Hey! I’m Sidney and I am starting a new blog over at The Common Houstonian where I talk about eating, exercising, good living, and of course the great city of Houston! Recently I was contacted by Jaz, a.k.a. the Shimmy Sistah, to discuss a topic that deeply affects everyone on a daily basis… my favorite topic, and that’s Food!
If you think about it, Food is an emotional and even controversial subject. Everyone has strong opinions about the food they eat, memories and emotions are connected to food more than anything, and some people even define themselves by what they consume. A quick glance around the internet and you will find blogs ranging from Food Porn Daily to Paleo Grubs and even The Blonde Vegan and each discusses Food from a variety of perspectives. Jaz can attest to not only my reverence for Food but also to all of the variety’s in which I consume it. From the Savory Curry flavors of Indian to Glazed Texas-style BBQ to the Spicy Sweetness of Thai to Soul-Satisfying Italian to Tex-Mex… (I could go on, trust me!) But to get to the point, each pluck different chord strings in my heart.
Food not only has the ability to lift our spirits and open our minds but also has a profound effect on our bodies and our health. I believe it is important to keep food in perspective, because it not only can help you achieve greater health and well-being but may also open your mind to new ideas about Food. With that in mind I am taking the Whole30 dieting challenge which I would like to share with you today!
The Whole30 is like a diet challenge that’s focused on hitting the reset button for your body. Just think about what you ate yesterday during the Super Bowl! That Seven-Layer Dip, those 3 slices of Papa John’s, and that half liter of Miller Light is at this moment still being processed by your body.. And hangover or not you are probably feeling the repercussions today. So what if you’ve been eating processed foods your whole life? What if these chemically-treated imbalanced foods have been keeping you from ever feeling your best, and you’ve never felt healthy your entire life? The Whole30 dares you to strip all the foods that can negatively impact you for thirty days, let your body recover from all of the unbalanced eating, and learn how it feels to be truly healthy. The Whole30 diet is very challenging but the rules are extremely simple.
- Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
- Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
- Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
- Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
- Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee.
- Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
- Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients.Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients.
They also recommend that you only weigh yourself before and after the 30 day challenge. After all, the goal is to make yourself feel better not to necessarily lose weight (however you will likely see both results.) Those familiar with Paleo diets will notice many similarities between the two. Those not familiar will see that to be fully committed to the program will mean that many changes in eating, cooking, preparation, and shopping will have to take place but it is well worth the work.
Today I am on day (8) eight of the Whole30 and I can definitely tell you that not only have I lost excess body fat but I definitely feel much healthier than I have in the past. ON TOP OF THAT! I have been eating some of the most delicious, home-cooked meals I have ever made. Just because you are on a diet doesn’t mean your food has to taste like cardboard… The Whole30 has given me a whole new perspective on how to cook amazing food without any of the ingredients that will harm your body. You can see some of the meals I have created below, and I promise you that they taste even better than they look!!!
Apple-Bacon Pork Chops
Paleo Turkey Meatloaf
You can definitely make some delicious healthy meals without going to chef school, breaking the bank, or becoming a social pariah. All it just takes some planning, self-control, and a little bit of effort.
I hope you enjoyed my post!!! Please come visit me at The Common Houstonian where I will be blogging about my Whole30 experience, what it’s like to live in Houston, and everything else in between! See you there!
Food Porn Daily- http://foodporndaily.com/
Paleo Grubs- http://paleogrubs.com/