A 30 day challenge that is. For those of you who don’t know what the Whole 30 is, I’ll give you a quick explanation. Whole 30 was invented by Whole 9 (Melissa and Dallas are the owners), and it is a 30 day clean eating challenge for anyone living the paleo way or wanting to live it.
I’d planned to do a Whole 30 for a while, but posting about the paleo bread made me think. I really need to do this challenge, because guess what, certain bad foods sneaked their way back into my diet. It was not immediately obvious to me. First came the occasional ice cream treat, then I ate ice cream a little more often. This was followed by chocolate, potato chips, and sometimes even gummy bears. I generally, of course, stuck to my diet, because I believe in it, and I want to live like this until I die. But those treats became more and more, and they were accompanied by little ailments. I did not draw that connection at first, but it is now so obvious to me, that I want to slap my forehead.
I also drank more alcohol. Don’t get me wrong, I am not an alcoholic. I never drank more than 2 glasses of wine with dinner. But my consumption of tequila went way up… No, I did not drink a ton of tequila, but I’d have a glass of my beloved NoCal margarita every other night.
The fact is, I don’t like the way things are going. This may be normal for the old me… but Paleo me desperately wants to go back to my Paleo ways. And a good way to start is by doing the 30 day challenge. I will eat clean for 30 days, will not drink any alcohol, and I will not eat any sugary treats. The plan is to largely stick with it after the challenge is over. Why? Because it feels right, because I am happier that way, because I want to live a really long time.
Because I love myself. And I deserve the very best.
And here are the rules as posted on the Whole 9 website:
- Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels (and your Success Guide FAQ), because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
- Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
- Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. Yes, we said corn… for the purposes of this program, corn is a grain! This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
- Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
- Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
- Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
- Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold and fingerling potatoes off your plate. (Refer to your Success Guide FAQ for details).
In addition, no Paleo-ifying dessert or junk food choices! We call this “Sex With Your Pants On” (SWYPO), and it will ruin your Whole30 faster than you can say, “Paleo pizza.” Do not try to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold. This means no “Paleo-fying” desserts or junk food – no Paleo pancakes, pizza, brownies or ice cream. Trying to replicate junk food with “technically approved” ingredients misses the point of the Whole30 entirely.
One last and final rule. You are not allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program. This is about so much more than just weight loss, and to focus on your body composition means you’ll miss out on the most dramatic and lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So, no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30. (We do encourage you to weigh yourself before and after, however, so you can see one of the more tangible results of your efforts when your program is over.)