So excited to have my good friend (and one of my favorite people ON THE PLANET) back today for another Ask Tammy. By the way, if y'all have any health or wellness questions for Tammy, email me because I'd love to hear them. Also stay tuned because in January I'll be giving away a brand new copy the cookbook Tammy co-wrote, A Good Food Day. Of course, if you can't wait you can always pre-order one right this very second on Amazon. And don't forget to sign up for Tammy's newsletter, I do love it when it shows up in my inbox. Now, let's get to it shall we?
Amy: I'm considering doing a Whole30 in January - any thoughts or red flags?
image credit: Naturally Ella
I'm all for it. As diet programs go, the Whole 30 (and the less strict Paleo) is pretty solid because it focuses on real food, it doesn't involve calorie-counting or weighing yourself, and it doesn't promote the bullshit quick-fix mentality of those 3-day juice cleanses. There are no red flags to speak of, but I do have four tips to keep in mind:
- Don't eat the same foods the whole time. Use your Whole 30 to cook new foods you haven't tried or that you don't eat often, instead of nailing baked potatoes, bacon and gobs of almond butter HARD for 30 days. With meat, venture beyond chicken and beef. The same is true for greens - spinach and kale are fantastic, but don't overlook collards, Swiss chard, bok choy, mustard greens, dandelion greens, etc. Mix it up for optimal benefits and minimal food boredom.
- Keep an open mind about your results. The Whole 30 is about reducing inflammation, so think beyond weight loss. It's likely, but not a given. The tangible results to pay attention to are improved sleep, less digestive ick, more energy, better skin, less sugar cravings, etc. These are the true measures of good health and reduced inflammation.
- Along those lines, don't expect to have the same results as someone (a significant other, a friend) doing the program with you. That's true for any style of eating you and a bestie decide to try together. We're all different and no single way of eating works in the same way for everyone.
- At the end of the 30 days, introduce one category from the "no" list at a time (every 5 days is a good rule of thumb), rather than introducing sugar, grains, and beans all in a few days. This way, you can better pinpoint which (if any) of the foods you cut out are problematic for you. This is KEY to any elimination diet, not just Whole 30.