As I eluded to on Friday, the next phase of 2015 ‘detox’ starts today with something big, something scary, something very important. I’m taking the next 30 days to rewrite my relationship with food and personal health.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had constant recurring headaches. In recent years, they have been worse and now are accompanied by sinus pressure and congestion. I’d say that I get a headache that varies in severity about 3 times a week. Not only that, but I’ve been on a nasal steroid spray for 3 years that has provided little help.
During my doctor visit at the end of 2014 I had a CT scan scheduled to see if there are any visible issues. Around the same time is when I heard about the Whole30.
The Whole30 is like pushing the reset button for your body and mind in regards to food. Many processed foods that we eat every day are disruptive to personal hormone balance which can cause spikes and dangerous lows in blood sugar levels, digestive aliments and autoimmune disorders caused by constant inflammation and immune system problems. These same foods can also mess with your mind and cause very real addictions. What really spoke to me personally was that some of these foods also cause inflammation associated with allergies.
After meeting with my ENT to go over my CT results and finding nothing physically wrong, he suggested that I should be tested for allergies. At this point, it was becoming clear that if I want to take a proactive approach to my health then I should give the Whole30 a try.
So what is the Whole30? It is 30 days of eating whole foods, nothing processed for 3 meals every day. Each meal should consist of protein/meat/seafood, vegetables, healthy fats and occasionally fruit. This way of eating is very healthy and can aid in clearing your body of chronic issues that you may have just accepted as part of who you are. Eating this way will boost your energy and help your sleep pattern so your body functions at its best.
Here’s the hard part–You can not eat any dairy, grains, legumes, sugar or alcohol for the 30 days either. And guess what? Those are basically all of my favorite foods…BUT if I’m being completely honest with myself, they never make me feel very well after I eat them. Even if it is just a little discomfort it all weighs on you one way or another. The plan sounds pretty harsh but it is temporary. In reality it’s an amazing gift to yourself, even though it seems like pure torture.
I know the next 30 days are going to be a challenge cuz this girl loves sugar and all the carbs on the planet, but what is keeping me motivated is the re-introduction phase. After the 30 days are over you add in one of the categories of food that was restricted for a day with a rest day after to notice how your body feels, after that, you are to add another category in for another day until you tested them all. This is what interests me the most because I would love to know what food makes me feel good and what ones make me feel bad so I can know how to feed myself better. It is very much like you are conducting an experiment on yourself.
Many people who have completed the Whole30 once have said that it has changed their life. I am hoping to have a transformative experience too (in between all of the swearing and tantrums).
One of the most powerful things about this program is that it is not at all focused on body weight because the scale only gives you a very small picture of your heath. In fact, they tell you to not weight or measure yourself AT ALL during the 30 day period. Many people do end up losing a healthy amount of weight in the 30 day timeframe but they urge you not weigh yourself because of what it can do to your mind. Not seeing instant visible results can add too much pressure to you and distract you from what the point of all of this is, the point of this plan is to feel healthy, energetic and nourish your body the best way you can.
I’ve been preparing myself mentally and the apartment for about a month. I’ve read the cornerstone book called It Starts With Food written by the couple who started the Whole30. I found this to be an amazing and alarming read. I had no idea that I knew so little about how the human body processes food and how delicate of a balance our hormones work under! Upon completing the book I found recipes online and pinned them to my dedicated pinterest board and made an effort to get rid of non-compliant foods around the apartment. I’ve read that being prepared and planning ahead is what can make or break the 30 days. I took that to heart and I am now fully stocked until next week when I’ll be making a new meal plan for the next 7 days. Let me tell you! Planning all three meals for 7 days is no joke! Until now, I only planned a dinner menu for Christopher and myself.
Here are the things I’m looking forward to:
- Trying new recipes! Maybe really enjoying a new food that I’ve never given a chance to before.
- Going on this journey with my husband who also suffers from similar sinus issues AND my mom!
- Having a great support system around me. The people whom I have told have been very encouraging.
- The amazing support system that I found online and on Instagram. I know that I’m going to need a lot of boosts in the beginning! Some of my favorite Instagramers that I’ve been keeping up with on their Whole30 journeys are Mandy and Nichole.
Have any of you done the Whole30 before? Any advice? I’m a bundle of nerves right now but, I’m so excited to really learn about myself and slay those food dragons one day at a time!
Also, here’s what I can expect to be feeling from Day 1 to Day 30. When I first read this it made me laugh and want to cry. Alright! Here we go!