I like to kid myself that I have a good diet. I mean, I plan dinners to ensure that they are balanced, I aim for low calorie lunch options, and I snack on nuts and seeds. While there is lots of love for food on this blog, I try to keep the unhealthy stuff as an occasional treat....My diet must be ok, right?! Um, well, no. Not at all. You see, I have a confession to make. I have a massive sugar addiction and a total inability to say no to any treat shoved under my nose. And when you work in a stressful office treats get shoved under your nose all of the time! Over time, all of this has taken it's toll, my blood sugar is all over the place, and so are my moods, I am hungry nearly all of the time, and snack on whatever is available, and I am a slave to my cravings. My body is in a mess and it needs a little help.
I don't diet. I never had, and I have a strong suspicion of 'fads'. To date, my approach has been to eat a balanced diet...something that has clearly not worked given the above! So, it is time to try something new. A different approach, one that will make me think about what I am shoving in my gob and make me care about what I eat.
Whole30 is something that has been flying around the internet for awhile. There are whole Instagram feeds full of pictures of plates packed with super healthy (and delicious!) looking foods, and converts rave about how good they felt after completing the program. Always, the sceptic, I initially dismissed the whole thing as a fad, I assumed that it would be super hard work, and wondered if it was really as healthy as everyone claimed. However, feeling sluggish and in need of a change, I decided to do a little research. Reading It Starts with Food and exploring the Whole30 website convinced me that this might be the approach for me...
Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.
Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff.
So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you? Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.
I really like the idea of spending a month stripping my diet right back and really thinking about what I eat and how it impacts my wellbeing. It feels good to think that I will be taking control of my diet and being really kind to my body. I cannot wait to get started and find out what affect this (quite frankly) big change will have on my life.