Whole30. Have you heard of it?
Perhaps you have seen some bloggers or other social media figures try it out. I had seen a handful of bloggers mention it or try it for themselves in the past, and I noticed that Jen @ Peanut Butter Runner and Robyn @ The Real Life RD (both ladies I adore!) are currently partaking in the program.
In case you have no idea what the Whole30 Program is, it’s essentially a 30 day eating program that cuts out certain food groups (such as dairy, legumes, added sugars, and grains) that could have a negative impact on overall health.
It’s not a diet in the sense of cutting out food groups for the sake of attaining a certain body shape or weight. It IS a diet that completely cuts out “psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days.” Learn more here.
Both Jen and Robyn are participating in Whole30 mainly for health reasons (skin issues, overall energy, etc.), and I’ve enjoyed following their Whole30 experiences so far. I especially love Robyn’s persistent message about NOT restricting on Whole30.
It got me thinking: Huh, maybe this would help with that nice zit and dry skin on my face. Or the discomfort that I currently feel in my intestines. Or my raging sweet tooth…
But then I started thinking about a few things:
- In college, it would be a pain in the butt to scope out Whole30-approved foods in the dining hall.
- I would really feel uncomfortable declining a whole host of foods or requesting uber-specific cooking instructions when eating out.
- My current diet is the anti-whole30.
…And I just don’t want to change it. I could. But let’s take a look, shall we?
Wednesday’s breakfast was Kylie’s “banana pudding for breakfast“. It includes yogurt, peanut butter, oatmeal, and honey. All foods in red are no-no’s in Whole30.
Wednesday’s dinner was two hard-boiled eggs that were marinating in teriyaki sauce + salad with cheesy, saucy pasta.
Yesterday’s breakfast was leftover green pancakes (made with oatmeal, milk, and maple syrup) topped with Greek yogurt and banana cream sauce.
Yesterday’s lunch was a Flatout wrap with avocado + egg + sriracha and cheese + egg. Plus some carrots, crackers, and hummus.
A couple more breakfasts from this week with dairy, oats, some kind of added sweetener, and peanut butter.
Check out this fabulous late night yogurt mess with peanut butter and granola.
This delicious and wholesome dinner was brown rice + chicken (marinated in a lime, cilantro, olive oil and honey) + zucchini sautéed in olive oil.
A meatless lunch of quinoa, avocado, roasted broccoli, hummus, and sriracha would not make the cut.
Nay to this gem.
Hey, look! This could work! Salad and chicken….marinated in honey mustard and olive oil, darn.
You get the point— I need dairy, oats, legumes, and sriracha.
Now, I’m not saying that I couldn’t ever commit to Whole30, and I am NOT trying to bash Whole30 whatsoever. I think it sounds like a great and wholesome eating program that aims to help people feel better. After all, I’m writing this post because I’ve been contemplating how Whole30 could be beneficial for me.
At this point in my life, I truly believe that I could do Whole30 without the temptation to restrict (calories, carbs, or fats). However, I realize that Whole30 would be a drastic change to my diet. Maybe Whole30 would “change my life” (as their website says) for the better, but I don’t currently see the benefits outweighing the costs:
- No oats, rice, pizza, pasta, quinoa
- No milk, yogurt, ice cream
- No peanut butter (← problematic)
- I would have to make my own nut milk.
- I would have to ask every dining hall station what kind of oil/added sugars they use to cook the food (i.e. I would not be able to eat in the dining hall).
- I would not be able to enjoy eating out with friends.
…even if it is just 30 days. In college, that is too much added stress.
Yes, it would be awesome if Whole30 helped me have fewer skin problems, a GI tract that basically never feels icky, and a little more energy around the clock. However, for me personally right now, it is not attainable. Maybe some other time.
