“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.” -Melissa & Dallas Hartwig, It Starts with Food
Happy Valentine’s Day all you lovebirds, singletons and even the “it’s complicated” ones! When I got to thinking about my blog post for this week, I did not really know what to share on this holiday of love. Foods I love? Recipes I love? And then I thought, what do I love the most? Well that’s easy, me! That’s right I said it, me. I heart myself! Here’s why…(Carrie Bradshaw said it best), “The most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.” #SATC And that’s all I have to say about that…I mean this is a food blog, so let’s get back to it!
Since I love myself the most, I am embarking on my third Whole30 journey. Many people see this as a diet, (ugh, I hate that word), a quick fix to lose some unwanted lbs. before spring/summer arrive, (I am not going to lie, that is a bonus side effect, but that is just one of many) or just merely because it’s the next big fad. Wrong-o! I am doing this because I love myself and my body, not because I hate it. I mean let’s be real. Your body loves you! Think about it:
“Did you ever realize how much your body loves you? It’s always trying to keep you alive . It’s making sure you breathe while you sleep, stopping cuts from bleeding, fixing broken bones, finding ways to beat illnesses that might get you. Your body literally loves you so much. It’s time to start loving it back.”
For the third time in three years, I am embarking upon my third Whole30. I vowed to complete one Whole30 a year from the time I first discovered it, but this year I have set out to do four, one for each quarter of 2016. For those of you who do not know what the Whole30 is all about, let me sum it up for you right here: Eat real, whole foods for 30 days. It’s that simple! Okay, well it’s not as simple as you think, because there is more to it than that.
For starters, I recommend you check out the official website, but if you really and truly want to fully immerse yourself in all of the ins and outs, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of It Starts with Food. (This book takes it down to the cellular level of what happens inside your body when you eat certain foods so you fully understand why you are doing what you are doing during the next 30 days).
When people ask me, “What can’t you eat on this Whole30?” Well…buckle up b*tches…You cannot consume any of the following:
- Added sugar. This even includes natural sugars (i.e. honey, maple syrup, agave, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, etc.) Unless it’s already in what you are eating, like an apple, well then just say see ya!
- Alcohol. Yep, you read that correctly. No alcohol. Not even in cooking. Go ahead. I will wait as you fall to the floor in disbelief…Okay, you good now? Let’s proceed!
- Grains. Not even whole grains like quinoa, oats, wheat, barley, rye, or corn.
- Legumes. No beans of any kind. Keep in mind peanuts are considered legumes so no peanuts either, that means peanut butter as well! (Cue the gasps).
- Dairy. Cut the cheese (literally) out of your diet.
- Carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites. Not sure if these are in your food? Read labels!
Fine print: Do not try and recreate any baked goods, junk food or treats with Whole30 approved ingredients. That’s a no go folks, so don’t even think about recreating your favorite cookie recipe. It’s off limits for 30 days!
Now that you know what you cannot eat, let’s refocus on the positives and think about all the foods you can eat:
- Meat. Fish, chicken, pork, beef. All of the above! Be sure to purchase the highest quality when possible.
- Vegetables. Fresh veggies are the best, but frozen is the next best choice.
- Fruit. Same rules apply as veggies. Fresh > Frozen.
- Healthy fats. Need a quick reminder on what constitutes a healthy fat? Click here to read one of past posts featuring examples of healthy fats.
- Nuts and seeds. All in moderation of course as these little guys really pack a caloric punch.
Recommendation: Stick to the outer perimeter of the grocery store when grocery shopping. If you think about it, that is where all the real food is anyways! Only hit the middle aisles if you are stocking up on items like coffee, nuts, seeds, spices or any of these Whole30 approved items!
Come on, it’s not as bad as you think guys! I mean if i didn’t find any benefit to it do you think I would be doing this for a third time, let alone four times in one year? (The answer is no). I have inspired co-workers, friends and even my parents to try this out. It’s only 30 days! Plus, the benefits are numerous, astounding even. We are talking about a better night’s sleep, decreased (or no) joint pain, clearer skin, and yes, weight loss, among a list of many others.
I am on day five and am already down 1.3 lbs. (even though you are not supposed to weigh yourself #ourlittlesecret), but most importantly, I am feeling good because I am nourishing my body with real, nutritious food. What better way can I say “I love you” to myself than that?! Love yourself enough to give it a try. If 30 days seems like too much, then start off small with a Whole9. I started my third journey down the Whole30 road on Wednesday, February 10th and will be ending my journey on Thursday, March 10th and will proceed with a 10 day reintroduction period.
5 days down and 25 to go…Until next time.