The Whole30

Hi! Today we’re talking about the Whole30. You may have heard of it, or even may have done one already. My mother and I are gearing up for one in March, which starts tomorrow.

In a nutshell, the Whole30 is a “diet” that eliminates certain food groups for 30 days. I put diet in quotation marks because I don’t really think of the Whole30 as a diet. A diet, by the most commonly used defintion, is a special way of eating specifically for losing weight and is usually short-term. The Whole30 is technically only 30 days, but after you experience the benefits, you’ll realize that the Whole30 (or at least, Whole3o-ish) way of eating is sustainable and it becomes more of a lifestyle than a tempory diet. It did for me.

The goal of the Whole30 is not to lose weight. That’s certainly a benefit, but the main reason for doing a Whole30 is to reset your body. It’s like a cleanse. You clean out your body by eating only wholesome, nutritious food and cutting out all the processed junk. The intention is to look healthier, feel healthier, be healthier.

So now onto the rules of the program.

For a whole month, you focus on eating lots of vegetables, meat, and fruit. You avoid processed foods that include any dairy, grains, sugar (including natural sugar like honey or maple syrup), soy, and legumes. Also, you shouldn’t try to recreate desserts, sweets and treates using compliant ingredients. No paleo pancakes, sorry. Keto brownies? Nope. The Whole30 is designed to squash sugar cravings, and the effective way to do that is to cut it out, including imitations. 

I know you’re already thinking, “WHAT? How is it possible to eat anything?” Honestly, that was my first reaction too. But it’s doable. I promise.

But back to what you CAN eat, and it’s a lot. There are lots of great Whole30-compliant snacks, meals and recipes. Most of what you eat during the month will have to be homemade, as that’s the only way to be absolutely sure that what you’re eating is compliant. Eating out is not recommended, unless you plan on only drinking water. One tip that I really liked from the Whole30 cookbook was an alternative to going out to eat at restaurants with friends. Being on the Whole30 doesn’t mean you have to give up your social life! Instead of going out, invite them over. Cook your favorite compliant meal and enjoy with your friends! It’s that simple. No more excuses!

I’m not pretending that it’s the easiest thing in the world, and I’m not totally excited to start tomorrow. So yes, it will be difficult. Yes, you will be tempted to quit. Yes, there will be some slip. And yes, it is 100% worth it. I promise.

Once a week for the next month, I’ll be posting a round-up of the meals my mom and I cooked. If you’re not quite sold on Whole30 yet, check out the recipes and try them. More often than not, it’s unbelieveable that the meal is completely Whole30 compliant because of how delicious it is!

For more information, since this was a brief summary, check out the Whole30 website and read the book It Starts With Food. It will change your life.

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