What is the Whole30® Program?
If you’ve been reading any sort of information on health and wellness, you would be hard pressed not to come across something to do with Whole30. Heck they just got their own salad at Chipotle!
Whole30 was started by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig back in 2009. Melissa is very candid about her life of addiction in her 20’s and then getting into recovery through rehab. When she got out of rehab she sought solace at the gym. Her diet wasn’t the best, however, and when her then husband Dallas suggested they stop eating junk and eat only whole foods she jumped on board. She saw a huge impact in her health and wellness and decided to start helping others achieve the same results.
Over time she grew her following and wrote several books, the first of which, It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways became a New York Times Best Seller in 2012.
Detractors say it is too restrictive…
but personally I feel like there are ways to address the challenges. For example, are your hormones in balance? Very often women heading into perimenopause or menopause have a hard time giving up their glass of wine at the end of day if their hormones are not balanced. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from someone that giving up alcohol for 30 days just won’t happen. Again, I think there are other issues at play – for example, the holidays would NOT be a good time to undergo a Whole 30 effort. The 30 days has to be at the right time. I also recommend that people go without alcohol for at least a week BEFORE they start the program just to get the confidence that they CAN, in fact, forego that glass (or three) of wine at night. It also allows for the munchies that may follow that first week.
Personally, I found that once I was able to prove to myself that I could “Mind Over Matter” (as my Nana used to say) my cravings, that I could constructively find ways to distract myself and satisfy cravings. For example, my husband and I got into playing some really fun board games during my first Whole 30 run (Catan) which definitely distracted me with something fun that didn’t make me feel like my whole life was coming to an end because I couldn’t “get my drink on” or have that pizza and wings every Friday. I also found creative “mocktails” that I could enjoy at the end of the day like unsweetened cranberry juice, fresh lime with some Perrier or soda water over ice.
The second hardest thing to give up, in my opinion is gluten. Bread is a staple in the western diet. How can that delicious white fluffy goodness be bad for us? Well, look at it this way, it’s Whole 30 not Whole Forever. The idea isn’t that you can’t eat a French Baguette when you are in Paris, it is to feed yourself only the very best in nutrition for 30 days to feel and look better. Developing new habits over that time will help you not just to yo-yo right back after the 30 days.
One thing I really like is that you don’t weigh yourself AT ALL during the 30 days. I realized after a couple of weeks in that weighing myself daily was actually hurting my ability to keep going on whatever nutrition program I was doing in the past because I would have one day where I didn’t lose weight or God Forbid, GAINED weight and I would just lose hope and say “Why am I even bothering” as I opened that Pinot Noir. Staying away from the scale helps you to keep the focus on feeding yourself healthy, nutritious food, not losing weight. Losing weight is a side effect of eating the right foods, not the main goal.
No Alcohol, Grains, Dairy, Sugar or Artificial Sweetener, Legumes, Carrageenan, MSG, or Sulfites, Junk Food, Baked Goods or “Treats.”
Don’t weigh yourself for the entire 30 days.
You may use Ghee or clarified butter, salt, vinegar, certain beans like green beans, snow peas, and snap peas, some fruit juice and coconut aminos (Bragg’s is my personal favorite.)
I know I just lost about half of my readers just now, but WAIT, you can do this! I’m highly motivated to help you take control of your health! There is no reason why you can’t see this through. That is why I have a special Facebook Support Group just for people like you! One of the reasons I became a coach was to be that support person a lot of people don’t have to push through. If you really want to experience some great changes that you haven’t been able to achieve until now, decide to do a round of Whole30 with me.
Think of some of the benefits people have experienced from Whole30:
- lower inflammation,
- lower cholesterol,
- lower blood pressure,
- less brain fog,
- weight loss,
- elimination of join pain
- healing skin issues
- improvement in allergies
- improved gut flora
It isn’t easy going from our processed food lifestyle to cooking whole food dinners and making sure we can adhere when we go out to eat. But it is becoming easier than ever with restaurants like Chipotle getting on the Whole30 bandwagon. There are websites chock full of Whole30 recipes and even Whole30 Cookbooks.
Not only will you feel refreshed and healthier, but you will also prove to yourself that you are in charge of your health and wellness. It is never too late to put your health first.