During the month of October I partook in my first Whole 30 challenge. What's Whole 30?! The Whole 30 is a commitment to 30 days eating only whole foods, listening to your body and keeping hydrated. It sounds so very simple, because it is!
I love the straight down the line language of the rules and the attitude of the creators of the challenge. They start:
Yes: Eat real food. Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.
Easy no!? Well, if like me you have already given up sugar and processed foods and eat a strict paleolithic style diet, then yes, it IS fairly simple. But if you are stuck in the western diet, possibly over consuming foods that are bad for you, not making you feel your best, aren't satisfying and sometimes, don't even resemble real food, then boy it can be tough! Many call this is a 'reset' diet. It is designed to really push you within, to question your very relationship with food and search for answers, all over a seemingly unending, agonising 30 days. The creators know how hard it can be and have an extremely helpful and hilariously accurate emotional timeline.
The site has some great resources and a friendly community so you don't feel alone! But don't expect to be wrapped in cotton wool! There is some tough love and some very sobering advice littered across the site!
It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.I love the 'in your face' nature of the whole challenge and I particularly enjoyed not tracking calories, not weighing myself, listening to my body, trying to figure out what it actually wanted rather than what I thought I wanted. But what I loved most of all was the community. I joined a FB group and we posted our meals everyday and moaned at each other and encouraged each other and cheered each other on!
I found the program easy, as I am AIP anyway. I eat this way every single day through need not choice. But I have come to realise it IS my choice now. I could never go back! I enjoy whole foods too damn much and I enjoy my newly rebuilt and healthy body too much. Sometimes it's hard, sometimes I moan when I have to get up early to prepare meals to take to work or to conventions and if I get caught out I bitch like hell about being hungry and I can't run into a shop to pick something up. Yes it's hard, but it's ALWAYS worth it ^_^
If you are interested in some meals that I ate whilst on W30 you can follow me as 'bintykins' on the TwoGrand app. Here are some handy, dandy collages!
Clue: pulled pork featured A LOT ^_^
I didn't lose any weight throughout the month, but nor did I gain any! It was funny to me to be the exact same weight at the end of the month when I had eaten more food, and particularly starchy carbs, this month than the last two months combined! I tried to eat three good meals a day and listened to my body. I have been a bit of a low carber for too long and I now absolutely love parsnips and sweet potatoes almost everyday! I also didn't exercise very much during the month. I walk to work and run so very occasionally. This month I really want to up my running and incorporate some strength and toning exercises! I want some definition dammit! :D
The Whole 30 is an amazing, health focused challenge and I'd recommend it to absolutely everyone! I don't think there is a single person on this planet that wouldn't benefit from a more natural diet.
The key to winning is preparation, once that becomes second nature there is truly no stopping you. If you can't spare the time to cook yourself good, solid, nutrient rich meals then you are doing life all wrong! Every person in your life will benefit from you having a healthy strong body. I have found this out for myself first hand and I am absolutely in love with life!
And pulled pork.
Join me for next month!?
In other awesome news I successfully introduced coffee and cacao on the AIP! I am over the moon with these additions, as I can now join the rest of the fitness world in enjoying 'bulletproof coffees!' I add coconut oil and coconut milk to mine and blend it thoroughly. A good fat bomb really does keep you satisfied until lunch! ^_^ I tested almonds (soaked and baked) though and reacted quite severely within 12 hours. So sad and at first surprising - but when I really think about it not so much. Almonds always made up the majority of my baked 'cheat' goods - muffins and pancakes and so on. If almonds are a problem for me, it is no wonder that my symptoms lingered until I started AIP. The only way to know for sure is to test them again. I will leave my body for a week and introduce them slowly. It could always have been something else, and so further testing is always recommended. If I react again then there's the culprit! I had negotiated some wiggle room with the schedule my nutritionist gave me in order to bump coffee up the list - I was feeling all sorry for myself after the almonds and coffee being a success cheered me up no end. And now cacao is seemingly fine I can enjoy 100% dark chocolate again and the health benefits of this pure superfood! ^_^
Anybody else have experience of the AutoImmune Protocol? I would very much LOVE to be your friend... <3