How Whole 30 Has Affected Our Food Choices
First, let’s first clear one thing up.
We are not and have not done a full Whole 30.
I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of people talking about their “January Whole 30” or referencing Whole 30, and maybe you’re like “I have no clue what that is but okay.” We used to be like that too and then we started educating ourselves on it.
At the beginning of last year, Nick and I went to the bookstore and picked up the book - The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom. Initially, we spent hours reading through it, talking about the ideas and methods it focuses on (which I’ll get to shortly). The two of us flipped through recipes, using sticky notes to mark the ones we wanted to come back to. We carefully created a grocery list of what to order from Milk & Eggs (our grocery delivery service) and wrote out our daily meal plans for the next few coming weeks.
The plan was to do a full 30 days (hence the name Whole30) but it only lasted 7 days because truthfully, it was just way too much stress with our schedules at the time. We made the decision to continue using many of the methods we had learned from the book, especially one in particular because that was the greatest lesson we learned - know what you’re putting in your body.
What does that mean? It means reading labels. It means being able to identify what every ingredient is. It means eating whole, real foods. It means understanding what a balanced meal looks like.
The main ideas Whole30 is based around are:
Eat real foods while avoiding added sugar of any kind, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, baked goods, junk food, carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. Additionally, you’re not supposed to weigh or measure yourself as this 30 days is to detox the body, jumpstart your metabolism and cure your bad habit addictions.
With all of that being said, let’s not dwell too much on the knitty gritty of what Whole30 entails. This post is meant to solely focus on the important lessons that inspired changes in our eating habits post the above-mentioned Whole30 education. To keep things from getting too confusing, I’ll be sprinkling photos of meal examples throughout the post.
First and foremost is looking at labels.
When was the last time you looked at the label of your pre-made frozen dinner? When did you last read the ingredients on that bag of chips? Did you know that ketchup is typically +25% sugar and not actually a true tomato product? We’re always reading labels now. ALWAYS. If you don’t know what one or many of the ingredients is, either look it up and find out or simply skip on that snack. So much of the food we eat is process and sweetened, like you wouldn’t believe!!! Once you wean yourself off all those massive amounts of sugar in just about everything, the second you have a bite of something extra-sugary 1) it probably won’t taste good anymore and 2) your body is going to reject it (if you know what I mean). Anyway, this came seem like a lot to ask for when you’re grocery shopping but I will say that we’re fortunate Milk & Eggs is hip to the Whole30 ways and made it an absolute breeze to find what we need… I’ll explain how in just a minute!
Next, know what your body wants and what it needs.
A huge benefit of incorporating more Whole30 compliant meals into our lives is that we legitimately feel the difference. Hey Americans, you’re probably addicted to sugar and you don’t even know it because it’s in almost everything you put in your body! Learning this was a major wake up call for us, even though we consider ourselves to be smart with consumption. So many of the “healthy” dressings we were using on salads weren’t actually the ones we would have gone for if we known what to look for on the label. Limiting sugary fruits was a big one too! You think “Oh, fruit is super healthy!” but too much of it actually isn’t. My big revelation came when I realized I wasn’t consuming many vegetables on a daily basis, and truthfully I’m not a huge fan of them - but I will say that Whole30 inspired me to find creative and truly healthy ways to make vegetable dishes that are appealing to me. The benefit of all that - YOU START TO FEEL A DIFFERENCE! Seriously! I have more energy and less brain fog just by making different choices. Not to mention, I don’t actually crave things that my body doesn’t need. If I have a sweet tooth, I’ll go for some applesauce (no sugar added/one ingredient) or some almond butter and apple slices. Those are the new things that my body craves! Another little gem that comes with listening to your body is portion control! Most Americans overeat at every meal, so knowing when you hit 80% full and being able to say “This is enough for me!” is kind of like a superpower we’re very stoked to have acquired! It also totally helps with digestion, mood and clarity.
A personal rule learned from experience, everything in moderation!
So yeah, we totally keep the Whole30 lessons in mind but that doesn’t mean we don’t also enjoy an ice cream here and there, add a vegan brownie to our grocery order, or dip our sweet potato fries in ranch when we’re out for a date night.
The point is to be aware of what you’re consuming so that you have the ability to make the best decisions for yourself! It’s basically another superpower!
What makes all of that so much less overwhelming is that our grocery delivery service Milk And Eggs actually has a Whole 30 tab on their website so when we’re ordering our groceries online, we can select that tab to find the best of the best and also products that support what we learned via Whole 30.
The point being, they get us and we love them!
If you’re in LA/OC and haven’t tried out Milk & Eggs just yet - what are you waiting for?!
Head to their site now and use code twosmallfries for $20 off $40 or more + free shipping!