Though hard to believe, fall is knocking on the (not so eager to open) door. For most of us, this time of year marks the return to routines, back to school, and reeling in some of the not so awesome habits we may have created over a busy summer. Not coincidentally, September is the month the crew over at Whole30 hosts its annual Whole30 Challenge – a chance to reset our relationship with food. If you’re new to Whole30, the short version is that it’s a 30 day health reset to help you:
- Learn how foods affect your body
- Reset your eating habits
- Explore your relationship with food
- Improve your health overall
While the program is 30 days, it has the potential to translate to the rest of your life. The program includes a reintroduction phase (the 2 weeks following your 30 day reset) to help you gain valuable information about how specific foods affect the way you feel.
To learn the nitty gritty about the Whole30, read this post. Essentially, for 30 days you remove specific food groups from your diet that commonly promote inflammation, and then you methodically reintroduce them to learn how you react to these foods.
As a Whole30 Certified Coach, I know this program like I know the back of my hand, and can confidently say that it’s one of the best resets out there in terms of improving your longevity and lifelong health habits.
If you’re on the fence about doing a Whole30, but interested in learning more about the program benefits, here are four great reasons to consider joining thousands of others for the September Whole30 challenge.
1. YOUR PHYSICAL BODY FEELS INFLAMED, SENSITIVE, AND/OR LETHARGIC
Summer recovery can feel brutal. Weird schedules, vacations, kids being out of school, and more parties/barbecues swings us out of our routine and shakes up our normal nutrition habits.
Let me first say, this is 100% ok. It’s so normal for us to get out of routine every once in a while, not be so focused on our nutrition. In fact, I’d argue that it’s actually healthy to experience the ebbs and flow throughout the year.
That being said, when summer starts coming to an end, it can be easy to continue carrying that lack of routine and mindfulness about eating into the rest of the year (and we all know the holiday struggle).
If you’re someone who normally is cognizant about nourishing your body through food, you probably can truly feel the effects of eating differently, which likely has you feeling less than your best.
The Whole30 is not a quick-fix program. It’s not a weight loss program. It is not intended to be a fad diet. It is, however fantastic for getting your eating habits back to a place that helps you feel amazing, and an eye opener for how foods affect your body. Because of this, it can be an incredibly powerful tool when transitioning out of summer and into the latter part of the year.
2. YOU WANT TO RE-EXAMINE YOUR HEALTH AND WELLNESS HABITS.
One really interesting aspect about healthy and intentional eating is that it can shine a bright light onto other aspects of your well-being that may be suffering.
When you’re eating well and being mindful about what you put into your body, other lifestyle factors such as exercise, sleep, stress-management, and relationships come to the forefront for examination, too.
I remember in college, when I existed off of beer and ramen noodles, I felt “fine.” Sure, I was always grumpy, lethargic, and recovered poorly from my sports training (though I didn’t realize any of this), but my lack of hydration, sleep, and stress-management didn’t seem to make anything WORSE.
Once I evaluated and prioritized my eating patterns and habits (starting with a Whole30 to reset), I understood the experience of “feeling great” for the first time. In turn, this put a spotlight on other areas of my life that pushed me in the other direction and drained me of that feeling.
What started as a food and nutrition journey turned into a complete health overhaul. It gave me the chance to dial in other habits in the pursuit of making choices that fostered that “feel great” feeling.
If some of your health habits have gone sideways over the summer, and you’re ready to examine spots for improvement, I’d encourage you to jump into the September Whole30. It can be very helpful in illuminating problem areas (beyond the nutrition piece) so you can make tweaks to your routine to help you feel your best.
3. YOU WANT TO MAKE A CHANGE TO YOUR EATING HABITS AND DO BEST WITH A COMMUNITY FOR SUPPORT
Plain and simple, Whole30ers want to see each other succeed. There’s no shortage of tips, recipes, support, and resources for those that seek it.
There are an abundance of ways to seek help and support with your Whole30. The program has certified coaches that host group and individualized coaching to help make your experience positive. There are tons of online resources to help guide you through the program and answer any questions you might have. From eating out guides, to incredible recipe ideas and tips and tricks on how to handle your social life while Whole30ing … the support is seemingly endless.
If you’re looking for a way to restore your nutrition game and want a support group to help you along the way, this could be the program for you.
4. YOU WANT TO BECOME MORE ORGANIZED WITH YOUR FOOD BUDGETING AND COOKING
Doing a Whole30 can actually work wonders for getting really clear and organized with your meal planning, preparation, and execution. As any Whole30 vet will tell you, if you’re unprepared, you’re simply setting yourself up for failure.
To get the best results from the program with the least amount of stress, planning your grocery shopping and meals for the week, buying ingredients ahead of time, and learning how to budget your food are vital. Going through this program will teach you how to reduce food waste, optimize your grocery budget, and plan ahead so that you always have something healthy and compliant on-hand.
While some argue that the Whole30 is reserved for those with an expendable budget, I would argue that if done properly, the Whole30 can actually reduce your overall food budget. You’ll inevitably eat out less, buy only the groceries you need, and therefore reduce wasted food and money.
Doing a Whole30 helped me to learn how much I actually needed to buy, and quite frankly, it was less than before. When I don’t have a plan, I just buy whatever looks good and end up with too many groceries. While doing the Whole30, I only purchased what I needed. These skills have transferred well beyond the 30 day mark, and I still rely on them today.
If any of this rings true for you, we’d be so thrilled to welcome you to the September Whole30 community. The official challenge begins Tuesday, September 2.
If you’re interested in jumping in, but aren’t sure where to start, we got you. We’ve partnered with the Whole30 team and our talented local chef network to offer a wide selection of Whole30 Approved ready-to-eat meals on our weekly menu. We’re excited to fuel and support your journey!