A Whole 30 Level Set

As we gear up to start our January Whole 30 (Just FYI: I’ve decided we are officially going from January 2-31 -though I’m not closing the door to actually doing it for 60 days) I’ve been paying specific attention to the current state of my health. I’m noting how I look, how I feel and also how my body is performing because I want to get a baseline of where I am starting. This is so important, and in just a second I’m going to encourage you to do the same thing. But I want to do a little bit of housekeeping before we start.

First of all, I was OVERWHELMED by the number of readers here who are planning to participate in the January Whole 30 with us. When I wrote that post last week I was hoping a few of you would dive in, and that maybe we could all complain about our sugar withdrawals together. But between the emails I got, the tweets, and the comments on that post OVER ONE HUNDRED OF YOU WHO READ HERE DAILY ARE PARTICIPATING.

Holy heck on a ham sandwich, that is amazing! OVER ONE HUNDRED. I am flabbergasted. So because of that, I definitely feel like I want to make sure I’m facilitating some community instead of just bitching about my food for 30 days, because who does that help, really? But before we start let’s all get on the same page here.

If you are doing the Whole 30, I think it is important to respect that it is a proprietary program — it’s not just some random 30 “cleanse or detox” it has an actual protocol. It’s a free protocol, so it’s not like you have to buy something to do the Whole 30, but it is specifically developed and designed by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig over at Whole 9 Life.

Here it is, from the horse’s mouth:

Established in April 2009, the Whole30® is Whole9’s original nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days.

The physical benefits of the Whole30 include improved body composition, energy levels, sleep quality, attention span, mental attitude and athletic performance.

The psychological benefits of the Whole30 include changing long-standing, unhealthy patterns related to food, eating and your body image, and a dramatic reduction or elimination of food cravings, particularly sugar and carbohydrates.

So of course if you want to achieve all of those awesome results, you have to play by the rules, right?

The rules and A METRIC TON of easily digestible information regarding the science behind the rules are available in their book It Starts with Food. But even if you don’t want to buy and read the book, the information can still be found out there for free.

*Want a PDF outlining exactly what the program is: here you go!

A few things worth noting: You should not be counting calories, you are not dieting, you do not need to be counting carbs, and this isn’t really a “detox.” The Whole 30 is designed to give you 30 days to focus on how your body looks, feels and performs when you are eating only “Good Food”. Good Food is outlined in detail on the Whole 9 site but I’ll give ya the cliffs notes right here. They stick to 4 parameters:

1. Promote a Healthy Psychological Response
2. Promote a Healthy Hormonal Response
3. Support a Healthy Gut
4. Support Immune Function and Minimize Inflammation

*****And THAT, is the Whole 30 in a nutshell******

Now, if you are not going to follow the program that they outline, this doesn’t mean that your 30 days are a waste, or that you are a terrible person, or that you aren’t “being healthy” or any other crazy judgment, but it does mean that you aren’t doing a Whole 30. I don’t say that to be the food police, and I certainly am completely supportive and encouraging of any and all food experimentation that feels right to you right now (YOU KNOW THIS!) but I felt like it was worth noting that when it comes to the Whole 30: there is a specific protocol to follow. It’s what makes it The Whole 30, and not a Paleo/Primal/Sugar Detox challenge. And before we get started I wanted to underscore that this is what we will be doing in January and what I plan to be sharing my strategies for.


While we are talking about getting rolling on this Whole 30, here are a few of my favorite resources from the Whole 9 site:
A “Good/Better/Best” Grocery Shopping Guide (hint: everything doesn’t have to be grass-fed, organic, hippy-ville to be transformative)
Look, there is even a Vegetarian Version (This is why I particularly love Dallas and Melissa — they are quite inclusive in their pursuit of spreading the word on good food.)
Meal Planning Guide (This may spark some inspiration for your own meal planning)

****If you have any favorite resources to share, please do so for everyone reading in the comments!

The last thing I want to talk about, and the thing I want to encourage you to do before you get started is to acknowledge the current state your health in all its glory. :) If you are anything like me, December has been a liiiiiittle bit lax on the health front. Maybe you’ve been eating more cookies than kale, maybe you have been working out, maybe you haven’t. Maybe you’ve been sleeping great, or maybe you are just a little bit cranky and think the holidays may be to blame. Because there are a million ways to measure health that don’t include the scale, I encourage you to do a quick audit of how you are feeling right now. Make this a December to Remember. :) Need some ideas about things to think about, check out this post. This will help you see how much changes in January, and I am glad to share my own with you. So here comes the complete honest truth.

*My body composition is suffering. I don’t think my CrossFit friends are ready for all this jelly. And I’m not a fan of all this jelly when I have to run, jump and huck myself over a bar.
*My face feels like it has a rash. Constantly. It doesn’t, but it feels like it. Unpleasant.
*I am so so sluggish these days. My motivation to do anything is at an all time low. Garrett said to me the other night “I haven’t seen you sit on the couch this much in the entire 7 years we’ve been together.” It’s epic, my current level of laziness.
*Constant dehydration. No matter what I drink I just feel dry and thirsty. The red wine isn’t helping either.
*My face feels puffy constantly. I am completely certain each time I look in the mirror I’m going to see Mama Elsa staring back at me.

*Two Words: Back Fat. I don’t really need to expand on this one, do I? There is nothing worse than a preponderance of back fat.
*My nails are splitting. This is no bueno for my manicure.
*Vampire Bite Acne. I heard Diane say this on the most recent Balanced Bites Podcast and was like “Yes! That’s it! This is what I have! Acne that looks like I’ve been bitten by a vampire on my neck!” Oh wait…NO! NO NO NO NO NO. Nobody wants to relate to this.
*Speaking of Acne I don’t even want to discuss how much I’m breaking out.
*Icky Body Image. I have the time and money to go shopping right now and the desire to get a few new items for my wardrobe. But THE LAST THING I feel like doing right now is shopping for clothes. UGH.

*****

And that is really the state of my health right now. I can’t wait to get started with January’s Whole 30. I’m looking forward to turning all of this around, and I know from experience it can be done quickly with a little dedication.

I’ve got some meal planning inspiration, some recipes and more motivation coming this weekend, but until then here’s what you can do for me, and everyone playing along:

*If you blog about your Current State of Health, leave a link in the comments.
*If you are going to be writing about your Whole 30 experience leave a link to your site in the comments so we can all add you to our feed readers.
*If you don’t have a blog, feel free to leave your list in the comments.

Let’s help each other out, y’all!

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