We Davidsons plan our meals every week. I make a 7-day plan on Sundays after church, write up the grocery list while Chris takes a Sunday afternoon catnap (usually with actual cat accompaniments), and then he makes a run to Kroger and drops off our week’s worth of recycling along the way. We usually stick to our meal plan with about 85% accuracy; Chris has pointed out that, as long as we start strong early in the week, we can rock that meal plan. Then, it starts all over again the next Sunday afternoon.
This week, our meal plan looks different. It’s full of protein, roasted veggies, and far too many baked potatoes. Cheeses and pastas, typical Davidson meal plan staples, are conspicuously absent. There are no sandwich days planned for lunches. I’m not planning to bake any treats for my coworkers.
Smells like Whole30.
This Sunday, we are starting a thirty-day diet of whole foods, with no grains, no dairy, no sugar, and no legumes. (“No alcohol” is also on the list, but that is not a concern for us, because we don’t partake.) It will be an exceptionally difficult change for us.
- To examine my bad habits and gain self-control. I am an emotional eater. Most of the time that emotion is “boredom;” when I’m trying to relax at home on a weeknight, it’s comforting to munch on tortilla chips or split a row of Oreos with Chris when we’re catching up on our DVR. Or, after a stressful day at work, although we had a meal planned, we’ll end up at a restaurant and obviously I’m getting dessert because I earned it by suffering through the horrors of being a middle manager in an office setting. Whole30 will bring all those to light, painfully. But the thirty days will be just long enough to help me start new and improved habits of making good choices when in a tough spot.
- To gain a new perspective on meal planning. Real, whole foods were not a priority in previous meal plans. We rely more and more on convenience foods as we grow busier at work and life in general. I have been in a meal planning rut for a while now, and I no longer enjoy the task. I used to try recipes all the time (my Made It & Ate It board on Pinterest has almost 250 pins) but now I stick to recipes that I can cook with my eyes closed/while listening to Netflix in the kitchen. How will Whole30 help that? It’s forcing me to try all-new, compliant recipes (I have a board full of ’em), and new methods of cooking old staples but also new components, such as Brussels sprouts. Next week alone we will be trying ten new recipes. Watch out, world! My Pinterest board will hit 250 in no time!
- To have more energy and generally feel better. Speaking of being busy at work? We come home tuckered out every day. I’m ready for bed by nine o’clock every night, and we sure as heck don’t ever feel like exercising. (I’m lucky to make it through a Zumba class once a week.) Eating whole, goodful foods for thirty days can serve to balance out all the mysterious inner workings of my body. A reset in my digestive system will be a delightful and well-fought perk as well.
I will need to remember these reasons when I’m five days into the Whole30 regimen and feeling unsatisfied, restless, and tempted to quit. But from what I understand, the hard days will be crazy hard, but the good days in the second half of the thirty will be crazy great. And if I can meet the three goals I’ve set for myself, I will come out on the other side a happier, healthier me.
Have you ever done a Whole30?