With the month of May rapidly approaching, I feel it’s the ideal time for another “Whole 30”.
What is a Whole 30?
The Whole30 is another word for “strict Paleo” for a month. This is a popular approach recommended across the Paleosphere as a way to initially get into Paleo, to identify any food intolerances you may have, or just as a means to refocus. A Whole30 means eating lots of good quality meat, eggs, vegetables a little fruit, nuts and seeds. Grains, legumes, dairy and alcohol have no place on the Whole30!
Why am I Doing Another Whole 30?
Whilst I have been following Paleo for a couple of years now, I’ve found I’ve recently got a bit lazy with my nutrition and have been having lots of the same meals over and over. Whilst there’s nothing specifically wrong with this, it’s not the most interesting approach, and probably isn’t meeting all of my micronutrient requirements. I’ve also been having dried fruit more often than I should (why did I have to discover medjool dates?)
I’ve been keen to try an auto-immune protocol for a while, so incorporating this into my Whole30 will work well. I often forget to my supplements, especially Vitamin D, so for this month I'm going to be religious about it – good timing on the Vitamin D as we’re seeing a lot less sun, as we approach winter here in Australia.
With an auto-immune protocol I will also be omitting Nightshades (tomatoes, capsicum and peppers – since I don’t have potatoes they won’t be a new omission for me) and nuts and seeds. Some people skip eggs too on an autoimmune protocol, but I think that’s a step too far for me. I don’t have any particular health issues I’m looking to clear up since Paleo took care of my Asthma, but I have suspicious I'd fare a lot better without Nightshades. All will become clear!
How to do a Whole30
The Whole30 is so easy to do, but it does require some organisation. If it’s your introduction into Paleo, it’s a good idea to clean out your cupboards and fridge before you start – get rid of anything that reminiscent from a SAD diet and make sure you have all of the herbs, spices and ingredients on hand for the coming month. There’s a fantastic step by step guide in the Whole30 ebook explaining how to go about this for success.
I use the Whole30 as a culinary challenge – I use it as an excuse to try lots of difference recipes. In fact, the last Whole30 was such an enjoyable experience last time as we ate a different meal every single day – something I’m very far from at the moment!
My Whole30 approach is to spend some time on Sundays working out what’s happening during the coming week. When I know what I'm doing each day, I flick through my Paleo Cookbooks and assign a meal to each day. I then go out and buy all of the ingredients I’ll need for that week (taking a lot of care to ensure everything will be as fresh as possible on the day I have planned to eat it!) and prep anything I can in advance. This time I’m going to quadruple everything I cook, to stock the freezer up with lots of different lunch options to take into work.
I'm going to track my Whole30 using Cronometer, so I can get a good assessment of where my macro and micro nutrient ratios sit over the month. This month should give me some good tools (and recipes!) to tweak my diet after the Whole30.
Fortunately my house mate is also very keen to do another Whole30 – sharing the shopping, cooking and culinary inspiration certainly makes it a lot easier!
Have you done a Whole30 yet? How did you find it? Care to join me for a Whole30 May?