I do love to eat healthy foods most of the time, and I feel pretty great as a result. So I guess I will appreciate how great I feel right now and not think about how great I could feel on Whole30. 🙂
P.S. I’m currently very averse to many foods because when I was blending a green smoothie earlier, the motor started smoking and it made the smoothie smell and taste DISGUSTING. I sadly threw the first batch out and made it again, but I couldn’t get the nauseating odor/taste out of my head. When I ate peanut butter later, the taste of it was almost like the nasty blender taste for some reason. As a result, I’m averse to peanut butter right now and it’s freaking me out!!!
Anyway, here’s some positivity to end this post:
Linking up with Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud party today!
So tell me:
Have you ever tried Whole30?
Would you try it?
35 thoughts on “My Diet is the Anti-Whole30”
I love this post. Because I have an ED past I don’t think I could ever participate in any type of “diet” that would restrict certain food groups UNLESS it was a medical necessity.
I would never do it. I love sugar WAYY too much and seriously, who could live without grains???
Mhmm. I get that! It’s different if you have medical issues that you need to clear up, but for mild issues, I don’t know if it’s worth it.
First of, I like that quote a lot! More people should be more kind to more people 🙂
I’m with you with that whole30 issue. I would try, but right now I couldn’t manage. I guess it takes more preparation and thoughtfulness to choose ingredients than usual and right now I have enough else to think about. On the other hand…if I’d do it and found out that I’d be better off without eating dairy at all, I’d still eat it. Does that make sense? I love it and even if I get a pimple every now and then, that’s no reason for me to quit it. That being said, I’m not sure if a whole30 cycle would be any beneficial for me. I don’t have major health problems that I want to cure. But it’s always interesting to read/hear about others’ experiences!
Kindness is always something that needs to be practiced more by everyone! 🙂
And yes that makes total sense, Ann. Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy foods merely for the taste and joy of eating them, even if it makes us feel slightly icky afterwards. We know what our bodies can handle/need!
Then I see your post I always like “Wanna eat it all”. So much good stuff. And I like that you don`t care about dieting. I try Whole30 in the past and it was good experience. But I totally can`t repeat it 😀
I’m glad that Whole30 worked out for you! How did you feel afterwards?
I have also heard of this mystic Whole30 eating plan and I am in the same boat you are. I could do it without restricting calories (I went raw vegan for a month without losing weight) but at this point in my life, I take a lot of food from my job that is passed the sell by date because I feel bad throwing them away. Those things are basically cheese and bread and veggie sandwiches with some type of sauce or dressing in them, pre made burritos, pasta or potato salads all with marinades and other things. I don’t see the point in wasting food if I don’t have to. Sure, zits can be annoying, but that is why God made concealer and friends who don’t judge me based on my pimples hahaha. I think our diet should be called Whole100
Good point! I feel so bad wasting food too! I wouldn’t want to take on a challenge that would prohibit me from eating perfectly good leftovers or offerings from someone else.
I’ve thought loooong and hard about doing Whole30 because of GI issues (and since it’s anti-inflammatory, pain issues). I do eat a lot of Whole30 approved foods, as it is. I also eat a lot of Greek yogurt and cereal. And bread. And peanut butter. Like you, with college, it’s probably just added stress. While I know with a little more weekend prep than I usually do (I do have access to a kitchen), I COULD do it. No/limited snacks would be hard, since I’m a busy, hungry person. Half my diet is snacks. 😂 So… it’s probably not in the cards for me until the summer at least, but I’m still keeping it on the table.
That’s awesome that you’re sticking with a diet that is realistic and still healthy and enjoyable for you, Ellen!
While I’ve eased up on the dairy because of my eczema issues, grains are something that I could neeeeeever give up, so Whole30 is a no no for me. I’ve realized that my body thrives on a diet that’s high in carbs, and that grains actually settle my stomach and make things work the way they should. Besides… they thought of giving up oatmeal literally makes me break out into a cold sweat 😯
SAME. Oats and carbs in general are a big part of my diet, and I feel best that way!
