I was first introduced to the Whole30 by a co-worker who swore by it and claimed how easy it was to get started. While I don’t believe in dieting or placing restrictions on food, I noticed that I was eating a lot during the day and still getting hungry at night. Despite the health and nutrition benefits that I gained from the thirty-day plan, I also learned a lot about myself and the ways I was incorporating food into my life. Here are three ways I saw a direct change in my life as a result of the Whole30:
- Chocolate can’t be a support system
With a full-time job, grad-school, and freelance jobs, I looked to food as a constant and didn’t truly enjoying good, healthy food. Many times I would “need” chocolate in order to get through a difficult situation or issue. Thanks to Whole30, I learned to take the time to read labels, ask questions, and think about what certain foods might do to my body. While I have to admit that I did eat a bagel the day after I finished the thirty days, overall I’m making smarter decisions about food, finding healthier ways to balance my life, and looking to friends and family as support systems.
- Black coffee and understanding the importance of change
Coffee is great and an approved Whole30 item. However, creamer and all of those delicious coffee additives is not. The first two-weeks of coffee without creamer was interesting, to say the least, but eventually I learned to love it and found that nothing else seemed quite as hard as the initial coffee changeover.
- Throw out the coconut oil because guilt doesn’t help anyone
Week 1 was tough, but week 2 was much easier after I realized that my body didn’t respond well to coconut oil. While I initially felt guilty about the removal of coconut oil, I realized the state of my health was far more important than committing to every aspect of a diet. Being okay with making changes was by far the most difficult part of the month-long program, but it showed me how everything balances out, whether it be food and health, or life decisions and career decisions.
Unlike a program that replaces meals with shakes or requires some type of buy-in from a company, the Whole30 is all about figuring out what works best for each person. At the core, Whole30 focuses on fruits, vegetables, meats, and a few other food groups with an emphasis on reading labels and understanding where food comes from.
Banner image is of homemade cauliflower fried rice.