If you follow any health blogs or news, you’ve probably heard about the “Whole30” diet.
Since I’m always intrigued about new or re-newed ideas in the Health and Wellness arena, I’ve been reading about it for a while, and decided to do a “Whole 30” earlier this year.
I started it in January. I actually did my 5-Day Restart, initially (you can read about that HERE on my website), and used that as a stepping stone to start the Whole30 “style”. I did find some challenges which included:
1. Eating more meat than I had been eating (that was a goal I wanted to do, however)
2. No added sugars, at all (not even natural like honey and maple syrup)
3. No beans
4. No grains at all (not even gluten-free)
This program eliminates all dairy, but I had already done that with my 5-Day program. And I rarely do cow’s milk. As much as I love cheese, it does affect me negatively (congestion!), so that wasn’t difficult for me personally.
The program doesn’t recommend trying to re-create your favorite items with “approved” ingredients. It focuses on breaking free of those addictions and eating the whole, real foods. So, you have to be ready to “let go” … at least for 30 days.
The Whole30 program is very strict! You cannot cheat. If you cheat, you have to start back at Day 1. So a true “Whole30” is adhering to the program for 30 consecutive days.
If you are a meat eater, I think this is a very do-able program and I would recommend it if you want to get a good “reset” for your body. The Whole30.com website has a list of health benefits including:
• improved skin and hair,
• improved digestion (less bloating, acid reflux, better bowel movements),
• less allergies,
• improved blood pressure and cholesterol numbers,
• better mood and self-esteem,
• improved sleep and energy
• … and much more.
Of course, weight loss is likely too, if your body needs to shed some of that!
The main website does have suggestions for vegetarians and even a food list for FODMAP requirements if you need to follow that protocol too. I personally think it would be challenging to follow Whole30 as a vegetarian, but it appears to be possible.
There are pros and cons to everything. I don’t see Whole30 as a maintenance “eating style” but as a way to reset and focus more on whole, real foods. It’s unrealistic that Whole30 is going to be “Whole365” for almost anyone. It’s all about learning new ways to create and support healthi-ER habits!
With that said, I don’t believe there is ONE diet or “eating style” for everyone.
I do believe that our own “styles” will change over time, as our bodies change. Trying new ways of eating can be beneficial in finding what works best for you – at this time in your life. I’m also a fan of “blending” different diets to create what works for you. Your body is the ultimate judge!
I don’t believe everyone has to “do” a Whole30 to benefit from the program’s information. This program has generated a lot of great recipe ideas that anyone can enjoy. And they are made from real, whole ingredients. Even if you just incorporate some of the recipes and ideas into your current “eating style”, that is a step-up in your health and wellness!
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Here’s to being healthier, day by day!
Below are some links to websites with great info on the Whole30 program and tasty recipes.
Official Whole30.com Website
Whole30 Info on OurPaleoLife.com
A List of Blogs about Whole30 at Self.com
Recipes at Buzzfeed.com
Recipes at SkinnyTaste.com
Recipes for Sauces/Dressings at Whole30.com
Breakfast Recipes at Greatist.com
30 Days of Recipes at NomNomPaleo.com