Whole30 Challenge?

Out of the blue my wife sends me a message this afternoon.

“Do you want to try a Whole30 program with me in January?”

The short answer was “No. I absolutely do not.” But it isn’t that simple.

If you’ve never heard of it (like me until this afternoon) the program is basically a month of cutting out processed foods, eating meat, vegetables, some fruit, nuts, and seeds. (Essentially, you’re a bear.)
Dairy, sugar, grains, legumes….all cut out. For 30 days.

Guidelines Here

The very nature of the program is hugely restrictive- to the point of being militantly strict “One splash of milk in your coffee and its back to day one” I am dubious, especially considering the generations of research that has been telling me to drink milk…now I’m not allowed to?
Truth, I am prone to poke holes in these programs because I don’t like to be told by anyone what to eat and what not to eat, but I can’t argue with anyone who tells me that there’s too many processed and unhealthy food on our diets these days.

The biggest thing for me is- My lifestyle.

Remember me? The guy that works four to midnight in law enforcement on weekends then goes to work at 7am at another job? 3AM ambulance calls? 16-18 hour days? Some days, all the food I have TIME to eat comes from a gas station. Some days all of my energy to do the job I have to do comes from coffee or sugar.

I don’t want to be melodramatic, but there could be times when I have someones LIFE to worry about, and if I’m not slapped awake by a cup of sweetened coffee or a bottle of 5 hour energy in the middle of the night….what the hell could happen?

Of COURSE the program says you’ll have more energy while you’re doing it, but I’m reasonably sure every diet program devised from tapeworms to vodka enimas have said the same thing.

The program provides steps to ‘reintroduce’ the ‘banned’ foods like dairy into your diet after the initial challenge. The idea is to find out which of these bad foods are having an effect on you so you can moderate or eliminate them completely. I just don’t like the science behind eliminating all of the factors at once. It seems like poor science.

What do you think? On one hand, I like a challenge. On the other, I don’t want to add the stress of worrying about what I eat for an entire month, on TOP of everything else I’m already constantly freaked about. Have any of you tried it? If you HAVE, consider what I do for a living. Is it practical? Is it safe?

I’m researching it on my own.

The short answer is, No. I still do not want to do it.
The other side of the coin is my wife. If she wants to do it, it doesn’t make SENSE to let her do such a restrictive diet on her own for thirty days. Especially when I read accounts that say this takes a major toll on your brain, constantly worrying and avoiding foods all the time, so having someone around you do it too, can’t hurt.

I just don’t know. I remember when Atkins was a colossal craze for a while. These things have come and gone by the score. Would we biting into just another craze? Do you know any drawback or benefits I’m missing?

I do not have the healthiest eating habits. I know this. But I am not unhappy with myself, nor am I out of shape or slothful. I’m wondering if eating healthier is worth being unhappy for the next month.


2 thoughts on “Whole30 Challenge?

  1. I definitely understand the hesitation to begin a Whole30- I was the same way. I’m not going to lie to you. It does require a lot of effort and preparation. But it is absolutely, 100% worth it. I’m in the process of extending mine (I’m on Day 33 right now), and I would recommend it to anyone. Try not to focus on the 30 day thing. Take it week by week, or day by day, and it’s a lot easier to swallow. And I can only imagine how busy you are… fortunately, there are a lot of ways to combat that. Some places, like Chipotle, have a Whole30 compliant option. Otherwise, snacks like larabars, fruit, and nuts are great to keep on hand in case of hunger emergencies.

    I think it is possible to do, considering what you do for a living. It would take more work, but it is possible with proper planning. Plus, I am sure your wife would love your amazing support!

    Finally, for me, it all comes down to your mentality. I didn’t worry. I didn’t stress about it. Instead, I tried to focus on all the positives. Like, yeah.. it sucks I can’t eat those pizza rolls, but it’s awesome that I’m learning delicious new recipes that are actually good for me! Always try to find the silver lining, and I promise that it really helps.

    Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Best of luck!

    • This is good advice, and I’m starting to come around a bit. My wife seems more and more sold on the idea, and since its going to be a team effort, I probably shouldn’t go into it kicking and screaming, since the mentality of it, as you mention, is the main part of the whole thing. Thank you, for the read and the reply.

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