At Snickled Pink, you ask and I deliver. Over the past couple of days, I’ve had quite a few people reach out with questions about what this “Whole30” mumbo jumbo is all about. In all honesty, this is my first time going through the program, so I am still learning. I’ve done a good deal of reading however, and with just 2 days under my belt, already have some insight to share.
The Whole30 program is based on an idea similar to “you are what you eat.” If you remember back to my post about fueling your machine, I spoke about this a bit there. Created in 2009, the Whole30 program operates around the idea that certain food groups may be adversely effecting our bodies and minds. There are a wide range of symptoms to consider, including poor energy levels, skin or digestive issues, body pain, etc. The list goes on. If in fact one of these symptoms is a result of diet, then the only way to truly find out is to eliminate certain foods and see if a difference is noticed. When you commit to the Whole30, you are committing to 30 days of focusing on real food and removing those that are potentially harmful.
Here are the DO NOT rules:
Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial.
Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking.
Do not eat grains.
Do not eat legumes.
Do not eat dairy.
Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.
Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients.
Day 2, I walked in to work and the first thing that I said to my coworker was, “This Whole30 thing is really hard.” Truth be told, I didn’t think it was going to be. I cook a lot at home and feel like my meals are generally pretty healthy. When I went to prepare food for day 1, looking through our pantry and refrigerator, I realized that a lot of what we eat is not on the approved list. Pasta sauce has added sugar. So does almond milk. Nearly everything does. Cheese is a staple in our house and that’s now out. I absolutely love salad, so I figured I could just eat those. Well, if you want dressing, you’re going to have to make it because there is sugar in it otherwise. I’ve now been to the grocery store 5 times in 2 days. I’ve spent, what feels like, more money than I usually do and am doing way more work!
If it sounds like I’m whining, I am. Well, I’m not anymore, but this was basically what I described that morning at the office. Then I began writing this post and read something on the Whole30’s website that I’d like to share with you, because it’s so true: “It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.”
It was at this point that my post originally concluded. I would, however, like to share with you an anecdote that occurred between writing and editing. I planned a Whole30 taco dinner for my husband and I to enjoy last night. I had to run out on my lunch break to get the appropriate seasoning packet and a different store on my way home from work for another ingredient. After getting out of work late, I got home and began preparing dinner. I was beyond hungry. An hour later, I took the beef out of the oven and set it on the counter. Now, when I say “counter,” I need you to imagine a counter covered in boxes and giant tubes of construction glue. (We’re still unpacking and getting settled in our new house.) It was a balancing act to say the least. Just as I went to plate our meal, the bowl of beef went crashing to the ground. Glass was everywhere. All I could do was stand in silence staring at my meat on the ground, as my husband came running from upstairs. Thinking about all of the planning, and trips to the store, and time spent preparing, I nearly melted down. After a visit to the fridge and some not-so-careful consideration, we were off to our local Mexican restaurant.
And so, today is my second Day 2 of the Whole30 this year. I told you that I would be 100% honest with you form the beginning and so here is my not-so-pretty truth. I worked my butt off, struggled, and failed. These things happen. The only thing that we can do is pick ourselves back up and try again. I’m proud to say that I have. I hope that you find success in your eating, be it through the Whole30 or something else. I know with great certainty that you can do it.
For more information, visit http://www.thewhole30.com.