I’ve decided to start 2013 off with a month long detox of sugar, grains (thereby gluten), legumes, and dairy (sob!) by following the Whole 30 plan. Now it’s not that I’m convinced that most of these are horrible in moderation, although sugar might be classified that way. Rather I want to see for myself what impact, if any, these have on my health.
This process will be easier for me than for some people because I already avoid grains, legumes, and sugar because of the low-carb diet we follow to combat my husband’s diabetes. I do occasionally indulge in these things, especially during special occasions, but I reap the consequences for these indulgences and they are not on my shopping lists or in my day-to-day cooking.
Dairy is a different thing altogether. I love cheese and yogurt and cooking eggs in butter from pastured cows. I put cheese on salads and on my morning eggs and on my spaghetti (made with spaghetti squash) and in my soups and……. On second thought, maybe all the cheese I eat is contributing to the fact that my weight stabilized at a level higher than I would like. Going without cheese for a few weeks might be a good thing.
For those of you new to Whole 30 here is a quote from the Whole 9 website: “Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food.” The Whole 30 is a one month commitment to eating clean, healthy, whole foods including healthy meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats while cutting out foods that may be having a negative impact on your system. It is not meant to be a lifelong plan so much as a wake up call to see what some of these foods may be doing to you.
The negative impact of any of these foods will not be apparent until they have been completely eradicated from the body. This must be a 30-day, no-cheating event. Having a little sugary “treat” or piece of cheese once a week may undo progress toward detoxing these from my system. After 30 days I plan on adding dairy back into my diet, paying attention to any discomfort it causes. I already know what sugar and grains do to my system, but going 30 days cheat-free will reinforce that knowledge.
Knowledge gained from this 30 day “experiment” will help me to make informed choices of food. Is that ice cream cone worth the sugar crash or brain fog? Do I really want to feel bloated for several hours if I eat ___________? Sometimes the answer will be “Yes, it’s worth it!” Hopefully, though, “yes” will come far less often than “no, it’s not worth it.”
So, who’s with me? Are you ready to start the new year with a healthy tune up? Leave a comment below with your pledge to spend 30 days cleaning out your system. Then go to some of the links I have listed and get prepared. The Whole 30 will not work if you eat in an unbalanced way because you have not planned well and shortchange yourself in your vegetable intake. Find some new recipes and plan ahead; on February 1st you will feel like a whole new person.
Whole 30 resources:
- Welcome to the Whole 30
- The Whole 30 Program
- Give Your Sugar Tantrums a Time Out
- A Month of Whole 30 Dinner Ideas
- Whole 30 Recipe Sites