Food, Life

Whole 30: What’s the deal?

July 18, 2016

Happy Monday!

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
  • Tomatoes
  • red bell peppers
  • green  bell peppers
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Cucumber
  • Smoked fish
  • crayfish
  • Eggs
  • Chicken

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.

grilled chicken lunch

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)

FrittataSo 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?

Love always,

Sabirah

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15 Comments

  • Reply Viv July 18, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    It’s so good to have you back, Sab. Whole 30 looks like a fabulous commitment to make and stick to.

    My discipline issues are really high these days and I just started reading on how to be more disciplined. I’ll commence a lifestyle upgrade simultaneously, to help me practice what I learn.

    Thanks for sharing your Whole 30 recipe. Please document your daily thoughts and experiences for the weekly update. It will be nice to see how you progress.

    • Reply Sabirah July 18, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      I will! thanks so much for the comment, glad the post was helpful!

  • Reply Oye July 18, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    This is probably the most helpful post I have seen on this. The shopping list most especially. I need to feel healthier and of course lose weight. I started at the beginning of the year but was finding it difficult to maintain. Hopefully I’m better off now

    • Reply Sabirah July 18, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      Wow! this is such a great compliment. Thank you. Yes! Lets do this together 😀

  • Reply Fifi July 18, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Thank you Sab, this is very helpful. Thinking of starting on the 1st of August. We’ll see.

  • Reply Ife.O July 19, 2016 at 3:07 am

    I was just curious as to how someone can really go without ALL those restrictions [for an entire month] and was desperate to have you blog about it. Curiosity satisfied. Plus I love your take on diets and a healthy lifestyle, particularly the fourth paragraph.

    • Reply Sabirah July 19, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Thank you! Hoping to post more and de-mystify it all. I’ve been focusing on what I can have and what I’m gaining as opposed to what is being taken away.

  • Reply oselu July 19, 2016 at 8:33 am

    I have done this before, under the name called Paleo diet ( pretty much the same thing). Listen Linda! It was amazing for me, i lost all the weight i wanted to lose and even more, to the point i had to stop. If you are true to it? in two weeks you would be shocked about your progress.

    PS – i always gave myself one cheat day a week sha ( i cannot come and go and die)

    PPS – I like to track my weight loss with a measuring tape, not a scale. Ditching the body weight scale changed my life for the better during my many weight loss journeys.

    • Reply Sabirah July 19, 2016 at 8:44 am

      I hear you on the measuring tape!! such a great idea, Yes whole30 is really similar to a paleo diet just the intention is a little different.

  • Reply Funms July 19, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Thanks for this. I’ve done it before but was out of Nigeria so easy access to the ingredients and wider recipes. Looking forward to your meals as I want to try it again in September.

  • Reply An Afrikan Butterfly July 21, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Hi Sab!
    I’ve seen the Whole 30 mentioned across the internets a couple times, but never paid much attention.
    It sounds good here. Your chicken also looks very interesting, and cooking without maggi/ knorr is something I’d like to try.
    I’m trying to eat better in general, so perhaps I’ll try it for a week and see how it goes 🙂

  • Reply Alice July 21, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    I think for me the big thing is how you explain your relationship with your body.
    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)

    I relate sooo much, this is how I feel, I’ve yoyoed so much with weightloss my whole life, that I’m accepting what it means right now to be really healthy! To eat right and love my body for what it is, I also stopped dieting this year, never again, I’ve put my body through so much that right now it’s about just living life and making good choices

    Thanks for this, maybe I’ll try whole 30 for a week in August, see what I think

  • Reply Abby August 30, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Hoping to try this in September! Thanks for the shopping list. X

  • Reply Joy E October 24, 2016 at 11:18 am

    This looks sooo good! Every single ingredient is within reach; I love that. Not sure I can make such a commitment, but will certainly put more effort into rich meals. I’m just subsisting right now, though I’ve reduced my portions. Thanks for this Sab.

  • Reply Ola Eni January 8, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Nice to read all the comments.Happy New Year.Please could you help me with a list of what to eat and recipes.I tried it last year but the recipes were boring Thanks.

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  • Reply Whole 30- Week 2 plans – SabirahO July 26, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    […] fact today is #Day9 whoop whoop. So far it’s been interesting. The last post I wrote, I shared my shopping list for that week and what I was planning on making and that’s pretty […]

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