{photo via Pinterest}

As always after a vacation (let alone one in France, Switzerland, and Italy!), I find myself needing a bit of a break from rich, over-indulgent foods. I am a firm believer in the adage that calories ‘don’t count’ when you’re on holiday, especially since most of my travel revolves around where to eat or drink next. I definitely am in the ‘live to eat’ camp, as opposed to the ‘eat to live’ one. Vacation is not the place to restrict. Drink that white wine at lunch, enjoy your morning croissants, and go for seconds of that bolognese pasta, if you want one!

That being said, once I get home, it’s another story. As I try to learn to listen to my body -rather than telling it what it wants- I realize that after a period of indulging, what I truly crave is crisp veggies, fruit smoothies, sauteed greens, and a break from alcohol. That’s why my brother and I have decided to try the Whole30 eating plan, and I am so excited to start!

Whole30 is kind of like one of those ‘I’m-not-a-diet’ diets, but it actually has some interesting aspects to it that I’d like to explore. It’s based on the concept that some foods may be affecting your overall health, without you even knowing it. The program tells it’s followers to spend the next 30 days completely free of some of the common ‘trigger’ foods, then reintroducing them slowly once done to see if you notice any differences in your wellbeing.

From the Whole30 website:
“Established by Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig (of Whole9) in April 2009, the Whole30® is our original nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.

Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff.

So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you? Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.”

Yes, it’s a bit of a fluffy premise, especially since I am physically allergic to any kind of bogus cleanses or detox programs put forth by rich white women  so-called ‘Registered Dietitians’ to make money. However, I’ve always been curious if certain foods have effects on my health, but I’ve never committed to actually cutting them out, completely, for a significant period of time to see a difference. Like everyone, I have my usual list of aches and pains that I experience daily, including always feeling tired, some gastro-intestinal pain every once in a while, acne breakouts, etc. If I see any difference in myself by eliminating (and then reintroducing) certain foods from my diet, maybe I’ll be able to do something about it!

Of course, it could also be that nothing happens and I just end up ingesting a lot of kale for a month. Which is fine, because I love kale (massaged with olive oil, garlic, and a squeeze of lemon? YUM-MY). Anyway, that’s what I’m doing, and I’d love to hear if any of you have tried Whole30 and what your experience was.

Stay tuned for a whole bunch of healthy and (hopefully) delicious recipes coming your way, including weekly updates on how I’m doing!


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