If you’re new here, hey I’m Allie and I’m doing my first Whole30. The #JANUARYWHOLE30 to be exact. Geeze, I sound so serious, lol.
If you aren’t new here, well, then you know the deal. To summarize, Whole30 is a 30-day challenge dedicated to soothing your digestive tract, rejuvenating your energy levels, supporting your metabolism, and helping your immune system stay strong. A “nutritional rest” as the creators describe it here*.
Food is Medicine. While I’m lucky enough to be healthy and happy, that doesn’t exclude me from experiencing a few mild setbacks. I frequently experience hip and back pain (yes, I’m extremely active, yes, I seek regular Chiropractic care) sometimes mild digestive issues, and occasional allergies and congestion.
Sugar, legumes, dairy, grains, and preservatives are all foods that could possibly affect our bodies, especially when consuming them in excess (like around the Holidays). So, you cut those food sources out for 30 days, see how you feel, and interpret your own results from there. It isn’t that these foods are flat out BAD for us, but the way our bodies process them could potentially make us feel a certain way and I’m interested to see how my body reacts to the changes.
Please note (this is a common misconception): I’ll still be eating plenty of calories each day and I’ll be receiving all important and required nutrients (CARBS, fats, protein, vitamins, minerals). This isn’t a calorie cutting “diet” or portion restriction. Not that I’ll be binging on chicken or anything ridiculous, but if you’re doing or have done Whole30 and you frequently go hungry, you probably need to take another look at the guidelines and plan your meals a little better. Sorry for the tough love, but hey, it’s true.
I’m a healthy eater (obviously, I own a health food blog) but shopping was a little different gearing up for my first week of Whole30. Here are a few things that I noticed:
– I took more time to plan out each meal (I normally eat 3 medium sized and 3 small meals a day). I’m nervous about not having enough food that I can eat in the house, so I carefully made a game plan which included weekend meals. I’m always good about planning weeknight dinners, lunches, sometimes breakfasts and throwing a few healthy snacks in my cart. I usually let the weekends fly and this results in choices that could be made better. This was definitely more involved, but I can’t wait to perfect my meal plan template and share it with all of you (spoiler alert!)
– I hung out mainly on the perimeter of the store. I hit up our farmer’s market, notorious for its low prices, before the grocery store to get a better deal on all of the produce I’m squirreling away. I highly recommend this. The rest of my time was really spent in the meat section. This is usually the case, but I normally spend much more time in the dairy aisle, selecting my yogurt, and in the baking and dry goods isle checking out healthier baking needs, quinoa, rice, and potential pasta alternatives. I did grab a can or two of tomato paste, some dish soap and frozen kale & spinach for smoothies, but otherwise the perimeter was the place to be.
– I took much less time in the store than I thought I would. I had a game plan and I stuck to it. I spent some time sorting through bacon (that I ended up not being able to buy because of added sugar), and chicken sausages for breakfast options but most of the other things I bought were raw, so no deliberation or label reading needed.
– I bought more of what I needed. Without any boundaries, a few things always make it in my cart that I don’t really need, even with my tight budget. Besides a new jar of raw, natural, almond butter, I bypassed the majority of the “health food section”, avoiding any fancy new products that I didn’t really need. This is a good reminder. We don’t need to try every new trend to live a healthy life. Lots of veggies, good sources or protein, fat, carbs, vitamins, and minerals are all that we really NEED.
– I spent a little more than what I wanted. I went a hair over budget, but, I bought enough to feed myself and J for 1.5 weeks, and he is not doing Whole30 with me. We’ll eat all of the same meals, but I grabbed him a loaf of bread, some tortillas, yogurt, and a few snacks for work. Over the next few weeks, I’ll work on simplifying meals to give you all some more economical options if you want to or are trying Whole30, too.
So, in conclusion, shopping was not as hard as I thought it would be, partially due to my meal plan, but partially due to the fact that Whole30 eliminates a lot of the “should I buy this, it looks fun” game. I’m going to need to work on getting my bill down (coupon clipping??) but otherwise, I’m excited to get started!