We completed our Whole 30 Challenge and it feels so good. This was my third attempt at Whole 30 and it was not easy. I felt like quitting too many times to count, but days 10 and 11 were particularly difficult. This was something I invested too much thought and physical preparation in to turn back. I knew that if I failed or ‘quit’ on day 3 or 4 that I would just have to start over and that kept me going. Melissa Hartwig created the Whole 30 Challenge about 10 years ago as a way to reset your system and a way to defeat a sugar addiction leading to food freedom at the end of this month long cleanse. This is only meant to get your body on the right track with cravings and not be a new way of eating long term. This approach helped me greatly as it wasn’t just a diet meant to punish me. Why would I want to invest in a punishment fueled eating style? I couldn’t get behind that. Our bodies do so much for us and support us in so many ways, how could I punish it? I may not have been enthusiastic about where I was post baby but that still wasn’t reason enough to punish myself when it came to food. Food should be a big part of the joy I feel each day. Preparing meals and consuming them is a big part of our lives. On the Whole 30 challenge I learned to make it a lovely part of my day beginning and ending with intention. For us the key to eating clean was planning. I planned out a food map for the week, grocery shopped for fresh produce twice a week when we started. We found ‘cheats’ that were great food choices that would also qualify as easy-button snacking in a food challenge that felt endlessly laborious the first week. The RX BAR brand had great options and these Great Value freezer meals saved me countless times. After day 11 I felt I had invested too much sacrifice to turn back. Things I loved about this challenge were not weighing for 30 days, discovering my will power, and the burst of energy that came around day 20 and sustained as long as I was eating whole foods. After day 31 I decided to weigh myself and I was initially let down. I took a moment in dissapointment but then pushed myself to recall the incredible benefits I had already identified. This was not a weight loss venture, your body will shed the excess and it doesn’t have to add up to your favorite number. This was specifically empowering; none of us can put a number to our worth or our best selves. The Whole 30 cookbook may be the only cookbook I have ever read and I am so thankful I did. The words within these pages are enlightening and empowering. I feel I have access to the information I needed to take control of my cravings and food habits to turn them into how I want to eat. I would highly recommend this food challenge to anyone and everyone of all ages. I feel liberated after one month of eating clean and the happy effects haven’t faded even in girl scout cookie season. If you are looking for a health kick or any kind of health rejuvenation look into The Whole 30! Thanks for stopping by!
Photography by Arielle Humphries