Why Whole30?

Dec 08, 2021

Many people look to “reset” when the New Year comes around. It’s a fresh start, an opportunity to look hard at your goals for the coming year and make some changes to your current lifestyle. Health goals (fitness and weight loss) are one of the most common New Year resolutions. While I will always support choices that are healthy for your physical body, I also firmly believe wellness is about so much more than a number on a scale or the number of calories you eat every day. That being said, I don’t usually encourage or support goals like, “I want to lose 20 pounds this year.” Or “I’m starting a diet where I only eat 500 calories a day.” There are a few reasons you won’t find these types of goals on my own list of resolutions. The number on the scale is not indicative of your true health. Limiting calories may also mean you’re not fueling your body properly and can lead to more stress and inflammation in the body than currently exists. While you may find that you’re losing weight and inches, you are not more “healthy.” Health should be the priority. 


Instead of chasing numbers, I think it’s important to discover what serves your body and what doesn't, and when your body is most likely to need specific types of nutrition. Discovering this is two-fold. First, you must identify the foods that don’t serve your body, and second, you must know your body’s rhythms well enough to know when to eat what. 


Living with the standard American diet, we often overlook the way we feel or don’t associate it with the food we eat. For example, I blamed my daily sinus congestion on allergies for years. I wasn’t entirely wrong as I do have seasonal allergies, but after some further investigation, I realized that gluten also makes me congested. So that toast I was eating with my breakfast every day was contributing to my constant sinus congestion. People who suffer from frequent constipation may find that dairy is to blame. Switching to alternative milk (lactose-free, almond, coconut, etc) might be the difference between needing a daily laxative or not. Dairy intolerances are also often a cause of acne. You might discover that corn and corn products lead to uncomfortable bloating or that sugars cause brain fog. And you might find that none of these things happen to you, instead, it’s something completely different. 


The best way I have discovered to investigate how common foods trigger you is to do a WHOLE30. Whole30 is a 30-day program that was created by a husband and wife team. The idea is that for 30 days, you do not consume any grains, dairy, soy, legumes, or sugar/sweeteners. This allows your body to completely detox from irritants, and then heal your gut decreasing your inflammatory responses. After your 30 days, you reintroduce each food group one at a time so you can identify which side effects you suffer from each one. So when you reintroduce dairy and you bloat, get irritable, and have weird dreams at night, you can decide if it is worth keeping dairy as a part of your daily diet. You wait a couple of days and then bring in the next food group. Maybe you don’t notice any differences when you eat gluten, so you keep that in your diet and then bring back the next one. Until you have explored each of the main triggers. 


When you have that information, you are empowered. You get to choose how you feel based on what you eat. Maybe ice cream with your kiddo is totally worth the bloat, but creamer in your coffee is not. Maybe you choose to avoid sugar and sweeteners before family photos because you know that is a cause of your acne. What you’ll find when you begin to limit the inflammation your body is suffering from, is better sleep, less bloating, more energy, less brain fog, and likely fewer inches. 


Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you this is a walk in the park. These 30 days require a whole lot of self-control and a true commitment. You must plan ahead and be prepared. It does require more homemade meals and fewer convenient pre-made dinner solutions. It does require you to read labels and check everything you consume-the amount of foods that have sugar added to them will blow your mind. But it is only 30 days, that is less than 10% of the whole year. You can do this. A quote from the book, It Starts With Food explains it this way, “It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.” 


There are many different support options and guidebooks to help you through these 30 days. I’m also happy to provide moral support in any way I can through the process. Finding the best version of yourself isn’t all about your mental and spiritual well-being. You are a multifaceted human and we must honor your body, just as much as we do your mind and soul. If you’re considering some changes in the New Year that support your physical body, I highly recommend starting with Whole30. 

I am not affiliated with Whole30 in any way, I just think it is a great program! 


Have you ever tried it? Tell me below. 





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