Have you heard of this crazy thing called Whole30? Some have called it impossible, paleo on crack, horrible and downright brutal. I however call it life! If you haven’t heard of Whole30, let me fill you in on this wonderful program I use as a reset on eating.
Whole30 was developed by Melissa & Dallas Hartwig and they describe it as, “Pushing the reset button with your health, your habits and your relationship with food.” It focuses on the negative impacts that some foods and food groups have on your health. Whole30 eliminates sugar, alcohol (eek!), grains, legumes or dairy from your diet for 30 days!
Yes, yes I know you’re thinking well what can I eat? Whole30 foods include meats, vegetables, fruits, seafood, eggs, raw nuts, added sugar and natural fats (coconut, olive and avocado oils). After your 30 day reset is up, you are able to slowly introduce those foods you eliminated to see how they effect your body! My husband reintroduced dairy and found out he has a severe allergy to it! I also have found that I have a slight dairy and gluten issue! Now I know why my ankles swell after eating bread!
My husband suggested trying Whole30 in February 2014. I was 4 months postpartum and at the heaviest I had ever been! I needed to do something because physically and emotionally I was not happy. I thought he was crazy after reading about Whole30 and was very nervous and anxious about what we COULDN’T eat! Breakfast was my hardest adjustment! We would eat your usual carb-loaded breakfast consisting of pancakes, waffles, bagels or cereal. Now it consists of eggs, meat, and potatoes or veggies!
Lunch was okay when leftovers were available from the night before and dinner was protein with 2 veggies, rather than a starchy side. Potatoes however are Whole30 (sweet and white) and were a saving grace!
I am here to tell you that yes it wasn’t fun and easy in the beginning BUT it was SO WORTH IT! We have been eating Whole30 since this first round 2.5 years ago. 80% of the time and I can tell you that it honestly has changed my entire relationship with food! I know you’re thinking, another diet craze and it won’t work for me BUT you will learn so much about yourself and food triggers (emotionally & physically) that you couldn’t imagine. I dropped all my pregnancy weight from my son and only gained 20 with my daughter this past February. Once you reset your eating and mentality of food, it becomes second nature!
We just did our 4th round of Whole30 this past month and I have some tips for making your 1st or 50th successful!
Tip #1: Scheduling
When planning your first Whole30 look for a month that doesn’t have a lot of activities going on. Birthdays, parties and other festivities were VERY hard for me in the beginning. It seemed like every month had birthdays, barbecues, baptisms or vacations and it was hard to stay Whole30. Try and pick a month that has minimal opportunities to fall off your Whole30 or if you do have to celebrate something you can ask what will be served and bring something that you know is Whole30. I love to bring a salad, grilled veggies, or oven fries as a side to a bbq!
Tip #2: Support
As is with many other challenges in life, having someone to do a Whole30 with is key! My husband and I were are very supportive of each other in sticking to Whole30 when we are actively doing a round. It helps to keep us on track and not stray away when we may want to. Another trap that is common is getting 15 – 20 days in and feeling so great that you stop! Don’t do it! You may feel great this far in, trust me the extra 10 days makes it that much better!
Tip #3 Meal Planning
This was a huge help in being successful and also the most time consuming part of Whole30! On Sunday morning I would sit down with my planner and look at the upcoming week. I would pick a protein and 2 vegetable sides for each night of the week. I would consider if we had things to do in the late afternoon and how much time dinner would take that evening. This was one of the most challenging things especially trying to fit everything in during nap time and before bed!
I would go grocery shopping on Sunday and spend a few hours prepping sides, breakfast, and sauces for the week. This made the upcoming week so much easier and each night I had to make the protein and that’s it! During the summer we use the grill almost every night! It’s easy, flavorful and best part…no cleanup! Plus you already have your veggies made so clean up is practically nothing! It is worth the time spent on Sunday prepping to save yourself time (and sanity) during the week!
Be sure to check out the Whole30 website and follow them on Instagram for recipe ideas! You can find other great, easy, Whole30 recipes on Paleomg or The Paleo Mom blogs as well! These are great resources that I find myself checking out every Sunday for new recipes or favorites!
As a result, Whole30 has changed my families entire outlook on food. We no longer emotionally or stress eat. We are able to recognize the triggers and realize what certain foods will do to us if we eat them. I found Whole30 to reset not only my diet but my outlook on food for life.