30 whole days

#14 on my forty before forty bucket list items is: Try Whole 30. It’s just 30 days… how terrible can it be?

I ran a marathon on October 1* and I’m giving myself 30 days of recovery and indulgence before November 1, when I will officially start the Whole30. So here we are, 10 days out and I am gearing up by doing the following:

  1. Recruit
  2. Research
  3. Plan

1. RECRUIT: Who wants to join in? My mom and my co-worker Sophie are also going to give it and try. How about you? It’s not like you have anything better to do, it’s November.

2. RESEARCH: (source) What you need to know:

What You Can’t Eat on Whole30

1. Dairy: no cheese, cow milk, yogurt, cream, sour cream, kefir, and butter. The only exception to this rule is that you can have ghee.

2. Grains: This means no corn, rice, quinoa, wheat, rye, millet, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, bulgur, or sprouted grains.

3. Alcohol: No alcohol for cooking or drinking is to be consumed while doing Whole30. This includes vanilla extract. You can have something like kombucha.

4. Legumes: For 30 days you can’t eat beans of any kind, soy of any kind (including tofu, soy sauce, miso, edamame), chickpeas, peas, lentils, and peanuts.

5. Added Sugar: Don’t consume sugar that is real or artificial during the 30 days. This includes honey, maple syrup, agave, Splenda, xylitol, and Stevia. 

6. Carrageenan, MSG, and Sulfites: Avoid processed foods while doing Whole30. 

7. “Junk” Food: This means that you can’t recreate your favorite junk food or baked good recipes even if they use Whole30-compliant ingredients. This is less to do with your physical reactions to food, and more to do with the mental side of things. 

What You Can Eat on Whole30

After that pretty exhausting list of foods you can’t eat, it might seem a little daunting to start the program. But there’s still a bunch of delicious ingredients that can comprise a good — no, a great! — meal.

1. Vegetables: Eat vegetables — including potatoes! — to your heart’s content.

2. Fruits: Fruits are allowed, in moderation. Remember that you’re trying to limit your sugar intake during the 30 days.

3. Unprocessed Meats: Sausage is still okay, but check for added sugar and other off-limit preservatives.

4. Seafood: Fish and shellfish get the Whole30 nod of approval.

5. Eggs: Eggs will become your new breakfast bestie.

6. Nuts and seeds: All nuts and seeds are okay, with one exception: peanuts, because they are a legume.

7. Oils (some) and ghee: Just say yes to olive oil and coconut oil. Ghee, which is a type of clarified butter, is also allowed.

8. Coffee!!!!: Yes, you can have coffee while on Whole30, but you can’t add any milk products or sugar to lighten it up.

***

3. PLAN: What does this all mean for me? 

  • I don’t eat chicken or red meat so I will need to be careful (especially without beans and peanut butter)
  • I like seafood and LOVE eggs so that’s a relief.
  • I can still have my coffee, which I always drink black, so that’s awesome.
  • No wine – yes it sucks but I can manage. I am not really a big drinker and there are no major holidays to worry about.
  • Grains… and dairy. The struggle will be real.
  • Junk food… chocolate. It will be hard to avoid it, especially since I am starting this the DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN but, that’s the exact reason why I choose November 1. Avoid temptation.
  • If I keep on top of prepping snacks and lunch + stock my fridge full of the right stuff, I should be okay. Salvatore’s I will miss you most, but don’t worry dear friend, I will be back.

Although Sophie is in Montreal and I am here, we’re swapping recipes and making plans. I’m not a chef so if I keep things simple and live off of mixing and matching the things I love most (eggs and spinach), I can survive. I once tried a 14-day detox which included no caffeine and only lasted 7 days. It was not pretty… But when I was pregnant, I gave up coffee, all the good cheese, alcohol, running(!!!) for 10 months and made it through. So, even though there will be rough patches in November, at least I can still run and have coffee. Right?

What about Mike and David?

Ha! There is no way my eight-year-old child could survive. David’s diet is basically everything from the what not to eat list. Mike may dabble but he’s going to Vegas midway through the month and I can not see him asking the waiter if menu items are Whole30-friendly.

And why is the Whole30 on my forty before forty bucket list?

I love a challenge! I am physically healthy but I know I have bad eating habits – I want to see if these restrictions make a difference. Will I feel better, less tired, less mopey? Guys, it’s just thirty days. I can totally do it!

Here are some resources if you want to join in:

I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

*#21: Get a new personal best in a marathon

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

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