Before we start, I’m going to throw this disclaimer out there. I’m not a health expert or a nutrition guru. I am a Paleo daddy, foodie, blogger and wannabe photographer. I’ve been asked on numerous occasions if I have other content besides recipes on my blog. For the last two years, I’ve been so focused on cooking and developing recipes that I completely neglected other aspects of a food blog. That being said, my first non-recipe article is 4 Tips to own that Whole30.
I’m not going to go into my perspective of Paleo but I am going to share my thoughts on how to own that Whole30. In the beginning of the year, you hear a shit ton of people committing themselves to a gung-ho new year resolution Whole30. How well did that end? By week 2, these people are burnt out, and selling their first born for donuts and pasta. That might be a bit of an exaggeration but the failure is real. The next thing you know, those same people are saying that the Whole30 is bullshit and it doesn’t work. The truth is, a lot of them were not equipped with the right tools or mindset to OWN that Whole30.
How to Own that Whole30:
People need to understand that bettering yourself and working on YOU is one of the most difficult things in life. Essentially, it is a battle of you vs. you. Think about it this way, if a person does the same thing over and over, they will simply get good at that one thing but they will never get better. To better ourselves, we have to do things that are difficult. We have to do things that we are not comfortable with. It is under those circumstances that we learn and improve. The same thing applies with the Whole30. To own that Whole30, it IS going to be difficult.
I understand that it is not a one size fits all mindset or my way is the only way, but what works well for me is getting into a competitive mindset. You have to remind yourself that you are in it to win it. Constantly remind yourself why you are doing it. Remind yourself of all the benefits and positive things that will come out of this. Look yourself in the mirror and give yourself a pep talk. Believe in yourself and tell yourself that you GOT this. Another thing that one of my very good friends, Mario (GetGameGroup), taught me is to start meditating. Ground yourself and start your day off on the right foot. If something derails you, take a few minutes to meditate, calm your mind and realign yourself.
2. Be Prepared
Be prepared! Preparation is key to success. Ill preparation and planning is often what leads to failure. To own that Whole30, get rid of the junk in your environment (living space) that will become a temptation to you. Many of us have guilty pleasures and have non-Whole30 compliant snack foods around their living quarters. Try to get rid of them. Ask your family/friends that you live with to work with you. If not, keep a section of your pantry just to yourself. I know there will be times that you will want to snack on foods because it might be a habit. Habits will take a lot longer than 30 days to break, so get Whole30 friendly snacks to make it easy on yourself. I will say this, do not get dependent on the snacks. The whole point of the Whole30 is to get us to eat WHOLE foods, and that should be your staples instead of processed snacks. During this time, eliminate all foods and start adding certain things back in to see what you do not tolerate. It’s the small things that help you own that whole30.
Be prepared to say “no” and don’t feel guilty for it. You are doing something to help better yourself and you should not feel bad for it. During the Whole30, you will be saying “no” a lot. Unless you have a very supportive and understanding group of friends and family, there will be people busting your chops for doing something for yourself and not doing what THEY want you to do. Get use to it and remind yourself you are doing this to create a healthier you. Saying “no” is difficult, but remember owning Whole30 #1: it will be difficult. I will cover more on this under 4.
3. Ease Into It
We kind of touched on this in the beginning about people being too gung-ho and tend to burn themselves out. That kind of mentality doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Sometimes, it is easier to ease into it. You have to grease the wheel for things to go smoothly. So, to own that Whole30, you want things to go smoothly. Start off with one Whole30 meals per day. Slowly build it up and start doing an entire day, then two days and so forth until you get a whole week in. This might take a period of time, but by the time you can do a whole week’s worth, you have been replacing and ridding toxins in your body for a few weeks.When you can do a whole week’s worth comfortably, you are ready to own that Whole30. This will set yourself up for success (Back to #2). Those few weeks will also allow you to learn the process and get meal prep down.
4. Enjoy It
I know this is going against some of the things I said previously on how to own that Whole30, but there are special circumstances that you NEED to break away for a meal or two. For example, if you have a big wedding to attend, an important birthday or work function that you cannot miss, learn to roll with the punches. Make sound choices, but remember, ENJOY YOURSELF. Don’t stress too much. I’m not saying go all out and eat all the pasta and ice cream you can fit in during that event. Still make sensible choices. Don’t worry about the “type of oil” it was cooked in (Unless you have an allergy) or if they marinated it in a little bit of soy sauce. Those are all very small things. Unless you have some very serious health issues (i.e. Celiac), one meal is not going to kill you. Don’t allow it to derail you but get right back on track. Let yourself be a well maintained train that will not get derailed easily and plow straight ahead to the finish line. OWN THAT WHOLE30!
I will end this by reminding you that this is not one size fit all. I dislike it when people say there is only one way to do it, but the truth is, you have to make it work for YOU! No one here will know you better than yourself. People can give you all the solicited and unsolicited advice they want, but ultimately, you know what will work for you. Learn the foods that you can tolerate and go from there. I hope this is helpful and I’m able to give you some insight that you can take away from this article to own that Whole30. Until next time, eat up, my friends!