Hey there, Glow Getters! I hope you've been having a prosperous and exciting 2016 so far. I know, I know...we're only a week in. Still, this year has been good to me thus far!
I've started right away on my resolutions, hitting the gym running training for my first century bike ride in June (it's never too early to start!), planning my first big trip for April, and meditating regularly. All that's awesome, but since I'm here to keep it real with you, I'll tell you one area that hasn't been so great: my diet.
As a health coach, many people expect me to be perfect and on diet all the time, but the truth of the matter is, nobody's perfect. I don't even strive to be! I have a stretch of time from my birthday in November to New Years that I typically let loose a little bit and allow myself to indulge occasionally -- it's fun for me to be a little less strict after my demanding cycling season ends in October and before I get back to business in the new year. But as soon as January hits, I'm back on it!
Naturally, after two months or so of eating out of the norm, I could use a "reset," if you will. For this, I turn to the Whole 30. This is my third year in a row starting the new year this way, and it really helps to get my cravings in check and get my body feeling healthy again. Sounds great, right? Let’s all do a Whole 30!
Wait…what is Whole 30?
The point of Whole 30 is simple: eat real food. Whole 30, created by personal trainers and sports nutritionists Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, is basically a “short-term nutritional reset.” By eliminating certain items for 30 days and filling your diet instead with nutrient-dense foods, a Whole 30 can help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system. And yes, lose weight!
I should warn you, though—a Whole 30 is no cake walk. For 30 days, you’re probably giving up some of your favorite foods. However, you’re replacing them with real foods, and will likely find new favorites in the process.
Here’s what’s off limits on a Whole 30:
- Sugar (in all forms)
- Legumes (beans and the like)
- Food Additives (carageenan, MSG, etc.)
- Alcohol (admittedly, this is the hardest one for me)
But look at the bright side! You get to eat good quality meats, all the vegetables you want, and lots of healthy fats such as nuts and avocado.
(For more information about what’s on and off limits during a Whole 30, check out the Whole 30 Program Rules.)
While a Whole 30 can be challenging, the payoff is more than worth the effort. Benefits of a Whole 30 include:
- Increased energy
- Better sleep
- Clearer skin
- Improved mental focus & clarity
- Improved mood
…and more! I’ve personally seen all these benefits, and they’re a huge part of why I do this reset at least once a year.
I’m starting my Whole 30 on Monday (January 11), and I hope you’ll join me! I’ll be sharing my weekly grocery lists and meal plans, some of my favorite tips, and insights along the way for the next 30 days. I gathered a few friends to join as well, so you may hear from them too! Let us know if you decide to take on this worthwhile challenge in the comments below.