Whole30 has been a thing for a while. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s supposed to serve as a kind of “nutritional reset”. You eliminate things like sugar, dairy, grains, and legumes, while focusing your diet on “whole” foods like meat, vegetables, and good fats. You also eliminate weighing and/or measuring yourself. All for 30 days.
I haven’t read the Whole30 books (I have skimmed a bit), but I have read a ridiculous amount of food science books. I’ve scoured the Whole30 resources provided on the website, read all kinds of personal accounts, and I even know a few people who have tried it. After months of not feeling great, about everything from the amount of sleep I’ve been getting each night to the way my clothes are fitting, I’m interested enough and feel informed enough to try it. Kind of.
I say “kind of” because I’m not all that into restriction when it comes to food. Just being told that I can’t have something makes me feel grouchy and rebellious. Even if it’s something I don’t usually want. And if I fail, I hate on myself. While I love the idea of a totally structured Whole30 approach, I know that it might not sit well with me the entire time. So I’m going with a Whole(ish)30 approach in which I do my best, I listen to my body, and I don’t guilt-trip my way through the process (even though the official Whole30 guidelines are all about tough love and absolutely no cheating).
It might be a bit “glass half empty” of me, seeing as everyone preaches the “focus on what you can eat, not what you can’t eat” approach, but this is an elimination diet so let’s tackle the list of prohibited foods.
Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. This is going to suck. I’m not exaggerating when I say that maple syrup and chocolate are some of my life staples. And don’t even get me started on all of the hidden added sugars that I know are out there.
Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. No problem.
Do not eat grains. It sounds so silly, but until I started considering a Whole30 attempt, I hadn’t even noticed how much grain-based food I eat on a regular basis. I don’t think this will be difficult to do, but I do think it will require the most planning to accomplish. I mean, what’s a girl to do for an easy dinner that’s not a big bowl of pasta?
Do not eat legumes. Not a problem. I’ve never been a big legume fan anyway!
Do not eat dairy. This will be the worst. Ask anyone and they will tell you: I am emotionally attached to feta cheese. But I don’t regularly consume a whole bunch of dairy, so I’m not too worried.
Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. I don’t consume many processed foods or beverages on a regular basis, so I don’t think this will be difficult, but I will just have to be careful.
Do not weigh or take any body measurements for the duration of the program. Okay. We’ll see about that.
So my problems areas will be sugar and grains (and dairy, but only emotionally). Sounds pretty doable, right? Truthfully, I’m not as worried about what I can’t eat as I am about what I can. I’m a pretty routine eater and my diet consists primarily of meal-sized salads, which are propped up by things here and there that Whole30 will have me eliminate. So what Whole30 will really push me to do is explore and, let’s be serious, exploration is scary!
I’m on day three and so far, it’s been good. I’ll check in throughout the month, maybe sharing a recipe here and there that was particularly successful. In the meantime, here are a few things I’m looking forward to eating (with a few modifications where necessary).
So here we go! Have some feta cheese for me this month — without me gobbling it down, there should be more available for the general public.