A little over a month ago, I began a journey through a month of completely clean eating. This meant no sugar, dairy, grains, gluten, or legumes (and for those who don't know, peanuts are legumes!). When I first started, the task seemed a little insurmountable. My diet consisted of so many of those things each day, I wasn't sure what to eat, and in no way did I want to go hungry for even a day, let alone a whole month!
What I discovered has profoundly changed the way I think about food, hopefully forever. If you haven't done something like Whole30 yet, I'd encourage you to do it immediately. While it was extreme, I can't imagine what my life and food habits would be like going forward without having learned what I did. Here are some of my major takeaways, with more to come, I'm sure!
1) There is added sugar in EVERYTHING.
I don't know how I didn't notice before, but food manufacturers add sugar everywhere. Chips, lunch meat, rotisserie chicken, crackers...the list goes on. I was dumbfounded. Even without eating a daily dessert, I imagine I was still meeting more than my daily quota of sugar. There are also insane amounts of chemicals in almost all processed foods, but that's a whole different story!
2) I wasn't eating enough fat.
Some of you will cheer at this statement, but a lot of people are still under the misconception that fat is bad. It's not! And if you don't believe me, read these articles: Everyone Was Wrong: Saturated Fat Is Good For You; 7 Reactions to a High Fat Diet; Rethinking Fat; and more!
Either way, I wasn't getting enough because I thought I shouldn't be eating much! I went through a time of getting daily headaches this summer, and I'm realizing that a lot of that, and my general brain fogginess, was due to a lack of fat in my diet. I need fat to feed my brain. So do you. So eat (good) fat!
3) I eat a lot.
I kind of knew this about myself, but one big aspect of my Whole30 was not losing weight. Since I knew I was eating only extremely healthy foods, I didn't worry about portion sizes. I simply ate until I was full at each meal. And you know what? I eat a lot. I eat more than most of my friends. Sometimes, after a hard workout day, I can eat as much as my husband. That used to bother me, but I've realized that's just how I am - and I'm ok with that!
4) I can't do Whole30 forever.
Well, maybe I could, but I shouldn't. Once you get the hang of it, Whole30 feels like a security blanket. You know exactly what you can and can't eat, no guessing! It's restrictive, but so freeing to know that you don't have to worry about making good choices or not. But even though I can't stay in it forever, I do know that from here on out, I'll be eating a much more Whole30-like diet. And when I do choose to grab a dessert, I am going to enjoy it SO much - because it's going to be way fewer and further between!
What about you? Have you ever tried Whole30 (or something similar)? What's keeping you from trying it out?
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