Ok friends. It’s time. For the next 30 days, I will not be eating:
- Added sugar – real or artificial. Yes, that includes honey, maple syrup and stevia.
- Alcohol. So long, Vander Mill Totally Roasted.
- Grains. Of any kind.
- Legumes. Beans, peas, lentils, peanuts – and yes, peanut butter.
- Dairy. No cow, goat, or sheep’s milk products – includes cheese, yogurt and yes, my beloved Whit’s.
- Carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites.
- Baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients. So no pancakes, waffles, “nice” cream or tortillas with approved ingredients.
These are the rules of the Whole30. A dietary reset that’s designed to break sugar cravings and unhealthy habits. It’s not about weight loss. It’s about me paying attention to what I’m eating, why I’m eating it and how it makes me feel.
I repeat: This is NOT about losing weight.
This is about taking my brain OFF auto-pilot. Doing “what I’ve always done” and paying attention to my habits – old habits that have snuck into my daily routine, and new habits I’ve built over the years.
In the spring, I did a similar reset (not Whole30) and felt awesome. I wasn’t bloated, I felt confident that I was making healthy choices, I didn’t feel deprived and I simply enjoyed eating healthy the majority of the time.
Then summer fun snuck in. Our Whit’s trips became more frequent. If we were out to eat, we ATE – drinks, appetizers, desserts and not the healthiest entrees, either. I started buying “paleo treats” that turned into “food with no brakes” for me. I relaxed my choices to include foods that I knew didn’t make me feel my best.
This is NOT about restriction.
I cannot stress enough that I am not on a mission of restriction. I am on a mission to find my Food Freedom.
I know there are foods that are engineered to derail my decision making, to make me crave them and overeat. I know that some of these foods are truly enjoyable for me and worth it to eat – and others are just lazy choices that don’t taste as good as I remember or want them to, and yet I keep eating them.
I’ve learned the Whole30 is an excellent way for me to break those mental ties to garbage food that’s not worth it for me to eat.
When I remove foods that can be problematic for my body and mind, I can reset those cravings that derail my health goals and truly make me question my sanity. I’m not kidding. Ever sat in front of a bowl of tortilla chips, didn’t really care for them, and JUST KEPT EATING THEM?? That’s me right now. The good news is, I have the tools to stop that unhealthy habit.
What’s “Food Freedom”
Food Freedom, as described by the co-creator of Whole30, is this:
Food freedom is feeling in control of the food that you eat, instead of food controlling you.
– Melissa Hartwig
Side note: Go follow Melissa on her social channels – you won’t regret it. She’s funny, no-nonsense, informative and inspiring. Excellent content there.
For me, my food freedom looks like making choices that empower me and support my health, while still also indulging at the times it feels right for me – to bond as a family over a special treat, or relax with my husband with a drink, or celebrate with a meal.
It does not look like me making unhealthy choices because “what the hell, it’s the weekend” or “I deserve this”. It’s me honestly asking myself what I want to eat, and then – once I’m eating it – assessing if it’s good enough to keep eating, or did a bite or two suffice?
It’s understanding when my cravings are getting the best of me.
And it’s recognizing when a treat is just what the occasion calls for.
It’s not making excuses or allowances or rules to eat by.
It’s knowing what makes me feel my best, making the best choice for me in that particular point in time, and always being aware of the role my emotions might play in my food choices.
Is Shakeology Whole30?
Simply put. No. It’s not.
Neither is my pre-workout (energize) or my intra-workout drink (hydrate).
So I’ll be saying sayonara to those daily habits during the Whole30.
This sounds extreme. Are you sure you want to do this? I couldn’t
Whole30 is a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Trust me. I was in camp “never say no to cheese” for a very long time and wouldn’t even consider giving up blue cheese on my salad or a slab of cheddar on my burger.
I’ve made it to this point gradually. I’ve made the decision to do Whole30 when it feels right for ME. Not because someone else is doing it or because I’ve felt pressured. I trust myself. I trust my instincts. I trust my body.
And right now, my body is not happy with me.
I’m not sleeping great. I’m experiencing a little more anxiety than normal. I feel a little stressed out. I’m feeling a little off the rails with my nutrition – and therefore, I know it’s a good time for me to push the reset button.
It’s Whole30 – not Whole365.
It’s a chance for me to wipe the slate clean and pay better attention to how different foods affect me – physically and mentally.
I’m not telling you to do it.
I’m not saying everyone should do it.
But I am committed to sharing my journey. So I’ll be documenting how I feel and what I’m learning along the way. Because what kind of a coach would I be, if I didn’t share my experiences?
Ok, where do I learn more about this?
Your first stop should be whole30.com – the site is chock-full of downloads, tips, case studies and more.
If you want to dig into the science of the program, read It Starts With Food.
If you want to learn the rules and get some recipes, read the Whole30.
If you want to figure out if Whole30 or a similar reset is for you, along with getting the tools to help you succeed before, during and after your reset, read Food Freedom Forever.
So you know what I’ll be doing for the next 30 days.
Eating out will be a necessity some nights, so I’m curious to take on that challenge.
Boys will still want pizza and Whit’s, so I’ll be testing my resolve.
I’ll probably get some good-natured teasing along the way from my friends – and let’s face it, I’m used to that.
So here we go.
Wish us luck!!
And I’ll see you next week with an update!!