During the last few days of 2013, my sister and I indulged in The Donuttery‘s version of the Cronut. The dense, sugary pastry was packed full of chocolate whipped cream and strawberries. Noticeably lacking in the experience, however, were nutritional value and personal enjoyment: two things that should define a meal or snack. To be clear, the Cronut wasn’t bad — but it wasn’t what I wanted or needed. After finishing off a piece, I thought about being intentional in what I ate and came to some important conclusions.
This year, I want my eating habits to reflect purposefulness — in that I want to eat mindfully and I want my food itself to be nourishing. I’ve definitely lost sight of these two concepts over the past few months, evident in my expanding waistline. Importantly, though, I don’t want to commit to any doomed New Year’s resolutions or unsustainable diets. Enter a short-term “nutritional reset.”
The Whole30 has been gaining ground as an intense “Paleo/Primal”-based dietary program. The idea is that you can renew your body by eating as wholesomely as possible for 30 days, cutting out processed food, grains, refined sugar, dairy, soy, and legumes. As you might imagine, the “do not eat” list is exhaustive, but the hope is that you will “reset” your body into an optimally functional, squeaky-clean slate. Afterward, you can experiment with food groups and see what truly does (or doesn’t) work for you.
That said, Whole30 is pretty gimmicky. There’s no denying that they are making money off of their product. Nonetheless, the heart of the company seems to be in the right place, as they provide outlines, materials, and community support free of charge. Furthermore, what they’re doing isn’t entirely new; elimination diets are age-old and time-tested. They’re simply marketing a particular regimen to people who might need structure — such as myself.
Personally, I like having boundaries, getting creative, and working with existing frameworks and timelines, so I’m looking forward to starting the Whole30. I’m slated to begin this Sunday, January 12th and end Tuesday, February 11th, if any readers want to follow along. I’m excited (and yes, more than nervous) to see where this road leads, but one thing is certain — I’ll be sharing my experiences here every Wednesday.
- The Whole30 website (program rules and PDF downloads)
- Reviews: Luisa of the Wednesday Chef; Michelle of NomNomPaleo, Parts One and Two