Let me come straight out and declare that I don't believe there is no one single nutrition plan or approach that works perfectly for everyone.
Everyone has a different goal. Nutrient needs may vary based on your genetics, activity level, and your health. What's more, the bacteria and critters in your gut may be driving a lot of your nutrition needs based on what they like to dine on!
So, nutrition & food has become a topic just as sensitive as politics. I believe the best thing you can do is keep an open mind, explore, experiment, and see what works for you.
And that I did.
Before #whole30 was all over Instagram, I read It Starts With Food and completed my first Whole 30. This was before I even considered learning about nutrition, and my typical meals were something in a frozen bag or out of a box.
The Verdict: What I learned and gained from adopting a low-inflammatory diet for a 30-day trial:
Initially, stress & worry that I'd screw something up or eat something off-plan
More stable energy & less fatigue
Better recovery from running workouts
Drastic reduction in brain fog - which I had no idea I even had!
In only 30 days, I kicked my sugar habit. (This was a big shocker - I am a dessert-lovin' fool!)
I wrote this post back in 2013 [with minor updates today] about the things I wish I knew before my first Whole 30 to take the stress & time out of that month.
If you're #Whole30 preppin', here are some hints and shortcuts to help you keep your sanity.
1. Keep a bowl of guacamole in the fridge. Always.
I feel like it's a constant challenge find a healthy fat for my meal, but if I add a scoop a guacamole I have it covered. I made a bowl of guac every 2-3 days so it stays relatively fresh, and once it's made it's easy.
Shortcut: Buy the pre-made pico de gallo at the grocery store, mix with avocado and lime. Done!
2. Enjoy your condiments, just Whole30-fied.
Fact: My husband loves ketchup more than any being who ever lived. Opting for condiment-less food was just not an option.
I'm I've made paleo ketchup, mayo, worcestershire sauce, and BBQ sauce that tastes better than the junk I've poured out of a bottle. You can Whole30 just about any condiment!
3. Buy at least a dozen eggs. And then buy a dozen more.
Enough said. I won't go out of my way for eggs, but I've eaten lots and liking them more with all my new recipes. Plus, eggs make things stick together (like meatballs!). We keep a dozen hard-boiled eggs on hand at all times because it's a convenient on-the-go snack.
4. Buy squash & sweet potatoes like the world is ending and only a hoard of squash and sweet potatoes could save it.
Since I was extremely active in endurance running at the time, I wasn't living on salads, but instead I added plenty of starchy veggies (sweet potatoes, winter squash) in my meals to fuel up.
During the Burning River 100 mile race, I even stuck to Whole 30 by fueling with pureed pumpkin + banana or sweet potato + coconut milk + applesauce at my crew stations (Whole30-high cal). Beats all the sugar in energy gels and the stomach upset from energy drinks & mixes!
5. There's amazing stuff a