast.

I really did like the Whole30, though. Although I will be honest and admit that I ate all the junk food today (oops). I've learned that doing something super drastic like this doesn't work for me. I'd like to continue following these guidelines but not have the strict mentality of having to stick to it 100%. Because let's be real, college/life doesn't make that very practical.

Here's what to prepare for:

  • You're going to have to cook and plan meals ahead of time.
  • You might be a little grumpy (although my Yoga teacher says that's the full moon's fault--I don't know).
  • Pinterest will be your BFF even more so than usual.
  • You're going to feel a lot healthier than you did when you started.

But I definitely recommend trying the Whole30 (especially if your body isn't feeling the greatest) and reading the book. But there are plenty of free resources on their website as well!

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