Crystal Madrilejos

Design & Creative

On Being

Eating Well & The Whole30


After my 40 Days of Being Active, I’ve felt a lot of motivation to keep the momentum going. So, I’ve decided to spend the next 30 days following The Whole30 program. After a week of preparation, I kicked off the 30 days starting yesterday. I’d heard a lot about The Whole30 through different blogs I read and through people I follow on Instagram but never really felt the need to try it, until now. We usually take a common sense approach to eating in our house, and to use the phrase coined by Michael Pollan, we “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” and this has worked for us.

You can always eat better

As far as I know, I have no food sensitivities that would benefit from a change in my diet. But I have to admit that ever since I had my babies, I haven’t felt physically like myself. Some of this is attributed to the fact that a woman’s body changes in many ways after having children, it’s just a simple fact. It’s a fact that my shoe size is now half-size larger than pre-pregnancy. It’s a fact that my hormones are waaaay different than before having kids. It’s a fact that my body carries weight in different places now. And that’s all fine. It is what it is. But a bigger part, in my view, is attributed to the fact that I am older. Not old. Just older. And my body doesn’t bounce back in many ways like it used to. To shifts in weight, to lack of sleep, to illness, to injury, to pretty much anything. This is one of the few instances where I condone the use of my age as an excuse. It’s my excuse for submitting myself to 30 days of potentially difficult changes to what I eat. They aren’t drastic changes in the grand scheme of things. I eat a lot of vegetables and healthy fats and meats, not a ton of dairy. The big ones for me (and I’m sure for most people) are: sugar and grains.

What are the benefits?

That sounds like the beginning of a sales pitch, which it is, sort of. For me personally, since our family eats pretty healthy already, I believe that to feel any tangible results in my overall health as a result of changing my eating habits, I need to go a little extreme. It’s not enough for me to “eat more veggies and drink more water” because I already eat plenty of those and drink plenty of that. This phrase from the Whole30 website sums it up pretty well, if not a bit dramatically:

“Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making.”

Yes, yes, and yes, please! I am very curious to see how this change affects my moods, since my hormones seem to be easily tipped out of balance.

Kicking a Habit

As long as I can remember, I’ve had a serious sweet tooth. Andrew likes to make fun of my “unrefined palate” because I prefer sweet milk chocolate to the dark stuff! When I was young, I would save up any money I received so I could buy candy, my favorite being Bubblicious Bubble Gum. I would literally crave bubble gum. I can eat sweets all day and not feel sick (with the exception of soda pop. I can’t drink that stuff without feeling sick.) I love cake. Of all the bad things a person can eat, sugar is up there at the top. Regardless of what kind of sugar – even organic, raw, coconut, agave, etc. – NONE of it is good for you. Some may be less bad, but none are healthy.

The fact that it’s so difficult for me to NOT eat sweets really bothers me to no end. I don’t like such things to have power over me. I want to be able to say, “I Choose to Eat This” and feel okay about it, rather than feel powerless to its seductive ways.

Grains will be difficult for sure, especially since I was raised on eating rice for every meal, and eating meat without a starch just feels weird. And I have a husband who bakes bread (and pizza!) on a regular basis. But I keep reminding myself that it’s only 30 days (just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…”, a little reboot for my system.

About the Whole30

If you are unfamiliar with the rules of The Whole30, there is an entire website dedicated to its guiding principles that you can dive into more deeply if you so wish. But the basic idea is it’s a 30 day program of eliminating sugar, grains, dairy, alcohol and legumes from your diet. Why these items? According to some schools of thought, of all the things in the “standard American diet”, these are the ones that could potentially have the most negative impacts on your health. More so for some people than others, mainly those with food sensitives and allergies, or autoimmune disorders, or digestive ailments. Here is the full list of  The Whole30 rules »

So, now that I’ve put it out there, hopefully it will help keep me accountable and motivated. I’ll post more about my progress through the month. Wish me luck!

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  1. Pingback: The Whole 30: Week 1 - Crystal Madrilejos

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