I haven’t done a Whole30 (minus the 3 days I lasted once) but I did do a “real food” challenge that allowed for things like oats and dairy. It made me CRAZY. I had so much anxiety because I felt like I couldn’t eat anything. Physically I was fantastic but mentally I was a mess. And of course after it ended I went crazy on the sweets and things I wasn’t allowed to have! For me, I’ve learned that an overall mostly healthy, balanced approach is best.
I think the idea of “rules” can definitely take a toll on our minds after a while. Eating what I’m craving (which can be healthy foods, less healthy foods, dairy-free, all the dairy, etc.) is the best way for me too! That’s great that you’ve discovered that that works for you too, Aurora!
Three words to sum up my thoughts. Yum. Nope. Never. 😉
I’ve never tried a Whole30, but have heard a lot about it as well more recently. I love my oatmeal, yogurt, and peanut butters too much 🙂 and speaking of peanut butters, I’m almost out (!!) and totally need to try the Wild Friends chocolate coconut peanutbutter!
I’m with ya, girl! And yes, the Wild Friends chocolate coconut peanut butter is delicious 🙂
All your food though… so delicious. I did a Whole30 last year and lasted, oh, 5 days. I think? If that. Not because I couldn’t, but because I hate being a burden. It was fine during the week when i was just cooking for myself, but not on the weekend when I was eating with my non whole30 hubs.
I can imagine how inconvenient it would be to have a special diet that differs from your spouse’s. Some people do Whole30 with friends/spouses though!
Havent been around here and a while and stumbled on this Alison. I’m glad to see your thoughts and the fact that you dont choose to share them while shaming others’ choices.You are always so respectful. I do disagree that you could do this without temptation to restrict though. I’m not saying 100% it would lead to restricting, but I do think after a week or two on this someone with an ED history might start thinking differently. Restrictive diets just change the way you think and weaken your clarity around food freedom. Even people with no ED history, who have never binged before, binge their faces off on day 31 of this. (I know a few.) So while you might go into it with the best intentions and do fine for a week or two I think there’s a good chance that two weeks into so many food rules has a good chance to reset your brain a bit. Restriction (and not restricting) isn’t all about willpower and reasoning. Once you start doing it (even for “health” reasons), it gets very hard to stop for physiological reasons. And while the Whole 30 doesnt have to be caloric restriction, it certainly restricts foods that are ok for you to eat.
Just my two (or many more than two) cents. Anyway, glad to see you’re still movin and groovin!
You make great points! I probably did jump the gun saying that I could do this without any temptation to restrict. Having any sort of rules changes your brain wiring a bit for sure. Thank you for bringing that to light!
Great post, Alison! I did the Whole30 a couple of years ago and while it was doable, it’s definitely not something I’d ever do again or suggest doing to someone else. While I didn’t really miss the off-limit foods, it definitely took away the joys of eating and socialising! I don’t think it’s mentally healthy to be so obsessive about what you’re eating and making sure that it fits a certain set of parameters. I did it mainly for health reasons and it didn’t do me any favours at all..nor did I lose any weight!
Thank you for sharing your experience with the program. It’s definitely important to be aware of how one’s own mind handles restrictions, especially when it comes to food.
I just want to thank you for posting this at the perfect time. Seeing Robyn and Jen as well as many others start Whole30 has been so triggering for me. I have even started to reconsider some of my daily eats as a result of reading all of these Whole30 posts but seeing as how I am still in recovery from restriction/binging cycles and orthorexia, it would not be safe for me to start a Whole30 style eating right now. Thank you for affirming my choice to stick with what is healthy for me right now. You are such an inspiration!
I agree that any sort of specific/restrictive (in nature) eating program of any sort should be avoided throughout recovery. Keep focusing on what YOU need to do for yourself ♥︎
That quote is beautiful! Kindness is something the world always needs more of.
