“God created it, Jesus died for it, the Spirit lives in it, I’d better take care of it”
I wanted to cheat a few times. Okay, maybe closer to a couple thousand times – but I didn’t! I made it through my first Whole30 and it feels so good! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Whole30, it is 30 days of Whole Foods with no cheats – no flour, sweetener, grains, legumes, dairy…
I am so thankful for all that I learned in
the course of these 30 days of eating whole foods – it ended up being more than I bargained for in the best way possible. This might be a little long, but lots of people have asked about it so I wanted to be as thorough as possible sharing my experience in case it helps someone else. I learned practical things like how much food to eat to keep myself energized and feeling stable – it was WAY more food than I thought it was! It takes a LOT of veggies to make up for things like sourdough bread and cheese that are often part of my meals while not on Whole30. I learned that sufficient fat was key for me to feeling satisfied – I needed more than the fat I cooked veggies in – lots of coconut butter, almond butter, avocados, and eggs – at every meal. I have tried focusing on proteins and veggies before in the past and it made me feel miserable and now I know it was because I was missing fat. Don’t fear the fat – it’s key!
Despite all this eating, I don’t think my weight changed. What I did notice is that my body composition seemed to start shifting – I feel tighter in my core area than I have in years.
I learned how to make myself meals, SIT down, and enjoy my food. The novelty! I was very aware of what I was eating and therefore, more thankful for it. I’d forgotten how beautiful and delicious certain foods are. In the frenzy of looking for a taste that satisfies in the midst of daily hustle, it’s easy to grow desensitized to the pure goodness of whole foods (I’m sure this is probably true for a LOT of things – not just food). For some reason a plain apple used to be so boring without being paired with something more – I always felt like I needed more. I feel like I’ve reversed this and am able to appreciate and enjoy simple whole foods again – food as God created it – simple, nourishing, beautiful, delicious.
This alone is a gift and would have been worth the whole experience. But the best is yet to come…
People have asked how I felt on Whole30.
I felt pretty good – after all, it feels good to take care of yourself!
As far as feeling better from physical ailments, I didn’t embark on Whole30 in hopes of receiving more physical healing (if you know me you know this is a complete paradigm shift for me!). This may be contrary to popular thought but I know now after 4 years of restriction and clean eating that my health doesn’t come from my own efforts or what I put in my mouth – as a Christian, I don’t see any mention in the Bible of “managing symptoms” or true healing coming from eating perfect foods all the time – that is not the kind of freedom I see Jesus talk about. I can and should be a good steward of my health but my healing was provided 2,000 years ago at the cross by Jesus Christ and I can’t add to it. I do want to start implementing some healthier habits because of Whole30, but I didn’t do Whole30 to heal myself. God has already provided that and it’s mine for the taking (and I’m learning how to take it! It’s amazing! But that’s another story).
I felt completely physically satisfied while doing Whole30. Psychologically, it was a different story (I kind of had a hunch this would be the case). I saw that when I was really craving something, it wasn’t the actual food I zeroed in on that I was craving. Cravings aren’t about food! This was huge and helped me dig deeper and get to know myself better during Whole30. What was I really craving when I came across a food I just had to have? Comfort, stress relief, belonging, happiness… ALL things GOD wants to be my source for! He wants to be the one to provide all those things for me – but I can’t receive them from Him if I’m constantly running to other things – other things that never offer any lasting satisfaction or fulfillment. Oddly enough, on Whole30 I saw that I sometimes treat social media and food cravings the same – as a way to find fulfillment. Anything that promises to fulfill a deep need apart from the One who created me is a fruitless. Anything that promises distraction from what is going on in my soul is more than fruitless – it’s damaging.
There was a lot of internal screaming going on during my Whole30. My body would tell me that I NEEDED sweet creamy coffee like I needed my next breath. That was a lie (it turns out I’ve listened to a lot of those over the years!). The cool thing about Whole30 was that in the midst of these internal hissy fits, I got to tell myself a different story and move away from what my physical body was telling me. No, you don’t need coffee. It’s not the coffee you want, it’s how you think it makes you feel. You don’t need coffee to feel good. Ask God what this is really about. This ability to move away from what my physical body is telling me and answer those screaming voices with what is TRUE has carried over to other parts of my life and has been very powerful! This is one of the main reasons I did Whole30 and I was not disappointed. I am so thankful for this experience and look forward to what I will continue to learn from it in the future!