Like much of the world, I have been hearing about Whole 30 for years, but if I am being honest, I was WAY too scared to try it. It felt so limiting and I just couldn't believe that I had the self-control to give up all of the things it required for 30 days to actually make a change - which is honestly strange, because every January, for 21 days, I essentially go vegan to do the Daniel's Fast. I am still not sure why I made this so intimidating.
My littlest baby Courage has really been struggling with infant eczema and as a mama its been hard wondering if what she is feeling is bothering her. I mentioned it to a friend, and because I am still mostly nursing her, she suggested I try Whole 30 to figure out what might be causing issues for her.
WHAT IS #WHOLE30?
Whole 30 is a 30-day elimination "diet" that works to emphasize the eating of whole, fresh, unprocessed foods. The "diet" and I put that in quotes, because Whole 30 isn't sustainable and shouldn't be seen as a lifestyle change, but rather a kick off to a healthier lifestyle, encourages you to avoid sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy. It is very similar to other eating plans out there, like Paleo and Keto, but doesn't allow natural sweeteners like the other plans do.
WHY I DECIDED TO DO WHOLE 30:
1. As I mentioned above, my first initial reason for doing Whole 30 was to try to figure out the mystery that is my daughter's skin. I generally don't love restricting my diet and it has to be pretty extenuating circumstances for me to considering changing. Seeing these dry rough patches on Courage's skin was really all the motivation I needed to know that I needed to do something to help solve her problem. In the last 24 days, I have seen a difference in her skin, but I am not exactly sure whether its dairy or gluten. I will find that out as I transition back into eating normally, but it will be a nice place to start.
A few other reason I considered doing WHOLE 30:
2. I had a baby earlier this year, and really haven't been motivated to lose the weight. The extra weight has made me sluggish and slowed me down and I didn't want to add to that over Christmas with all of the massive amounts of eating that can happen over the holiday
3. To prove to myself that Christmas doesn't have to be a season based around food. That I can indulge in the people I love, the world around me and find connection and happiness outside of cookies and milk.
4. For me, food is directly connected to my ability to create, to think clearly, to vision for my life. When I am eating food that isn't great for me, I live in a fog and as I prepare for 2020, I wanted to be clear-minded and focused and able to vision with a solid mind.
5. "Getting healthy" is always relegated to something that will get done in the New Year. I wanted to enter 2020 with health and healing already on my mind and not something I needed to "grab hold of" for the New Year.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WHOLE 30?
no weight loss promises because it's not the goal - so the focus can be on eating well and healing your body - this also means you get to get enough to eat and you're not starving your body, you don't have to measure or count calories (because ain't nobody got time for that)
it focuses on reading the labels and making choices that are full of processed and chemical based foods, back to the basics read the labels
the eating plan is in line with America's Dietary Standards (so with the exception of what you are eliminating to start over (and see what triggers or bothers your digestion) you are eating on track and REAL food (not powders, shakes and small baby meals)
no processed or preserved foods (real, fresh and good ingredients)
its not a long term plan - its a reset/ restart
WHAT I HAVE DISCOVERED SINCE BEING ON WHOLE 30?
Since starting WHOLE 30 December 1st, I have been more clear headed, consistent and able to follow-through on my day to day goals. I sleep better at night (mostly, Courage is still a factor). My physical body feels so good. It feels strong, no aches or pains and I have no bloat and little to no gas. I have chosen to eliminate caffeine, so I only drink water and so much of it and it tastes so good and i have more energy and can sustain that energy throughout the day. No naps or laying down mid-day to gather myself.
Today, on Christmas Eve, I am currently on Day 24 of Whole 30 and down a total of 13lbs. I had no weight loss goals so this is a really beautiful bonus to an amazing eating plan and I am feeling better than I have in several years.
I found Olive You Whole's blog to be so helpful in preparing me for my #whole30 journey. You can check it out here. She did a day by day (in pictures) of her Whole 30 experience and it was so helpful in helping me to anticipate what was coming.
You can also find the recipes I have cooked and have carried me through these last 24 days by heading over to my Pinterest Board. Below are a few images of yummy foods. My favorite things about WHOLE 30 is nothing gets wasted. You find a way to use everything and cook everything in your kitchen and the Insta Pot and Air Fryer have been necessities in this journey.
I hope you find this blog helpful in starting your own #whole30 journey. I will be back at the end to share my final results, feedback and feelings!
with strength, courage and wisdom,