Are you ready for a change? Want to reset your eating habits, get rid of unhealthy cravings, and restore your metabolism? Today I am going to talk about the nutritional program called Whole30 that helps you do all of that and more in just 30 days.
As the season of gluttony approaches, many of us start thinking about dieting, cleansing, and doing a little health reset. I get a lot of questions about what type of diet/cleanse I recommend. I have never been into extreme cleanses or super restrictive dieting. I have found that a whole food approach that eliminates unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory foods is the best approach to making real, lasting change.
What is Whole30?
Whole30 is a nutritional program developed by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig (of Whole9) in April 2009 to help people find better health in just 30 days. The idea is that certain foods (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) can negatively affect your health and quality of life without you even realizing it. By removing these foods completely from your diet for 30 days, you give your body time to heal and rest from foods that may be affecting your metabolism, causing inflammation, and aggravating your digestive system.
And the results can be life changing! Many people learn how their daily food choices are negatively affecting their health and can begin to make the connecting between the foods that they eat and the physical ailments that they experience. This program will change the way you think about food, will change the way you taste food, and may even change your emotional relationship with food.
You may be a good candidate for the Whole30 program if you:
- are always tired
- have unexplained aches and pains
- have a hard time losing weight
- have digestive issues (bloating, gas, indigestion, heartburn)
- skin issues like acne
- seasonal allergies
- fertility issues
Because all of these issues can be related to food choices. There is a lot of conflicting information about what “healthy” really is. The Whole30 program can help you sort out and investigate what works for your body and what doesn’t. Like I said: life changing!
Benefits of Whole30:
I have personally done the Whole30 program several time. And have continued to eat that way for extended periods of time. I cannot say enough about how good it has been for my body. And for my relationship with food.
Most people experience weight loss while on the program without restricting calories. People also report increased energy levels, improved sleep and mental clarity, and an overall sense of well-being. It feels good to eat clean. It feels good to get rid of the things that are slowing us down and creating inflammation.
Personally, my digestion also improves significantly when on the program. We all have our problem areas, and mine is definitely my gut. The Whole30 program removes foods that are irritating to the gut and gives it a chance to heal. I also feel more energetic and clear-headed.
The founders of Whole30 emphasize the psychological benefits of the program as well. Many people admit to having long-standing, unhealthy habits related to food. The program helps you take at look at that and helps you make positive changes as you begin to feel better. People also report reduction and even elimination of food cravings after the program.
If you check out the Whole30 website, you will also see testimonials of people improving many lifestyle-related diseases and conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, migraines, depression, chronic fatigue, joint pain, arthritis, asthma, allergies, heartburn and other digestive issues, skin conditions, and so much more.
What to eat:
meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. So basically eat real food with few ingredients that are totally natural and unprocessed.
What to avoid:
- sugar of any kind, real or artificial (No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc)
- alcohol and tobacco
- grains (this includes wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa)
- legumes (this includes black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, and peanuts.)
- dairy (with the exception of clarified butter or ghee)
- carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. Check out the Whole30 Additive Cheatsheet HERE.
And it is recommended to NOT re-create your favorite food cravings/baked goods using healthy and allowed food.
So, before you roll your eyes and say “NO WAY!”, take a moment and check out the Whole30 website. This is a program that thousands of people have done and have experienced wonderful results. The website outlines the entire program step by step and provides tons of support. You can read all about why certain foods are not allowed. You can join the Whole30 forum to connect with others doing the program. You can subscribe to the Whole30 newsletter to extra support. There are even free shopping and meal planning resources on the site. Plus support for after you finish the program.
Check out the official program rules HERE.
How to get started:
- Just make the commitment to better health. It’s only 30 days. You will NOT regret it!
- Do some reading. Check out It Starts with Food and The Whole30 , both written by the founders of Whole30.
- Go to the Whole30 website and start your 30 day reset.
- And remember that it is not about what you cannot eat. Focus on what you CAN eat. It makes it much easier.
Need some inspiration?
Wondering what to eat? I have created a special Whole30 compliant section of my favorite Whole30 meals in my recipe index. Check it out HERE.
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Now I want to hear from you: Anyone else out there have experience with Whole30? Please share in the comments.
photo credit: depositphotos @ magone
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