Whole30 Challenge

Hi there! Alex and I made a sneak appearance in Ithaca, NY this weekend to surprise two of our very best friends, Joe and Suzzette. If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you may remember that they tearfully left us here in Maryland last August to pursue career dreams. They’ve been going through a little rough patch (with work after moving there… yep.. for work) and we were thrilled with the idea of lifting their spirits. So – we made the “should have been 5 hour trip but someone morphed into 6” on Saturday morning and had an amazing couple of days with great friends. Obviously I took some photos over the weekend, but they still need to get edited. So – stay tuned for those!

In the meantime, I wanted to share a little food journey that Alex and I decided to embark on.

Yesterday, the two of us started a program called Whole30 – you can read all about it here.  For those of you that might not have the time to pursue the entire site, here are some highlights (taken directly from their page).

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.

Whole30 is a version of the Paleo diet that has boomed in popularity recently. Basically, it’s eating food that our long-ago ancestors (cavemen and women) could have eaten. No baked breads, no processed cheese. Meat, eggs, fruits, veggies and nuts.

Yes, we have decided to completely cut out sugar (and all artificial sugars), dairy, grains, and (YES) even alcohol for thirty days.

Why, you may ask?

Because we both have been feeling like crap lately. It’s as simple as that. We’re not starting this challenge to test our willpower (although it will be completely tested, time and time again). And, the most important thing to note, is that it’s not all about losing weight either.

The program is designed to get you back to eating the food that properly fuels your body. In a couple weeks, the bloating should be gone and replaced with renewed energy and restful nights of sleep. At the end of the thirty days, we’ll really appreciate what it feels like to just plain feel good. I have no idea what I’m supposed to feel like without eating a bagel or pizza or cake or a scoop of ice cream or a bowl full of chili con queso as an indulgence.

I’m excited to feel like I don’t have last week’s food still sittin’ around and that I don’t need multiple cups of coffee because I didn’t sleep well since I had acid reflux all night.

The first week or two will be tough, as your body heals and adjusts to this new way of eating and your brain wraps itself around going without all those sweet tastes and sugar-driven energy spikes. And while you may start to feel better after a week or two… the healing process takes significantly longer. In addition, the mental addiction and emotional connections to sugary foods, large amounts of processed carbohydrates and over-the-top, chemically-altered flavors is going to take a lot longer to overcome.

I’m sure it’s not going to be a bag full of fun sometimes, but I’m looking forward to the outcome. And you know that I’ll share my journey with you (because I LOVE to over share). Maybe, just maybe, our challenge/results/journey will inspire you to finally make those changes you’ve been meaning to.

The program even has a shopping list, a meal planning template, a forum with other currently participating, and lots and lots of great articles.

In case you’d like more information: here’s an article on giving up grains and here’s one on the benefits of giving up dairy (and one specifically on milk).

So, wish us luck. Here’s to thirty days preparing meals full of whole, unprocessed foods. Here’s to a couple extra hours in the kitchen each week preparing meals (instead of taking that easy option). And here’s to (hopefully) amazing results.


3 thoughts on “Whole30 Challenge

  1. Pingback: Whole30 Reflections Day 1 & 2 | Life With a Crazy Pup

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