Friday, January 02, 2015

It Starts With Food & The Whole30 - Journey to Health

I am going to stop short of saying I have found the holy grail of healthy eating. I have said that before and life has showed me different. But this just makes SO MUCH sense.

I cannot even remember how I found the Whole30. I think I was just a bunch of googling for low fat high carb lifestyles and came across this plan. I was originally going to start it October 1st, but nobody jumped on the bandwagon with me and I didn't have enough time to properly prepare and research. November we went on a big road trip, and December, well thats the holidays. Sorry but I am going to have treats during the holidays. I will never change this. Ever.

January it was. And why not the 1st. A new year. A fresh start.

The thing I loved MOST about the Whole30 is that the entire plan is available online for FREE. I was tired of investing money in books and special foods. This was just a simple plan with simple food you can find in the grocery store.

Because of this, I originally did not plan on reading It Starts With Food. I did NOT want to spend any more money. But an Instagrammer I follow did the Whole30 in November, and convinced me to read it. And boy, am I glad I did.

I honestly thought I had read it all. I mean, I have been doing so much reading since the summertime, there couldn't possibly be anything new for me to learn. Ah but yes, there was.

One HUGE thing that popped out to me was sort of discrediting the glycemic index. This has basically been my bible on determining what foods are good for me to eat or not. The glycemic index is a one dimensional look at a food. It does not tell you what nutrients are in the food, or if they are healthy. It just tells you how they raise your blood sugar. I do, however, feel that it is still good to know these values about food. But it shouldn't be your only measuring stick when determining which healthy foods to put into your body.

For example, the GI of watermelon is 72, and the GI of peanut M & M's are 33. On a scale of 0 being no blood sugar spike, and 100 to be the same as pure sugar. Which is healthier? The peanut M & M's. But common sense tells us that is not quite right. Obviously watermelon is the better choice. But the GI does tell us that maybe we shouldn't eat the entire melon at one time.

The authors look at food using 4 different criteria to determine if the food is worthy of the Whole30.

These are:

"1.Promote a healthy psychological response. As a rule, we think the foods that are good for your body should also not mess with your mind. And we think the psychological effects of your food choices are perhaps the most important factors to consider during your healthy-eating transformation.

This is why the Whole30 includes rules like, “No Paleo-ifying desserts or junk food” or “No stepping on the scale for 30 days.” The guidelines aren’t just about how these foods (and behaviors) are affecting you physically, but also how they play into our unhealthy relationships with food, eating, and our bodies.

2. Promote a healthy hormonal response. Chronic “overcarbsumption” of food-with-no-brakes leads to reliance on sugar for fuel, an accumulation of body fat, triglyceride buildup in the liver, and an excess of glucose and triglycerides in the bloodstream. But you can stop overconsuming, dial all the way back to insulin and leptin sensitivity, retrain your body to burn fat and, to a significant degree, restore normal cortisol levels, by doing one simple thing: changing the food you put on your plate.

This is why our plan includes nutrient-dense, whole foods (no nutrient-poor-but-technically-Paleo options!) and why we include guidelines like, “Eat three meals a day, trying not to snack,” and “Start your day with a breakfast focused on protein and fat.” The food choices and mealtime habits you’ll develop on your Whole30 will start to restore a healthy hormonal balance quickly.

3. Support a healthy gut. We believe you should consume only foods (and drinks) that support normal, healthy digestive function; eating anything that impairs the integrity of your gut impairs the integrity of your health.

This is why the Whole30 is 100% for 30 days—no cheats, slips, or special occasions. If you’re sensitive to a particular substance, it only takes a tiny amount to promote disruption in the gut (and elsewhere in the body). You must completely eliminate all potentially problematic foods for the full 30 days to allow your gut time and space to heal.

4. Support immune function and minimize inflammation.
Your food choices should result in a well-rested, highly-effective defense system. In other words, food should not cause excessive ongoing immune activity, also known as chronic systemic inflammation. Chronic systemic inflammation is at the heart of metabolic syndrome.

This is perhaps the most significant standard of them all, because systemic inflammation is related to just about every lifestyle-related disease and condition you can think of. It’s also sneaky, and can manifest itself in any number of different ways in the body—no two people’s symptoms are alike. And it’s why we eliminate the foods and beverages we do, as they have all been shown to promote inflammation either directly, or indirectly through impaired gut integrity.

I love the 4 dimensional look at foods. To me, this just makes so much sense. It seems so natural. It just feels "right".

I highly suggest you take a look at these links:

Whole30 Program Info
Whole30 Downloads - Shopping lists, meal planning guides and more
Whole30 Blog - Tips, recipes, support & more

Eric and I started the Whole30 yesterday. Today I feel fantastic. I feel like I am ON FIRE. But I know this will soon fade, and things will get tough. I will have to be creative with food. It will take a little more work to eat somedays.

But we are committed to this. We NEED to change our eating habits. We cannot keep living like this. I need to get healthier. We have lost 3 of our babies already. I need to make my body as healthy as possible, I cannot bear to lose any more.

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