Now, What the Heck is the Whole30®?
In the first post of this series I shared why you should do the Whole30® with Wandering Heart. Okay, but what exactly is the Whole30®? Let me break down the program into smaller nuggets that are easier to digest. Looking over the program rules and all of the information at once can be very overwhelming and hard to understand.
The Whole30 is a 30-day program for a nutrition reset. We achieve this by removing certain food groups during the 30 days that may be having a negative impact on your overall health and fitness. Think bloating after a meal, low energy levels, regular breakouts, poor sleep quality. Even larger issues like systemic inflammation, negative psychological effects, metabolism and hormone imbalance issues. All of these issues could be caused by the food you are consuming.
What are we removing for 30 days?
- Alcohol (did I just lose you?)
- Items that contain carrageenan, MSG, sulfites (added sulfites, not naturally occurring)
I know what you are thinking. “So, what can I eat?!”
- Loads of vegetables
- Some fruit
- Good amount of healthy fats from nuts, oils, seeds, and fruits
The focus is to eat foods with very few, if any, ingredients and get away from all things processed and created in a facility.
What are the most challenging parts of this program?
Reading your labels. Having a clear understanding of what to avoid. When I did my first Whole30 I printed all of the PDFs off whole30.com and took them to the store with me. I went when I knew I had plenty of time to stand in an aisle and dissect the back of a bottle of sauce or dressing. I also went armed with a detailed list and meal plan for the week.
Thinking outside of the box. For two or three years my breakfast was a protein smoothie loaded up with greens and fruit. And artificial sweeteners, thickeners, and other stuff not allowed on Whole30®. I had to change my breakfast habit first and eat real food instead of drinking a concoction. I was also training for a full-marathon and had to change my electrolytes and fuel during my run to something Whole30® compliant.
Kicking the sugar habit. Every day after lunch I would grab a little Dove dark chocolate square, maybe two, and every evening at home I would break off a square from an 85% dark chocolate bar. That doesn’t sound too bad, but if I look at how much sugar I am consuming from that alone over the course of a week, a month, then a year it amounts to too much. I chose to ease myself into the program the week before I officially started so the first week wouldn’t be as big of a shift.
When you successfully complete a Whole30® your life will be changed. You will look at food differently. You will discover which foods leave you feeling great and which ones don’t. You will start becoming an expert on your body. You will find Food Freedom as Melissa Hartwig, co-creator of Whole9® and Whole30®, calls it. Your taste buds will change. You will taste how sweet processed food really is. If you are anything like me, you will crave dark, leafy greens instead of chocolate. I have not picked up a dark chocolate square since August. That is HUGE. Now, I have had dessert on occasion! That is a part of my Food Freedom.
In future posts I will begin breaking down the rules one by one. Get ready to learn and understand how this program is built!