Monday, July 29

Whole30 Part V: Let's Go!

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to start this Whole30 with everyone. Jessie and I were talking about it last night as if we were kids just a few days out from Christmas Day. When I was younger I would become giddy just before my birthday. When I was in college I would get stoked about Thursday night parties. Now... I get pumped up about replacing booze with kale for 30 days straight.

My oh my how things change.

I think the reason we're so excited is pretty straight-forward: it feels good to feel good! Mental clarity, quality sleep, lots of energy, weight-loss, etc. It's a cool feeling to know you're about to embark on something that is going to make you feel great.

It's hard to believe it's been a month since we launched this series. For those that aren't up to speed, I highly encourage you to go back and read the previous installments.  Shouldn't take you but more than 15 minutes.

Whole30 Part I: How and Why We Started
Whole30 Part II: Introduction and Purpose
Whole30 Part III: Calories and Hormones
Whole30 Part IV: Brain Signaling, Satiety and Satiation 

The purpose of this post is to share some ideas and lessons learned from our previous Whole30 to help ensure your success. Even if you're not joining us on August 1st the content here is still relevant, as most of the tips and concepts can be applicable outside of a Whole30. Some of these concepts may seem random, but I assure you they serve a purpose.

Alright, let's go!

There's never a perfect time

I've seen a ton of people try to carve 30 days out of a calendar year for their Whole30, as if surgically finding the perfect time. The fact is that it will never be the perfect time in your definition. There's always going to be some event, occasion or excuse to drink alcohol or eat sweets. Because of this, the perfect time is right now. It's 30 days. Not a year, not two months, but barely over four weeks, and it goes by faster than you could possibly imagine.

Go all-in

"I'm doing Whole30 with two glasses of wine per week." "I'm doing Whole30, but with dairy on occasion." Nope. That's not it. If you're going to do this, go all-in. Don't half-ass something that's only 30 days. Commit yourself to the program in its entirety. Lean on others that are doing it, and even those who aren't. I may run the risk of scaring some off with this idea, but the fact of the matter is you can't hate on something you haven't tried. And furthermore, you can't bash the program and your own results if you weren't 100% compliant.

I'm not saying that eating 80/20 Paleo isn't great, or that eliminating grains isn't better than perpetually consuming them.  But remember, that's not the point of this program. Go all-in. You'll be very happy you did.

Preparation is key

If you're new to a 'Primal'/'Paleo' way of eating, then you'll want to take some time to prepare what you'll eat and when in advance. Jessie and I still do this weekly and we've been eating this way since October 2012. Each Sunday we sit down and discuss what our weeks look like and what meals we want to have. We make our list, and head off to the store. Dinners that require less effort/time are scheduled for our least-busiest evenings. Breakfast and lunch are givens. Breakfast is typically some combination of eggs, animal protein and veggies. Sometimes we'll do a higher-fat smoothie or bulletproof coffee. Lunch is either dinner leftovers (by design), or a giant salad with tons of vegetables, healthy fat and animal protein. A mediocre plan is better than no plan at all.

Seriously, stay off the scale

I realize I've been touting weight-loss as one of the benefits of this program, but weight takes a back-seat to the other benefits people yield. I realize a leaner physique is the most flashy, but remember this program is also designed to do many, many other things. Stepping on the scale can distract you from the goal at hand.

Don't count calories

I've already written a post on this, as well as given a speech on it, but I need to repeat the fundamental principle here. Do not count calories or worry about how much dietary fat you consume. Fat doesn't make you fat, and calories don't mean squat in terms of weight gain/loss. Don't get distracted by any of this, stay focused on what really matters: eating nutrient-dense, whole, unprocessed foods.

Forget cholesterol

Yes, I'm aware that there is cholesterol in eggs. But guess what! 75% of the cholesterol in your bloodstream is produced from within the body. This means that only 25% of your cholesterol comes from external sources like food. Eat eggs. The entire egg. Period.

Read the ingredients

Make it a habit to turn the packaged product around and read the ingredients. You'd be surprised at how much chemicals, additives and fillers are in the "foods" we eat today. Forget the marketing mumbo-jumbo on the front and immediately look at the nutrition label on the back. Sugar is in everything. If you see it on the back (or some derivative thereof that ends in "ose"), put it back on the shelf and walk away. Better yet, try to stay away from shelves in the first place, it's always better to buy things with no labels (i.e. whole foods)!

Read the materials

This one is obvious, but you'd be surprised how much gold we inadvertently bypassed during our first Whole30. Please be sure to read Whole9's materials thoroughly as it will help ensure a successful program. The links and .pdf's are incredibly helpful and should answer most of your questions.

However, if you have any unanswered questions whatsoever please feel free to leave a comment below. As a matter of fact, leaving comments is highly encouraged  as there's a high probability that someone else has the same question.

Sign up for the daily e-mails

If this is your first Whole30, we highly recommend signing up for the daily e-mails. These are e-mails that get sent to your inbox early in the morning so that you have them each day when you wake up. They are full of a ton of helpful resources and are really fun to read. It's also fascinating how spot-on the e-mails are with how you'll feel at different phases of the program. It comes out to less than $0.50/day; Jess and I found them to be a huge help.

If you would have told me one year ago I'd have a blog called "Live Better Forever" that centered around health and wellness I would have thought you were insane. The early posts of my old blog was more like an online diary of some angry teenager, a compilation of rants on who-knows-what. Oh how things change.

But now here I am, passionate as ever about this stuff. A self-proclaimed "ambassador of health." And to be able to share it with my fiance (note to update this post after May 31, 2014) is incredible. Needless to say the passion for health is real and somehow all started with a 30-day program.

Ready? Let's go!

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