What I Learned From 45 Days On The Whole30...
"The discipline you learn and character you build from setting and
achieving a goal can be more valuable than the
achievement of the goal itself." -Bo Bennett
Here I am (pictured) back at Hugo's, having come full circle... Hugo's was where I chose to have my last meal before kicking off The Whole30 New Year's Day & it's where I chose to celebrate after going 15 days beyond the planned 30.
Actually, my go-to Hugo's order is pretty much Whole30 compliant. There may be some carrageenen in the almond milk in my chai latte (I didn't ask), but I drink it without sweetener & my steak & eggs is definitely clean.
30 Days Of Clean Eating... That's what's required of Whole30 participants (no sweeteners of any kind, no grains, no legumes, no additives, processed food, sketchy oils, milk, cheese, etc), and the point is to reset your body's sense of balance & to test out any potential food sensitivities. It's the best elimination diet I've come across so far...
"I listen to my body, I give it things it wants and
I eliminate things it doesn't want." -Britt Ekland
An elimination diet is not about "dieting" in the typical sense of the word. It's not about losing weight or deprivation. It's a fairly scientific experiment that allows your body to do the talking for you. It gives your body the chance to say what it likes & what it doesn't.
That's why an elimination diet is one of the key components of my SAD To SEXY program. I'm all about customization. No two people are exactly alike & no one diet fits all!
So- what did I learn from this 45 day experiment?
I learned that I do not have a sweet tooth!
This is HUGE. My entire life I'd been convinced that I had the world's worst sweet tooth. I felt that I had to eat something sweet after every lunch and dinner or- I don't know what? My face might fall off? It was a pretty intense craving.
But here's the thing- after a few days without any sweetener of any kind, my face did NOT fall off & the cravings went away. I also began to notice the natural sweetness in fruits, vegetables & even meat. It was a revelation! Seriously. My tongue will never be the same.
I also learned that I don't much care about legumes. I can easily live without beans & peanuts. I wouldn't say that living bean-free is a part of my nutritional philosophy. I'm not a person who refers to myself as "Paleo", but I do understand that beans contain anti-nutrients & should be properly prepared using traditional techniques like soaking and sprouting. Still... I don't miss 'em, so it doesn't much matter to me.
I already eat a mostly grain-free diet. The one exception is my beloved fermented oatmeal (& maybe the rare glob of rice). That's one thing I really missed on the Whole30, although I did devise a satisfying alternative.
Anyway- I can live without grains most of the time, but I do think that I will still indulge in a bowl of fermented steel cut oats from time to time.
Now dairy... Dairy is another matter all together. I have been mostly dairy-free for many years, but I did gradually add back goat cheese and dark chocolate in the last couple of years.
Unfortunately, I discovered during my 45 days on the Whole30 that both my skin & mind are much clearer without it. Dang it! I really love those foods.
I may still have the occasional smidge of wonderfully stinky, high quality goat cheese & a bit of raw chocolate once in a blue moon, but, for the most part, the Whole30 has convinced me to reluctantly lay off these yummy treats.
Besides- I still have my almond-stuffed dates!
As for my allergies. You may remember that I began this Whole30 experiment as a way of possibly improving the allergies I have developed to my own cats.
Ironically, we added a fourth cat to the family right in the middle of my little experiment. Her name is Vesper & she is super sassy! She's also shedding some long, wispy hair all over my house...
Despite that- the Whole30 did improve my allergies, but it did not get rid of them all together. If I had to guesstimate an exact percentage, I'd say that it cut down on the itching, sneezing, watery eyes by 50%. Not bad... Not bad at all...
The main thing that I learned from this healthy experiment is that working within certain limitations & practicing a new discipline can be extremely illuminating. It can shed some light on what makes you tick, and that, to me, is worth the effort!
"The true method of knowledge is experiment." -William Blake
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