Whole30: What is it? According to Whole30.com — it is a “nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days”. The main idea is to re-educate people on how and what to eat in order to improve life on both physical and psychological aspects.
I had to see if my life needed a tune-up, so here is what happened during the first 4 days.
According to the literature you are expected to plan for Whole30. Cleanse the cabinets of tempting foods, look at your calendar to pick a start date, and ensure nothing is on your calendar for the next 30 days that might increase the need for anything but whole food.
My approach was different. I needed a test drive. I needed to see if I could consume coffee without sugar. So, early AM on Tuesday, I poured my brew, pushed away the jar of sugar, and drank the dark liquid. It wasn’t bad, I told myself. Over and over. Repeat the mantra. Yes, I could do this.
Within an hour I was working on my 2nd cup of coffee, also without sugar – because after all, it was a day of testing. Again, it was not the worst thing I had ever tasted, so I decided to consider what I might do for lunch. Red peppers, tomatoes, spinach, strawberries and apple slices formed a salad that I drizzled with sunflower seeds & olive oil and sprinkled with Himalaya salt. Not bad, I thought as I munched away in front of my husband who was wondering if I was still testing the idea of Whole30 or if I had actually begun.
He got in the swing of things by dinner, and we sautéed chicken in olive oil, and added cauliflower ‘rice’, more tomatoes and asparagus, and everything tasted so good it was hard to understand why some call this a ‘fad diet’. Isn’t it just eating healthy foods? By the end of the day, my test was complete, I counted the day as Day 1 for my Whole30 kickoff. Twenty nine to go.
Hubby tried coffee without cream and sugar, and somehow managed to finish without a huge fuss. From there he was off to the grocery store with one of the Whole30 shopping lists. I marked up just about all fruits and vegetables, as I was feeling surprisingly famished. He returned from the store with a wide assortment of foods, and I wondered if we were feeding a family of 10.
Throughout the day, I continued to feel hungry, but not emotional hunger, the actual gut hunger. So, I fed the belly-beast and scarfed down bowls of veggies and avocados to keep the engine burning. Surprisingly, I didn’t miss the sugar. I made it through the day without chocolate.
We experimented with hash browns, which meant grating the potatoes in fine flecks. Hubby’s research showed that we could lose some of the starches in potatoes by soaking the fine flecks before cooking. After 3 cold water rinses, the water ran clear, and we paper-towel-dried the flecks. It could be that I hungered for something other than standard veggie fare. The potato flecks were sautéed over low heat in olive oil, and the taste was amazing. For dinner I made a veggie omelets topped with guacamole, sprouts and you guessed it — more olive oil. Completely full and satisfied, the real benefit appeared later in the eve — when I realized I had no cravings for snacks. That was a first.
I’m onboard with Whole30, and don’t even wince at the lack of sugar in my coffee. I also noticed my gut has settled — no more ‘not feeling so good’ after I eat waiting for the digestion to finish it’s job. Whole30 encourages you to stay away from the scale. I wasn’t sure I understood the reason for that until Day 4.
By removing the scale element, you listen more closely to what your body needs for fuel — as opposed to the brain jumping in and rudely inquiring about the number of calories you’ve consumed for the day. I’m operating without scale-gauges, only internal feedback — and it is rather freeing. Hubby has taken over the meal planning. Tonight our meal will be cooked using Ghee. Ghee is basically butter with the milk portion removed. It is touted as flavorful, and something I would likely not have experimented with had it not been for Whole30.