You’ve heard people talk about it, articles ranting and raving about it, and most restaurants now offer gluten-free/vegan alternatives to many of their menu items (or are willing to accommodate special requests even if their menu doesn’t explicitly offer them). I’ve even seen my local supermarkets transformed, with entire shopping aisle sections devoted to “Gluten-Free” products and food products labelled “Gluten-Free” to capitalize on the popular trend (Anything from a cracker to a juice beverage to meat products are now advertised as “Gluten-Free”! Gluten-free lettuce, anyone? Ridiculous! OK, exaggerating…but not by a whole lot).
To be honest, I’ll admit (albeit a bit sheepishly) that I’m chasing a fad. Hopefully it’s an effective and successful fad based on tangible results, but a fad nonetheless.
I’m not one to diet. I’ve prided myself on eating what I want (everything in moderation), but making sensible choices, and exercising regularly to stay healthy. So what I’m doing with Whole30 is pretty much against everything I’ve ever lived by in the eating department.
What am I trying to achieve?
The promise of more energy throughout the day and better quality sleep are enticing. General health and well-being benefits are often cited, with improvements to skin clarity, reduced allergy symptoms, reduced bloating, reduced hangry-ness, and sustained weight loss, just to name a few. Although it’s not my primary purpose, it wouldn’t hurt to
drop a couple pounds of bloat and trim down a bit (even though I’m not overweight by any means) reduce bloat and tone up.
Challenges I can already foresee…
- I love carbs. Of just about any type. I love gluten (omg sourdough…bagels…), and I love potatoes, and I love rice. But more than anything, I love noodles…typically made with flour or rice.
Proposed solution: There are some good alternative noodles made out of beans or roots. I’ve also recently been quite pleasantly surprised at how much I like zoodles (zucchini noodles) as a pasta substitute!
- I love fried foods. Potato chips and french fries are my particular poison, which violates just about 68 Paleo-eating rules. Always made (fried, baked, whatever) with naughty oils and full of artificial ingredients / flavouring.
Proposed solution: Although Whole30 purists would say I’m not supposed to Paleo-ize bad foods, I am going to try to make healthy, Paleo snacks. Chips with yam, zucchini, carrot, brussel sprout leaves, or kale instead of potatoes and made with happy oils. Apple chips. Sweet potato baked fries. Cauliflower mashed “potatoes”.
- I travel for work about 50-75% of the time. Well fan-freakin-tastic. Not only is Whole30 going to be a challenge in and of itself, but throw in not being able to cook my own meals for a majority of the week, and being limited to restaurant food (and the special requests they’re willing to accommodate). Not to mention having to watch my coworkers chow down on whatever they feel like.
Proposed solution: Pack my own homemade snackies. Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions at restaurants!