Our household decided to try doing a Whole30, and I promised some people that I would try to write about what we have been learning and how it has been going.
The Whole30 program, as described on their website, is 30 days in which you;
Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health. – See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/#sthash.86zXY5gO.dpuf
What are those foods you cut out entirely for 30 days? Sugars, Dairy, Legumes, Grains, Alcohol, and all unpronounceable additives, chemicals, preservatives etc. that sneak in to basically everything on the grocery store shelves.
So that paragraph I quoted basically sums up WHY we are doing this. Much more than for just weight loss, I thought it would be a great time to reset our relationship with food, break some bad habits and build some new good habits as a family.
Although our whole household is doing this, my husband and I, as well as my sister and brother in law who share our house, the three kids are still eating some “forbidden” snacks although I haven’t been making any special meals for our 2 year old, our approach to food for kids here is that they eat what we eat.
So what DO we eat for thirty days? Lots and lots of delicious protein, steaks, roast chicken, many eggs, pork loin, turkey etc. and copious amounts of fresh (and some frozen) vegetables of all shapes and sizes, as well as some fruits, and nuts, and oils.
We are only 12 days in and I have learned SO MUCH!
I took a few weeks between the decision moment and day 1 to make sure we were as prepared as possible. We started shopping “Paleo” and didn’t buy grains, dairy etc but we did use up what we had on hand in the house. I researched recipes, made a menu for every day of week one, made a grocery list, and scouted out our farmers market and costco and other grocery stores for where I could find compliant bacon (no sugar and no nitrates added. hard but possible to find!) and other foods that took a little leg work to track down.
Once we got started, it was so interesting! We learned how to make our own mayo (the stuff from the grocery store has sugar added) as well as making ghee or clarified butter (butter with the water and diary protein removed – DELICIOUS and I will be making and cooking with this for many years to come!) And so many new meals we had never tried before.
We are lucky to not have any allergy’s or other dietary restrictions, so I really had no experience cooking gluten free, (all grain free for that matter! no rice, corn, quinoa, anything!) or dairy free, or sugar free, let alone all those “frees” at the same time! Now I feel like I have a huge repertoire of meals I could make for a guest or future child who does have significant allergies. Also, to all you mom’s who daily go through the struggle of finding and making meals specific to a set of restrictions, HUGH RESPECT for you. That is not easy!
I will share some of our favourite recipes, but this post is getting a little long.
I will say that this endeavour has made it clear that eating clean like this is SO MUCH WORK. especially as my sister and I work each afternoon to prepare dinner for that evening, as well as a packed breakfast and lunch for our husbands to take to work, our days have become TIED to the kitchen and perpetual cycle of ensuring the right things are defrosting and roasting and peeled and prepped and packed. All the while being slightly hungry or tired, (I still haven’t discovered a love for black coffee. Coffee with Coconut cream? even worse, am I allowed to admit that?) But it has been worth it.
I am so proud of my husband and all of us for committing to this whole heartedly and being adventurous enough to try all kinds of new foods. We all agree this is THE MOST vegetables any of us has ever eaten, but we are all still happy, still trying, and encouraging each other! My husband and our brother in law even went to the movies and only snacked on pistachios and bottled water! Yay self control!
The effort to have home made, from scratch meals (there’s no picking up a quick and easy dinner on the way home from work with Whole30), is being seen as a huge sacrifice and act of love, and love en kindles more love, doesn’t it? That’s why the other evening when the two men had another opportunity to go see a movie, the instead surprised us by going to all the grocery stores and picking up all the necessary items for this weeks menu, and flowers for my sister and I. Sweethearts they are.
I am really looking forward to finishing this Whole30 (and not only for a coffee with cream and sugar…) But to see how we can incorporate some of these habits into the long run for our family. Stay tuned!