***I wrote this yesterday but it never got published!! So, when I say “yesterday” in this post, I really mean 2 days ago. Whoops!
Yesterday was our last day at home with our family before heading back to Rochester. Kyle headed out early to go golfing with his dad, and I stayed home to do some work, and work out. By mid-afternoon when I was ready to workout, it started pouring down rain, so I opted to stay inside.
Luckily, I had quite a few workout DVDs at home to choose from. I had done treadmill workouts for the past 2 days and didn’t feel like another hour on the treadmill. Plus, I’m all caught up on Bachelor in Paradise, so there’s nothing to entertain me on the treadmill.
So, I went with an old favorite- TurboFire. I seriously LOVE the 45 min workout. It’s always fun, always feels good, and always just challenging enough but not frustrating. I hate workouts that are just SO hard you can’t even keep up- that’s no fun.
After TurboFire I put in a Tara Stiles DVD to do some yoga and stretch out after all that kicking and jumping 🙂 It all felt great!
Then, Kyle and I got ready to go to his sister’s house for a family dinner. Kyle’s parents, 2 sets of grandparents, sister, brother-in-law, and their 2 kids were all there for our little get together before we had to go back to Minnesota. I don’t think there is anything better than family.
And today, we’re driving back to Rochester. It’s a 10-hour drive, but we left really early this morning (4:30!!) and so we should be back pretty early. (I’m writing this from the road.) I had a small bowl of cereal before we left the house, and then packed a Luna Bar to have as a snack early in the morning. By 11am I was hungry for lunch so I made Kyle pull off on the nearest exit. It’s so hard to find good food on the road! I usually try to find a Starbucks because I love their breakfast sandwiches. If all else fails, an Egg White muffin from McDonald’s is my next breakfast go-t0. Luckily, when we got off the high way exit, we spotted a Panera- score!!!
I got half a turkey, avocado BLT and half a salad. The sandwich was kind of messy, but filled me up!
After we got home around 2pm I immediately left to go grocery shopping. I am planning to start my Whole30 today (Sunday) so I needed to get lots of good food to prepare!
Before I go any further, I want to talk about my September goal of completing the Whole30. I pushed back my start date so that I could have the week at home with our family without worrying about adhering to a strict diet.
If you haven’t heard about the Whole30, let me answer some questions:
What is the Whole30?
The Whole30 is a fairly strict, 30 day nutrition program designed as a “reset.” From the Whole30 Website: Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.
What are the rules?
Here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.
- Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
- Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
- Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
- Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
- Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
- Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
- Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients.
The only way this will work is if you give it the full thirty days: no cheats, slips, or “special occasions.” This isn’t us playing the tough guy. This is a fact, born of education and experience. You need such a small amount of any of these inflammatory foods to break the healing cycle—one bite of pizza, one splash of milk in your coffee, one lick of the spoon mixing the batter within the 30 day period and you’ve broken the “reset” button, requiring you to start over again on Day 1.
What can you eat?
Eat real food.
Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.
Why do it?
We cannot possibly put enough emphasis on this simple fact—the next 30 days will change your life. It will change the way you think about food, it will change your tastes, it will change your habits and your cravings. It could, quite possibly, change the emotional relationship you have with food, and with your body. It has the potential to change the way you eat for the rest of your life. We know this because we did it, and tens of thousands of people have done it since, and it changed our lives (and their lives) in a very permanent fashion.
The physical benefits of the Whole30 are profound. More than 95% of participants lose weight and improve their body composition, without counting or restricting calories. Also commonly reported: consistently high energy levels, improved athletic performance, better sleep, improved focus and mental clarity, and a sunnier disposition. (Yes, more than a few Whole30 graduates said they felt “strangely happy” during and after their program.)
The psychological benefits of the Whole30 may be even more dramatic. Through the program, participants report effectively changing long-standing, unhealthy habits related to food, developing a healthier body image, and a dramatic reduction or elimination of cravings, particularly for sugar and carbohydrates.
Won’t it be hard? This is my favorite part of the Whole30 website:
- It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.
- Don’t even consider the possibility of a “slip.” Unless you physically tripped and your face landed in a box of doughnuts, there is no “slip.” You make a choice to eat something unhealthy. It is always a choice, so do not phrase it as if you had an accident. Commit to the program 100% for the full 30 days. Don’t give yourself an excuse to fail before you’ve even started.
- You never, ever, ever have to eat anything you don’t want to eat. You’re all big boys and girls. Toughen up. Learn to say no (or make your mom proud and say, “No, thank you”). Learn to stick up for yourself. Just because it’s your sister’s birthday, or your best friend’s wedding, or your company picnic does not mean you have to eat anything. It’s always a choice, and we would hope that you stopped succumbing to peer pressure in 7th grade.
- This does require a bit of effort. Grocery shopping, meal planning, dining out, explaining the program to friends and family, and dealing with stress will all prove challenging at some point during your program. We’ve given you all the tools, guidelines and resources you’ll need, but take responsibility for your own plan. Improved health, fitness, and quality of life doesn’t happen automatically just because you’re now taking a pass on bread.
- You can do this. You’ve come too far to back out now. You want to do this. You need to do this. And we believe that you can do this. So stop thinking about it, and start doing. Right now, this very minute, tell someone that you are starting the Whole30.
Will you get sick of eating such a simple diet?
I don’t think so. There are TONS of blogs and websites with Whole30 recipes and I’m excited to branch out and try new things I haven’t thought of before.
Here are some screen shots of recipes I think sound tasty!
I also found a “monkey salad” idea which is just sliced bananas, sliced coconut, and cashews which sounds like a perfect dessert or sweet snack.
I’m planning for my meals to look like this:
Breakfast: Eggs, veggies, fruit, and nut butter (Tara ate this while she did the whole30 and it always looked like a perfect breakfast)
Lunch: Protein, greens, sweet potato, and some seeds- sunflower, pumpkin, etc.
Dinner: Protein, greens.
Dessert: Monkey salad or other fruit.
Snacks: Veggies and tahini, apples and almonds or almond butter, avocado or guacamole and veggies. I’m sure I will come up with more over the month.
I’m super excited and even though this will be a challenge, I think blogging about it will make it even more fun!
I’d love it if anyone else wants to do it with me! I’ve almost convinced my friend Sara to start it. If you’re interested and want to Whole30 together, let me know!!
Andrea Tooley MD, A Doctor In The House