I started Whole30 a whopping 48 hours ago. In that two-day span of time, I've already "cheated" several times with leftover Christmas cookies, pie, and (gasp!) Cheerios. Every time I have a snack that isn't Whole30 approved, the Whole30 mission statement runs through my mind:
"This is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Fighting cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth—the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime."
This opening mantra--printed in the program rules of the Whole30 program--is a true statement. Sure, there are things in life that are harder than cutting foods with added sugar out of your diet, but, as I've learned in the first 48 hours of my Whole30 experience, that doesn't necessarily mean that Whole30 will be easy. The reason I'm doing it is to be more helpful overall, and to experiment with cooking vegetables and other foods I never gave a second thought to previously. Some of my family members also challenged me to it, and being as competitive as I am, saying no wasn't really an option! Our "Whole30 Fanatics" texting chain has been encouraging :)
In a nutshell, Whole30 is a 30-day commitment to eating healthy foods only--cutting out anything with added sugar altogether. No alcohol, no beans, no rice, no pop, no peanut butter (what?!)...and the list goes on. Here is the shopping list I've committed to for the next 30 days:
- Bananas (try almond butter on bananas!)
- Almond Butter (Justin's, Kirkland, and Trader Joe's are all approved!)
- Eggs (scrambled, hard boiled, over medium, any way!)
- Bacon (no sugar added)
- Aidells Chicken Apple Sausage
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Applegate Farms Deli Meat organics (no sugar added types include Roast Beef, Turkey Bologna -- list of Whole30 approved deli meats at this link)
- Applegate Farms Whole30 approved Chicken Patties, Turkey Patties, hot dogs
- ChopHouse Beef Patties (available at Target)
- Chicken Breasts
- White Potatoes (baked potatoes)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Steamed/microwaved veggies
- Larabars (the following kinds are Whole30 approved: Apple Pie, Banana Bread, Carrot Cake, Cashew Cookie, Cherry Pie, Chocolate Coconut Chew, Coconut Cream Pie, Key Lime Pie, Lemon Bar, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie)
- RX Bars (the following kinds are Whole30 approved: Coconut Chocolate, Mixed Berry, Blueberry, Chocolate Sea Salt, Gingerbread, Apple Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice, Mint Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Coffee Chocolate)
- Almonds, Cashews
- Fresh Fruit
- Dried fruit
- Veggies (celery, carrots, etc.)
- La Croix (all flavors)
- Black tea, unsweetened tea
- Black coffee
- Califa Farms Unsweetened Almond Milk
Here's a testimony from someone who had a great Whole30 experience. There are also lots of helpful blogs and websites out there to guide one along the Whole30 journey--a few that I've used so far are these:
- Trader Joe's Whole30 shopping list
- A Whole30 survival guide to eating out (Chipotle is on the list! Yay!!)
Being gluten-free is hard, and that's something I have to do every day. Being gluten and dairy free is harder, but I did manage to do that for two years a while back. Being gluten, dairy, and added sugar free seems impossible--but nothing is impossible with God (right)! I keep having to remind myself of this Bible verse, Hebrews 12:11:
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
Every time I think about having a cookie, a piece of pie, a bowl of ice cream, whatever processed-sugar snack seems to be on the mind, I wonder about how similar that is to my walk with God. How often do I run after the cookies and ice cream instead of what is true, noble and right (Philippians 4:8)? How often am I distracted from what God wants me to focus my attention on?
One major thing I've learned during my first two days of Whole30 are that I tend to think about what I can't have way more than about what I can have. I can't have cookies. I can't have pie. I can't have bread. I can't have rice. I can't have cheese. I can't have beans. I can't have peanut butter.
Why is it so hard to focus on what I CAN have?!? I can have (Whole30 approved) bacon. I can have eggs. I can have fruit. I can have coffee. I can have veggies. I can have RX Bars. I can have nuts (except peanuts).
I am a work in progress, but who isn't? Until February 8, I'll keep reminding myself that there are worse things in life than eating healthy! As for Super Bowl LIII, that might have to be a cheat day--there are too many delicious snacks and tacos out there to be had (check out amazing gluten-free dip recipes: "The Three Best Super Bowl Gluten-Free Dip Recipes that Not-Gluten-Free People Can Enjoy, Too")!!!
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