Whole 30 is best described as an elimination and detox diet based on the Paleo program. You don’t consume the following for 30 days: alcohol, sugar (except from fruit), grains, dairy, beans, or any processed foods. It’s supposed to reset your body and help reduce inflammation and digestive upset. After the 30 days, you reintroduce these food groups back into your diet one by one to see your body’s reaction to them. You will lose weight, but the goal here is to become more mindful of what you eat and to embrace clean eating. It’s hard. They say it isn’t hard, but it’s tough.
You can read more about it here.
This is a recap of my first week. Please note that I adore cheese and have a major league sweet tooth.
Feeling upbeat and almost cheerful (there’s a fine line between optimism and delusion), I’m up for the Whole 30 challenge. To succeed, you’ve got to be prepared. I’m fortified with a small grocery haul from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and my local produce stand. I’m officially a Whole 30ette because I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to it.
Making delicious recipes, keeps my resolve going. The homemade chicken soup is both comforting and tasty. Reality sinks in though when I want my evening hot tea while watching Fixer Upper. No sugar and milk in my tea equals no bueno.
Eating out is challenging. Everything is a no no! I order the market salad with grilled chicken at Bodega. The girl behind the counter gives me a sad look as she hands me oil & vinegar so I can dress my salad, theirs has honey in it. All is good until I spot a hipster downing an ice cold bottle of Coke. I suppress the urge to tackle him for it. Sugar withdrawal is real.
My love for Lara bars is born. They’re dairy and gluten free with no added sugar. I reread the Whole 30 program rules. It turns out Lara bars are only for emergencies. I spy two elementary school girls walking with their mom holding a box of doughnuts from the Mini Doughnut Company. The little blonde one has chocolate icing on her face. For a split second, I envision myself snatching the box from them and sprinting off. This is an emergency. I eat the Lara bar and feel better.
Day 5 – 7
Preparation is everything. My well-stocked pantry and refrigerator help me make: chicken salad, paleo taco salad, fajitas, fruit salad, etc. I survive the week without a Buddy Brew latte or anything sweet. I do not cheat because you can’t. And I try really hard not to think about cheese.
• Sugar is in everything: salad dressing, mayonnaise, bacon, etc.!
• I realized how much sugar I was consuming before Whole 30. The daily recommended amount of added sugar (not from fruit) is 25 grams or six teaspoons. FYI – there are 230 calories and 58 grams of sugar in a medium Chick Fil A lemonade! Cue the tears. To put that in perspective, a Snickers bar has 27 grams of sugar.
• Making most of your own meals is the foundation for clean eating. That said, thank goodness for Fresh Kitchen!
• Cuban food is not as good without black beans and rice.
• Unsweetened almond milk in coffee is just wrong.
• I bet that crème brulee French toast I saw on Pinterest tastes amazing.