I eat pretty healthily. I don't eat fast food, rarely eat snacks like potato chips, almost never drink soda, and in general don't overeat. The months leading up to Thanksgiving I was tracking my food daily, eating well, working out every day, and was pretty on top of my life in terms of fitness and food. I decided to stop caring while we were on vacation in Hawai'i, because I knew I'd want to drink Mai Tai's and indulge a bit. The whole next month was a blur of travel and I wasn't able to focus on feeding myself right or have time to fit in a workout. Perhaps it's cliched to start a fitness or diet plan at the new year, but it really is a perfect time to settle into a new routine. The craziness of the holidays are over and you're finally free to focus on your own health.
My friend Mandy recently did the Whole30 program in November and, while I was never enticed to do it before, I really enjoyed seeing her experience with it and was inspired to get my eating back on track with Whole30. What is Whole30? It's sort of like hitting the reset button for your body in terms of eating. A lot of foods can disrupt your hormones, cause acne or inflammation, be addicting, cause allergies and more. With Whole30, you strip your diet down to whole foods to help your body reset and then you can start adding foods back in to see how they affect your body. Or, you might just end up feeling so awesome you'll stick with a Paleo type diet. I know lots of people who've said that their Whole30 experience was pretty life changing.
Another thing I'm excited about is that Whole30 kind of forces you to be more proactive when it comes to meal planning. I'm so so bad at meal planning. We are fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants eaters and it means we go out to eat more than we should, spend more money than we should, and don't eat as healthily as I know we could. Whole30 requires a lot of foresight and planning, so you don't accidentally fall of the wagon, which is something I desperately need when It comes to making food.
I'll be starting my Whole30 on January 12th because I want to start with Mandy and she's starting her next round on the 12th. Also, I'll be traveling until January 6th and I want to give myself time to prep properly. I love reading on planes so I'm getting the book It Starts With Food, which is by the folks that started Whole30, to read on my flights so I can start working out my plan of attack in the next two weeks.
So what can and can't you eat with Whole30? You can eat meat, seafood, veggies, some fruit, good fats from fruits, nuts, oils, and seeds. Basically: Whole foods. No processed crap, no stuff with tons of ingredients you can't pronounce.
What can't you eat? No sugars or real or artificial sweeteners. No Alcohol. No Grains. No Legumes. No Dairy (ugh, bye cheese!). No carrageenan, MSG or Sulfites.
It sounds pretty restrictive, but really it's just 30 days and I'm excited to revamp my diet to be more focused on eating whole foods. Ultimately I'm not sure if I'll end up adopting a more paleo-type diet at the end, but who knows! I have a friend who has a mostly-paleo diet and she loves it.
I eat a ton of breads and carbs and I know that, while I'm not a big sweet tooth, lots of sugar finds its way into my diet in sneaky ways. Whole30 is technically a "detox" since you're removing a lot of foods that can have detrimental effects on your health, so I've heard that the first week or so can be a bit rough, but after that, by and large, everyone I know who has done it says they feel amazing.
One thing I love about the Whole30 program is that it's not about weight (though lots of people do experience weight loss). They stress that you're not allowed to step on a scale for the duration of the program, and I think that's important. So much importance is put on the number on the scale, but that's not what Whole30 is about. It's about feeling great, being healthy, and nourishing your body.
Are any of you guys Whole30 grads? Have any favorite resources? I know Pinterest is a great resource for recipes, so I'll definitely be pinning up a storm trying to get my meals planned! Are any of you guys planning on starting Whole30 in January?