Whole30 in a Nutshell
First, let’s make it clear – the Whole30 is NOT a diet. It is 30 day body cleansing to eliminate certain toxins from your body and help you feel better.
For 30 days you choose to eat only eggs, protein, vegetables, fruit and nuts.
During that time, you do not eat any sugars (even natural ones like honey), drink alcohol, eat grains, legumes, dairy. You do not eat foods containing MSG, sulphites or carrageenan.
You do not make any baked goods even if they are made with the Whole30 Approved ingredients. The whole point is to learn to eat REAL foods in their REAL form.
And finally, you do not weigh yourself during the Whole30 day that you are participating in the Whole30 cleanse.
Once the 30 days is up, you use the next 10 days (or longer if you choose) to reintroduce the foods you were eating before one group at a time, a few days in between. This allows you to see how you feel after you add each food group to your diet. It also helps you choose to continue with this food group if it makes no difference to how you feel, or to remove it from your diet completely.
7 Reasons I Decided to Try The Whole30 and You Should Too
The Challenge to Live Without Sugar for 30 Days
I have a very sweet tooth. So, for me, not having a cookie, piece of chocolate or that slice of cheesecake always seems like a big punishment. And not only that. As we all know, sugar is in EVERYTHING these days, even mayonnaise and bacon. Living without sugar also means you will learn more about the labels and you will be actually reading the ingredients lists on the jars and cans at the grocery store. It also means you will learn all the different names for processed sugars and eventually will be able to recognize them on the labels. In my opinion, that’s great knowledge to have.
The bottom line for me, is to know that if I choose to get rid of sugar (or most f it, anyway) from my diet for good, I will actually be able to do it.
The Challenge to Eat Only Healthy, Real Foods
When you eat mostly vegetables, fruit, eggs and meats, you will find that you shop on the outlines of the grocery store. And therefore there are not many labels to read. However, finding pre-made, ready to eat meals or general groceries that are Whole30 compliant is much more difficult.
There is no food neutral; there is no food Switzerland—every single thing you put in your mouth is either making you more healthy or less healthy. ~ Melissa Hartwig
However, this will lead you to eating healthy, wholesome foods. And the best part – you don’t have to worry about calorie count. You eat until you are full. Gotta love that!
The Opportunity to Learn How to Cook New and Better Meals
Since there are not many pre-made Whole30 compliant meals that you can buy, during the Whole30 month you will have plenty of opportunities to experiment with new ingredients and to try out new recipes. What I look forward to the most is doing batch-cooking, so that on occasion, I can forgo cooking, but still have delicious and healthy foods to enjoy.
My goal is to learn how to cook fifteen new, Whole30 compliant meals. One great thing about the Whole 30, is that you can have the same meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It doesn’t really matter, because all the meals are balanced with vegetables, fats and proteins.
The Promise of Better Sleep
Looking at the fact that sugar is one of the main things that influences your blood sugar levels, getting rid of sugar will provide you with much more stable insulin intake and therefore regular sugar levels most of the time. This has a huge influence on your energy levels throughout the day and into the evening. Even the National Sleep Foundation agrees that sugar has an effect on your sleep. And since I haven’t had a good night sleep since my kids were born, I’m very happy to give this a try.
The Promise of More Energy
If you are getting better sleep and you have eliminated your afternoon sugar crush, then it is very probable that your overall energy levels will be higher and more consistent throughout the day. That energy can help you enjoy your family more, have a more lively social life, accomplish more daily tasks and maybe even exercise more. In addition, around mid point of your Whole30 and beyond, you may experience, what Hartwig refers to as Tiger Blood. And boy, am I looking forward to that!
For some (generally people who came to the program eating well, exercising regularly, and feeling pretty good to begin with), Tiger Blood means someone flipped a switch and turned on the awesome. Energy is through the roof, cravings are under control, clothes are fitting better, workouts are stronger. ~ Whole30.com
The Promise of Many Non-Scale Victories (NSV)
This is huge! Here you will find an extensive list of what the Whole30 program calls Non-Scale Victories. Those are all the benefits that you may experience while on Whole30.
We all would love to look better; experience glowing skin, stronger hair, less joint swelling or bloating.
We all want to feel better; have regulated blood sugar, improved circulation, less chronic pain, or fewer seasonal allergy symptoms.
I’m sure you want your mood to improve as well and to feel emotionally and psychologically stronger and more stable.
In addition, we all want to have a good relationship with food, where ‘we eat to live, not live to eat’. And the Whole30 has been able to improve that relationship for many.
These are just a few Non-Scale Victores listed in the Whole30 book and on their website. The benefits of this program seem to be endless, and I’m looking forward to enjoying many of them.
The Possibility of Weight Loss / Change in Body Composition
If you Google search ‘Whole30 transformations’, you will find a ton of inspiring stories of weight loss. Many of those who are slim and do not need to loose weight report change in their body composition and change in clothes size, even if they do not loose much or any weight. And let’s be honest, who would not want to be one size smaller? Well, I most certainly would. It makes sense that when you eat more healthy foods, eliminate toxins from your body, increase your energy (and possibly exercise more), your body composition is bound to improve.
Wrapping It Up
These are just a few of the most compelling reasons I decided to try the Whole30, but there are many more to consider.
If you’re ready to take the leap of faith and try the Whole30, grab a copy of The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom and go to the website Whole30.com for more information and support. However, if you’re still on the fence, take a look at Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig’s book It Starts With Food for an eye opening story about our dietary lifestyle.