I’m jumping on the Whole 30 bandwagon with thousands (millions??) of others this January!
My first exposure to the Whole 30 was about a year and a half ago. As I started researching healing diets to help reduce my chronic inflammation, I accidentally became paleo. That’s when I started hearing about Whole 30 over and over again. At first it kind of annoyed me, but I had to admit that I loved seeing the before and after pictures and seeing people’s stories unfold over Instagram.
My sister had been trying to lose weight after her babies, and after not having as much success as she would have liked with the weight loss diets she was trying, I asked her if she’d ever considered trying the Whole 30. I believe her response was “I have no idea what that is, but if it will help me lose weight, I’m in!” I knew the point wasn’t exactly to lose weight, but rather to detox your body and change your relationship with food—but I figured if I could lure her on board with that carrot, I’d play any card I could get. I had a feeling she would enjoy the community aspect of it, which I believe plays a huge role in the success of the program.
At the time I was on the very restrictive Auto Immune Paleo (AIP) diet, so the Whole 30 actually seemed pretty lenient to me. The “rules” of the Whole 30 are basically:
- No grains
- No legumes
- No dairy
- No sugar or sweeteners
- No alcohol
- No soy
My sister is embarking on her third round of Whole 30 this January, and I’ve decided to join her. I know that I am an all-or-nothing kind of gal, so having rules (and a time frame) helps me to have self-control. My dietary restrictions went out the window while I was pregnant (woohoo!) but unfortunately that meant I slid down the slippery slope and have had WAY too much sugar and dairy lately. I am also hoping to re-establish the good habits I developed while on the AIP, including eating loads of veggies at every meal (even breakfast!) and drinking bone broth on the daily. I’m not trying to lose weight, but if at the end of the month my wedding ring finally fits me again, that would be a nice bonus!
I am approaching the restrictions with caution, knowing that such dietary changes can have an effect on my milk supply. I’ve read that nursing mamas should follow the recommendations for Whole 30 for athletes, including extra potatoes, sweet potatoes, and starchy vegetables. I’m also going to give myself grace if I need to add in some other foods like rice or butter, which I have successfully introduced during elimination diets in the past.
I used to get really frustrated when people I was following on blogs or social media would hop from diet to diet, and so I’m a little annoyed at myself for doing the same—having gone from paleo to AIP to GAPS to Whole 30 within a two-year period. But I suppose each diet has a place and a purpose, and it’s all a journey to figure out what is best in that season.
Since the Whole 30 is very similar to the way we currently eat, it was not hard for me to make a list of compliant meals from our current recipe repertoire. I went through my sister’s Whole 30 cookbooks and all the recipes seemed too fancy for me. I’m more of a “cook the meat and add in some vegetables” kind of girl. My goal is to keep it simple, which is pretty much the only way to do it when you have a newborn.
I’m going to attempt to document my meals on Instagram, but sometimes I get too hungry and forget. You can follow along @_lindsaylea_ and don’t forget to check out the #JanuaryWhole30 hashtag for meal ideas if you decide to participate!