Life happens and inevitably we forget about our promises to eat right and focus on fitness and we slowly start to fall off the wagon.
At least, I did.
This year signaled some life changes, including moving in with my boyfriend, and that entailed slowly falling off the nutrition wagon by incorporating refined carbohydrates back into my diet, including my kryptonite: bagels and croissants. Work hours also made it so that I exercised less, and combined with my lazy diet, led to the inevitable packing of the pounds.
It’s time to do a giant reset and the strict Whole30 program will help me do that. The Whole30 program is the brainchild of Melissa and Dallas Hartwig and it’s designed as a “short-term (30 days) nutritional reset, designed to help put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal the digestive tract, and balance the immune system.”
For paleo peeps, this program is a very strict form of paleo. The most important things to remember are the food items NOT to eat:
- Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
- Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
- Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
- Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
- Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
- Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
- Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients.
Hopefully, this breaks my bagel addiction.
I will be combining this way of eating with brisk hour-long morning walks plus 15 to 20 minutes of body weight exercises. My goal is to get back on track, gain some more energy and lose excess poundage. Will keep you posted.