As we gear up to welcome a new year, many of us find ourselves setting goals and intentions to raise the bar – whatever that may mean for us personally. Maybe that includes new habits you’ll form, less social media time, finally taking that trip, fitness goals you’ll crush, or maybe even a Whole30.
Every January, 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:
While the program is 30 days, it has the potential to translate to the rest of your life. The wealth of information you gather throughout the journey empowers you to make deliberate decisions for your health. Which, to be clear, doesn’t mean that you’ll never sink your teeth into your favorite cupcake again, or enjoy your beer of choice with the world’s best nachos. It does, however, mean that you’ll now have the information to know how those things affect you, physically and mentally, and make the call if it’s worth it.
You’ll take careful note of your physical and mental reactions to your whole food diet throughout the 30 days. At the end of the month, you’ll enter the critical 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 – including what’s in and what’s out – read this post. The TLDR version, 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 January Whole30 challenge.
Holiday recovery be brutal. The holidays often swing us out of our routine and shakes up our normal nutrition habits.
Let me first say this is 100% ok. It’s 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 ebb and flow throughout the year.
That being said, when the holiday season comes to a close, it can be easy to continue carrying that lack of routine and mindfulness about eating into a longer-term habit.
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, a fantastic forcing mechanism to get 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 the holidays and into the new year.
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 ), I experienced what “feeling great” truly felt like 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 holidays, and you’re ready to examine spots for improvement, I’d encourage you to jump into the January 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.
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.
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.
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.
Completing a Whole30 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, only buy 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 January Whole30 community. The official challenge begins January 3, 2022.
If you’re interested in jumping in, but aren’t sure where to start, we got you. Territory has partnered with the Whole30 team and our talented 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!