Why I Gave Whole30 A Try

Tonight, as I sit here lamenting the fact that I couldn’t see the opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympics with my one glass of Limeade, I want to share something with you.

I did it. I have successfully completed an entire week (9 days) of the Whole30 diet! I also made a decision to workout 4 days a week, and I successfully finished a week of that, too! Of course, that was last week. I only made it once this week. It’s okay, though, I have a valid excuse. Monday, I’m back in that saddle and have two very persistent helpers to get me back in the groove.

I’m not a dieter and I don’t do “lose weight fast” fads; I think that’s what appealed to me about Whole30. This diet is about wellness, not about weight loss. Weight loss is just a happy accident. Although, losing weight by eating healthy foods without crap in them isn’t all that shocking. This is probably the best diet I could go on because it’s about eating amazing food that just happens to improve your health.

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Lime fish tacos.

I’m a cook, I’m a cookbook author and I’m a lover of food. Each meal is like a new challenge, a new adventure. I love experimenting with herbs and flavor profiles. Eating food is also pretty high on the list. The fat kid that lives in my belly (really, pretty sure I have an additional person in there) dances with glee; pure unadulterated joy.

 

If you want some in depth information about Whole30, try the Whole30 website. If you want my very easy, somewhat lazy, basic run down, keep reading.

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I’ve heard that the first week is the hardest, but I didn’t feel that way. It could be because I was already on a restrictive diet (hello, celiac disease), so being cautious about food and reading labels comes natural to me. It could also be that I have been doing it wrong. Boy oh boy would that be a disappointment! I’d have to start all over.

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Basically, you need to cut out all added sugars, legumes (including peanuts), gluten, rice and dairy. Carrageenan is another no no, although I have no idea what that is. There are some other fine print things you need to check your labels for, and for that you’ll have to refer to their website. You need to check your labels and really think about what you’re eating. I went to use butter once without thinking; it’s made with dairy. It’s not as cut and dry as you think. It changed my relationship with my morning(ish) coffee. I had to get used to a whole new flavor.

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Homemade coffee creamer.

The purpose of this diet is to make you feel better. It’s to change how you look at food and how your body responds to food. I’m a stress eater (much like all good mothers and humans) and this diet has forced me to find a different solution. My go to is usually a bag of chips. An entire bag of chips. Throw in a Dr. Pepper and a bag of Oreos and my stress floats away on a fluffy cloud of sweetness. A few minutes after, the stress is replaced with a swollen stomach and a crappier feeling me.

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Homemade sweet potato chips are a fun replacement.

While on Whole30 you can’t go for garbage. You also cannot accept cheating. That struck me most. Usually, if I’m on a diet, I don’t exert all my self control to stay away from garbage thinking that I’d just play catch up the next day. On Whole30, you have to think differently for it to work. It’s designed to make you feel emotionally and physically better about and around food.

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At the end of 30 days, you try reintroducing food groups one by one, reverting back to Whole30 in between. This will allow you to see what food groups, if any, affect your body negatively. The hope is that after going through this process you will be able to improve your well being by knowing exactly which foods have a negative impact on you.

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I’ve heard many people go through this diet and the following week only to get back on it. The food I’ve been eating has been so clean and it’s easy to stick to because it’s laid out for me. There are guidelines to follow and failure is not an option. It’s nice to have  a rule book to keep me in line.

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To sum it up, if you want to get healthy, or start a new regime, you might try Whole30. Before I started it, I cracked jokes about it and made it known that I couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. Part of it was because it seemed like so much work. The other part was because I’ve rarely been on a diet that allowed for really flavorful food.

This is different, this is better. This will also be the only post about this new adventure where I wax on about the diet. From now on I’m just going to give updates on my progress and new things I’ve found.

If you have questions about the meals pictured or the diet, I have answers for some of them!

I fully intend to be acting crazy with my kids for years and years and years and years to come.

What’s your get healthy plan? I’d love to hear it!

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