What is Whole30?
The Whole30 is a 30-day nutrition program. The Whole30 challenge was developed in 2009 with the promise to end unhealthy eating habits and cravings, restore a healthy metabolism, heal the digestive tract, and balance the immune system. The diet aims to have participants gain a clear understanding of how the foods they eat affect their daily lives and long term health.
The creators of the Whole30, Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, claim that certain food groups - namely grains, sugar, dairy and legumes - can have a negative effect on your health and you may not even be aware of it. Complaints of aches and pains, lack of energy, difficulty losing weight, and conditions such as digestive woes that do not respond to medication may be attributed to the foods we eat.
The Whole30 challenge eliminates these food groups from our diet for 30-days so that our bodies can heal and recover from whatever ailments are caused by them.
The Whole30 Rules
You may download the Whole30 program PDF for detailed information. In a nutshell, here are the rules:
- Eat real food. Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods that are unprocessed or very minimally processed without added sugars and chemicals.
- Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial (Stevia, honey, maple syrup, cane sugar, coconut sugar, etc). Read food labels because sweetneners are notoriously snuck into foods, even very minimally processed "healthy" foods such as coconut milk and dried fruit.
- Do not consume alcohol of any kind, not even for cooking.
- Do not eat grains of any kind (wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, bran, starch, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa). Again read your labels.
- Do not eat legumes (beans of all kinds, peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, peanut butter, all forms of soy and all the ways we sneak soy into foods like lecithin.
- Do not eat dairy (cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese, kefir, yogurt, and sour cream) with the exception of clarified butter or ghee.
- Do not eat potatoes (white, red, purple, Yukon gold, and fingerling potatoes) with the exception of sweet potatoes.
- Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. Read your food labels.
- No Paleo-ifying baked goods, desserts, or junk foods. There is no replicating "junk food" making almond flour brownies or muffins, etc.
- Do not step on the scale or take any body measurements until the conclusion of the 30-days.
Reintroduction of Foods after Whole30
When you’ve completed your Whole30 it is time to slowly and systematically add those non-30 foods listed above back into your diet - one at a time. The Whole 30 Reintroduction Plan suggests you reintroduce some of the things you’ve eliminated over a ten day period and evaluate how they affect you.
Day Four: Non Gluten Containing Grains
Day Seven: Dairy
Day Ten: Gluten Containing Grains
To reintroduce a food group, eat it at every meal for one day. Then go back to Whole30 for two days. During that time, evaluate how the food affected you.
The reintroduction portion of the Whole30 is critical to the learning experience. Evaluate how the food made you feel in the context of a healthier relationship with food, metabolism, digestive tract, and immune system. Don’t only look for immediate digestive distress "” everything you eat isn’t going to give you diarrhea if doesn’t agree with you. Rather, now that your body is a clean slate, use it as a control group to see if you really do thrive when you eat yogurt in the morning and cheese in the afternoon, as an example. Note how you feel an hour after you have had oatmeal for breakfast instead of a vegetable omelet.
Read my experience with doing the Whole30 program: What the Whole30 Did for Me.
Living life well-fed,
My Bariatric Life
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