30 Whole Days of eating food, doesn’t sound too difficult does it? Well, Keith and I decided to take on this challenge last month. Up to this point, we had made an effort to eat well (most days) and keep up with the latest in food education. Through that research, we came across this diet,“The Whole30 Program,” mentioned by many different authors whom we greatly respect.
Now, diet may seem like a scary word, but do not let it be. Diet commonly comes with a negative connotation, involving words such as: counting calories and restriction; not to mention, all those gimmicky pills. With this shoved in our faces daily, why would anyone ever want to start a diet? Certainly doesn’t sound enjoyable to me! Instead, diet should be associated with the habits & choices we make regarding the food we consume, throughout our daily lives. Diet is what you & I decide to sustain or nourish our bodies with and it is life-long! It illustrates a good and necessary aspect of life.
There are countless plans and recipes to choose from when looking to change your eating habits. We chose The Whole30 because it is an elimination diet (there is that scary word again); but let me explain. We probably know someone who is lactose-intolerant, allergic to peanuts, or has Celiac disease right? These individuals are unable to process certain food ingredients. If they do ingest that component, the body reacts, usually by means of inflammation, and the person is made aware by means of an upset stomach, skin rash, or even trouble breathing. But, tangible reactions are not always felt, and seemingly healthy people may be unaware of the damage being done beneath the surface. For instance, generalized joint pain seems to have become a more frequent complaint among patients recently. People may chalk this up to a consequence of aging, but at 40 years old, you should not be limited in your daily life because all of your joints ache with no obvious cause. This system-wide pain is a 'hidden' symptom of that person’s dietary choices because it is not something directly associated with the food they eat.
Remember the word 'elimination' from earlier? Well, in the case of The Whole30, this word is good because it aims to cleanse your system of all the potential irritants you consume and then allow you to be made aware of which particular foods may be causing those undesirable symptoms. The daily headaches you experience, difficulty sleeping at night, or the constipation you’ve always dealt with are not things you just have to accept.
This diet has had difficult days, yes, but the difficulty level depends on your mental outlook too. That is why you are encouraged to create goals before beginning the program. My goals going into the 30 days were: 1) to have more energy, 2) to learn new recipes, and 3) to eat out less frequently. Stay tuned for results, favorite recipes and the advice I have upon finishing!