My Whole30: Eat More, Restrict Less

Whole30 led me to a more diverse diet. Isn’t that the opposite of what we expect from a program that restricts food groups? Let me give you some context. This reset showed up RIGHT when I really needed it.

When I found Whole30, I was on a medical elimination diet. I was new to a Celiac diagnosis. My digestion was horrendous. I was drinking two soy-brown rice protein shakes per day and eating mostly just meat, fruit, and anything made from rice. I wasn’t eating a balanced diet. I wasn’t eating enough. And I hated the taste of it all. I was eating very little because, there didn’t seem to be a point. I had lost 15lbs in 3 months, unintentionally.

The idea of using real food for an elimination diet, instead of powdered cardboard was obviously, very attractive. I hadn’t realized how little fat and protein I had been (not) eating. And, how much allergen-free sugar I had been pounding. 

No wonder I wasn’t sleeping well, my face was broken-out, and my joints hurt. I was really ready to get all of the packaged, “allergen-free” foods out of my diet and focus on eating real food. This elimination diet had created a fear of real food in me. I craved normalcy, eating with friends, brunch! I was 19 and just wanted to live. I also didn’t want to count calories, count protein grams, watch my macro-split, weigh my food, weight my body, eat sugar-free, or eat low-fat. Whole30 didn’t ask for any of that. And, none of the foods I removed for 30 days, had to stay removed. 

Perhaps this is where we differ. But many of the foods recommended on Whole30 were ones I hadn’t ever tried before. I grew up on a very typical Farmer’s daughter diet. I tried almond butter, pecans, pork, bison burgers, chicken thighs, coconut milk, pumpkin seeds, seaweed, coconut aminos – so many new foods for the first time! It was so empowering to feel nourished, again. 

Avoid deprivation while doing a Whole30® with these tips!

Know your Why.

I used this program for a medical elimination of foods that presented as possible allergens or sensitivities. I did not complete this for weight loss or restriction. Consider the purpose of starting and what you want out of it!

Eat Enough.

If you’re eating enough, you are less likely to feel deprived. Remember, this is not a diet for caloric restriction. I assess my hunger honestly every 3 to 4 hours and hydrate adequately to make sure that I’m actually hungry, not just thirsty.

Stay Social!

I stayed VERY busy with our social Dallas Duo Whole30® reset that includes weekly curated compliant brunches and workouts at the best local fitness boutiques. Socialization is so important during this 30-day period. Part of this passion stems from my own journey through deprivation and the moments where I felt like everyone else was eating “this” and I was forced to eat “that.”

Eat Carbs.

Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, berries, potatoes, banana, dates. All fair game. Eat them. Maybe with every meal if you’re active like me. Your body needs carbohydrates.

Add variety!

Now there are a ton of different Whole30 approved products for you to eat, consume, and enjoy. There are sauces, ranch dip, and all these fun vinaigrettes available, not to mention some jerky, bars, and prepared meals.

Tell the people who matter.

Do not tell the whole world about your Whole30. I tell my closest friends, the people that I know without a doubt are going to support me, especially on days 10 and 11 when I feel like I’m done and, “I can’t do it anymore”. Knowing that those people are going to be there to tell you, “you can do it, you will do it, and you’re going to rock it”, is what you want. You don’t want to take the chance of anyone saying, “Is this really a good idea?” and to convince you out of it. It’s just 30 days.

Eat ugly and thrive

Accept the ugly and simple meals. Along with the optimization of 2018 Whole30 approved products, there’s also something called FOMO: fear of missing out. Missing out on those amazing and delicious Instagram-worthy meals that a ll of your friends , it seems, are posting, except you. It’s okay if the dinner casserole that you made looks kinda brown and ugly, but still tastes delicious. Accept that. Embrace it. And, enjoy your Whole30!

End your reset.

I reintroduced foods at Day 31, I didn’t stay on the reset. I didn’t need to. I found that I could handle oats, many gluten-free dairy, goat cheese, hummus, black beans, and tequila! I found a solid foundation of healthful foods, mixed with a variety of comforting pleasure foods, too. And I tossed that medical food to the trash.

Me, Now

Now, I eat as many foods as I can. Deprivation is my nemesis. I focus on balanced meals with lots of variety, thankful to not be in the confines of elimination anymore. This process is made to identify your unique nutrition prescription. It’s unique to YOU.

My unique diet prescription: grains in the form of rice and oatmeal, legumes like soaked beans, lots of healthy fats from avocado and ghee, leafy greens, quality protein, spice, herbs, hydration, tequila, ice cream, all the things that bring joy!

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