I started out 2018 hungry for space. Space in my schedule, space in my home, space for my people, space in my body. After spending the entire month of December fighting headaches, lethargy, and the temptation to eat all the food in the world I was ready for a change. So on a whim I decided to give the Whole30 a try.
Food freedom is the philosophy behind this diet and that gets me excited, not just because I don’t want to to be trapped in unhealthy eating cycles (which I don’t) but also because I don’t want to let food – food prep, food buying, food indulging, food side affects, food shame – become my master.
I get excited about it because freedom is the heartbeat of the gospel. Jesus is all about leading us into abundance and freedom and space, and food is absolutely part of this.
The Whole30 wasn’t life transforming. And it was really hard. (And I probably won’t be asked for my testimonial to be put on the back on any Whole30 cook book in the near future.) But it was good. Once I got the hang of what I was doing it became fairly manageable and I didn’t even have to quit all my jobs and devote the thirty days to standing in the kitchen, like I thought I would. Though the supposed ‘tiger blood’ that they talk about as the result of this healthy eating didn’t seem nearly as potent as I thought it should, I did feel a little more energetic and didn’t end up with a headache every single day. So that alone was worth it.
But the thing that I took away from it, the thing I’m still carrying with me today, is that food is to fuel me to live my life well. It isn’t about making me feel better, or rewarding me for working hard, or to result in overindulgent, shame inducing patterns. It is for my good, to be used for my good, and I get to be in control of how I consume it. We are free to eat how we want, and that means we are free to choose the very best for our precious bodies.
You don’t have to do the Whole 30 to choose food freedom.
I hoped it would cure me of my snacking tendencies and my fierce craving for sweets at all times. It didn’t. I still want every dessert and snack that I see. And this desire probably won’t leave me. But I get to choose how to fuel my body and I want to do it well. (And that means the occasional cookie or two.)
Other things I learned from the Whole30:
- Almond milk actually makes coffee taste better
- There’s sugar in basically everything you buy (even chicken broth)
- Check the ingredients before you assume you’re buying something healthy (those Kind bars on the organic aisle are not as kind as they look)
- Movies don’t require snacks
- Sparkling water fulfills the craving for soda (usually)
- My grandma was right and fruit actually can be dessert.
- Recipe requiring garlic cloves aren’t actually asking for the entire bulb
- Sweet potato buns on burgers are actually better than real buns
- Starbucks’ almond milk has sugar in it (so does everything)
- Natural Almond butter is basically like buying a jar of gold
- There’s a few rare condiments and sauces in the world that don’t have sugar
- It’s not really worth eating out on the Whole30 (that’ll be $9.78 for your bowl of lettuce and pulled pork.)
- When the cravings get bad make tea. By the time it cools enough to drink it you’re probably over your craving.
- Some vitamins have soy in them. And those chewy ones have sugar in them.
- You can never have too much olive oil or sea salt