The Whole30

A post about the Whole30 diet with the tag line, “Let Us Change Your Life” appeared in my Facebook feed in late January. I was intrigued. While I don’t have a problem with getting enough exercise, my diet was another story. Too much sugar and not enough of the good stuff. And besides, who doesn’t want to change their life? I checked the calendar and did not have any trips or major social events scheduled which would make it difficult to stay on the program. So I decided that the Whole30 would provide a perfect distraction for the cold month of February (plus two days) with potentially positive results.

 

Whole 30 is designed to be reboot of your metabolism, reduce inflammation and balance your digestive and immune systems. Beyond weight loss and more energy, many participants report life changing results including improvements and even cures for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, allergies, migraines, depression, heartburn, arthritis, thyroid dysfunction and more.

 

It is restrictive but straightforward. You know what you have to do and it’s for 30 days which is long enough but not forever. Rules include:

 

  • No added real sugar or artificial sweeteners
  • No alcohol
  • No grains including pseudo grains like quinoa
  • No legumes
  • No dairy

 

This meant that I needed to cut out major food groups including popcorn, chocolate, peanuts/peanut butter not to mention chocolate with peanuts and chocolate with peanut butter, as well as my breakfast oatmeal. My focus was reducing my sugar intake, and I realized that in addition to the sweet treats that seem to be everywhere, so many foods have added sugar. The program also forced me to eat more vegetables and fruits, always a good thing.

 

I recruited Chris (son) and Emily (daughter-in-law) to join me in the challenge because unlike the first rule of Fight Club, it really helps to talk about the Whole30—to discuss food options, to keep one another on track and motivated and to commiserate.

 

So what happened after 30 days? I continue to eat more vegetables and fruits and have traded in peanuts for almonds and still have chocolate but just not as often. I did lose a few pounds and it cured my mild psoriasis. Maybe not life-changing but definitely an improvement.

 

Check out the Whole30 website for more information. http://whole30.com/

By Jean Zanoni (jean.zanoni@mu.edu)

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