eating a whole new way in January

A few years ago, I was complaining to a friend about my struggle to lose a few pounds. She suggested that I try an eating plan, called “Whole 30.”

When she explained that the concept was to eat only meat, fruit, veggies, nuts and some fats for 30 days, I told her there was absolutely no way I could do it. I couldn’t imagine living for 30 days feeling so deprived. I couldn’t imagine giving up things like cereal, bread, pasta, sugar and dairy.

Fast forward a few years.

I have been wanting to make a change to my diet the past few months and decided to take another look at the Whole 30 plan. Strangely, after being gluten free for six months, I saw the eating plan in a totally different way.

Although I’ve learned how to prepare good food that is gluten free, I often don’t plan for my own eating needs. I will make a big dinner for my kids, and then sit down at the table to realize I don’t have anything I can eat. I love to try new foods at restaurants, but now I don’t really enjoy dining out. I know there might only be a few items on the menu that I can eat, and even then, I risk cross contamination which can make me sick for several weeks.

In a word, I often feel deprived. As a result, I end up over compensating on ice cream, tortillas chips or gluten free cookies that I have stashed in the freezer.

When I started scrolling through all of the Whole 30 meal ideas on Pinterest, I started getting excited. Sure, they don’t contain dairy, sugar or grains of any kind, but they are ALL gluten free! Instead of feeling deprived, I felt like I had tons of choices. The meal plan encourages you to try new foods, as long as they are real food. That idea excites me because I love to try different food.

Sure. I could just cut my biggest culprit — sugar — out of my diet and do a better job of planning meals that are gluten free. But there’s something about making a really big change that excites me. I really love a challenge, and I was looking for a good dietary change to start off the new year.

I’ve created my meal plans and completed all of my grocery shopping, so I decided to get started on the Whole 30 today. Why wait until tomorrow? Weird, right?

I started the morning with chia seeds soaked in coconut milk, a side of bacon and some pomegranate seeds. By the way, my decaf coffee looks a little weird because it has coconut milk in it. (Yes… I’ll probably become one of those people who takes photos of her food everyday!)

My husband loved lunch! We ate roasted sweet potatoes, apples and pecans, with some Whole 30 approved sausage.

I stopped eating sugar a few days ago to help me prepare for the change. Typically, this alone would have me sulking around with a head ache all day. Instead, I’ve been eating so much filling food, that I feel great!

I also splurged and bought a subscription to realplans.com. If you are doing Whole 30, this is an amazing resource. The service gives you access to 500 Whole 30 recipes that you can drag and drop into your monthly menu. It comes with a free app that makes it easy to use in your kitchen. Once you are done planning out your meals, it creates a shopping list that you can use on your phone.

I’m sure the reality of doing Whole 30 will set in when the kids go back to school and I go back to work and don’t have time to stay on top of the meal preparation. But I went into Day 1 ready with awesome food choices. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to GAIN weight eating so much yummy food, but at this point, I don’t really care. I’m just excited about having a plan for delicious, healthy meals for the next few weeks.

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What about you? Do you have plans to make any dietary changes in the new year? Have you done Whole 30?

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