The Whole 30: The 30-day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom, by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig.
So Maeve mentioned a while back that she was doing something called a Whole 30. She said she felt amazing, better than she had in years as a result of adopting this way of eating. Curious, I went to do some recon and just as quickly wondered why on earth anyone would DO such a thing. After thinking about it a bit more and running it by my daughter, I figured it might not hurt for me to take a month and give my body a good long rest from eating junk of any kind. Besides, I had a race coming up (yes, I wear glasses!) and some extreme nutrition might be just the ticket to get me running a little better.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that this wildly popular book is just a more widely accepted version of the paleo diet. Been there, done that, not interested. But I kept thinking, “It’s just 30 days. Whaddya afraid of?” What I was afraid of was 30 days without baking! So my oldest daughter and I split the cost of the book, and jumped in with both feet.*
I am always leery of claims of renewed health as soon as they gave up this or that food group. I’d never experienced such a thing and there are very few diet schemes I haven’t tried over the past 20 years since our twins were born. The one thing I’d never given up cold turkey however, was sugar. I felt amazing after the first week and I continued to feel better and better as the weeks went on.
So, the plan seems like a good one. What about the book? Meh. The writing was extremely preachy, which isn’t my style. While I fully appreciate that wisdom and superiority of a nutrition plan that sticks to food as God made it, there are things here that are so extreme they can set you up for failure. With no room for the occasional treat eating loses its fun. Food is fuel more than fun, and there’s a lot of good food for meativores such as myself to enjoy on this plan, but extreme rigidity turns me off.
Basically, there are a lot of things about this plan I’ve adopted as permanent habits. Drinking my coffee without cream or sweetener will never be among those things. for people who like bandwagons, this book could be either the best or worst things you ever run across. That said, I can’t really argue with the increased sense of well being (not to mention the 3 inches off my waist!) that I experienced from doing this plan about 80% of the way.
So while the literary me and the part of me that recoils from lifestyle trends is leery of recommending it, the part of me that laments the poor health of the average 40-something American woman can’t help but suggest it’s worth a look.