I'm thinking about doing a Whole 30 in January. What is a "Whole 30" you might ask? Good question. The Whole 30 is a program developed by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig who say,
Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.For 30 days, program participants adhere to a squeaky-clean Paleo diet consisting of meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats, all while ditching sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes. No cheating, no slip-ups. And if there are, you start over. Sound harsh? It is.
What's the point? Why do a Whole 30? The Hartwig's postulate that until you remove the most offensive and inflammatory foods from your diet (think wheat and sugar), it's impossible to pinpoint which foods might be contributing to issues such as joint pain, heartburn, or infertility.
I did an "Eat Real" challenge a few years ago with a local Crossfit gym and my former co-worker. The goal then was 33 days and I made it to day 27. Ryan had emergency spleen surgery #2 and I got sick with a hellacious bug which meant I downed ginger ale, crackers and stress-ate the most ridiculous cookie dough brownies I've ever seen. But. I did make it 27 days!
The Whole 30 rules are slightly more strict. No added sugar in any of your meats (no grocery store bacon.) No butter - unless it's clarified, or you can use ghee. No "paleo-ifying" desserts even with approved ingredients. No almond flour & date cookies. No egg and banana pancakes. SWYPO is what they call that - I'll let you Google - and it's not allowed.
So why am I planning to do this? Defining your WHY is always important. I have three reasons.
- I need a re-set. I eat gluten free 100% of the time but that doesn't mean I don't indulge in sugar or other processed gluten-free foods (cough, cough, AHEM
kettle corn)whenever I feel like it. I want a fresh start to a new year and I believe the Whole 30 will help. I also recently finished two months' worth of fertility drugs. No telling how those affected my hormone levels and other body systems.
- I like sugar too much. Whether it's PMS or just wanting something sweet after meals, it's definitely become a habit and not a great one. Our bodies aren't designed to need chocolate after meals. Or ice cream. That's a learned behavior and craving. I went 27 days without any added refined sugars and I know I can do it again. I hope. :-0 #imightdie
- I'm still looking for any contributing factors to our fertility issues. While doing some Internet research a while back, I read where one girl quoted her new specialist/naturopathic physician as saying, "Once you remove inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy, your body can focus on what it's supposed to do - creating and keeping a pregnancy." Something like that. And while I'm not naive enough to think that a Whole 30 is going to give me a baby, I still want to try everything in my power to get there. Above and beyond that though, I want to feel good. I want my hormones to function like they should. I want to sleep well every night. I want to identify whether or not I might have some autoimmune issues going on.
I haven't determined my start date yet. Right now it's looking like January 5th. I'm excited. And seriously already talking myself out of it. It's so hard and I only know that because I REMEMBER SITTING ON THE COUCH CRYING the first week of "Eat Real." I don't know if it's better to know what you're getting into or not but either way, I think it will be good.
If you'd like to join me or just want more information, start here! I'd love to have some company and moral support. I'm hoping to use the next week or so to prepare, hunt down recipes, and meal plan. 2015...it'll be here before you know it!