Why I Did a Whole30

Jonathan and I have been “doing the Whole30,” which is what people who “do the Whole30” say to each other.

If you’re lost, don’t worry. Like all popular health crazes Whole30 has its own weird language and odd rules. 

In plain English it means that we’ve cut the processed junk from our diets, and are focusing on eating whole, healthy foods for 30 days.  After 30 days we can go back to our old eating habits, or decide if we want to make new ones.

We’re three weeks in, and I can say without hesitation that this way of eating does a body good. Inside and out.

Jonathan looks super slim, and someone told me I looked “fresh faced” after seeing me on a video call. I was pretty much hooked after that.

But healthy on the inside is what really matters for the long haul, not how we look. So I'm happy to report that Whole30 eating has also made us healthier. Yay!

My friend Stephanie and my sister-in-law Michelle were the first two people to tell me about the Whole30. I tuned them out as fast as I could.

The very idea that I wouldn’t drink wine or eat sugar for a month was so hateful. It was all I could do not to stick my tongue out at them while I walked away.

Perhaps some of you have felt that way about me in recent weeks.

Since this is a blog about happy things, and since feeling like you should be doing something is the opposite of feeling happy, you might just want to stop reading now.  Because there is nothing you should do.  You’re perfect and valuable and awesome, just as you are. You can visit My Happy Place Blog again when I write another post on purses or Palm Springs – perky, happy things. No judgement from me.

So much has been written on the Whole30 that I’m not even going to cover the details here. Check out the website and read about it yourself. The book It Starts With Food is great. Even if you don’t ever want to do a Whole30, you’ll be smarter after reading it.

And it’s okay if the concept doesn’t speak to you. It didn’t speak to me for years. And then suddenly I was excited to try it.

Why I Wanted to Do the Whole30, and What Happened When I Did

Bloat. I didn’t feel fat exactly, but I had a bloated, puffy look to my face and body. So I knew my insides were not in a healthy place. Inflammation looks as bad on the outside as it is bad for our insides, and I really want to stay healthy and vibrant for my family’s sake. Whole30 is designed to reduce inflammation.

Pain. I have recurring back pain, and a chronically painful neck and shoulder. I wake up uncomfortable every morning. Some days it gets better, and some days it doesn’t. Whole30 claims to reduce mystery pains.

Brain Fog. I wondered if the fuzzy mental state I’ve been chalking up to age was food and inflammation related. Whole30 eating is supposed to banish brain fog.

Low Energy. Working moms are notoriously tired, but shouldn’t I have more energy than this, I wondered? Boundless energy is a Whole30 promise.

Mood swings/light depression. I kept hearing that sugar, in addition to feeding inflammation and cancer, was also a depressant. Could my BFF really be working against me? Whole30 is 100% sugar-free.

Vanity. I heard the Whole30 would make my eyes brighter and my skin glowy.  No use lying about it. There’s a chance this was my #1 motivator.

We're on day 22, and everything I’d heard about how great we'd feel and look has already come true. I sleep better, look better, feel better and I act better, too. My back pain lessened. My moods and energy are steady as she goes. I'm alert and think clearly.  I sleep well and wake up happy.  My rings are twirling around my fingers and I definitely lost the bloat. And my husband looks awesome! He had to get some new belts because his old ones don't fit anymore!

I could not have done the Whole30 without these ingredients.

  1. Jonathan by my side, shopping, cooking, cleaning, and having a cheerful attitude about it.
  2. Michelle Winton cheering me on, sharing secrets, and teaching me how to make a bulletproof coffee.
  3. Stephanie Swain giving me recipes, ideas, and a belief that I really could do it. (From an 11:00 p.m. email: "YOU CAN DO THIS.")
  4. A very light social calendar for 30 days.
  5. Lots of time to cook (and clean the kitchen.)
  6. All the lovely people who post their Whole30 recipes and ideas online.

If you’re thinking about doing a Whole30, I suggest you clear your calendar, replace dinners out with evening hikes, and surround yourself with supportive friends and family.

You can count me as one resource. Email me at jennie@myhappyplaceblog.com. You can also see some of the food we’ve been eating on Instagram @myhappyplaceblog.

It’s only 30 days. You can do anything for 30 days. It's really all in your attitude, and you'll feel so good!



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