What’s All This about the Whole30?
If you’ve been in to see one of the practitioners at Holistic Health and Healing you’ve likely heard of the Whole30. If you’re dealing with aches and pains in muscles or joints, fatigue, insomnia, allergies, or digestive issues, it’s even more likely that Dr. Grandi or Amy or Tai or Colleen or Trish has suggested that you ‘do’ a Whole30. So, what exactly is the Whole30, and why would we recommend it?
In the simplest terms, the Whole30 is a basic elimination diet that allows you to reset your digestion, your metabolism, your habits, and your relationship with food. Making a few simple changes to your diet for a designated period of time (30 days) will allow you to discover how certain foods affect your body, your mood, and your energy levels. You can also learn what foods create negative symptoms for you.
There are other elimination diets out there, but we like the Whole30 because it’s fairly simple, not too restrictive (really, it’s not), very structured, and proven. Most of us have been through it once or twice, and we’ve experienced the results. We’ve learned a lot about our bodies, about food, and about how important diet is in our overall well-being. We want you to discover what’s most healthy for you.
With that in mind, here are answers to some common questions about the Whole30.
What Exactly do I have to eliminate?
For 30 days, no grains (wheat, rice, corn – all grains and any flours or additives made with these grains); legumes (all beans, peanuts, peanut butter); sugar (in all its forms – dextrose, sucrose, glucose, fructose); dairy; alcohol (nope, no wine for cooking, either); and basically, nothing processed or preserved or packaged and no sweeteners of any kind (yes, that includes stevia). You will focus your diet on fresh, whole foods – mostly vegetables, some animal protein, a little fruit, and a good amount of healthy fats.
Why These Foods?
These foods have been demonstrated to cause adverse reactions in the body, including inflammation, blood sugar swings, damage to your digestive tract, and a burden to your immune system. By eliminating potential irritants for 30 days and then slowly and carefully re-introducing each category of food, you will be able to learn what foods most negatively affect you.
It Sounds Really Hard. Do I have to be strict?
The short answer is yes, it’s kind of hard, because it’s a big change in habits. And yes, if you want the best results, you need to be strict. But the good news is, it’s only 30 days. And while you have to eliminate a lot of foods you may rely on to eat on the run or avoid planning meals, you are likely to discover a way of eating that gives you more energy, more focus, less pain, and teaches you a new way to be with food. The other good news is that you don’t have to count calories or limit portions or worry about traditional ‘diet’ mindsets.
Will I feel great right away?
Maybe. Maybe not. While some people don’t have any negative side-effects, if your current diet is heavy in simple carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and sugars (or artificial sweeteners), you may experience symptoms of ‘carb flu,’ which is basically your body’s way of learning to use fat for fuel instead of relying on fast fuels like sugars. This may include low-grade headaches, fatigue, bloating, and muscle aches. (I know, all the things you’re trying to get rid of, right?) But rest assured, this is temporary. Once you get through the first 10-14 days, your body will adjust, and you will begin to notice positive changes – better sleep, better energy, less pain. We promise – the hard days are worth it.
Will I lose weight?
Maybe. Maybe not. While for many people, eating this way results in some weight loss, two of the Whole30 rules are no stepping on the scale and no measuring. The goal of this program isn’t weight loss as those of us who’ve been on all the diet plans are used to. The goal is to focus on your health and how your body feels. This is not a traditional ‘diet,’ where you reach your ‘goal weight,’ and then go right back to eating the way you did before. It’s a way to discover what foods fuel you and what foods make you feel less than your best so that you can design your diet in a way that will support your health.
How can I learn more?
The Whole30 is a program designed and marketed by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig.
If you’re interested in reading more about the philosophy about the Whole30, check out It Starts With Food: https://www.amazon.com/Starts-Food-Discover-Whole30-Unexpected-ebook/dp/B008C20TDG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496273553&sr=8-1&keywords=it+starts+with+food
If you’re looking for a specific guide to the Whole30, complete with recipes and a timeline, check out The Whole30: https://www.amazon.com/Whole30-30-Day-Guide-Health-Freedom/dp/0544609719/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496273625&sr=8-1&keywords=the+whole+30
**You can also order both these books from The Bookloft in Enterprise.
You can also check out the Whole30 website for the rules, a blog, discussion forums and recipe ideas: https://whole30.com
If you’re looking for more support, Holistic Health and Healing just offered a Whole30 class, and we have an ongoing support group that will meet twice a month. If you feel like you need more structured support, get your name on our list for upcoming Whole30 classes. (Probably starting in the fall).