Having challenged myself to the Whole30 in mid April-May, and seriously seeing the benefits, I felt like a blog post on the challenge was appropriate.
Firstly, what is Whole30?
Whole30 is an elimination diet, where you eliminate all alcohol, dairy, gluten, grains, sugar, etc. and only stick to eating meat, fish, fruit, veg, herbs and spices and nuts- for 30 days. After the 30 days you reintroduce each food group one by one, giving your body time to react (if it does) to the food group, and then go back to eating Whole30 before introducing the next.
Why did you do it?
I had heard about it from one of my clients and decided I liked the sound of it as it can help to improve your immune system. I then did a bit of research and like most things diet/ challenge related, I put it to the back of my mind, only to be bought the book by my boyfriend for my birthday a few months later! We then consulted the diary and put aside 30 days that we would be able to do the challenge- this may not sound to hard, but you have to consider all things- weddings, holidays, parties etc.
How did it go?
Surprisingly very well! I have a huge sweet tooth, and am prone to "treating myself" during the weekends, so I thought this would be a real struggle. I really got into it though, and when I started to feel the benefits I loved it. I made some really tasty meals during the time, and have listed some of my favourites at the bottom.
What benefits did you feel?
I felt my energy levels increase. I no longer had a dip during the day where I felt I needed a nap. I felt more refreshed after a nights sleep. No heavy brain fog. Glowing complexion and a good digestive system.
Since realising how much of an impact what you eat can have on your whole body, I have started to be more mindful about what I am eating. I try to stick to having no sugar, dairy, processed foods, and alcohol during the week, and then let myself off a bit during the weekend. I would like to do it again and focus more on the reintroduction as well.
Going out for meals- I actually only went out for one during the time
Staying with people for weekends etc.
Social occasions where alcohol are involved!
Unpredicted celebrations!- my sister got engaged and toasting with a cup of green tea isn't quite the same.
Advice and tips...
I would advise to buy the Whole30 book- it has some good recipes in it, and all the info you would need on Whole30. There are loads of recipes online too.
Do it with someone- that way you can motivate each other in the times of cravings etc.
Get rid of all temptations- clearing your cupboards, secret drawers and therefore mind of all things naughty will help you complete the challenge.
Give yourself time to prepare. The worst is when you get hungry quickly and you can't think of snacks to get you through. I found boiled eggs and nuts (although they recommend not having too many) helped me.
I did make one honest, ignorant mistake, of eating the non-Whole30 compliant ingredient: sweet corn! I was unaware that sweet corn is a grain, since it is always stocked in the vegetable section in supermarkets.
My favourite Whole30 recipes:
Delicious Squash soup with lamb meatballs. She also has lots of other good recipes on here...
Yummy sweet potato with a parsley tahini sauce. This goes with anything and everything...salmon, chicken, lamb etc etc...
This one is quite time consuming but is worth it...whole30 ratatouille...
From the book: sausage patties, alternative buns for burgers (aubergine, portobello mushroom, sweet potato), chicken cacciatore, chicken chowder, salmon fish cakes.
Georgie created "Retreat 4 Your Feet" in 2011. The blog includes fun facts, personal stories, and general information.