Who wants to do a Whole30 with me in January? Have you heard of Whole30? Would you like to start the new year with some great friends helping you to feel better both in your body and your mind? And maybe lose a few pounds along the way?
First– I’m doing this for myself and for anyone who joins me — no charges and this is not a gimmick. We are all coming out of one of the worst years in history and we could all use a huge boost to our mental and emotional health. I have been so grateful for my Glow family, and I am hoping to start anew with the people whom I care most about. If you’d like to join, there is no obligation, just a few like-minded people supporting each other.
What is a Whole30?
It basically means 30 days of whole foods. This includes sources of protein (meat, fish, fowl, nuts) and lots of vegetables and some fruit. What’s off the list? The forbidden foods are grains (bread, cereal, and pasta), legumes (beans and peanuts), dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream) and… alcohol.
Why try a Whole30?
I first tried this a few years ago as a way of losing weight. If you read the Whole30 website, you’ll find that they stress that this is not a weight loss plan, and they encourage you not to step on the scale the whole time. However, after doing this 3 times in the past, I have always lost around 6-7 lbs each time. The HUGE reason I have gone back to it is because of the mental clarity that comes with it and the complete suppression of inflammation.
I could venture many ideas that might explain this. But I can attest– if you do this seriously, you will find within 2-3 weeks you have better mental clarity that you have had your entire adult life. At least, that’s what happened to me each time. The feeling is just amazing– better focus, creativity of ideas, clarity of thought– mental stamina. It is great to know that you can still have this in your 40’s, 50’s and beyond.
Most of what makes us ill– viruses like the common cold (or COVID-19), allergies, autoimmune diseases– you name it– the part that primarily makes you sick is inflammation. A lot of the typical American diet is filled with inflammatory foods. The biggest offender here is grains. If you have a common cold virus, your nose will be runnier if you eat cereal than if you have chicken soup. The amount of inflammation of any disease is promoted by some foods and thwarted by others. The Whole30 diet is designed to minimize inflammation of all kinds. If you have a chronic cough or congestion, pain or autoimmune disease, a Whole30 can be truly eye-opening.
There are some side effects. The best one is better sleep! I’ve had sleep issues my entire adult life (it first started in medical school and residency– where you are expected to function at all hours with no sleep). I’ve come to terms with it, and my sleep hygiene is great these days, but nothing compares to a good night of uninterrupted sleep on a Whole30.
Tools for the future
Once you do it and reap the benefits, it becomes a lot easier to adjust your habits to live a healthier life in the future. After your first Whole30, you’ll know so much more about what foods truly make you feel better. It doesn’t mean you have to change your whole lifestyle. It is just great information to help guide your choice in the right direction.
If you’re interested, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s do something amazing in 2021!
-Kate Dee, MD