If you’re reading this, thank you so much for bearing with me. I needed a nice long break from the blog to recharge and focus on other things. This season of life has been insanely full and busy – between getting a puppy, working a demanding job, family/friend time and the holidays, my mental capacity for blogging has been sparse. With the start of the new year, I’d like to get more active on this space again since it brings me so much joy.
And what better of an occasion to start back up on than with my first Whole 30?! I’m dedicating this post to the What, Why, & How’s of Whole 30!
For those of you who are wondering – what on earth is a Whole 30? Essentially, it’s a 30 day elimination diet designed to reset your digestive system, help with inflammation, give you “tiger blood” energy, and evolve your relationship and habits with food. I’m no expert, so below I have quoted the Whole 30 website as to what their program is all about. I highly recommend heading to the site to get a comprehensive overview if you are interested!
“Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat – even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?
Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health. The most important reason to keep reading?
This will change your life.”
Finding your “why” is a huge part of Whole 30. Without a purpose, this would just be crazy. The last few months have been extremely stressful in my life. From a physical standpoint, I’ve found myself feeling bloated, getting tons of headaches, and having whacky blood sugar gotta-have-food-right-now moments far too often than I should. I’ve also been craving sugar like no other, and while it usually comes from “healthier” sources (bars, peanut butter, dark chocolate, granola, etc.), I hate the feeling of needing something sweet after a perfectly satisfying meal. With all this being said, I am ready for a change. Something to help me take a step back, re-balance my system, and help keep my sugar dragon check.
At an even higher level, I have been craving a new goal to set my mind to and accomplish. I haven’t felt the joy of setting a goal and achieving it in quite some time, so I think this would be the perfect way to kick start 2017. From every blog post and article I’ve read, Whole 30 is a physically/emotionally challenging process, so I’m ready to take it on and make it through.
A few of my best friends and a handful of blogger/Instagram friends are doing the program at the same time, so I’ll be surrounded by others going through it too. We’ve been having a blast texting about grocery trips and sending Snapchats of our food. We might even have a dinner party or two on weekends to make something delicious together!
So what does this mean for my diet? The Whole 30 program outlines specific groups/foods to avoid throughout the 30 days. They recommend strict compliance for best results, so I am going to try my darnedest to follow suit.
What is not allowed on Whole 30:
- Added sugar of any kind (real or artificial)
- Dairy (ghee is an exception here)
- Carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites
- Baked goods, junk foods, or treats created with approved ingredients (aka no paleo pancakes, banana ice cream, muffins, etc.)
This means that for 30 days, my diet will include the following:
- Protein (as a pescatarian, this means eggs & seafood for me)
- Potatoes (sweet or regular)
- Healthy fats (avocados, certain nuts/nut butters, high quality oils, ghee)
I’ve read that the key is not to focus on what you CAN’T eat (Peanut butter! Oatmeal! Tempeh! Perfect bars! Wine!) and focus what you CAN eat (Fresh produce! Proteins! Fats! Potatoes!). I am planning to post recaps along the way of my eats from each day to provide some insight into what this looks like. I absolutely cannot wait to get creative in the kitchen and make some new things! Especially when it comes to breakfast and lunches.
This was quite the long post, but I wanted to give a good overview of what’s about to go down. Stay tuned for an update in a few days with some eats & an emotional/physical check in! Feel free to comment about your experience or any questions in the comments below!
XO – Bailee