If you follow me on twitter, you’ve probably seen me yapping about whole30 for about a week now. Funny thing is I talked about it on this blog first, last year in this post. I wish I had taken the plunge then, perhaps I’d be a couple of cycles in by now- I’ll get into this in a bit. First off though, what’s whole30?
Whole30 is a “nutritional program designed to change your life” – their words. You basically remove all sugars, grains, legumes and dairy from your diet to see the effect they have on your body. After 30 days you do a reintroduction and find the offending food group so to speak. I was fascinated by the results people had experienced, from the testimonials on the website, to people I know, to ‘friends’ on Social Media. So this time I decided to dive in.
****If you’re here for the shopping list/meal ideas, please scroll down****
Now last year, when I first heard of it, I was interested but I had things I needed to sort out. I had tweeted before that I would never diet again and I still mean that. Remember that time I lost a bunch of weight? Well I felt good about sticking to a challenge, and I enjoyed all the compliments but when I really dug deeper, I wasn’t particularly happy. In fact many times during the diet I felt downright miserable wrote about it here. So last year I decided I wanted to make peace with my body again, no more fighting it and no more fighting food. Any changes that I wanted to make would come from a place of love.
I will work out because I love my body and I enjoy zumba. I’ll eat tons of veggies because they are delicious (to me they are) and nutritious. I will eat a wide variety of foods because God has given us abundance and have a treat when I want to because they taste good. I will not abuse myself or food. I will also take care of my mental health and my spiritual health. I will use real markers of health to determine my health which include – blood sugar levels, blood pressure, fitness, energy levels and not limit it to only weight (which is controlled by so many things). This thing is a constant unlearning and re-learning. I mean we have an onslaught of ‘advice’ on weight from every direction, building a healthy body image is not easy.
All of this is to say that, I find that whole30 aligns with some of my beliefs very clearly. For one, the focus is not weight, it is general health. In fact my number one goal is to get rid of my seasonal allergies – I’ve had them for pretty much all my life and they’ve been pretty bad this year. I had chronic Asthma as a child and even though I don’t anymore, many of the symptoms still persist. I’m also looking to understand just how much sugar and gluten affect me. Considering the restrictions, I will probably lose some weight, but It’s not my goal. You’re not even allowed to weigh yourself during the diet, instead you’re encouraged to take note of how you’re feeling and there’s an awesome checklist on their website for this.
Phew. That was a lot. Let’s get into my shopping list this week and some of the things I’ve been eating. I hope to do this weekly
- Ugu- Pumpkin leaves- Substitute spinach if you want
- red bell peppers
- green bell peppers
- Sweet potatoes
- Smoked fish
I already had some things at home like onions, olive oil, rodo (scotch bonnet), garlic, ginger and spices.
I’m keeping this week simple since its the first week, but I get so bored quickly I know I’ll be experimenting with new recipes by the end of the week
Yesterday I made efo riro (Greens cooked in a tomato sauce) with smoked fish which was so delicious, I was surprised. Whole30 doesn’t allow the use of MSG- so no maggi/knor cubes. I think the crayfish really helped the flavour. I made some sweet potatoes (just boiled them) to eat with the efo. I also grilled about 3 kilos of chicken. I made a dry rub of salt, Cameroon pepper (a smoky blackened dry ground pepper) and curry powder, came out so delicious. Definitely not missing the maggi here. Where I did miss it was this chopped aromatic sauce I made with tomatoes, onions and (red and green) bell peppers, the sauce just needed something extra, almost added a dash of soy, then remembered that was off limits too.
I made a frittata with some of the chopped sauce, sweet potato and of course eggs for breakfast this morning. I have Sweet potato and efo for lunch today and I’ll probably have some chicken for dinner with some fruit (I’m usually not hungry at dinner time, wonder if that will change)
So that’s it. My whole30 intro. The website is actually a great resource so if you want more info do visit. I’ll be back with an update next week.
Please leave me a comment, have you done it before or have i piqued your interest?