If you have not heard of it, the Whole 30 is a 30 day eating plan designed to cut food addictions and force you to recognize how what you eat affects how you feel. SO here are the rules: no dairy, no grains, no processed foods of any kind, absolutely no added sugar, and no legumes. Also, if you have any “crutch” food or any food (ahem, french fries) that are not in the spirit of the Whole 30, those are out too.
Real Talk: I am queen of binge eating. I once ate 15 eggnog cookies in a day. I ate 10 of them before 4 PM but then finished the whole thing off thinking oh, it would be such a shame to leave just five in the tin… I can eat like any given episode of Gilmore Girls or the beginning of Charlie’s Angels when Drew Barrymore’s character says at the drive through window “Three cheeseburgers, three french fries… what do you guys want?” Except I am not permanently a size two with perfect skin and glossy hair. I feel bloated and regret. I will justify it thinking “Ok, these are my calories for the week. Must. Cut. Intake.” And then three days later I will have binged again just as hard.
This is where the Whole 30 comes in. I know I do not have the best relationship with food, but other than the afore mentioned guilt filled binges typically around the holidays/my birthday/any kind of big event, I know I don’t have the worst relationship with food so I have been putting off making any sort of change. After I returned from the Camino de Santiago in November and the afore mentioned cookie mishap, I decided I needed another challenge. After all, I can do anything for 30 days.
I am a little over halfway through my first Whole 30 now, and yes, I know that there will be more for me. I thought maybe I would loose weight, I hoped I would become less dependent on food for happiness, but I did not expect how dramatically it would change my eating experience. Food tastes richer now. The fruits and veggies that I once thought were a little bland are now truly exploding with flavor. I am not nearly as tired throughout the day and I do not feel that insatiable need to snack between every meal. I walk by the candy dish at work without longing or regret. I have slowly but surely become confident in the kitchen.
The Whole 30 its not permanent for me – I would never want to be traveling or at an event and miss out on an experience because of my diet. But it has squashed my sugar cravings. It has made me more thoughtful and more productive. I am 20 pounds lighter than I was six months ago and the lightest I have been since high school, and I am not starving. In fact, I went back for seconds last night because my artichoke, beet, and olive crusted chicken thighs were so good.