Well, I wasn’t going to share this, but it’s too good not to. I started a Whole30 on January 1. I did it partly to support a friend who was doing it, but I was interested in in for myself because I was tired of being tired all. the. time. It’s quite a commitment, and having a great support group is pretty important. Compared to the Standard American Diet, we eat really healthy and have for a while – lots of veggies, some protein, a little fruit – but I also enjoyed too much coffee, wine almost every night, and a lot of cheese and yogurt (Oh, how I love cheese and yogurt!). I had reduced the amount of grains I ate, but I still love bread. By contrast, the Whole30 is avoiding all sugar, all soy, all dairy, all grains, all legumes. (And, before you ask, yes, there are lots of other foods to eat.)
I’m on day 9 today, and I feel so good! I haven’t had an afternoon slump in nearly a week. I wake up ready to start the day (instead of wanting to put it off for a few more hours), I (think) I sleep better at night – hard telling because my littlest 2 Littles haven’t been feeling well and they’ve been waking me up pretty frequently).
Surprises for me? There’s sugar in EVERYTHING! Since sugar is absolutely not allowed on the Whole30, you have to read the labels to make sure you aren’t eating any. Did you know that bacon is cured with sugar? That Worcestershire sauce has sugar? That mayonnaise has sugar? How about 100% natural chicken broth? Sugar. Tomato sauces? Sugar. Every single commercial salad dressing has sugar. On the back of almost every label, sugar is listed (and for those of you who know how much of a purist I am, the fact that most list it as sugar and not as Pure Cane Sugar makes me very suspect of what, exactly, is in our food). Next one? Soy. Also in every. single. thing.
I haven’t given up coffee (and I’ve been drinking it black for a couple of years, so that was easy), but I am limited to 2 cups a day. Yesterday I actually forgot to have my second cup. I’ve given up wine for the 30 days, and that’s probably what I miss the most. For my husband and I, a glass of wine at the end of the day was a luxury we enjoyed together, at first the cup of tea was a poor substitute, but I’m finding that I enjoy it now, and even look forward to it.
I don’t know if I’ll lose any weight through this 30 day reset, but it really isn’t about the weight (though that would be a nice bonus). What it has done was show me some really bad habits I didn’t even know I had. It’s also eliminated some aches that I had just gotten used to having. And it has completely eliminated the afternoon slump that I’ve been having for SO long – like too tired to even think kind of a slump. My brain is clearer, my focus is better, and those are just the things I’ve noticed, and I’m only on day 9!
Learning about nutrition is a part time hobby for me, and it is amazing how many illnesses can be cured by eating real food. Seriously. Doctors don’t often know this. One of my favorite medical doctors said, “We don’t study nutrition. We study medicine. We know drugs, not foods, and not vitamins.” I loved his honesty. Real food can also prevent a lot of illnesses, so there are times that you’ll never even know what you avoided if you just eat real food.
So, here’s the thing – changing what you eat is difficult – at least 3 times a day, you make a choice about what you’re going to put into your body. But it isn’t hard. People go through hard things all over this world. We are so spoiled with food that’s available in such abundance, that it gets thrown away. So don’t say that it’s hard to eat healthy. It just takes a little more time and planning in our fast food world. But it is SO worth it!
I’m coming up on the days that the folks at Whole30 say the most people quit – days 10 and 11. But I’m heading into them with my eyes open – I will do this. Will you join me in feeling great? It’s never too late to start.