I’m here today to answer that question and give you some things to think about as we finish 2014 and start thinking about what we want to accomplish in 2015. So….what is Whole30?
The Whole 30 is a program that was started by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig; a 30 day nutrition program, designed to be part diet guidelines, and part tough love behavioral coaching. They encourage you to first do their Whole30 program for a nutritional reset, then follow up with information on the whole9life.com site.
All the basic information you need to complete Whole30 is available for free on Whole30.com, however for the complete and in-depth explanation, you’ll want to purchase the book It Starts With Food, which I bought for my kindle, so I wouldn’t have to wait for Mr. UPS to deliver it to me! :-)
The website lists eight steps to take to prepare you for the Whole30 journey. The steps are:
1) What is the Whole30?
2) Read the program (that’s the step I’m at, right now)
4) Build your support network (HELLO OUT THERE IN SHRINKING JEANS LAND!!)
5) Get your house ready
6) Plan for success
7) Toss that scale!! (oh boy, that’s gonna be HARD although I’ve been hating my scale lately, so maybe it will be easier than I think!!)
8) Do the Whole 30 plan!
Over the course of the next three weeks, I plan to do all of these steps so that the first part of January I will be ready to do my 30 day program! Who is with me?
It starts with reading the book, and going through their website, which I’m currently doing. I normally don’t read much non-fiction unless it’s educational related but I started this book earlier this week and have been reading some every chance I get! The writing is easy to read and I love that they use science-y terms (real term they use in the book!) and explain the benefits of this plan as they go through the book. I’m excited about reading more of the book and getting mentally and physically prepared for the new year.
Their book It Starts With Food and their website Whole9Life.com are full of helpful tips and ideas on how to change your life for the better with no gimmicks or special foods to purchase (unless you call organic real food, special). There are no pills, potions or concoctions to take at a certain time of the day. Sounds like a great plan to follow, if you ask me!!
From the Preface of It Starts With Food:
“We eat real food –fresh, natural food, like meat, vegetables, and fruit. We choose foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition. And food quality is important — we are careful about where our meat, seafood, and eggs come from, and we buy organic, local produce as often as possible.”
Some of the things I have taken away from the book, so far:
- The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options. Seems pretty simple, right? But, really if I think about it, I know this is true, but don’t always act on it! Time to act on it!!
- Our healthy lifestyle (or lack thereof) starts with food! Deep, huh?? :-)
- The Whole30 program is based on a program by Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution, called the “thirty-day elimination”. I’ve been hearing about the Paleo plan a lot lately, and how effective it is at helping to improve several health issues!
- The Hartwig’s combined scientific research with clinical experience to come up with this program! This is a big deal to me. It may not matter to some people but I like to hear plenty of research as well as “real people” experience when I’m looking at a way to help improve my health!
- Our good health starts with the foods we eat. And determining which foods make you more healthy starts with their four “Good Food Standards”: Promote a healthy psychological response. Promote a healthy hormonal response. Support a healthy gut. Support immune function and minimize inflammation.
Seeing this list just shows me that I truly do need to follow this plan, at least long enough to see how the food I am eating affects my overall health. I’m dealing with hormone issues, digestive issues, and inflammation issues. Sounds like I need this plan.
One of my favorite points that I have read, so far is:
Stress eating can promote habit-driven overeating even in the absence of active stress. So as a result of the stress-related habits you’ve created, you may find yourself reaching for the cookies when you’re feeling tired, cranky, or just kind of down. (Remember, cravings are strongly tied to emotion.) Over time, as your brain continues to create new links between “cookie” and “feeling better,” the association — and your wanting for more — continues to grow stronger.
Stress is so much of our normal life today, that it is no wonder that so many of us use junk food as a common soother.
The stressed brain expresses both a strong drive to eat and an impaired capacity to inhibit eating….Sounds like a catch 22, to me. Does it sound that way to you, too?
If all of this sounds like something you would like to participate in, please get the book and get started with the preparatory aspects of it. I think giving myself a little time to read through everything will help me be more successful, as I take on this new adventure.
There are cookbooks and tons of recipes that follow the Whole30 plan, if you want to start looking ahead at what you can and can’t eat, if you decide to follow this plan. The following foods are not “allowed” on the Whole30 program.
- sugar (real or artificial)
- “junk” food (processed, fake food)
Dairy will be my most difficult to give up, as I eat Greek yogurt nearly EVERY SINGLE MORNING for breakfast. I’ve known for a good part of 2014 that I need to give up sugar and I know I feel a lot better when I remove gluten from my diet. I know looking at this list, I am thinking….BUT what AM I GOING TO EAT???
The answer: Foods that are REAL! I like to put it this way, “If God made it, it’s good. If Man made it, it’s bad!” I know that this is not a hard and fast “rule”, but it makes it easier to process in my head! I also know that a lot of people don’t like to think of food as good or bad, but this is my way of thinking about it, so it may not apply to you!
While looking on Amazon, I found an ebook, cookbook with recipes that you can prepare, within 30 minutes!! Now that’s my kind of cookbook! I even found a recipe that I know our family will love! (And if our family will like it it’s almost a guaranteed bet that yours will! We have to be the world’s pickiest family when it comes to food!!)
If you are interested in following this Whole30 plan with me (and a few of the other writers here), I highly recommend you read It Starts With Food and check out the information on the website, Whole30 and start getting familiar with the information in the book and website.
I hope the info in this post gives you some things to ponder and consider! If you are interested in following the plan with me in January, please let me know so we can start our own community of support!! I think it will be easier to do, together!!
***The information in this post comes from information I got from the It Starts With Food book that I purchased for my Kindle with money that my husband and I earned or the free website, Whole30.com or Whole9Life.com. I am not a medical professional nor am I smart enough to assume to be smarter than your doctor or medical personnel of choice. If you are interested in reading this book and following the plan listed in here, I would like to recommend discussing it with your doctor. I have talked to two of my doctors about some of the information in this book and they are supportive of my decision to attempt to follow the plan for at least 30 days.