Putting reading into action: Real life edition: It Starts with Food

It Starts with FoodI’ve been feeling kind of down lately. Physically, emotionally, energy levels, body image, you name it. Even my hair is flatter. Granted, some of it is coming from the sheer stress that comes with working, interning, and generally keeping life moving all at the same time. However, I suspect that some of it can be traced to some other factors–like the things we’ve been eating.

Let’s not kid ourselves, eating really healthy isn’t a top priority right now. We eat rather healthy, but I suspect I’d be horrified if I kept a food journal (which is why I don’t). Time plays a huge part in what we eat right now. And even when I am eating well, I still don’t feel great.

A few things happened at once this month to make me want to change my ways. First, Counseling Today published an article recently about how counselors incorporate dietary habits into clients’ treatment. Despite my lackadaisical eating habits, I do feel that there is a link between diet and emotional health, and so this was a very welcome article. Second, I’ve felt awful for weeks now–no energy, moods in the dumps, not feeling attractive in the least, and not sleeping. Third, I’ve had to do a few assignments for my addictions treatment class that have helped me explore my reasons for wanting to change. And fourth, a favorite blogger recently wrote about her experience on the Whole 30.

I’m generally not prone to doing whatever the internet tells me to do, especially when it comes to diet, but it seems like Jessica from What I Wore had been through the same thing. She and her husband decided to clean house and begin the Whole 30 on January 1, and loved the results, coming out with more energy, better sleep, and a host of other positive outcomes.

Louie and I talked about it earlier this month and decided to give it a try! I picked up It Starts with Food, by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig and was able to read it in just a few evenings. They endorse a paleo diet, meaning lean meats, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats. They also endorse cutting out dairy, grains, and legumes for 30 days…just to see what happens.

My take on the book is this: I don’t necessarily believe everything they say. I also find their overly simple and folksy tone a bit maddening. But the chapter on blood sugar and hormones made 100% sense to me and accurately described how I feel on a daily basis. I certainly don’t think that making dietary changes centered around healthy whole foods is a huge risk, so we really don’t have much to lose.

Louie is on board too, so in the spirit of Mardi Gras (which technically was yesterday), we enjoyed a last lunch of Chinese food, cleaned out some junk from the cabinets, went grocery shopping, and began our 30 days today. Both of us are really excited to make some positive lifestyle changes, and while it won’t be easy–starting a new habit is never easy–we’re curious to see how we feel about it after 30 days. I can’t wait to report back.

Here’s to 30 days of healing! Has anyone else ever tried this plan, or something similar? What were the outcomes?

For more information, check out the Hartwigs’ website, or more specifically, information on the Whole 30.

Photo credit: Bn.com


3 thoughts on “Putting reading into action: Real life edition: It Starts with Food

  1. I ate very strict paleo for a few months in NYC. It was awesome! I lost all the bloat, lost some weight, had more energy, my skin cleared up, my hair was shinier, etc. I truly think it’s the way people were supposed to eat. I keep trying to get back on it, because I remember how great it was, but it’s hard in a world full of grains. Things like pasta are just cheap and easy to make. Still, I do tend toward this way of eating anyway. I just need to find new and exciting vegetables/combinations to keep it from getting boring since I’m kind of picky about some things. Are you cutting out dairy too? I know some versions call for it but I always allowed myself butter and cheese, in moderate amounts. Good luck you guys!

  2. Pingback: After the Whole 30 | Feet in Two Worlds

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