After years of dealing with stomach issues, I started noticing a correlation between the foods I ate and how I felt. In an effort to teach myself about what I was eating and how different foods can affect our bodies, I came across the book “It All Starts With Food”. I had never heard about the Whole30 before and was intrigued by the chapter titles and their “good food standards” as I skimmed the book at Barnes & Noble.
After reading the book, I felt enlightened! Suddenly, my eyes were open to how the foods we eat affect all aspects of our bodies, both emotionally and physically. This is either because of the actual makeup of the food itself or because of the way the food industry manipulates our taste buds so that we crave and want more of their products. The Whole30 is a way to challenge yourself to remove the noncompliant items of added sugar, dairy, alcohol, grains, legumes, carrageenan, MSG, and sulfites from your diet and see and feel the many benefits your body will receive for doing so.
It was not until March 2016, a few months after reading the book, that I decided complete my first round of Whole30. I was inspired to break my cycle of trying to eat clean during the week and then ruining the clean streak on the weekends by eating junk. All this did was fuel my sugar cravings and continue to irritate my already sensitive stomach. With my engagement pictures around the corner and growing tired of having to start fresh at the beginning of eat week, I know something had to give. I was hopeful the Whole30 would bring me a new routine and a fresh mindset on foods.
I started by cleaning out the pantry and literally using a ribbon to “rope off” noncompliant ingredients. My dad was also doing this round with me, so I figured this would help both of us remember which ingredients to cook with. I began each week by creating a menu for the days ahead and used the weekends to food prep breakfast and lunches for both my dad and I. It did require a lot of planning and prep work, but I found that what I got in return was beyond worth it. By the end of 30 days, my dad had lost 30 pounds! I was thrilled to lose that annoying bloated feeling as well as a number of non-scale victories. I would wake up feeling refreshed, my skin was clearer than I had ever seen it, I had more energy throughout the day and finally lost that head fog that I had become so accustomed to.
From this point on, I was committed to the new Whole30 world that seemed to be rapidly growing. Social media became a home base to find recipes, tips and Whole30 approved products. The menu planning and prep work that once seemed to be slightly overwhelming was now like second nature. I knew which ingredients to avoid and if I still had a question, I knew where to find find quick and reliable information using the Whole30 blog and forum.
Since my first round of Whole30, I have complete three more and a few Whole15’s here and there. Each round, I learn something new about the program and am reminded just how beneficial it is.
Here are some of my favorite Whole30 recipe and lifestyle bloggers!
Ashley at Fit Mitten Kitchen
Kelsey at Little Bits Of
Chrissa at Physical Kitchness
Michele at The Whole Smiths
Danielle at Against All Grain