If you follow me on Twitter you’ll have seen that I'm currently in the middle (day 18, to be precise) of a Whole30.
So, what is a Whole30?
The Whole 30 is a strict 30 day Paleo program, which is designed to remove all inflammation causing foods for a 30 day period. This is very much in line with the 30-day trial Robb Wolf suggests. At the end of the 30-days the idea is to evaluate how you look, feel and perform – compared to how you looked, felt and performed on day -1. You can then slowly start to reintroduce other foods, if you wish to do so, to gain a better understanding of how your body reacts to specific foods. In the 30-day program you eat good quality, lean meat, fish, eggs, seasonal fruit & vegetables as well as fat sources such as coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds. Strictly off limits are dairy, grains, legumes – and of course all processed foods and alcohol.
How to go about it?
The weekend before I started my 30-days, I got organised. I went through hundreds of recipes and gave them the Whole30 treatment. There are differing degrees of Paleoness, meaning some recipes have dairy and sweeteners which aren’t allowed for this period. Once I had a collection of recipes for meals and snacks selected, I then went through the ingredients, one by one and compiled a huge shopping list – right down to the herbs and spices I didn’t already have. I assigned meals for the week ahead and bought everything I’d need. I can’t stress enough how much easier this made it!
What is a typical day’s menu?
Take today for example. Breakfast was (organic) bacon & (omega 3 enriched organic) eggs cooked in coconut oil. Lunch was a small bowl of leftover chicken curry cooked in coconut milk – and dinner today will be the slow cooked lamb that I hope is currently cooking itself in my slow cooker at home! Probably under 20 minutes of cooking & preparation time required today for three completely different meals.
The verdict so far?
I’d been about 90% Paleo before this recent Whole30 for a long time, so the biggest change for me has been cutting out dairy. Not having to make huge dietary changes has meant I haven’t had “carb flu” which a lot of people seem to go through. It has made me realise I just don’t need the dairy! Before starting, I’d been convinced I’d go back onto dairy once the 30-days were up. Now however, I just can’t see why I’d do that. Dairy gave me no nutritional benefit that I don’t get elsewhere in my diet, and I’m become increasingly convinced that dairy and I might not be so compatible. I’m always in a happy mood, but this has definitely been turned up a notch in the last 18 days. I’m also feeling a lot less tired – and for the first time since I can remember I’ve started to wake up before my alarm clock! This seems to have kick started my sleeping patterns too, as I’m now actually tired at bedtime. Win win! I’ll report back on my progress at the end of the 30 days, but more interestingly my housemate who has been doing this Whole30 with me, from a completely different way of eating!
Are you doing a Whole30 too? I’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences below