I have heard about the #Whole30 so often this last year that I can't even remember where I first heard about it. Maybe Instagram? Anyway, the Whole 30 is essentially a nutritional reset program based on the book It Starts With Food, from the company Whole 9.
While it is based on Paleo frame work, The Whole 30 is not a diet or weight loss program. It also restricts some foods that might be considered "Paleo." Essentially, the goal of Whole 30 is to "eliminate all foods that may be having a negative pschychological or physiological effect on how you look, feel and live." (source)
According to the program, Whole 30 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 change the emotional relationship you have with food, and with your body. While it's not a program that is recommended to be followed indefinitely (Whole 365 = no), it has the potential to change the way you eat for the rest of your life. (source)
Why Am I Doing Whole 30?
I was interested in the program for a few different reasons. I've noticed myself having some adverse reactions to gluten and dairy for the past year+, most noticeably that when I would go without either for a day or two, I would drop 5-10 lbs. instantly. It was bizarre. I try not to be too hung up on my weight, but it really bothered me that something was causing me--what seemed like--enough inflammation that I was fluctuating 5-10 lbs. in a matter of days.
I also feel like I am constantly striving for more sleep. No matter how much I get, I wake up tired. I would read about people doing XYZ and waking up refreshed and honestly, I can count on one hand the number of times I've woken up refreshed and not tired. I read that Whole 30 helped people sleep better and wake up with more natural energy, so that piqued my interest.
Lastly, I don't feel like I have the most healthy relationship with food. For as often as I think about food/where I'm getting my next meal, you would think I would weigh 300 lbs. It's ridiculous. I also have the hardest time stopping if something tastes good. I don't think about how miserable I'll be later and I don't care--I just eat and eat and eat.
Now, a LOT of these habits are things I've gotten control of ever since I realized I no longer have the metabolism of a 16 year old. Jeff and I eat pretty healthily and I make a conscious effort to make sure I'm getting a good amount of veggies, protein and fruit every day. I don't have a huge sweet tooth, although if you offered me cake I probably wouldn't turn it down. I don't drink pop. I don't buy any junk food. (Remember the will power issues? Yeah. Oreos don't stand a chance.)
...even still, when I read It Starts With Food, it resonated with me! The part of the book that really made me think Whole 30 could do me some good was when the authors wrote about food now vs. food years and years ago. One of the points is that our taste buds have been so inundated with chemical-food and not REAL food that we don't even know what food should taste like anymore. Whole 30 tames your sweet tooth and can also help with cravings. Because you're no longer craving bad-for-you-fats or bad-for-you-sweets, you get hunger pangs when you're actually hungry...not just when you have a craving for a donut.
In case anyone was interested in Whole 30 and what life is like on it, I thought I'd document my journey here. If you have any questions, please let me know and I'll do my best to answer them, or do another post on your questions!