I’ve recently been having a lot of stomach issues. After visiting a slew of doctors, being tested for every allergy under the sun, and still having no answers.. I decided to take matters into my own hands and try to figure out what was bothering me on my own. I’ve done my research on the paleo diet, and while I tried it once (for a week) I gave up pretty quickly because I missed my oats and yogurt. You can read all about that here. Even though I was tested for celiac disease and lactose intolerance (both of which were negative) I figured it was worth another try to nix grains and dairy from my diet and see what happens. So I decided to do my own hybrid version of Whole30.
I’d been hearing and seeing people talk about Whole30 all over Instagram, preaching about the wonders of the program and all that it has done for them. For those of you who don’t know what Whole30 is, it is a 30 day program founded on the idea that we should be eating real food.
There are a few ‘rules’ to Whole30:
- No sugar of any kind
- No alcohol
- No grains
- No legumes (Which means peanuts.. beans.. soy…etc)
- No dairy
- No carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites
- No ‘recreating’ baked goods/treats with Whole30 approved ingredients
These rules aren’t too far from the ‘rules’ of clean eating or the paleo diet… If you follow either of these approaches you’ll see some clear overlap. I think that the philosophy behind Whole30 is great, and totally agree with everything that it stands for. The book It Starts With Food is fantastic, and I highly recommend the program to anyone looking to learn about their dietary sensitivities, or dive head first into healthy eating.
How did I manage to cut out dairy and grains? I didn’t eat a ton of dairy to begin with. I drink a protein shake everyday, eat a non-fat Greek yogurt 3-4 times a week for a snack, and occasionally I’ll eat a small amount of cheese. So it was fairly easy to say good-bye to that. Grains on the other hand.. I love. I typically start my day with sprouted grain toast, overnight oats, or whole grain pancakes. Snacks are usually popcorn or a protein baked good. Lunch and dinner usually have quinoa or brown rice as a side. Giving up the grains was definitely a challenge, but doable.
What did I eat? Breakfast consisted of a lot of eggs, chicken, turkey and veggies. I really don’t like eggs so after a week or so of eating them every morning I decided to just start eating animal proteins..AKA, my leftovers. For lunch and dinner I stuck to animal protein, and veggies. If I was hungry and felt like a needed a little extra boost of carbs, I would have sweet potatoes. Snacks were fruits, veggies, raw nuts, and various bars.
How did I feel? I didn’t lose any weight.. but I felt lighter (if that makes sense?). I’m not sure if it was in my head, or if my body was actually reacting to my food intake completely differently. I also felt satisfied. Before doing this, I was constantly hungry.
Overall Thoughts: Many people see drastic results or changes when they do a program like this… Prior to doing this I was already eating very healthy. Even though I was probably eating too much, it was all ‘healthy’ foods. The carbs were coming from a TON of fruit, popcorn and oats. The protein came from animal protein, or protein powder. The fats came from the animal proteins, olive/ coconut oils, avocado, and raw nuts. If you are eating a bunch of junk and processed foods and you cut it completely from your diet.. you are likely going to have more drastic results than I did. As I mentioned before I definitely recommend this to anyone who is questioning their sensitivity to food groups, or wants to change their eating habits. This was a good start to helping understand my dietary sensitivities, but ultimately it didn’t cure them. I’m currently doing nutrition counseling, eating/counting macros tailored to me, and following a low FODMAP diet to help me reach my health and fitness goals. So far it has been working out great.. but this is what works for ME and not necessarily what will work for you – we’re all different 🙂
If you are doing Whole30, or are just looking for products that are grain, dairy and sugar-free, here are some of my staples.. in addition to a TON of chicken, pork, turkey, fruits, vegetables and raw nuts.. I ate these 4 things pretty much every single day.
Safe Catch Tuna is also great for when you need something quick on the go. All of their tuna has no additives or fillers, and every single fish is checked for mercury. It tastes super fresh and delicious.
Tessemae’s Dressing & Sauces honestly saved me during this month. They have a Whole30 Pack that is filled with dressings and sauces all Whole30 approved. Their dressings are seriously out of this world. They have such simple ingredients but they are jam-packed with flavor. Eating salads with chicken can often get boring, but these dressings and sauces helped keep my meals fun and tasty.
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