Another Whole 30? Why YES! I think I will!
There are many different reasons for taking on a Whole 30 eating challenge. For me, the new year presents itself as a perfect time to get back to basic, squeaky-clean Paleo eating with a focus on the healthy lifestyle that goes along with it. I wish I could say I had reached the point in my journey where holidays were filled with laughter and fun without cocktails, gluten, and sugar, but I can’t. I haven’t found that balance yet. Maybe this year will be different. This will be the first time that I start the year off with a Whole 30, which will give me the chance to clear the decks and begin the year right, with every intention of carrying the health and energy I get from eating Paleo all the way through the year.
Another reason for doing multiple Whole 30s is that each time there is the potential to learn something different about yourself. I have done two so far – actually two and a half. The first one taught me that I can absolutely complete the challenge and that it’s the way I want to eat for the rest of my life. The one I attempted last spring but did not complete reminded me that outside triggers are still strong for me, even nearly 3 weeks into the challenge. I learned that I need a back-up plan to handle those times. My Whole 30 last fall showed me that my energy and mood are steady and positive when I feed my body what it needs and 7 to 7 1/2 hours of sleep works for me, but 8 is even better.
Doing a Whole 30 allows my body to heal and relearn to send the right signals for hunger and satiety. A healthy hormonal response lets me make decisions about what and when I eat based on true, physical hunger. This is freeing for me. I find it interesting to see my hunger fluctuate based on workout intensity – my body responds to energy needs rather than craving a sugar fix.
Finally, when I do a Whole 30, I can change things slightly each time to see how my body responds. I learned last time that I rely rather heavily on nuts for snacks. I want to change that and place a greater emphasis on protein and vegetables and different fats, coconut or olives, for example.
These things are certainly possible without the strict confines of the challenge, but I happen to like the rules. Honestly, it’s not all that crazy. For the next 30+ days, I’ll be eating whole foods – vegetables, meat, fat, fruits, and nuts. I won’t be eating processed food, sugar, dairy, grains or legumes. And I will feel better than ever.
Learn something, heal, feel great, EAT REAL FOOD. If that’s the case, I’m in!