The Whole 30 Diet!- What is it All About?
Hi Friends! You have all traveled with me though my many diets and attempts to lose weight. I have gained and lost 45 lbs. so many times in the past 10 years. I have found I am definitely a stress eater and after year 45, weight for me had become a constant battle. I have moved from my past goals of looking good to now just wanting to feel better….. although being able to dress with confidence certainly would be an added plus!! I want to have more energy to enjoy all that can be accomplished and experienced in this wonderful life, and be here to enjoy my next chapter-grand-kids!!
My daughter Kirby has been on a health kick and gave me the Whole 30-Starts with Food- book to read when I went to Peru. She said it had changed her relationship with food!! Although it is not ranked high on the diet sustainability list, the benefits on getting a crash course in clean eating and detoxing from sugar-I feel like I got mine from a chardonnay bottle—seemed like it would be good for me!! I bought the book and the cookbooks as they have lots of good recipes, but you can download most of the information from their website for free!
The idea is, says Mellissa and Dallas Hartwig, authors of the Whole 30 plan, to remove all processes foods and foods that have been linked to systemic inflammation, skin issues, allergies, chronic pain, hormonal imbalances and digestion issues by staying away from sugars, grains and dairy. They say that you will sleep better, have more energy, enjoy better skin, and have less bloating to name a few! Sounded great to me!!! I felt like no wine, no milk or sweeteners in my coffee and no diet cokes would be the hardest to do without. Surely I could abstain for 30 days!!
They do not want you to weigh or track calories on the diet. No scales, no measuring. The Whole 30 wants you to change your habits and your emotional relationship with food. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between an almond flour brownie and the one from your favorite restaurant, so even though all the ingredients may be approved, eating deserts of any form will not help squelch your sugar cravings and thus are not permitted.
What you can eat: Eat moderate portions of meat, seafood, and eggs; lots of vegetables; some fruit; plenty of natural fats; and herbs, spices, and seasonings. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re whole and unprocessed.
What you can’t eat:
- No sugar or natural or artificial sweeteners.
- No alcohol or smoking.
- No grains.
- No beans or legumes.
- No soy.
- No dairy.
- No processed additives.
How did we do?
I did tell my husband that he had to do the diet with me. Yes and I did tell, and not ask-sorry hunny!!! So many of our nighttime habits we do together, sooooo…. I really needed his support.
The biggest challenge for him was not having pastries or breads. I found some recipes for egg or vegetable muffins that seemed to carry him through.
Honestly we ate better than we have in years and both felt better as well. After we became empty-nesters, he cooked dinner having more time than me. It consisted of something he grilled, a can of baked beans and a potato, unless of course I wanted to make a side. I didn’t complain, dinner was ready! Now I do most of the cooking, but he does help choose recipes and clean the kitchen. There is lots of cooking and prep to this plan. This was probably the most overwhelming part of it all, especially when first looking over the recipes. It did get less stressful as the weeks went on as the ingredients were not so foreign, and I became able to make up my own recipes.
This was a welcome distraction for me as I was replacing my two glasses of wine each night with sparkling water in a wine glass. Put limes, berries or herbs with your drink to make it feel more special.
Eggs daily just isn’t my thing so these sweet potatoes made with coconut milk and cashew butter, garnished with fruit was a yummy easy meal that could be made in advance.
I also fell in love with chi pudding. Just by the name I am not sure it is whole 30 approved. You just mix one can of whole organic coconut milk with a bit over a fourth of a cup of chi seeds. Add more seeds if you like the pudding thicker. Put it in a container overnight. I like to put fruit, almond and coconut shavings on top. You can also mix the milk with fruit or cashew butter in the nutra-bullet, before the seeds are added to give it a different taste. I did have a 25th birthday dinner for my daughter Sammy and I made little parfait desserts, layering different combination of mixtures.
I loved all the foods-honestly! This was my families’ favorite. I made sweet potato mash in the nutra-bullet(can’t live without mine), mixing whole fat coconut milk from a can, salt, pepper, and either coconut butter or ghee. Then I sauteed some onions and julienne carrots in a small amount of coconut oil. When soft, I added the scallops and a minute before ready put large amounts of fresh spinach on top. The plate was layered, mash-then spinach, scallops and carrots.
A few helpful tips:
- I ordered three breakfasts and lunches a day from Snap Kitchen. They delivered them to my office and prevented me from driving though somewhere and picking up something not on the list.
- There are lots of slow cooker recipes available that are delicious. The next day or for dinner later that week, I would roll the leftovers in jimcima tortillas(HEB sells them), or butter lettuce.
- My kids told me about Instacart! I am sure you have other shopping services in your area. It is a game changer. I can shop for groceries on my computer at night and have them delivered at my convenience. For $149 per year or $6.99 a trip it is a time-saver and a bargain.
- Trader Joe’s has many whole 30 and organize items that are reasonably priced! There are lots of blogs on what to buy for whole 30 from Trader Joe’s-just ask google!!
- My house staples-coconut milk and flakes-sweet potatoes-ghee-olive oil-avocado-frozen cauliflower rice-fruit, almonds, favorite veggies, chopped mushrooms and onions, cashew butter, favorite protein.
- I purchase as many items as I can already chopped, this cuts my prep work in half, allowing me to prepare most dinners in 30 minutes or less.
This was also a great recipe and super easy to make!!!
I made a spinach open omelette the next morning for a Sunday brunch!!
I must say we both ate better and felt great!! Neither of us were ever hungry or felt deprived. John lost 10 lbs and I lost 14! First time I have lost more than him!! I did start weighing everyday again which is not a good idea–it takes my mind, from enjoying my meals to thinking about food all the time-what not to eat– and actually causes me to want to eat more. We both no longer have unhealthy cravings and will definitely stick to many of the clean eating habits. You can see what is on my road-map next!! Feel free to email me with any questions, or to share your experiences. For recipes, go to my healthy eating Pinterest board. I have lots more food ideas to try!! Here is to a healthier mind, body and soul!!
Exciting Event!! I am joined by and expert panel to discuss home makeovers for the Baylor Women’s network of Houston. Paisley house is graciously hosting the event and is donating a percentage of all sales during the event to Baylor!! She has lots of great furnishings and those velvet pumpkins we all crave for fall decor!! I hope to see some of your friendly faces there. xo Leslie