Whole30: A summary

The Whole30 plan promise:

This will change your life.
We cannot possibly put enough emphasis on this simple fact – the next 30 days will change your life. It will change the way you think about food, it will change your tastes, it will change your habits and your cravings. It could, quite possibly, change the emotional relationship you have with food, and with your body. It has the potential to change the way you eat for the rest of your life. We know this because we did it, and thousands of people have since done it, and it changed our lives (and their lives) in a very permanent fashion.

That sounds pretty dramatic, no? In my case, since I'd been eating "mostly" according to this plan already, I haven't seen any dramatic changes in the way I operate on a daily basis.

And yet, more and more, I've come to see this plan as a way of life, not a temporary diet. I see absolute sense in avoiding foods that are bad for you despite how good they taste. Why eat junk that tastes good for such a short, sweet moment, but have a lasting, detrimental impact on your health and your waistline?

Because it's not about depriving yourself of all the good things in life; once that addiction to junk disappears, you will realize there are plenty of wonderful whole foods that are better than those old "good things" by far. A bowl of fresh blueberries, a perfectly-done hot-off-the-grill steak, bacon, a colorful salad full of crunchy vegetables & zippy balsamic vinegar - these things are freaking awesome! A delicious, healthy, natural, whole-food meal can be just as satisfying as a delicious but unhealthy meal; "delicious" & "healthy" are not mutually-exclusive terms!

For the most part, my cravings have disappeared, except when my brain has been brought very low by other things. And I will confess that I've still not found a way to eat a single serving of a nut butter (unless we're talking one single serving after another). It's a huge trigger food for me; even when life is great and I'm feeling good, I can't stop at two tiny tablespoons of that salty, fatty, sweet deliciousness. My solution is to buy the single-serving packets only. I have hopes that some day I'll move past this need, but this is where I am today. Strategize!

Now, as to the results I was truly after: is my acne improved? Yes! It's not perfect skin, but it's skin I'd allow a running partner to see un-made-up (not the case a month ago).

But, a question remains: is the acne improvement due to the elimination of added sweeteners, processed foods, grains, legumes, & white potatoes - or is it due to the addition of a zinc supplement specifically targeting acne?

And that's a very good question. I'm testing it like so: zinc supplement remains at twice-daily intake level. Add back one non-Whole-30-approved food for 7 days, eating it daily, in small amounts - and see what happens. No reaction? Remove it and try something else. So clearly, this will be a long, ongoing process.

This week I'm testing soy: every morning I'm eating Banquet Brown n Serve sausages that contain added soy protein. (Not my first choice to test, but they were leftovers from our Relay for Life breakfast fundraiser last week, and so that's my easiest, cheapest option.)

Regardless of what food ends up being the acne trigger, my expectation is that I'll continue to follow the Whole30 guidelines most of the time, for the rest of my life. Like I said above, why fill my body with junk it does not want or need? But when I have a specific craving, or I'm at a birthday party, or whatever - unless I'm allergic, it's going to be okay if I indulge. But I'm talking once in a while - not daily, not weekly, and not junk I'll keep stocked in my house, either.

I'm an athlete. Food is fuel. Fuel is performance. And I want to perform the best I possibly can.

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