Since you read my latest post you’ll already know how I feel about diets or food challenges/detoxes like this. I’m happy for the people who finish the Whole30 with a better sense of foods that make them feel good and not. Yet I’m also not sure if any discomfort/zits and the likes are always -only- related to certain foods or non-diet issues like stress or lack of sleep.
Personally, I wouldn’t embark on the Whole30 for numerous reasons. Aside from my ED background cutting out foods like peanut butter, legumes or grains would be impossible. Then there’s the cost and the social aspect. Especially living in the countryside I wouldn’t be able to eat out anymore due to lack of options and even get-togethers with friends would be so much harder. Yes, there might be benefits but like you I feel the disadvantages would outweigh them.
Mm yes— sleep and stress are such major players. Great point!
Great post! I’m a Dietitian and just find it disappointing to see people jumping on another diet bandwagon.. especially those with professional credibility. Even if they say it isn’t a diet, well it’s still a whole lot of restriction (whole 30 doesn’t allow beans…legumes are healthy. We actually need to encourage people to eat more plant based and more pulses!). Essentially if everyone just ate whole, unprocessed foods 80% of the time, everything in moderation, we’d all be that much healthier. BUT at the same time there is always times to indulge (aka drink a bit more wine, crush a cheese platter for dinner). Also, I’m sorry but everyone has stomach pains from time to time. My boyfriend lives with no restriction, normal food relationship, stomach of steel, but even from time to time he’ll get a stomach ache from unknown cause..not because of gluten. Of course, if things are CHRONIC then maybe it’s time to seek some medical or professional advice.
Also, I’m not 100% sure about this, but isn’t olive oil allowed? Seems a bit ridiculous if it isn’t…
Amen, Victoria! My GI discomfort can sometimes arise if I’ve been eating A LOT of dairy, but otherwise, I feel pretty great with dairy in my life (and legumes and grains). And YES you are so correct— olive oil is allowed. My bad!
Out of any diets, this has seemed the most friendly to a really balanced, non-restrictive look at food. However, for me, it probably just wouldn’t work that well, because it would have me focusing on food too much. For me it’s more of the heart issue (like Robyn said). ❤ Thank you for sharing this. I love the different healthy journeys everyone is on.
I’ve been considering W30 for a bit. I’m not quite anti-W30; i try and eat whole, unprocessed food. but i eat predominately veg, and eat snacks, but i want to use guidelines to clean up my diet.
A few years ago, it was more similar to how I ate, but i still ate snacks. then, i began eating more plant based, and now eat mostly vegan, but include yogurt, and will occasionally *try* some chicken at home (when i know the source). i like to snack, i like playing and making food and creating healthier versions of treats (i never liked sugary or fatty foods anyways- makes me feel sick).
however, the last year at school, my emotional eating has skyrocketed. its healthy foods like 95% of the time, but not in good amounts, even with consistent exercise. i tell myself i’ll eat more consistently, but it doesnt seem to stick for long.
thus, i’ve been toying with a W30 for a while now. it’ll be tough, and i normally don’t do well with restriction, but i think i only will get better if i follow a plan. i really think it’ll help with my digestion too, since i have IBS, and regulate my “am i really hungry” feeling (<< goal!)
i’m writing all this (wow, i needed to vent, haha), because i agree that it’s not for everyone and there are definite faults. why can i eat a banana and an egg but not eat a banana egg “pancake”? if i’m not eating it to kill the sweets, and just because it’s contains healthy foods,, then heck i’m gonna. i think i’m going to do it and mostly follow the plan, i want to see if i can find benefits from the different sources of carbs and less (not no!) snacking, and focus on other stuff besides food 24/7!
We all have different bodies of course, but whatever you choose to do with your diet, my opinion is that eating enough should be a priority!
Which is your favorite Wild Friends Peanut Butter?
This is only the first flavor I’ve ever tried! Actually, wait. I’ve had a bite of the honey pretzel and cranberry sesame one. Both were delicious!
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