These days, it seems like everyone is talking about food – what’s healthy, what’s not. Vegan, Paleo, Pescetarian. It could be because I also think/talk/obsess about it also – but that’s for another day. The thing is, not only is there a lot of talk, but also a lot of opinions. What is the best option?
There are many different types of diets – and I don’t just mean the lose-weight kind of diets – but even just the lifestyle diet types (ie Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free, etc). While I know its possible to lose weight with a temporary diet (I’ve done it), if you can’t be disciplined to maintain it after, the results will be lost. If you are looking for a quick win for an event or something, a temporary diet could be an option, but most medical professionals agree that it is not the best approach.
But the thing is, the best option, is the one that works best for you. More than likely, to be successful though, you will need to plan a lifestyle change – not just a temporary plan. So in case your wondering, here’s why I’ve chosen to do the Whole30 and what I’ve been doing to prep.
Before Christmas, I did just what I mentioned above, a “lost weight quick” diet. I had parties and events coming up that I wanted to look/feel my best for – and then I could figure out the rest after. So I did a 2-day juice cleanse and then did a pretty calorie restricted diet for the two weeks after. I stepped up my strength training too as I had to cut out my runs due to the weather. And it worked – I lost anywhere between 5-7 lbs – which is usually not healthy. And predictably enough, as soon as the discipline was gone, the pounds came back – as well as the discomfort.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been noticing (likely due to age), changes in the way my body operates – specifically around digestion. This happened about 5 years ago with mainly indigestion after meals and water retention and after 2 kids I finally said enough. I was doing Crossfit at the time, so I adopted a Paleo lifestyle diet with the group I was working out with, and it changed my life. I felt so great and it was something I could modify slightly to live with.
But slowly, I added back in the “unapproved” processed foods. At first, there were no issues – but as moderation was reduced, I’m where I am today where 1 night out of 3, I’m managing indigestion, heartburn, and nausea. And if you know me, I really need my sleep. I have General Anxiety Disorder which I have learned to manage (sans medication) through getting enough sleep, meditation, and exercise. And guess what happens when I don’t sleep – I don’t feel like working out, don’t meditate, then there’s anxiety, which then continues to fuel my digestion as well. But I didn’t want to give up my favourite things – comfort foods enjoyed at home and with friends, and of course – wine!
So after suffering through the Christmas period with nausea and indigestion, and less sleep than I would have preferred for a holiday, I feel like its time to make a major change to my diet.
to try – sorry, TO DO – the Whole30 diet in order to try and figure out which are the foods that are really affecting my health. I was toying with the idea of going Vegetarian/Vegan, but I think that it would be too hard at this point in my life with work, commute, kids, etc. It was mostly for the same reasons anyways. (With that in mind, I still always try as much as possible to get my meat/eggs/fish from local, sustainable farmers to help ease my mind.)
So I got all set up, planned a juice cleanse for January 2nd, and planned to start January 3rd. In case your wondering why those dates – well because we always host New Years Eve with our friends, and if I was going to be cutting out all those bad foods and alcohol in the new year, then I was going to go out with a bang! And that usually results in less sleep, and a hangover the next day, which would also require some comfort food – not spending time in the kitchen trying out new recipes. And truth be told – I spent most of the day on the couch.
(Side Note: I just realized there are a ton of pictures of alcohol. I promise there is not addiction, I enjoy usually only on weekends and special events. This is just to demonstrate part of the unhealthy living I had become accustom to.)
Now, back to the point, I also had the juices arriving for Tom and I on New Years Day for our Juice Cleanse from Velish here in the GMA (link to my specific cleanse is here)- so we wouldn’t be able to start until the next day anyways. If you want to read more on my juice cleanse experience, click here.
But that’s not the only thing I did to get ready. I had to start meal planning, and food lists. I order weekly from Lufa Farms. Click here to find out more if your in the Greater Montreal Area. But its locally grown/sourced produce, meats, and much more. Unlike other services like this, you can customize your basket, PLUS its delivered weekly to a pick up point or your home – so easy. For other items, I go to either Costco, IGA, or Metro BUT I will likely go check out TAU later this week to pick up some other items that will help me, that are not found at regular grocery stores (i.e. Coconut Amino – which i did find on Amazon though!! Click here if you need them also)
In addition to starting on Whole30 – I also was convinced to join in on a Diet Bet with my friend, Julie. At first I was hesitant – however, I wanted to ensure that I was monitoring my calorie intake while I was moving to Whole30. I know that part of the program is technically not to worry about your weight – but I also remember when I first went Paleo and my food choices weren’t always that great – i.e. too much bacon. So this will help me to ensure I’m eating balanced meals with the right macros in order to still be healthy. I use MyFitnessPal to track my food, calorie intake and to help me with Macro (Macronutrient) Tracking. If you want to effectively track your macros though, you will likely need to do some research or get help from a professional (dietician or personal trainer) to figure out what your Macro goals should be. This will be based on your body type and your goals.
Finally, I have to keep up with my exercise. I have been slacking off a bit over the holidays but I will be continuing with my Nike Training Club App workouts, some shorter interval runs on the treadmill as well as the workouts from the Diet Bet. If your interested in the Diet Bet I’m on – you can check it out here.
So that’s my reason for taking on this challenge and what I have been doing an planning to be successful. If you are interested or have questions, you can always comment below or e-mail me with questions. There are also a handful of links here to help you. Finally – for recipes, you can head to my Pinterest Board on Clean Eating.
Check back in soon – I will be sure to be sharing some updates and some of the best (and some of the not-so-great) Whole30 recipes.