Friday, June 14, 2013

Why try Whole30?

The two adults in the house are trying the Whole30 diet this month (June 10-Jul 9). Heard about it? Tried it?Here's some info:

From the Whole 9 website:
Eat real food – meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed. 

More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.
  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. Yes, we said corn… for the purposes of this program, corn is a grain! This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold and fingerling potatoes off your plate.
We're 90% of the way there already. We've never been big on processed foods, and our kids were never interested in bread, rice, or pasta. Over the last 18 months, we've eliminated gluten and dairy (except for coffee cream) from our diet at home. We started the Great Gluten Experiment to see what it could do for kid behavior; an unexpected added benefit was that C felt better without gluten on board too -- fewer headaches, more even energy.

Once we figured out what to eat, we really didn't miss gluten or dairy much. We rarely eat out. (Well, except for Five Guys). We eat a lot of vegetables, eggs, and local meat. On the other hand, we both love beer. I'm a runner and eat rice, potatoes, black beans, and sometimes bread and cheese when I'm out of the house... but not often. I eat gels and bars and the like while running.

So, if we're 90% of the way to paleo already, why try the Whole30?

- We're curious to see if anything changes, interested to see if it does anything more for us. Will it affect my endurance? Reduce running injuries and little aches and pains? Give me more even energy?
- I wouldn't mind changing my graze-all-day eating habits. They were fine when I was at peak ultramarathon training, not so functional now that my mileage is half or two-thirds what it was. This is a good jump-start to change the habit of eating every 2 hours.
- No big events or travel in June, so it's a good time to give it a shot!

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