The Annual Whole 30!

New year new… I’m just going to stop there. It’s the same old me. I’ve been doing January Whole 30s every year for a few years now. I don’t keep perfect Whole 30 February and beyond, but for me, it is the perfect reset after the crazy indulgent (and delicious) eating patterns of my birthday, Christmas and New Year’s. (Plus a wedding and honeymoon this year!)

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the Whole 30 program, it’s basically a 30-day reset where you do not eat anything processed, with added sweeteners, gluten, dairy, legumes, etc. I highly recommend checking out the Hartwig’s book, “It Starts With Food.” After 30 days, you slowly introduce the food groups that you eliminated to see how they affect you. This is how I ended up learning that cheese is delicious, but too much cow dairy (goat cheese/milk does not seem to affect me as much, likely due to the lower amount of lactose) makes me feel stuffy and sluggish.

The program is 30 days strict, though this year, I’m making one minor exception: January 6. For Christmas, I got my mom an Italian cooking class that she and I will do together. While 30 days of strict near-perfect eating will improve my health, I’m convinced that spending quality time with someone I love (and learning a bit in the process) will do that too.

Another minor adjustment I’m making to the program (OK, yes, I understand adjustments mean it is not a true Whole 30, and I’m fine with that) is snacking. As written, the program denotes that you should not snack, but instead should eat three full, square meals, with a healthy source of fat included in each. If you’re super active, you can add a fourth full meal. I’m completely fine with doing three (or four on tough workout days) meals a day, plus a few small snacks (fruit, nuts, etc.) in between. This is because I’m really weary of losing weight. It has always been much easier for me to lose weight than to gain, and after I got hurt, my body went into a hypermetabolic state for a while, and I dropped down to being very underweight. It simply was not healthy. So, Whole 30 works as a weight loss tool for many (though that’s not quite what it was intended for, it was just a side effect), but I’m looking to gain and/or maintain. And if that means snacking on half an avocado or a sweet potato between full meals, then that’s what it’ll be. And that’s fine.

I know that tons of other people do January Whole 30s (it might be the most popular month for the reset!) so I’d love to hear about other people’s journeys!

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