Sooo after putting it off for a few weeks (well actually a few months), I have finally decided to start the Whole30. Day 1 of my Whole30 was Monday, January 18th. Day 30 will be February 16th... not that I'm counting down or anything. My roomie Kate started with me too which is amazingly helpful. (Kelsey isn't here for the next few months so she is spared the Whole30 craziness).
Part Guide, Part Cookbook
Before I get into the details of the Whole30 and why I am doing it, I want to give you a little background of how I found it in the first place. Over the summer, I went to a Acupuncturist for persistent shoulder/upper back pain. I was also attending neuromuscular massage therapy for the same issue. When I went to the acupuncturist, she recommended a book called It Starts With Food By Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig. At the time, I looked into it I wasn't in the right place in my life to fully adapt to the ideas inside. The reason she recommended the book because of the belief that most things (illnesses, pains, etc.) start inside your gut and with the food you eat. All in all, what we consume has a huge effect on what we feel (mentally, emotionally and physically).
I eventually stopped seeing the acupuncturist due to scheduling issues with school (good news: I plan on going back now that I have committed to the Whole30) but I did buy the book. One time when my parents were visiting my apartment, my dad found the book and was asking about it. I tried to explain what little I knew about it (without having actually read about it) and I realized that I was really interested in it and it was something I wanted to commit myself too. At the time, I had been having a few allergic reactions on my skin, I was feeling sluggish, lacked motivation and wasn't sure if I was on the right track in my life. I felt fatigued, and was making poor food choicesI was in my second semester of graduate school and I wasn't sure if I was happy all the time. Don't get me wrong I was happy but I needed a change.
Some of the books I read over break (or tired to read all at once oops)
Funny enough, shortly after that one of my friends from graduate school was looking at the Whole30 website and she was planning on starting after the New Year. We then started talking about it and one of our other friends said she had done one in the past-- her doctor recommended it. I was inspired once again and starting talking about it a lot. I ordered the Cookbook and vowed that I would read both books over my Winter break and get started in January at some time.
I started reading both books at the same time (not a good idea) and to be completely honest I haven't finished either of them (ack! I'm working on it, even though I'm back in school). But, I read most of both books and I gained a lot of knowledge. I still plan on finishing the books and sharing all my knowledge with you.
I was planning on starting last Monday after my family vacation to Colorado but I had a few life things happen and decided I needed the week to indulge in some wine and ease myself into the Whole30. So last week, I ate pretty healthy, tried some Whole30 recipes, worked out hard but also indulged in some wine, popcorn and chocolate. By the time this Monday came around, I was ready to start. I was ready to do something for myself, ready to devote time to myself, ready to take care of my body and my mind, ready to focus on ME.
So that leads me to the why I am doing this. I'll start with the superficial reasons. I've gained some weight over the past few months--mostly in the belly area-- and I know that it's because of what I am eating. Even though last semester was crazy, I still worked out most days and kept pretty consistent but I can't say the same for my diet. Some weeks I ate really well and made amazing new recipes, other weeks I had pizza two days in a row and takeout the next night. So there it is-- I want to lose some weight over these next 30 days. Also, I want my acne gone. I've been on many different kinds of birth control, I've used many different skin products and although I think I have found a skin care routine that works best for me now I STILL break out. I usually break out in the same spots and its definitely dependent on hormones and stress but still it's not something I want to deal with.
On top of that, I want to feel good. I want to feel like I am nourished and satisfied after every meal. I don't want to walk away from a meal and feel sick to my stomach. I HATE the feeling of being so full and sick you want to throw up (and let's be real it's my fault if I feel that way and i have totally done that more than once to myself). I hate feeling gross after eating. It's not fun and it's not good for your body. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not giving up beer and pizza forever. I'm all about moderation but I do want to learn but feels good for my body and what my body can process properly.
So that leads into another reason I am doing this. I want to know what foods my body can handle and what foods it can't. Everyone's digestion system is a little bit different and I want to learn more about mine. I have some ideas about what sits well and what doesn't but this is my chance to really know and to really understand the effects the food I am eating has on my body. I have some ideas about certain foods and what they do to my gut but I would like to know for sure.
A final reason I started was to gain energy. Last semester, graduate school was incredibly draining for me but it seemed logical why-- I was working hard at school and I was working hard in the gym. Over winter break I felt like I couldn't catch up on sleep. I felt like I couldn't get out of bed in the morning and I was always yawning. I was excited to go to bed every night and slept MORE than enough. Even with all of this, I did not feel energized. Yeah some days I had a ton of energy but it wasn't consistent. Going in to one of my most intense semesters of graduate school I need all the energy I can get. I want consistent energy to wake up early, enjoy my day, get a good workout in and still have time to enjoy my evenings whether they are on the couch or out socializing.
So there it is-- my reasons for starting the Whole30. I'm sure if I really though about it there are hundreds of other benefits that I can and will gain from it and could be possible reasons for me to start. But these are the honest reasons that led me to this. Kate said that she would give me some of her reasons once she thought about it more.
So far Day 3 just ended and I only have a few cravings. I'm not starving anymore. Next post--> what exactly is the whole 30?