Starting the Whole30 Journey

A couple weeks ago I was out for coffee with my best friend Mimi. Mid-conversation, she said, “Hey, let’s do the Whole30 program.” And I said, “Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.” I’d heard of Whole30 before and I know some people who have done it and loved it. So I thought, how hard could it be? We decided to start after Memorial Day so that we could still enjoy our pie and alcohol and other bad yummy foods.

I didn’t give Whole30 too much thought again until Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Mimi and I were at the Market gathering produce for our new diet and we started talking more about this Whole30 thing that we were about to start. She said, “You know you can’t have dairy, right? No milk or cheese or anything. And no added sugars, no grains, no baked goods.” I stopped dead in my tracks. I love sugar, chocolate, carbs, milk, cheese, and wine. I love all the foods. “Maybe I should go read the Whole30 book and figure out what I’m getting myself into.”

So I ordered the book on Amazon and then I had four days to prepare myself for this Whole30 journey. I studied, I went grocery shopping, and I did a little meal-prep for the week. To be honest, this seems hard. Hard and not very fun. But I know it’s going to be worth it.

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So what is the Whole30?

Whole30 is not a diet, a weight-loss program, or a “get thin quick” fad. The book says, “Think of the Whole30 like pushing the reset button with your health, your habits, and your relationship with food.” We tell ourselves that we have to have certain foods. We have to have warm bread and butter while we wait for our food at the restaurant. We need to add sugar to those strawberries or they won’t taste as good. But the truth is that we don’t need any of those things. Whole30 is about giving your body only what it needs, not what it craves. The Whole30 makes you spend 30 days breaking your addictions to cookies, chips, grease, whatever it is, and redefine your relationship with food. Losing weight has nothing to do with it (the book even tells you to throw away your scale while on the program); It’s all about health.

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Staying sane in the new year

There’s always a lot of hype around this time of year. We set goals to lose weight, have more money, and be nice. Essentially, we are trying to be better people, as if the person you were this year wasn’t good enough.

I’d like to propose that we are good enough. In 2014 we’ve all accomplished great things, met some goals, broke some resolutions, experienced some truly great moments, and went through some hardships. We are awesome human beings.

Sure, there are some changes that we’d like to make in order to enhance our lives, but I encourage you to be realistic. Don’t set a “new year’s resolution” to lose forty pounds by summertime. Resolutions like that are nearly impossible to keep.

Make lifestyle changes, not resolutions.

If you want to see improvement and enhance your quality of life, make little lifestyle changes instead of huge resolutions. Try to replace a cookie with a banana once a week. When your co-workers get on your nerves, take a few deep breaths instead of saying that snarky comment. Slowly develop a routine that will bring you towards your ultimate goal.

2014 is almost over. Hold onto your precious memories and throw the rest of the garbage away. Don’t get caught up in making crazy resolutions, just be true to yourself and start the new year with fresh eyes and an optimistic heart.