Several times in 2011, I contemplated doing the Whole30—an eating program that involves consuming only whole foods for 30 days, while eliminating alcohol, grains, dairy, legumes and added sweeteners. The idea is that by ridding your diet of common problem foods, you can reset your eating patterns, find more energy and change your life. Sounds great, right? Sign me up!
Except . . . No wine during summer vacation? No birthday cake at the boys’ parties? No Christmas candy at my mother-in-law’s house? I kept talking myself out of it.
But on January 1, I decided that the timing was right—albeit a bit cliché—for my Whole30 journey. I went grocery shopping, announced my intentions on Facebook (accountability!) and decided that I was going to be successful.
I’m now 10 days in and feeling great. Although I have a good sense of what my weight was before starting the program, I wish I had measured my chest/waist/hips. My shirts are already fitting better, and my pants feel loose. I have to imagine something has changed.
But the most important difference has been in how I feel. After the birth of my second son, I had a lot of digestive issues. It seemed I always had a stomachache. Even though I didn’t test positive for celiac disease, I decided to do a gluten-free trial. I started feeling better within days.
The Whole30 simply extends what I had already been doing, and so far I’m feeling great. That’s not to say that giving up dairy, wine and sweeteners has been easy. But I remind myself that it’s only 30 days. I can do this for 30 days!
So, what have I been eating?
A typical breakfast for me includes a green smoothie, a cup of black coffee and some kind of protein (usually chicken sausage and/or eggs).
What goes into the smoothie depends on what we have on hand, but here is a fairly typical concoction:
¼ of a banana, frozen
A few frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
Two large kale leaves (minus stems)
¼ of an avocado
Unsweetened coconut milk
Water, if needed to blend
Throw it all in a high-power blender and pulverize the stuff! I’ve also been adding some kombucha at the end for the healthy bacteria and fizziness.
Lunch is typically a hearty serving of soup (taken from a big batch made on the weekend), celery and unsweetened Sunbutter.
And dinners usually include some sort of protein with sweet potatoes and veggies. Here’s what I had last night:
A burger and fries, Whole30 style.
So far, I can’t say that I’ve felt deprived. I’m not eating less. Just differently.
Only twenty more days to go! (Hmmm. When I say it like that, it seems like a long time.)