Updated: Apr 21, 2020
Woohoo! I just completed my third Whole30!! Today I wanted to talk about my Whole30 experience and breakdown some myths and misconceptions behind them. First let me give a little backstory-
I started my first Whole30 in June 2018. I was feeling terrible when I moved home from Chicago- I was constantly getting sick (like the cold/flu) and was consistently having digestive issues. I had heard about the Whole30 from family members and other paleo bloggers I follow, so I decided to give it a go. I loved it, and I got back on my feet in no time.
For those of you who are unsure of what the Whole30 consists of- its basically not a diet, but a lifestyle change. It's also an elimination "diet" and a way to incorporate whole, real food into your lifestyle. Avoid sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, MSG, sulfites, carrageenan, but add in an abundance of meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit, natural fats, spices/herbs. After the 30 days, you can slowly (and following the Whole30 reintroduction process) add these foods back into your diet to see how it affects your health and body.
I was really drawn to the Whole30 because they stand on the notion of lifestyle change- it's not about a quick fix or losing weight, but bettering your energy and sleep, anxiety, chronic pain, digestive issues, skin conditions, athleticism, etc. You don't weigh yourself or focus on the number on the scale, but instead focus on your overall health- mind and body. Most importantly, its about developing a better relationship with food. Listening to hunger cues, learning how to nourish your body, be mindful, hydration, proper fuel- the list goes on!
I love the Whole30 because it makes me feel my best. When I'm eating Whole30 compliant meals- my sleep, energy, digestion and skin is amazing. Its obviously something that's not maintainable for the rest of your life, but it's so easy to incorporate into your life and focus on consistency. There are only a few months out of the year where I'll go full Whole30, but even when I'm not "doing Whole30" I like to keep up with eating the same way, but still making sure I'm enjoying myself when I go out with friends, on vacation, and the spontaneous moments in life. It's all about balance and consistency.
During my Whole30, I really work on my relationship with food. I practice mindfulness and being kind to myself. I keep a board in my room of compliments I can give myself and a calendar of my workouts- this way I can visually seeing my growth and remind myself that it's okay to take rest days and rejuvenate the body. The Whole30 is pretty easy once you get the hang of it and the sugar cravings subside after about a week.
Life's all about balance- and you should fuel your body however you see fit. For me, Whole30 is best because it teaches me about nutrition, how to fuel my body, add variety into my meals and more consistently hydrate.
There are a lot of easy swaps out there for Whole30-
Primal Kitchen products
Justine's Nut Butters
For someone with pretty bad digestion, I constantly have to be careful about what I put into my body. I want to cherish and nourish my body in the best way possible to heal my gut. I'm an advocate for eating however you want- as long as your main focus isn't weight loss or a quick fix.
I always keep a journal during the Whole30- tracking my digestion, mood, energy levels and hydration. This really helps me understand what upsets my stomach and pinpoint the foods/time of day/stressors that trigger upsets.
A little breakdown of a month in the life of the Whole30:
Week 1: Yeah I got this- making meals and meal prepping is super easy and I'm loving everything green
Week 2: Oh god my body is detoxing and I'm breaking out, really tired, having some sugar cravings and really need to up my hydration but we're pushing through
Week 3: Okay this is super easy and feeling back on track
Week 4: We're almost done and technically in a week I can have ice cream but also LOVE the way I'm feeling and loving everything green again
The Whole30 website is SUPER helpful with so many resources on what's allowed and what to avoid, brand you can use, Whole30 101, community forums, books, recipes, and more!
If you have any questions, please reach out. And remember- however you eat or whatever "diet" you embark on, remember to love yourself and find reasons why it makes you feel good inside out. Give your body what it needs and you'll be feeling splendid.