February 15, 2016

Whole 30

       

Whole 30 is a term you’ve probably heard thrown around at some point or another in the past few years.  But in case you haven’t been curious enough to check it out, I’ll start out with briefly explaining the program.  It is a 30-day period where you reset your body from the unhealthy cravings, patterns and habits by eliminating foods commonly associated with having a negative impact on your body and implementing a diet focused on eating real food.  By eliminating sugar, grains, legumes, alcohol and dairy for 30 days and then (if you choose to) reintroducing them to your diet one by one you are able to identify what, if any, foods you could possibly be sensitive to.  You can read the program in its entirety here, and if you’re interested in trying it, I highly recommend reading the book It Starts With Food so you understand the science and why behind the Whole 30 program.


Why did I choose to try this program?

I’m tired of not feeling my best.  At the beginning of the year, Kyle and I made a promise to ourselves that we were going to eat healthier and start exercising regularly.  While we are eating a million times better than we were and have both implemented an exercise routine, I still don’t feel like I think I should.  It’s not normal to be tired regardless of how much sleep you get and caffeine you drink, and it’s definitely not normal to have an upset stomach after almost every meal.  I’ve always had suspicions that I’m sensitive to dairy, but lately it seems to be worse and more frequent than in the past.  It amazed me as I read through the book, It Starts With Food, that even though I thought we were eating pretty “clean”, we weren’t.  There is sugar in just about everything and you really have to make a conscious effort to not consume hidden sugars on a daily basis. 

I’ve also realized that my relationship with food has been really unhealthy.  Cravings aren’t a normal thing.  They’re psychological.  Your brain makes you think you want things (sugar, carbs, etc.) even though your body has already met, and probably exceeded, its nutritional needs for the day.  These cravings not only affect your emotional attachment to food, but they affect your calorie intake, hormones and eventually your overall health status.  Like I mentioned before, both Kyle and I have started exercising regularly, but the more we work out and the more we thought we were eating “clean”, we were firmly reminded of the old saying, “you can’t out work a poor diet”.  It doesn’t matter how hard you work out, you cannot erase the things you put in your body.                   

What do I think will be the most challenging?

Everyone has their own vice when it comes to food and mine just happen to be dairy and sugar.  I love coffee in the morning.  Or you know, at any time of the day.  While there is nothing wrong with having a cup or two of coffee while on the Whole 30 program, I will not be able to put my beloved half & half in it and I will definitely not be able to have a latte as a treat on the weekends.  I’ve read that there are ways to make your own coffee creamer with dates and coconut oil, but in the spirit of Whole 30 and attempting to break unhealthy habits, I will be sticking to either black coffee or hot tea in the mornings (for now).  I know I can definitely drink my coffee black, but I do question whether or not I will actually like it.  I’ve read that your brewing method plays a big role in how your coffee tastes, so throughout the 30 days I will be trying different methods and will report back!  

When am I starting?

I’m staring the program today, and to be honest I’m pretty nervous.  I have a great support system through my family, but there are a lot of people out there that are really negative when you say “no” to food.  It’s easy when you’re at home in a controlled environment where you choose what goes on your plate, but when you’re out to eat with friends or at an event where there is something passing you on a plate every five minutes, it gets a little tough and can even make you feel a little socially awkward.  I’ve got quite a few events coming up this next month where there will be temptations every where I turn and I honestly thought about putting off starting until all of them were over.  But then I realized I was just coming up with excuses.  There will never be thirty solid days that I don’t have a lunch, event or holiday, and that’s just life.  Things don’t slow down and create a perfect bubble for you to get healthy.  You’ve got to make the choice for yourself and just do it.    

Now that each and every one of you that’s reading this know my official start date, you’ll be holding me accountable as well.  I mean I wouldn’t want to document a failure via the internet, now would I?  But in all seriousness, accountability is the main reason I decided to share that I’m starting this program.  My hope is to take steps in the right direction concerning my health, but I also hope that through reading about my Whole 30 experience, you too will start to think about the things we put on your plate and the relationship you have with them. 

I’ll be keeping a journal throughout the program so I can document what I eat and how I’m feeling each day.  I’ll probably do a couple updates throughout the process and then one at the end to summarize my entire experience and how I feel after the thirty days.  If you’ve done the Whole 30 and have any tips or recipe recommendations, send them my way!  I spent about two hours trying to meal plan for one week and took so long at the grocery store I thought Kyle was going to lose his mind, so any and all help is definitely appreciated!  For those of you who know Kyle as well, he’s only eating on the program while he’s with me, so don’t give him too hard of a time if you see him eating something not on the program ;)  Also, I’m just going to apologize in advance for any and all social media posts for the next thirty days.

Happy Monday!

Kathryn