I’ve never really been interested in following diets of any kind. Honestly, I usually like to eat what I like, within moderation. I generally include wheat pastas, vegetables, lean meats, and try not to go overboard on the sugar. But that was before my Whole 30 experiment!
For Christmas, my husband bought me the Whole 30 Book, along with the Whole 30 Cookbook. I really appreciated his thoughtfulness, and thanked him, but I figured I would probably never even open the book.
But he told me one of his physical therapy patients had gone through Whole 30 and really felt great. So that kind of put a bug in my ear. Still, I thought, I’ll probably never follow what a book tells me to eat.
And so those 2 books sat on a table in my bedroom unopened for 3 months, and I walked by them every day. I often thought, I’ll probably just send those back to Amazon, or else sell them on eBay.
But near the end of March, for some reason, I picked up the Whole 30 Book and started skimming through it. What caught my attention was that this did not sound at all like I expected. It didn’t sound trendy, it didn’t sound bizarre. In fact, the more I read, the more it made sense to me.
Medical Conditions and Inflammation in the Body
One of the first things that caught my attention was the list of medical conditions that many Whole 30 participants have reported no longer needing their medication for. Take a look at the list:
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- bipolar disorder
- joint pain
- thyroid dysfunction
- Lyme disease
- chronic fatigue
- ulcerative colitis
- multiple sclerosis
- Celiac disease
- and more!
At this point, it was a no-brainer for me.
I figured this might be worth listening to. Even though I am not currently on any medications, I have in the past been on high cholesterol medicine. And hey, I am definitely not getting any younger!
The second thing that I noticed was the information about inflammation in the body. Maybe this is common knowledge, but I did not realize that hidden inflammation in the body is the cause of many medical conditions, and that the foods we eat often cause that inflammation.
Suddenly I had a light bulb moment. Let me explain.
For the past year or so, I have noticed that when I take two Ibuprofen for a headache, it actually makes me feel better all over. And if I happen to have a headache at night and take Ibuprofen before going to bed, it makes me sleep better.
And what is Ibuprofen? It’s an anti-inflammatory.
So my light bulb moment was this: There is obviously some amount of hidden inflammation in my body that I am unaware of, and when that inflammation is minimized, I simply feel better.
And maybe some of the foods I am eating are causing that hidden inflammation.
Enter Whole 30
At this point, I decided I had to at least try Whole 30. It made so much sense to me. So after making some preparations, I started a few days later.
6 Things I Liked About Whole 30
Early on, some days were not easy. But that was mainly because I was not as prepared as I should have been with Whole 30-approved foods already prepared.
I mean, when I get hungry all of a sudden in the middle of the afternoon, I usually just grab whatever is there, like Cheez-its or something. Can’t do that on Whole 30!
After all was said and done, Whole 30 definitely changed my life for the better! Here’s what I liked about it.
1. I lost weight.
I did not originally do Whole 30 to lose weight. The authors actually say that Whole 30 is not a weight loss program, but that you likely will lose weight. They strongly encourage you not to even step on the scale for the entire 30 days. I ended up losing about 13 pounds, and I feel a lot better because of it.
2. My clothes fit better.
Everything I wear now is so much more comfortable than before! It’s amazing how it can make your whole day better when your clothes fit more comfortably.
3. I sleep better.
I came to realize that sometimes when we eat foods that are not good for us, it can cause the heart and the digestive system to work too hard during the night to digest the food. As a result, sleep may not be as calm or as peaceful. This is preventable if we eat more healthy food, and less unhealthy.
4. I no longer feel “weighed down” by carbs.
One of the reasons I didn’t think I could ever do Whole 30 is that I love bread and I love pasta! But I had started to notice that I would feel sort of “blah” after eating what I thought was a healthy sandwich or a pasta dish. Cutting out bread and pasta entirely was a game changer for me, and so worth it!
5. Cravings for sugar and less-than-healthy foods have been minimized.
The Whole 30 book claimed this would happen, but I didn’t believe it really would. I was wrong! Cravings have decreased for sugar and other less-than-healthy foods.
6. My digestive system feels “quieter” and “healed”.
The thing is, I didn’t even know anything needed healing. Before Whole 30, the abdominal area sometimes felt bloated, fat, full, busy. Now, it feels calmer, slimmer, not full, quieter.
WHAT HAPPENED AFTER 30 DAYS
After my 30 days were finished, and my husband noticed the benefits I was enjoying, he decided to try it as well. And so I just continued it right along with him. He has experienced similar benefits. Now my daughter and two additional extended family members have decided to try it.
I have now been eating this way for over 90 days. Not ultra strict, as in, when we celebrated my son’s wedding, I ate cheesecake and enjoyed some chips and dip with the family. But I don’t plan to ever go back to the way I was eating before.
Good Stewardship of the Body
What this means for me is that I feel like I can now serve better as a daughter of the King. Since I feel so much better physically, I can be “all there” for others as I seek to serve for His glory. This earthly vessel the Lord has given is a gift. It makes sense to me that it is worth stewarding well so that we can better serve in His kingdom.
I have now discovered first-hand that my physical well-being starts with the foods I eat, even more than I thought it did.
On Whole 30, after the 30 days are over, you can begin to re-introduce some of the foods back into your diet one at a time and evaluate how each type of food makes you feel. At that point, you can decide if you want to include those foods in your diet permanently or cut them out altogether.
I am thoroughly enjoying the results I have experienced with Whole 30. Losing weight, clothes fitting better, sleeping better, not feeling weighed down, fewer cravings, and a healed digestive system are some of the benefits I hope to continue to enjoy for the long haul!
YOUR TURN: Have you tried Whole 30? Do you suffer from any of the medical conditions listed? Have you experimented with various food choices in order to feel better? Please share with us in the comments below!