And That My Friends, Does Not Happen on Any Old Crash Diet

New year, new me!
Do people still genuinely say that or has it officially become a cliché?

On Monday, December 31, 2018, for the first time in my entire life, I attempted a crash diet. I began 2019 with the Whole 30. The Whole 30 is a 30 day challenge where you recognize all the crap you’ve been putting into your body and take time to detox from carbs, dairy, sugar, and everything else that brings joy to your life.

I bought into the idea of the Whole 30 because it’s not your typical fad diet. Yeah yeah, every fad diet says that, but with this one, it’s the truth. You don’t step on a scale for the duration of the challenge, you don’t have to meticulously count every calorie you put into your mouth, and you don’t have to beat yourself up if you skip a gym day or two.

The point of the Whole 30 is to listen to your body and determine to which foods your body does and does not respond. It makes no promises of weight loss, but rather of an overall improved quality of life.

Also because my coworkers were doing it and I’m a sucker for some good old fashioned peer pressure, but we’re not here to talk about that.

As lame as it sounds, the Whole 30 really changed my relationship with food. I’ve been a huge foodie since I earned my first paycheck back in 2013 and quickly realized there was more to life than Hometown Buffet and Jack in the Box. Fast forward 6 years to today and my body was really beginning to show just how much food I was loving.

For a long time, I really didn’t care what was going into my body as long as it tasted good. I didn’t even realize that I wasn’t running at optimal capacity. A typical day for me included grogginess throughout the day, headaches by lunchtime, lack of motivation and a lot of takeout.  But these (mostly) quick and inspiring 30 days changed a lot for me.

Once I began consciously monitoring what I was eating, my days became dramatically different in the best ways. I now wake up feeling refreshed, have a newfound energy throughout the day, and have learned that food doesn’t inherently make you sleepy.

I also had suspected that insufficient water intake was the cause of my constant headaches, but the most significant realization was that too much sugar, salt, and general crap also contributed heavily. I learned this the night I binge ate enough Chinese food for four people the day after the Whole 30 ended.

Preparing food was never my forte. My pastimes included strolling up and down the freezer aisle, scrolling through UberEats, and jumping at any opportunity to check out new restaurants.

Cooking three meals a day for 30 days will really test your patience, let me tell ya, but I’ve recently mastered some pretty delicious recipes for spaghetti sauce, homemade zucchini noodles, breakfast shakes, and casseroles. I also tried my hand at “healthy” blueberry banana muffins.

I’ve also learned that I actually quite enjoy cooking. Yes, it’s time consuming, but totally worth it in my opinion. You get to decide exactly what is going into your body and make everything exactly how you like it. Plus it’s like a fun little game to tweak recipes into something you’ll love while also nourishing your body.

Long story short, I’ve decided to update my lifestyle and eating habits to include a cleaner diet, and will forever be a huge advocate for the Whole 30, and I’ve begun dropping friends like flies because I recommend it to everyone who will listen to my spiel. Not only have I lost 15 pounds, but I feel way better, and that my friends, does not happen on any old crash diet.

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