My body definitely needed a cleanse after a semester full of graduations and 21st birthday celebrations. At the same time, I began to notice the Whole30 program on my Insta-feed. As intrigued as I was, the no alcohol rule did not seem possible… until I was home for the summer.
To fill in those who have not heard of the Whole30 program, it is 30 days with no dairy, soy, added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, or MSG.
You’re probably thinking, will I just chew on a carrot for 30 days? Not exactly.
The first week that I got home for summer break I made a plan with my mom to start our 30-day journey together. I highly recommend you have a buddy to fight this battle with. 30 days later, I can honestly say my mindset of health and food has changed for the better. It was definitely not a completely smooth ride but every day was a step closer to accomplishing my goal.
Here are ten reasons why you should follow this lifestyle change and start your first day of the rest of your healthy life:
1. You shed fat fast
The main rule of the Whole30 is NO weighing, which honestly, who can argue with that? The purpose of this diet change is to reset your body. Although counting calories has become such a big part of our health world, try not to count calories.
All of the nutrients you are putting into your body are fresh so why count how many carrots you ate? With that said, regardless if there is no scale, you will begin to see changes in your body such as shedding a few pounds.
2. Your skin clears up
As amazing as those greasy fries and candy bars are, they have a slight correlation to skin reactions. Since starting the Whole30, my skin has cleared up and I have been told I have a refreshing glow to my skin.
3. You get a better night’s sleep
When I am at school, I tend to be restless throughout my sleep and I am exhausted in the morning. Despite some conditions that are probably due to just being a college student, being on the Whole30 program has improved my sleep.
I no longer wake up countless times in the night. I also find myself feeling rested by the time my crazy puppy jumps on my bed in the morning.
4. You have more energy
Like I mentioned with my increased night’s sleep, eating wholesome food will amp up your energy for the day. Forewarning, the first couple of the days will put you in a slump as your body is adjusting, but that does not last. After the first week I was beginning to have more energy and was not as tempted to take mid-day naps, and boy, do I love naps.
5. Your cravings will decrease
The ugly truth: going out to eat on the Whole30 is very hard. However, there are ways to get around breaking your journey and still enjoy eating out such as switching chips and guac to cucumbers and guac.
With certain substitutions, you can lower your normal cravings for your guilty pleasures. A few days after I finished, I didn’t feel the need to take a bite of a burger or even stuff my face with Ben and Jerry’s.
6. You will become a master in the kitchen
After one week of just veggies and fruit, you will begin to get bored of the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Whole30 community is a supportive group that offers a surplus of creative meals that will keep your taste buds constantly surprised.
Cauliflower pizza or tortilla recipes will make you challenge your cooking skills. 30 days later and you will be a professional chef that would be good enough to throw down Bobby Flay. Well, maybe not that good, but you will learn how to cook for your cravings.
7. Your digestive system will thank you
Nowadays there are so many people with dietary restrictions, servers turn into Bon Qui Qui. Although you become that person with “a complicated order,” you learn what upsets your digestive system. During the Whole30, I found my digestive problem decreasing (unfortunately because I cut out dairy).
8. You become more organized and prepared
The key to success on the Whole30: prepare. By preparing your meals ahead of time, your journey on the Whole30 will become a lot easier. When you only have a limited selection of food, you learn that you need to always be prepared.
After continuously prepping your meals, it becomes a habit to be prepared. Maybe these organization skills will carry onto our studying (fingers crossed).
9. You will gain a more positive body image
It seems that everywhere we look on social media is about body image and what exactly is healthy. But honestly, what is holding us back from being Elle Woods and feeling confident with who we are?
As long as you are happy with your body and feel good that is all that matters. With that said, after doing the Whole30, I began to feel more confident about how I look. By putting in more wholesome foods into your diet, you will begin to feel good and have a more positive attitude when you look in the mirror.
10. You learn the balance between indulgence and health
Chocolate, queso, margaritas. These are all some of life’s sweetest pleasures and I am not saying to stop eating your favorite treats, but everything is great with balance.
After the thirty days, I slowly began to incorporate “noncompliant” foods into my diet slowly. One of the biggest lessons that I learned from this journey was that everything is okay in moderation. Not only does your body begin to make changes, your mind does as well.
Thirty days later and my mom and I say it’s been a long, temptation-filled journey. Although turning down slices of pizza and a glass of wine was difficult in the moment, the overall effect of Whole30 beats all of that. If you are looking for a way to reset your digestive system or to change your eating habits, you won’t regret trying the Whole30.
A few tips to any newbie starting their journey: do it with a friend, plan ahead of time, and whenever you feel discouraged tell yourself how strong and amazing you are!