Embarking On Whole30

I haven’t had sugar, grains or dairy all day. And, I’M STILL ALIVE! It’s a miracle.

Today marks day one of Whole30 for me. If you’re not familiar with the program, it involves eliminating problematic foods from your diet in order to “reset” your body. It’s not supposed to be a diet, but a life-changing experience that changes people’s relationships with food. You spend 30 days eating foods that fit within the parameters of the program. No measuring, no calorie counting. Just eating fresh, whole foods.

It sounds easy, right? Until you realize that sugar is in everything and many of the convenience foods we all reach for aren’t allowed. Then, making such drastic changes can seem overwhelming. But, this line from the Whole30 website really stuck with me:

“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.”

I can be extremely stubborn, so sometimes it takes tough love to get through to me. Those lines helped replace my fear with determination. I can totally do this. Thousands of other people have. They don’t have less busy schedules. They don’t have personal chefs. They don’t have it any easier. You can do just about anything for a period of only 30 days.

So I woke up this morning and choked down as much plain, black coffee as I could stomach (about two sips) and made a conscious decision to embark on what will hopefully be a life-changing month. Why am I doing Whole30? I just haven’t felt like myself lately — extremely tired, unmotivated, sluggish. And, I know a lot of that has to do with the crap I’ve been putting into my body. It’s time to change my relationship with food and start making my health a priority.

Do I hope to lose weight during the program? Sure, but that’s not the ultimate goal. I just want to start feeling healthy again.

Over the next 30 days I’ll share any recipes or strategies that I find helpful. But, I’ll try to limit my Whole30 check-ins to once a week so that’s not all you’re reading about.

To prepare for the program, I did some meal prep on Sunday night to make sure I had meals and snacks ready to go. Here are some of the foods I’ve been eating on day one:

I accidentally overslept and only had time to grab a bowl full of cherries for breakfast this morning. That meant I was starving by about 11 a.m. and broke into my lunch of spaghetti squash with meat sauce (ground beef, crushed tomatoes, fresh basil, fennel seeds, sweet peppers). I forgot how amazing spaghetti squash is. It was delicious!watermelon
Snacks have consisted of a whole lot of fruit. Luckily, we had a ton of fruit leftover from a Fourth of July party we hosted over the weekend. Having it already chopped and ready to eat makes such a difference!
Dinner turned out even better than I hoped. This is a dish I would eat even if I wasn’t doing Whole30. I marinated some thinly-sliced chicken breasts in coconut milk, curry powder, chipotle chile powder, fresh basil and salt. Popped the chicken on the grill and then roasted some sweet potatoes and sweet peppers with a little olive oil to serve alongside. The meal was completely satisfying and one I’m sure I’ll be making again sometime soon. James was happy with it, too!

Have you tried Whole30? What are your favorite recipes and tips?

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