I’m not really into diets. Like, at all in fact. But for how hard it’s become to ignore chatter on whatever newly trending diet is out there, I’m happy to report that until this point in my life I have never restricted a particular food from my plate. I ate healthy growing up and stayed active, so I never felt the need. As a secondary backup to my argument, I never appreciated the potential to feel guilty for indulging. Like, so… Cupcakes, pie, brownies. Some days, you JUST need to eat a cupcake. And a person should never feel guilty for eating a cupcake, because they are the second greatest food on earth.
The only “food fad” that ever really caught my interest was the Paleo diet. Its principles made sense to me, and I was intrigued by how a person might physically feel different (better, even?) by consuming only foods that our ancestors had access to. But then I was like wait, so… No bread or CHEESE? What is this madness?! It sounded majorly challenging, and I was unsure what my short or longterm goals were supposed to be… Does a person “go Paleo” and stay that way for a month? Ten months? Is it a lifestyle change? I did some research despite the fact that it sounded impossible, and seriously considered it. I even made a secret board on Pinterest to kickstart my potential commitment level. Baby steps, you know? 😉
When it came to the actual food part, I started small. I gave up pasta. For someone who ate pasta once a week (me), this felt like a big step. I went about three weeks without it and majorly surprised myself by making it that long. Then, on a busy weeknight I allowed myself to have it for dinner, and I remember that night in detail… — As I slipped the noodles into boiling water I considered the past three weeks and how surprisingly manageable it had been without my good friend Pasta around. I had been playing the replacement game – coming up with substitute foods; not hard to do. Then, after dinner when my plate was empty and soaking in the sink, I experienced for the first time the effects of what a being on a diet must feel like…
How can I describe it… It was like I had eaten a wet pillow and it had settled firmly in the bottom my stomach. Physically I felt slow, tired. I even remember feeling amazed at what I was experiencing. I had never given up ANYthing before so I never would have known how foods were effecting my body.
Skip ahead two years later and I only rarely eat pasta. But when I do, I enjoy it.
Then, enter: Whole30! After my pasta revelation, I found myself totally onboard with trying new things if it meant I would feel better physically in my everyday. Whole30 is another food fad in which one’s diet consists of foods in their purest form. Think meat, fish, veggies, fruit, nuts. Meanwhile, you can say your sweet farewells to alcohol, sugar, grains, and dairy. …I knoooow, I too was like WHAT THE F!! Obviously this is no easy task, and far different than giving up just pasta.
And all I can say, is it’s SO worth it. I have yet to complete the thirty days, but even after going strong for 5 or 6 days, holy smokes you guys, I could tell that this is really something. Overall it’s helped me more seriously consider what I put into my body, and it’s a good, good thing. As someone who struggles with general bloating, I think I finally found a solution. To confirm, I absolutely WILL do a full thirty days, but I’m happy waiting until summer is over. I’m typically on a version of Whole30 during the week, while I enjoy my weekends guilt-free. (Enter: Box of donuts from Greenbush Bakery.)