Brandon and I decided a week or so ago to launch into the Whole 30 Challenge after hearing about the overall improvements in health and well-being from a close friend of ours. In short, the plan requires cutting out all grains, legumes (including soybeans), dairy, sweeteners, and alcohol for thirty days in order to do a full-body cleanse and right your digestive system. We can eat all of the fruits, vegetables, meat, nuts (except peanuts) and oils we want. The goal is to consume only those things that you can identify - so processed and pre-packaged foods are out.
We thought this would be really difficult to do. Our diet revolves around cheese and carbs. And wine. And sugar - I typically scoop three spoonfuls of sugar into my tea before work and then again at lunch, never mind the bowl of chocolate on my desk at work or the sneaky desserts at night. And day one was quite hard - I could have chewed my fingers off for want of chocolate. It was crazy. I didn't know you could have such cravings, a mantra I REALLY WANT CHOCOLATE pulsing through your brain. Intense.
But we have stuck to it, and after one week, we are feeling incredible. Brandon has dropped ten pounds and I've lost seven, and I wasn't even looking to lose weight. Besides weight loss, we both are sleeping better and have more energy. And some of our less blog-friendly digestive symptoms have almost disappeared.
I just have to say what an advocate I am for this. It will definitely change the way we prepare food after these 30 days are up, simply because of how much better we feel. I will certainly eat cheese again, and drink wine, and be merry along with it... but these things -- carbs/cheese/sugar/etc. -- should be seen as special occasion foods, not every meal foods. Cheese in my eggs, cheese in my salad, cheese on my broccoli, cheese, cheese, cheese. Bread at breakfast, bread on my sandwiches, pasta and rice and bread at dinner, bread, bread, bread! Given the choice between cheese and bread at every meal and losing seven pounds from my waist in one week, I'll take the seven pounds.
Of course, this does mean no more bowls of ice cream while I watch the Biggest Loser. It serves me right.