No dairy, no grains, no sugar?
I couldn’t think of a worse hell, ma’ friends. But when January rolled around I found myself considering the Whole30 diet.
I’ll admit it, I love the idea of a cleanse. Maybe it has something to do with my love for fresh beginnings. Maybe it has something to do with my holiday season of “not-so-healthy” eats.
3 years ago I found real food. It drastically changed my body and I wrote a book about my weight loss by eating ALL THE FOODS. It was so freeing to eat fat, carbs, and protein and to make healthy desserts with real, whole ingredients. I stand by my real food lifestyle. I think it provides the most nutrients and the least stress on the body! I love raw dairy, (properly prepared) whole grains, and yes, I even love sugar—as long as it’s real minimally processed.
Cleanses for everybody!
I used to think the idea of a cleanse was such a joke. I mean, shouldn’t the lifestyle that maintains your health be the one you should stick to? What’s the purpose of avoiding a certain food if you’re planning on going back to eating it anyway?
But, I’ve found that there’s something really cool that happens when you challenge your body.
YOUR PERCEPTION CHANGES.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I used to be a hard-core raw vegan. Okay, okay, so maybe I only lasted one month, but my one-month-raw-veganism trial taught me something very important. It taught me that when you’ve been eating ONLY raw fruits & vegetables for an ENTIRE month, a cooked sweet potato sounds like a freaking miracle from heaven. See? Perception.
My philosophy on food is that our bodies naturally crave nutrient-dense food. We are hard-wired to crave fat, protein, or carbs depending on our current needs. The problem is when we let processed food sneak in here or there and we start to lose that real connection to real food. At first it’s just a little processed food, then it’s every day, then we find ourselves used to nibbling on things we would have previously gagged at.
Living in 2015 and trying to eat whole & natural can be a challenge. I needed to shock my body and change my perception of what it feels like to ONLY eat nutrient dense food.
And this, friends, is why I decided to do Whole30.
I was getting in a bit of a rut. I was cooking real food, and maintaining it by living the 80/20 rule. And by that, I mean I was “mostly cooking real food” and “thinking” I was living the 80/20 rule, but really sliding more towards 70/30 and going out to eat way too often for convenience.
I knew I needed a perception change. And honestly I LOVED the idea of a simple plan like Whole30. Thirty days is totally doable, and just enough time to feel better & change my perception. And except for that one day where I ate sushi (trust me, it was an emergency), I have done really great! And the best part? I have more energy, my clothes that were feeling a little too snug are already looser, and my perception about food is already changing. (A glass of raw goat’s milk sounds amazing to me right now!)
Before you say you’re disappointed in me, understand this…
I’ve been getting some comments about how people are disappointed with this choice, but here’s what you need to understand. This is MY body. I’ve always been very honest about my body and real food diet, and have publicly been talking about my journey since Day 1 when I was recovering from 2 major back surgeries and ready to give up. The real food diet helped me tremendously and I STILL believe it is the BEST diet overall to maintain good health.
But I also know my body and I know that if I slide too far with processed food, that it’s really hard for me to get away from it unless I reset my perspective and get a little more strict with myself. I have always said that if you feel like you need to do a cleanse, then try to be smart about it and avoid stressing your body out or doing anything too drastic. For me, this isn’t drastic, this is fun. Why? Because I know how good it will feel after 30 days to go back to our beloved raw dairy & sourdough bread. And I love how grateful I will be at the end of this for those simple foods.
In the end, it’s about YOU and YOUR body and how honest you can be with yourself. I trust my body. I know it will do well on the Whole30 and I know it will do well when I go back to ALL the real foods.
How Whole30 works, in a nutshell.
The Whole30 Program Rules
Yes: Eat real food.
Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed. Don’t worry… these guidelines are outlined in extensive detail in our free shopping list.
No: Avoid these things for 30 days.
More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. 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.
- Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
- Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either).
- Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
- Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
- Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
- Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
- Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients. (source)
But how has it really been, DaNelle? Are you dying?
Totally not dying! But, let me say that I definitely did my research and read tips from seasoned Whole30-ers. I found an amazing resource that has helped me do this painlessly!
- MEAL PLANS – Oh my gosh, these meal plans have saved me! And these aren’t just any meal plans, Melissa from The Clothes Make the Girl had the GENIUS idea to make all of the food ahead of time. I’m serious when I say I spend a few hours at the beginning of the week roasting 2 chickens, cooking 2 soups, slow-cooking a pork roast, steaming all sorts of veggies, & whipping up sauces & glazes. GENIUS, I tell you. I cannot tell you how amazing it is when 4 o’clock rolls around and you know you have pre-cooked chicken, veggies, and spaghetti squash, and thai cashew sauce, and all you have to do is throw it together. When I get back to my real food diet, I am revamping all of my meal plans
So, what do you think? Are you ready to do Whole30 with me?
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