Our Paleo Family

Let’s do a Pre-Holiday Whole 30!

I am a Whole 30 drop out. I’ve tried it numerous times, but have never completed the 30 day program to the letter of the law – 100%. I’ve made it pretty far into the month, but have always succumbed to some sort of temptation. Or sometimes I just got irritated by the fact that I couldn’t have something I really wanted/missed (like stevia in my coffee) and decided to throw in the towel. Or maybe I just made that one little compromise and carried on for the entire 30 days, but the fact is, according to the program rules, you can make exactly zero compromises and still call it a Whole 30.

So for numerous reasons, including some weight gain that I just cannot account for, I’ve decided to give the Whole30 another go before we head into the holiday season. To paraphrase Jen Hatmaker, “I’ve been asking a little too much of my jeans lately.” And now that it’s jean weather again, this must be addressed.

Yesterday was actually the first official day of fall! This is my most favorite season of all. The evenings (and sometimes the days too) get cooler, the leaves change color, and we get to dress in layers again! Just yesterday, we reached 92 in the afternoon, but after dinner, it was pleasant enough out to go for a walk without turning into a big puddle of sweat. It was lovely.

Besides cooler temperatures and breath-taking leaf colors, fall means pumpkin and apple spiced treats around every corner. We all want to partake of that yumminess, but perhaps you, like me, have a few aches and pains, some irritating brain fog, or some extra pounds that you could stand to see go bye-by. For those reasons, I thought it would be wise to tackle a Pre-Holiday Whole 30.

I know that for some people, the holidays begin as soon as that big coffee place starts selling pumpkin spice lattes, but I’m considering Thanksgiving as the real start of the holiday season. Normally, I would include Halloween in my holiday planning, but 1. I’m not a big fan of Halloween and 2. I’ve decided to sit the holiday out altogether this year.

Our trick-or-treater population has dwindled lately and we always end up with so much candy leftover that I’ve decided that this year I will be the Scrooge on the block and not hand out candy. That may be a controversial decision, but I’ve decided that in just this one instance, I’m going to think more about myself than all the kids in the neighborhood. I genuinely love handing out candy and seeing all the neighborhood kids dressed up, but I must consider my health. I know I do not have the willpower to resist the leftover candy entirely and the last thing I want to do at the end of completing my Whole 30 is dive into the candy bowl. To keep that from happening, I need to remove the temptation. It’s as simple as that. Plus, I can save that candy money and buy a cute new scarf or hat for the upcoming chilly days! Please don’t anyone tell my kids (or husband) that this is my plan. I’m hoping they won’t notice.

But never fear: if you relish this candy holiday and plan to start your Whole 30 on October 1st, you’ll be done on the 30th and can partake of the candy on the 31st. See, isn’t this timing perfect?

The other main reason that I really want to complete this Whole 30 thing, lock, stock and barrel is that I’ve never experienced the magic that everyone talks about. Of course, this is likely due to the fact that I haven’t done it quite right. I want to feel the magic. I want the boundless energy. I want the clear headedness.

And I want the personal satisfaction of knowing that I’ve finally done it, 100%.

Will you join me? You’ll get to eat food like this:

Jambalaya – just ignore that rice in the bottom of the bowl. This is my husband’s portion. Trust me, it was totally tasty and satisfying sans rice.

Or this – my first “dessert” of the Whole 30: homemade applesauce with fresh NC Mountain apples. So, so comforting and sweet!

This time around, I’ll not just be giving you a rundown of what I ate and how I felt, but I’ll also be making a video of each night’s dinner prep. What I hope comes from this is that you see how manageable this whole endeavor can be. And how delicious the food can be. No boiled chicken breasts and broccoli for this girl.

Beef tips (recipe in my book) and “fried” okra. Again, ignore the rice.

I will begin posting recipes and weekly menus beginning on September 25th so you have a little head start for an October 1 start date. One fact I cannot stress enough is that you really must plan to be successful at something like this. Coming from a person whose super power is planning, I say that you cannot be successful at a healthy diet in general without some careful planning, but I also realize that some folks need to work up to doing this on a regular basis. What a great added benefit to your Whole 30 this could be – establishing a weekly meal planning habit! So to aid you in that endeavor, I’ll give you a week of meal ideas at a time. A whole month might be overwhelming to some.

I really don’t want to be a wet blanket, but do try to remember that as soon as your Whole 30 is over, it’s advisable to add foods back in slowly. Maybe don’t have pizza and french fries and ice cream all on the same day. If the bowl of Halloween candy is just too temping to pass up, have a couple pieces and keep it at that for a few days and see how you feel.

If what the Whole 30 people tell us is true, we are going to be feeling so amazing by the end of our 30 days of clean eating that the last thing we’ll want to do is throw it all away on a deep dive into a pool of poor quality food. So go slow and careful with the indulgences.

Do you have any questions? Are you excited? I certainly am! And I’d love for you to come along beside me.

If you need more particulars on the Whole 30, visit their website where you can read – FOR FREE – all the details you need for a successful month of clean eating. There are, of course, books and other resources you can purchase, but it is entirely possible to complete the program without spending a cent – other than your food.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

Yep! This rich and hearty spaghetti sauce is totally Whole 30 approved!

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