Really. I may have started my first WHOLE30 in 2015 to lose weight, but what I gained was revolutionary.
I came to that WHOLE30 with a negative body image, unhealthy eating habits, and I daily invited the scale to determine my self-worth. I left that WHOLE30 with self confidence, improved habits and a healthier relationship with food- and powerful new knowledge. My biggest surprise was the realization that I had been "hooked" on sugar & artificial sweeteners for most of my life. The silver lining is that my taste and cravings for sweet diminished within 48 hours of my start - and are still minimal! THAT is a life-saving victory, considering the inflammation and hormonal-havoc that sugar causes in our bodies. This is real and it's sustainable - and I had no idea that I needed it.
WHOLE30 is... 30 days of elimination (dairy, grains, legumes, sugar/artificial sweeteners, alcohol), then a systematic reintroduction of each food group in order to identify any negative side effects. For me, the reintroduction made very clear what these potentially inflammatory foods were causing in my thinking, in my hormones, and in my body composition - and how I felt regarding energy, mood, & confidence. It armed me to fight for my health- with real food. While on a WHOLE30 I eat animal protein (beef, chicken, eggs, fish, venison, turkey, etc), healthy fats like avocados/avocado oil, coconuts/coconut oil & manna, olives/olive oil, nuts & seeds, vegetables, and fruits. There is no measuring macros or weighing or counting. When you eat real food, your body regulates itself better than you can imagine - and you no longer rely on will-power.
A WHOLE30 is NOT a WHOLE 365! When not on a WHOLE30, I eat all the same things listed above, with the occasional less-healthy food -like a cupcake, a milkshake, a brownie - or some pizza. The truth is, I have been encouraged to eat a WHOLE30-ish diet (which is based on Paleo guidelines) most of the time because I LIKE having clear skin, self-confidence, a flatter stomach, and the energy to do hard workouts including hot yoga! The food freedom I now experience allows me to choose any food at any time, if I decide it's worth it. Worth whatever those consequences will be. Now that I know that my cheeks break out after I consume dairy products, and I know that the more sugar I eat the more sugar I want (welcome back, cravings), I can make choices that keep me feeling and looking my best. And if I ever stray too far back into old habits, I have a WHOLE30 reset that I can come back to. For the first time in my life, food doesn't control me - I have the reigns.
Still amazed it's that simple, I invite you to join me for a WHOLE30, and find your food freedom. It really is as simple as the food you choose to put on your plate. Are your food choices making you more or less healthy? Those are the only two options. Your health is worth 30 days.