In January, a group of us at CFOKC took on the Whole30 (www.whole9life.com). For some, this was a completely new experience. Others of us had done Whole30s in the past. For everyone who finished it, the experience was overwhelmingly positive. The Whole30 is 30 days of cutting out sugar, grain, and dairy. It’s eating quality, whole foods from local sources (if possible). And, it’s not that difficult. I promise.
I’ve long been confused as to why people become automatically defensive when talking about what they eat and why. My guess is it’s that they know their diet should be better combined with a lack of education on the topic. When I tell people about the Whole30, I get two responses, and two responses only:
1. No way. That’s too hard. No way I could do that.
2. That sounds super interesting.
The 2s know they need to make a change. The 1s know it, too, but there’s something else going on with them, and I can’t speak to their feelings or past.
I don’t know everything there is to know about food, but I do know a few absolute truths:
Truth #1: Sugar will give you hell. Consumption of sugar is at the root of every major disease. It messes with your mood, energy level, and digestive health. If you cut one thing out of your life, make it sugar.
Truth #2: If you take the time to cook and cook whole foods (things not out of a box that will rot if left out), you will have a better relationship with food and will consume less crap. Put the smartphone down and turn off the TV. Fire up the grill and start chopping vegetables. Have a hand in the process of how the fork gets to your hand. You will make better choices with just this change, and there are so many creative ways to cook Whole30 compliant, which makes it more fun as well.
Truth #3: What happens to the food before it gets to your plate will affect your body in the same way. Something nasty get pumped into that chicken before it died? Don’t expect it to have the same nutritional content as one that didn’t get abused. What exactly was sprayed on that mass-produced bell pepper you’re biting into? What’s going into your system? Yeah, it takes more time to find quality food. It’s pricier. Not quite as pricey as the hospital bills for disease or obesity in the future, however.
My experience with the Whole30 this go round was the best I’ve had. Chronic shoulder pain that had made it difficult for me to lift anything for months just went away. Not kidding - it’s gone. My overall mood improved drastically. I did become leaner, but that didn’t even really matter compared to the way I felt. I hit the bed like a rock at night. Slept solid, woke up ravenous, and learned to love black coffee.
Others in the group had the same experience. One lost over 15 pounds. All felt significantly better about themselves and their choices. Most of us decided to make it a full-time lifestyle change. When I started to reintroduce foods to check my sensitivity after 30 days, the bloat came back. The joint pain came back. The bad moods came back. It was blatant that I needed to go back what made me feel right.
You have to make your own decision as to what makes you feel right. Let your body make that decision without any negativity from your mind.