I mentioned in my 'about' section that when I stumbled upon the Whole30, it was the catalyst for real change in my life and I thought I should explain why.
Weight, and too much of it, is not something I have had to worry about. I can thank my genetics (my mum) for that. So I have always been able to eat whatever I wanted to without putting on a lot of body fat. But this did not mean I was healthy.
What did I used to eat?
An average day consisted of a breakfast of 2 Weetbix with soy milk and 2 pieces of wholemeal toast with butter and vegemite. A morning snack was a banana and a muesli bar. Lunch was a wholemeal roll with chicken, cheese, avocado and beetroot with an afternoon snack of a Mars Bar. Dinner was spaghetti bolognese and after dinner I would have to have something sweet, ice-cream, chocolate pudding, cake or chocolate. I would also drink a couple cups of green tea, maybe a coffee and some water throughout the day.
Now that does’t look too bad right? However, every meal consisted of packaged food with lists of ingredients that did not contain real food. Plus I survived on sugar, at every meal and every snack. And where are the green vegetables? Well they were replaced with filler food. Food that makes you feel full but then quickly disappears and has you reaching for the sweet stuff.
What did I eat on the Whole30?
You can click here for the official program rules, but essentially you just eat real food, meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, all fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, coffee, tea, vinegar and some oils and fats.
You don’t eat grains, legumes, dairy, sugar (any kind), alcohol, additives or ‘re-created’ foods with compliant ingredients.
Sound restrictive and like a whole lot of work?
Yes it is. That’s the point. It’s meant to challenge your thoughts around food, what you eat and why and by doing this it’ll help get more goodness into your day. Plus there is no weighing or measuring yourself for 30 days which means you can start to listen to your body and what it is telling you without using the scales to make this judgement.
“Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life” (Whole30.com)
What happens after the 30 days?
You gradually introduce food groups back in and see how they affect you. You might get bloated and feel tired after trying bread again, or you might not see any effect from trying yoghurt. But you will gradually begin to learn what is right for your body. If you listen.
Do you have to eat this way forever?
No way. That is not the premise behind the program. The idea is to get back to basics and figure out what is right for you. You may find that it didn’t make any difference to how you feel, you may find out that you miss drinking alcohol but that perhaps you’ll just stick to 1 glass a day as you feel better doing that. Or you might find that eating eggs and vegetables for breakfast everyday keeps you going until lunch and makes you feel great!
It started a whole world of discovery for me as it helped highlight a whole list of food intolerances that indicated a much larger digestive problem. But without the program I would have never been able to recognise the issue because I just thought that what I felt was normal.
Can anyone try it?
If you take medication or have any medical conditions then speak to your GP, a nutritionist, naturopath or your preferred practitioner for advice before embarking on this journey to make sure it is right for you.
Where do I find more information?
Head to www.whole30.com for all the information you will need. Everything is free and you can also buy the book “It Starts With Food” and “The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom” online or in bookstores.
(P.s. this post is not sponsored)