For the past 28 days, I participated in what is called the Whole30, a program that the authors, Dallas & Melissa Hartwig, describe 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”. I do not recall where exactly I discovered the program but I knew the program was based on the Paleo diet. By the end of the 30 days, you reintroduce a certain type of food you hadn’t eaten before and determine how it affects your health (metabolism, systemic inflammation, digestion, skin, sleep, etc.).
It was last December when I became interested in trying the program out. We all have our own reasons for trying out fad diets or changing our nutritional habits. I already knew my eating habits were terrible. I was getting mad belly. My doctor told me I was 10 pounds overweight and reminded me that diabetes runs in my family. I was often lazy to cook for myself and I would usually just eat whatever fast food my mother wanted to buy for dinner or eat whatever fried foods my dad wanted to make. I’d also let my sugar cravings get the best of me, listening to the Oreos at the top of the fridge calling me. I began to read more about the program online and what caught my interest the most were the testimonials of how people’s ailments would subside and even disappear completely, including people with allergies or eczema. Well, I have year-round allergies and annoying skin conditions and I also wanted to reset my eating habits. So it was worth a shot!!
I ordered the book “It Starts With Food” to get a good grip of what the program was all about. A lot of the physiology and biology described in the book was put in layman’s terms for anybody to understand. Since I’ve taken courses in these topics, a lot of it made sense and simply reiterated a lot of what I already knew. It was kind of a slap in the face because I know what’s good and what’s bad for the body but I don’t put the good habits into practice.
Now, I didn’t want to immediately start the program. One, I was going to the Philippines so that postponed it for a while. (Sidenote: when my cousins tell me I’m fat, then I know I’m fat since they always told me I’m skinny). Two, I still had hangouts to attend that involved eating foods I knew I shouldn’t be eating during the program. So what exactly should I be eating as part of this program?
What about starting with what NOT to eat and consume?
- Added sugars (I’ll miss you, chocolate bars and just about all the processed foods in my pantry!)
- Alcohol (I’ll miss you, cheap wine!)
- Legumes (I’ll miss you, peanut butter!)
- Grains (I’ll miss you, pandesal!)
- Dairy (I’ll miss you, cheese!)
- MSG (I’ll miss you, pho and mom’s sinigang!)
You’re now thinking: ARE YOU SERIOUS?!
Yes. The main point, or at least my main focus, is to eat only certain foods in order to reset the body, especially the digestive tract and immune system. So basically my diet has consisted of simply meat, seafood, eggs, LOTS AND LOTS of vegetables, more eggs, some fruit, and good fats. MMM, avocado. And while avoiding certain foods, there are also other rules implemented while doing the program:
- No weighing yourself on the scale
- No taking body measurements
The point here is not about losing weight but to encourage better eating habits and promote a healthier lifestyle. The authors make a good point that measuring how healthy you are isn’t based on your weight and your body measurements. You can eat some of the nastiest food and workout and still look great, yet your overall health is still a bunch of DOODOO. Here is a link to a webpage on their site about Ways To Measure Health (Besides The Scale). So I’m not really concerned about losing weight because I know that just by choosing to eating better and MINDFULLY eat my food, that this would certainly happen.
At the end of the 30 days, I was hoping to have:
- Clearer skin
- Little to no eczema
- Better sleep
- Better eating habits
- More energy during the day
- Weight (FAT) loss
I have two more days until I finish my Whole30 and I’m excited to share my results!! I’ll make a post hopefully this Sunday about my experience during the 30 days and discuss the lessons I have learned. And struggles I’ve had!
If you want to learn more about the program, check out the Whole30 website!