My #whole30 November

So, while I’m working behind the scenes to get this website up and running properly, I thought I’d begin with some blog posts over the month of November, covering a bit of an experiment on myself.

Like many people, I’d heard of the #whole30 program, and was vaguely aware that it was related to the Paleo movement. I’m fairly sure I heard about it first from an American blog about three years ago, back when I had zero idea about CrossFit (I remember that #whole30 and CrossFit always seemed to be related) and Paleo was only just starting to enter Australian media.

With every other health and wellness movement setting the scene alight over the past couple of years, I have to admit that I hadn’t heard much at all about #whole30 until a couple of weeks ago, when it was again, featured on an American food blog I’ve been following for years. Tracy from Shutterbean had recently completed her thirty days, and knowing she was a carb lover from way back, my interest was peaked to hear how she found it. Expecting to hear stories of suffering and woe, I was fascinated to discover her observations on how it helped her to tune in to her emotional relationship with food in particular and the health benefits she had also felt along the way.

Given that I’ve had a particularly stressful couple of months with some unexpected “life events”, I was well aware that many of my usual self-care strategies, routines and general health practices had fallen to the wayside. My face especially was showing the effects of too much sugar and although I’ve been exercising more than usual, I wasn’t noticing any difference at all in how my clothes fit (or on the scales for that matter!). So, it was a speedy decision on the last week of October to tighten in the reigns and challenge my brain as well as my body to a #whole30 program.

For anyone wondering “what the heck is #whole30”, you can find out more details about it here and also on Shutterbean’s blog here. Tracy has written a weekly recap, as well as her suggestions for snacks, meals and her reflections on the process. The essential components of #whole30 include removing certain foods for thirty days, to allow the body to “reset” and potentially help heal from inflammation and other health conditions. This means, removing from the diet:

  • Sugar – Real or artificial. Honey is out, dates (in moderation) are OK
  • Alcohol (even in your cooking!)
  • Grains – Including (but not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and quinoa.
  • Legumes – All kinds of beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils and peanuts. Also, includes removing all soy products (miso, tofu tempeh and edamame)
  • Dairy – All sheep, cow and goats milk products, cream, cheese, yoghurt and most importantly, ice cream!

The program also talks about ensuring your foods don’t contain any sulphur, MSG or any other chemical processes. It also advises against re-creating *treats* with “approved” ingredients (which. sadly, omits the refined-sugar free chocolates I made last weekend, sob!).

Sounds a bit harsh, right?! However, for me it’s more a case about reigning in the little things; I’ve been “mostly gluten and dairy free” for the last four months or so, and I don’t allow myself more than two glasses of red wine a week. Sugar has always been my toughest vice to crack, but I’ve even reduced this over time, though it has always been my “go to” crutch in times of stress.

This has become a far longer introduction post than I intended, but the main point I wanted to bring up is that this is just me, experimenting on me. I am fortunate to have the time, energy and headspace for the month of November to commit to this program and I’m committed to chronicling this journey; to noticing any subtle changes to my mood, energy, emotions as well as the physical aspects too.

Each week, I’m going to do a wrap up summary here on the blog as well as one recipe I’ve made that is #whole30 friendly. You’ll find pics of my week on Instagram (@onestepwellbeing), and I’ll be posting on my new Facebook page too (onestepwellbeing).

In wellness,

-Rebecca