Over the last 12 days, my wife and I have been asking each other, “Is it Whole30 compliant?” A more common questions is, “Can we eat it?” After a first attempt at Whole30, Jess and I finished (after 12 days) feeling pretty good! The Indianapolis Monumental Half-Marathon unfortunately had us reaching for more foods we knew would get us though the 13.1 miles in the frigid temperatures.
Two months later and to begin the new year off on a positive note, we decided to dive in to the nutritional program once again. I knew that I had to do more than just skim through Dallas and Melissa Hartwig’s book, “It Starts With Food,” I had to actually read it. Over the last 12 days, I have taken most of my free time and dedicated it to becoming more educated and informed as for the reasons why I am completing this program.
When explaining it to others, I shy away from the term “diet.” I would not say, and I would think the Hartwigs would agree, that this is not a diet. It is a mindful plan – it is well presented – and so far, it is working (for myself). The purpose of this program is not to lose weight or lose inches off of your waist, but it is to be healthy. The purpose is to make Good Food choices that make you more healthy as opposed to less healthy.
To give you a basis of how they determine if foods are more or less healthy, they came up with 4 Good Food standards:
- The foods we eat should promote a healthy psychological response:
- A lot of today’s food sources are “supernormal,” meaning that these foods are designed to promote over-consumption and a psychological response to return to the over-stimulating foods that have extreme taste, however, little or no nutritional value and are known as food-with-no-brakes.
- The foods we eat should promote a healthy hormonal response:
- If you were to pick up a copy of the book, “It Starts With Food,” you would read that all of the foods we eat effect our hormones and that less healthy options disrupt our body’s ability to maintain a healthy hormonal balance (it is very tempting to give you the “science,” but I can save it for a later time).
- The foods we eat should support a healthy gut:
- Without getting too “science-y”, I think this one speaks for itself.
- The foods we eat should support immune function and minimize inflammation:
- The foods that fail to meet the 3rd Good Food standard also fail the 4th. If the foods that we eat do not support a healthy gut, at times, our body can become inflamed and cause our immune system to suffer. Most of our immune system is located within our digestive tract so it is probably important to choose more healthy foods to support our gut and immune function.
Within my own counseling practice, I have experience in and am trained to treat mental health issues (mental, emotional, social/relational) and spiritual issues, but another goal would be to become more educated within nutrition and how the foods we eat effect our bodies. I believe this book was a good and simple beginning to learning the effects that different foods can have. If you’re curious, I would encourage you to check out the Whole30® Website and explore what they have to offer.
As a therapist, I believe that mental health, emotional health and social/relational health is important. As a Christian, I believe that a relationship with Christ is the most important decision any individual can make. Before I even entered into graduate studies, I almost chose a career in nutrition (God had other plans). Within mental, emotional, social and spiritual health, I also believe that physical health and nutrition play a significant role in holistic and optimal health of any individual.
I would be curious what others believe about nutrition and the Whole30 in general. Please leave a comment or contact me directly. Thank you for reading!