It’s that time of year where people use the fresh start of the new year for many things. Whether it’s related to health and fitness or not, it's always a great time to start off the year setting new goals for yourself whether it’s personal, professional or both. It could be goals geared to either enhance your already great life, to better yourself in an area you feel you are lacking or to even add something new into some aspect of your life.
Over the past few years, these have been the most common resolutions people make to start the new year off with a positive change in their life:
The two most common of the above list, which you may have guessed already, are health and fitness related. By now the gyms are packed, trainers and nutrition coaches are in high demand and most health/fitness related businesses are booming! Whether one’s goal is to lose/gain weight, change their ways of eating, or even to just be more active in general, it’s always the top trends of the new year.
If you missed the last couple blogs, I highly recommend going back and reading them as one is titled Move Your Body and goes more in depth of even the simplest ways to get some movement in - great place to start if you are new to exercising. And also the one titled Best Diets of 2021 to give you simple ideas on how to try to change your eating habits to feel better on the inside as well. As I mentioned in the Best Diets blog post, over the next few weeks I will be breaking down some of the other healthy eating trends and how we here at Eat Well Nashville can assist you in your healthier eating New Year’s resolutions. First up, the Whole30 diet.
One of the challenges that people partake in for the month of January is one that was started by the Whole30 community. The concept is simple and is a great way to jumpstart your new year if your resolution involves healthier eating. In this challenge you completely cut out foods that may be harmful for your health in general for a period of 30 days. After the initial 30 days, you slowly reintroduce foods that you missed during that time, all while monitoring the effects they each have on your body. Some may shy away from something like this as it may seem like a shock to your system or seem hard to follow. But don’t completely discount this challenge just yet and hear me out as I break it down further and give you the resources that may be helpful if you are wanting to try it out.
The Whole30 way of eating started back in April of 2009 by husband and wife team Dallas Hartwig and Melissa (Hartwig) Urban. It was more of a 30-day self experiment, or more of a dare as Melissa put it. She explained the simple story as to how it all really started in her explanation blog of “What is the Whole30?”
“I was eating Girl Scout Cookies right out of the sleeve after a hard gym session when a friend suggested that a month off from sugar, alcohol, and processed foods would certainly improve our health and performance. I loved the idea, and said I’d do it if he would.
‘When do you want to start?’ I asked. ‘How about right now?’ he taunted. Always up for a challenge, I closed the Thin Mints box with a sigh, and set out on what would become the most powerful, transformative 30 days of my life. That original 2-person experiment was the basis for the phenomenon now known as the Whole30.”
Funny how just a simple challenge among a friend and spouse sparked an idea that is now widely followed by so many to help improve their health! Better described by Michelle as more of a short term reset to jumpstart your health rather than a diet, weight loss or detox program. The benefits alone are what attract people to this plan - curb your cravings and bad habits, boost your metabolism and energy, heal your digestive tract and calm your immune system. It gets your body back to “baseline” status to figure out what foods trigger your lack of energy, sleep, metabolism, pain levels, athletic performance, etc.
A great place to start to find out more information about what you “can and cannot” do on the Whole30 eating plan is directly from their website under Program Rules where they give you the tools to get the most out of this challenge. Here is a basic rundown on what the do’s and dont’s of the Whole30 plan are - click the link above for more specifics of each.
WHAT YOU NEED TO AVOID:
- Added sugar, real or artificial
- Alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking
- Most forms of legumes
- Carrageenan or sulfites
- Junk food
- Do not step on the scale or take any body measurements for 30 days
WHAT TO ENJOY:
- Fruits - within limits
- Meats, poultry, seafood - unprocessed, even bacon that is no sugar and Whole30 compliant!
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy fats and oils - avocado, olive, coconut and ghee
- Natural drinks - coffee, tea, unsweetened seltzer
- Whole30 approved spices, seasonings, vinegars and herbs - so many out there so your food isn’t bland!
This is such a good plan and place to start for someone who is frustrated and fed up with food, especially if they feel like they’ve tried everything and there is no rhyme or reason to food intake as it relates to the way they feel. If this sounds like something you may want to try, here are a few tips for success straight from someone who has done the challenge:
- Meal plan and prep your food or use a meal service (hint hint Eat Well Nashville)
- Get a friend to do it with you
- Eat enough protein
- Have compliant emergency snacks that are Whole30 friendly
- The carb flu is real, expect it
Basically your only big job during the Whole30 challenge is to focus on making good food choices. No weighing or measuring, no calorie counting or restricting them either. Just stick to the Whole30 rule book for 30 straight days with no cheats, slips or special occasion excuses. Let us help you take the planning and prepping and guesswork out of the food portion of the challenge. We offer so many delicious options to keep you on track for the next 30 days and beyond. Let us be your accountability partner in you becoming a healthier version of the already amazing you!