The Whole30 Challenge: Week 1

By January 21, 2014 December 16th, 2014 Food, Paleo, Whole30

We are officially in day 2 of our Whole30 Challenge with our box. Sorry for the lack of lead up, but getting everyone at the box set up kind of took priority. Nonetheless, I’ve been looking forward to this challenge for a few months now, mostly because after HOA and the holidays, our diets and routine could use a bit of a reset. We went from eating everything in sight while training to eating at holiday parties, and that never goes well.

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If you’re not familiar with Whole30, I will give you just a little snippet of background. Essentially, it’s a 30 day challenge that takes a Paleo-based approach to eating. Par for course, that boils down to a diet of  meat, veggies, some fruit and good fats. For most of us who follow a Paleo way of living most of the time (80/20), the challenge serves as a good reset, even if you don’t plan to be as strict as the program when you complete it. You see, the Whole30 also focuses on eliminating added sugar of any kind, real or artificial from your diet. For most of us, that’s a tough act to maintain, and it’s just not reasonably sustainable, but for 30 days, it kind of breaks the cycle that sugar can create in your diet, especially over the holidays.

A few of the other rules:

  1. Again, do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels (and your Success Guide FAQ), because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  2. Do not consume alcohol.
  3. Do not eat grains.
  4. Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  5. Do not eat dairy.
  6. Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.
  7. Do not eat white potatoes.
  8. In addition, no Paleo-ifying dessert or junk food choices!

Exceptions

There are a few exceptions to the rules above. They are:

  1. Clarified Butter or Ghee. Clarified butter or ghee is the only source of dairy allowed in the Whole30 program. Plain old butter is NOT allowed, as the milk proteins found in non-clarified butter could impact your results. Learn more here.
  2. Fruit juice as a sweetener. A small amount of fruit juice as an added ingredient during your Whole30 is allowed, but this doesn’t mean a cup of fruit juice is a healthy choice! Learn more here.
  3. Certain legumes. Green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas are okay on the Whole30 program. While they’re technically a legume, these are far more “pod” than “bean,” and the benefits of the plant matter far exceed the downside.
    Vinegar. Most forms of vinegar, including white, balsamic, apple cider, red wine, and rice, are allowed during your Whole30 program. The only exceptions are vinegars with added sugar, or malt vinegar, which generally contains gluten.
  4. Processed foods. Minimally processed foods like canned coconut milk, applesauce, tomato sauce, chicken broth or canned olives are all acceptable on the Whole30 – but, avoid anything with carageenan, MSG or sulfites.

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So definitely do-able, but no doubt we’ll probably be happy to return to our regular mostly-Paleo ways (with some sugar) when this is all over. As far as food this week, we’ve got quite a bit going on:

Monday-Tuesday: Breakfast casserole, Tomato/Avocado/Egg Salad, and Chili (recipe coming)
Wednesday-Thursday: Breakfast casserole, Tomato/Avocado/Egg Salad, and Paleo Taco Salad
Friday: Eggs and Fruit, Tomato/Avocado/Egg Salad and CrossFit Fringe belated Holiday Party (we’re bringing Shepherd’s Pie)
Saturday: Cookout at CrossFit Fringe for Ogar’s Fundraiser

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Snacks this week will be homemade pearsauce, almonds, sweet potato chips with homemade ketchup, fruit/veggies and almond butter. Snacks are still an area that are evolving for us, as it was the one area we derailed from Paleo on frequently — so we’ll see where we end up.