Health,  Healthy Body,  Natural Medicine

Don’t Knock it Until You Try It-My Whole 30 Journey

I’ve done multiple Whole 30’s in the past few years. But I always made a concession. I would just hang on to one little bit of something I wanted. Maybe a piece of cheese, or maybe Whole 30 friendly desserts. But this time I decided to go all in.

Now I know, the first thing you’ll probably try and tell me is that “fad diets” aren’t sustainable. True, they aren’t. Living on only cayenne pepper lemonade or cabbage soup or even Slim-Fast shakes is not healthy nor is it a long-term solution.

None of those diets teach you how your body feels after certain foods are removed. None of those diets teach you eating habits that will last for a lifetime. And frankly, none of those diets leave your body feeling satisfied.

That was always my biggest issue. I would eat my 400 calorie meal with my healthy whole grains and lean meat, and 5 minutes later be scrounging for food in the fridge. I always felt hungry, never satisfied. I chalked it up to gluttony and other more “spiritual issues” that I needed to pray through. And while I did have a strong emotional connection to many foods at the time, I didn’t recognize the physiological response my body had to certain foods. Namely, wheat/gluten.

It’s been 8 years since I stopped eating wheat. 3 years after I lost more than 100 lbs and I was down to my lowest weight ever, and for the first time in my adult life it was considered a “healthy weight” (147 lbs.). I wasn’t obese or overweight anymore and it was amazing!

I got pregnant with my daughter soon after I hit 147. And when she was one, I was almost back to that low weight again when I got pregnant with my youngest.

It’s been a rollercoaster since that boy was born, and the thing I’ve struggled with the most has been my weight. Somewhere between sleep deprivation and needing a restricted diet while I was nursing I lost my desire to eat what my body needed most.

When our nursing journey ended, I could finally eat what I wanted (as long as it wasn’t wheat or dairy) and feel fine. I could eat dairy and no one else but me was suffering.

Enter cookies, cake, pizza, etc. And while my weight has stayed pretty stable within a 10 pound range or so (180’s-190’s), I have to admit, I don’t like it. I don’t like being obese. I don’t like wearing clothes with double-digit numbers. I don’t like feeling tired and achy because I eat foods that increase the inflammation in my body.

So what now??

I knew I needed to make a change. And post-Christmas, I knew it needed to be Whole 30. I knew I needed to nourish my body. I knew I needed to feed it what it needs most, not what I wanted most. I knew that if I wanted to break through this eternal plateau, I needed to make a change again.

Why Whole 30?

I love this “elimination diet” because you can eat fruit, vegetables, meat, nuts, seeds, ghee, and if you’re a coffee or tea drinker, you still get a cup or so of those a day. You don’t need to count calories or hop on a scale. You focus on nourishing your body.

I’m 20 days in and I feel great. I have more clarity of mind. I’ve dropped almost a size (my clothes are looser). I haven’t gotten on the scale (except once) because the plan encourages you not to. And I also don’t have anymore cravings. That’s right. It took about 2 weeks this time, but I no longer crave the junk. In fact, I can tell when I need more vegetables and fruit, because I’d rather eat that right now.

Listen, I hear you. What about everything in moderation?

Well, it’s a lie. Not everyone can have everything in moderation and still have the health or the body they want. Some people respond to food (namely sweets and junk) the way an addict responds to alcohol and drugs.

I’m not exaggerating. Wheat lights up the brain like heroin. I used to love my soft rolls from Texas Roadhouse and my crunchy Italian bread from the grocery store. But it messed with my brain, so I made a choice to give it up.

If you’re looking to make a change in your physical health, why not start here? Why not commit to 30 days of saying no to the extras your body doesn’t need, and simply nourish it with what it does need?

It’s not just about weight loss. It’s about energy levels, feel satiated after meals, memory function, clarity of mind (goodbye brain fog), and so much more. You can learn about all the benefits of the Whole 30 plan here. It’s also free. You just buy your food.

My biggest tip is to be boring. Pick 4 breakfast meals, 4 lunch meals, and 4 dinner meals, and rotate through them for the first couple of weeks. Also, to simplify things, make extra dinner and eat it for leftovers the next day for breakfast or lunch.

What are you waiting for? Don’t knock it until you try it.

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