Hey guys my name is Hilary and I blog over at bakesbyranchcookie.com. When I got the opportunity to guest post over here I was beyond excited and thrilled to get to talk to you guys about my experience with the Whole 30 Challenge.
For those of you who don’t know what the Whole 30 Challenge is lets start with the basics, it was created by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. It is a science-based approach to eating (based on the book It Starts With Food), where they believe that some food groups may be having a negative impact on your body.
During the 30 days you will strip these foods that they have come to the conclusion that could be negatively impacting your health, which include added sugars (yes this even includes natural sweeteners like honey), all grains (gluten and non gluten), dairy products (except for clarified ghee), legumes (including beans and peanuts), and alcohol.
Essentially you will meet your dietary needs with meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and approved oils. The main idea behind the challenge is to discover what could possibly be negatively impacting your body, health and fitness. As well as removing those craving you get through eating processed and sugary filled foods and drinks to create a healthier approach to eating.
So you are probably wondering why I decided to do the Whole 30 Challenge. In 2014 I was diagnosed with IBS. If you don’t know, IBS is known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS is a disorder that can cause abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Symptoms can show up through trigger foods that through trial and error you can discover, and I thought the Whole 30 would be the perfect challenge to try and figure out what causes my symptoms.
Throughout the challenge, eating out becomes very difficult (which was probably the hardest part of the challenge for me) with the strict rules behind food groups and oils, so I ended up creating a lot of new recipes. A few recipes I recreated to make Whole 30 compliant was butternut squash chili, I replaced the beans with butternut squash. Shepherds Pie, where I replaced the mashed potato topping, with mashed cauliflower and left out the flour in the filling. Chicken fajita lettuce wraps, where I replaced the tortilla with romaine lettuce leaves and sour cream with a Whole 30 compliant ranch sauce. And pulled buffalo chicken, where I used a compliant buffalo sauce and ranch sauce mixed.
My experience with the challenge could not have been more insightful. Not just in an IBS trigger food aspect but also in a health aspect. I learned how fueling your body with all natural and whole foods versus processed foods can help you reach your goals. Creating the right type of energy through your foods that you need to strive in workouts and in life. I learned that with a little cutting back how easy it is to fix that sweet tooth and cravings of food that in turn just leave you with a sugar crash and stomach ache.
And the realization that black coffee is delicious. If you need to get back to that healthy mindset or you are having some sort of pain or issue physically and you haven’t tried the Whole 30 challenge I would highly recommend you check it out. You never know the food you are eating might just be your problem after all.
Have you ever tried the Whole 30 Diet?
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