I woke up with Cha Cha Slide in my head (How?! Why?! Is there no mercy in this world?)
Since it turns out a few of you lovely coworkers and friends of mine are actually interested in what I’m doing/eating (bless your hearts) I realized it was time to back it up a bit. This post explains more about the Whole30, what the rules are and what I hope to accomplish. I’ve also included a series of links at the bottom for anyone who’d like to do some self-guided research.
Whole30 – The Low Down
Take a quick little trip over to my first post for a little bit of background on how I found Whole30, what I learned, and my first-pass at goals and assumptions. Below is my interpretation of the Whole30 and what it means to me.
Goals/objectives: To rid the body of excess sugar, chemicals, possible allergins and anything that doesn’t make it innately healthier. This is done by eliminating a series of foods (we’ll get into that in a min) that your body is not able to properly process or fully utilize, thus breaking your addiction and dependency on them. It’s not really a cleanse, it’s not really a diet… it’s a way of being extremely conscious of what you put in your body and how your body is able to respond to said foods.
- Eat foods ONLY from the approved list.
- Completely eliminate foods from the “no” list – absolutely NO cheats or you’ve essentially wasted your time.
- Eat 3 meals a day and try to avoid snacking. The only exception is pre and post workout “bonus” meals.
- Take time to eat – no more meals at the TV or on the computer. Make a connection with your food.
- Eat a balance of protein, veggies, fats and (occasional) fruit at every meal.
- No drinking alcohol. I’ll repeat, no drinking alcohol. This rule is the biggest bumskie, let’s be honest.
- No calorie tracking and no scales.
- Lots and lots of protein (aka meat, meat and more meat… and seafood)! The catch: protein should be certified wild-caught, sustainable, free-range, organic, grass fed, etc. This meat is damn FANCY, because we are what our food eats. And I’m willing to bet that the meat you’re currently eating is eating things that make me think it should be turning into zombies any time now.
- Eggs! Lots of eggs! Again, these should be organic and as high-quality as possible.
- Veggies. All of the veggies and A LOT of them. Organic where possible. [Sidebar: I considered calling it “veg” like every other country does but I just. can’t. do. it.]
- Fruit. All of the fruit! Some are better than others, such as berries and melons. Fruit isn’t really as “unlimited” as veggies because sugar = sugar = sugar, no matter the source.
- Healthy fats. This is the weirdest part for me because the list is less intuitive. This includes healthy cooking fats such as ghee and coconut oil, but also eating fats like avocados (being encouraged to eat unlimited amount of avocado makes me want to dance around in my underpants to a Spice Girls song) as well as most nuts and olives (barf).
- Coffee (black). Water. Soda water.
- ….that’s pretty much it.
- Alcohol. Cue my whiney pants.
- Processed food, but that’s a given. But this does make things interesting because even some canned veggies have surprise additives like sodium chloride so they’re out. Read your labels – even on items you think you know.
- Grains – gluten or gluten free. FAQs: yes, this includes quinoa. Yes, this includes flours. Yes, this includes corn tortillas, etc.
- Starchy veggies, like corn and white potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a-okay and they’re yummier anyways.
- Dairy. Again, this is ALL dairy. That means butter, too.
- Legumes and soy. This one is interesting and surprising, I think. It includes all beans (except green beans) and includes anything wit soy in it. That means a lot of condiments and edamame.
- Oils. Canola, vegetable, etc. Again, this is in A LOT of foods. I couldn’t find ANY cashews at Target that weren’t roasted in a no-go oil. he exception here is EVOO.
- Sugar. All sugar forms that aren’t naturally in your food. This means no added sugar (or corn syrup or similar substances) often found in flavored coffees, dressings, marinades, spice mixed, etc. This one is also really difficult to spot and requires a ton of label reading. And yes, this includes stevia/Truvia.
- I’m probably missing something because it’s really almost everything you normally eat.
Note: I had to put away my Sriracha for 30 days. SRIRACHA = LIFE BLOOD. I just needed everyone to know what the real sacrifice is here.
What I Hope To Get Out of This Mess
There’s many, many reasons someone might choose to do a Whole30 program and It Starts With Food lays out a lot of them. Here are my (modified from my first post) goals:
- Kick the sugar cravings and food “addictions”. This refers to my mid-afternoon snack at work which is rarely healthy as well as my post-dinner chocolate/ice cream kicks.
- Stop the mindless eating. When there’s food I’m eating it- particularly munchies at a party or event. I just can’t stop, and don’t even REALIZE I’ve been eating so much until halfway through. It’s gross, and I’m totally over it.
- Develop a deeper appreciation for healthy food options. I’m in a veggie rut and I’m pretty picky about my proteins. It’s time to expand my daily foods and incorporate natural flavors.
- Learn to cook outside my comfort zone. Much like the bullet above. It’s time to branch out. I’d also like to cook more simply.
- Get as healthy as possible. This is the number one. I’ve been getting into a great exercise routine but that’s only one piece of the health puzzle. It’s time to be as healthy as I can possibly be to help set me up for a healthy life.
- Improve my mood and energy levels. I think a lot of my tiredness and moodiness is food related. Time to see if that’s true!
And that’s about it! My 30 days runs from Sunday, July 13th – Monday, August 11th. I’ll be trying to blog as much as possible in order to keep track of my progress and share learnings.
Resources (Trust me, you need these)
It Starts with Food – This book is the backbone of the Whole30. It’s great for those who like to know the “why’s” and the science behind it.