Hello, friends! Happy Friday! On the previous post I referenced The Whole 30 Program while talking about “setting your mind”. Since I mentioned I’d let you know about it, I decided to write a post on my experience with this program. There’s more to it than The Whole 30 though, so stick around!
I first heard about the program through a co-worker and thought to myself: “No way! That’s too hard-core for me!” As I saw her go through it and heard about her experience, I still felt the same way! He, he… I admired her tenacity to go through with it but I was convinced this was not for me.
So what changed?
One day my husband and I had an enriching conversation about balance – specifically body-mind-spirit balance. There is so much competing for our attention that sometimes we end up going through the motions. We do not really pay attention to the way we care for our bodies, what we let into our minds, or the quality of the time we spend with God.
While all three areas are important, I will focus primarily on the physical part of the equation. As Christians we can set most of our attention on the mind-spirit part of our life, neglecting to take care of our bodies. Yet our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20). How come we don’t take better care of them?
It is through the body we can minister to others so if we don’t care for it, we cannot minister effectively. If I am tired all the time because I eat the wrong types of food and have a low-level of energy, I won’t serve my family effectively, much less anyone outside my family…
I had two things to consider here: eating habits and level of activity.
My husband’s an athletic guy so exercising is not really a problem for him. Me? Well, not so much… You can read more about my complicated relationship with the gym here.
The other part of bringing balance to my body was my eating habits. This is where The Whole 30 started sneaking its way into my mind…
Then I attended a women’s conference at our church where one of the speakers talked about, you guessed it, body-mind-spirit balance… Well, that did it for me! When an idea comes to my attention repetitively, it is usually something God wants me to pay attention to. So I did. That was in May. My husband and I went on the program in June as part of our pursuit to restore the body-mind-spirit balance in our lives.
What’s The Whole 30 About?
The Whole 30 is a 30-day program aimed at reframing your eating habits by stripping your diet of sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes. Stay with me… The benefits of this program are amazing!
The reason sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes are stripped off your diet is because those types of food sometimes have a negative effect on your body without you realizing it. For example, some of the foods on these groups are linked to headaches, skin issues, digestive issues, allergies, chronic pain, and more.
When you take those food groups out of your diet, you are re-training you body. At the end of the program you will think differently about food, for sure. You won’t even crave the same things anymore. The sweet tooth can be tamed!
The week prior to beginning the program, my husband and I decided to lower our sugary foods intake and cut back on some foods we knew we would not be able to incorporate in the program. We were preparing our minds and bodies for action! We figured we’d ease ourselves into it rather than go “cold turkey”. It was the best thing we did.
Even with the “adjustment week”, I was on sugar withdrawal the first week of the program! Seriously. I had headaches for a few days. That was part of the cleansing process.
While it is not necessary, we purchased the book for the program. It really helped as it has a day-by-day guide of what you could experience. I did not look at those beforehand but the book became a great reference as we went on with the program. It also has a lot of delicious recipes, some of which are still part of our diet!
The first change both my husband and I noticed was the quality of our sleep. Within just a few days we felt rested when it was time to wake up. We felt more energetic and awake in the mornings. Other changes we noticed were: feeling light after our meals (not bloated), my husband stopped getting headaches, and my skin felt and looked healthier.
Since I was also exercising regularly, my body started changing. Clothes were loose and again, I had more energy. The cherry on the top: by the end of the program, I had lost 7 pounds! (Happy dance, here!)
What about after the program?
Once you’re done with the 30 days, you begin what they call a “reintroduction period”. There are different ways to go about it but basically you reintroduce the different food groups within the span of a few days.
Paying attention to your body is crucial so you can determine if you are allergic or react negatively to any food groups. For example, I found out my stomach does not take well to dairy. I love cheese… I had no idea but I’ve tested it and while I’m ok having dairy products in small amounts, if I go crazy on it, my body doesn’t react well to it. So I had to make adjustments on the “dairy department”.
There was a week where I went a little too crazy on the “exploring” and had cookies, cake, and pizza all in the same weekend! My body did not like it and I also gained a pound that week. I did not want to undo all my hard work so I really paid attention to my body. I am happy to report I lost the pound the following week upon returning to my now-normal eating habits. I even lost an additional pound after that!
Overall, we have continued eating healthy and listening to our bodies. If you are considering bringing some balance into your diet and revolutionizing the way you think about food, you may want to consider The Whole 30. I am merely sharing my experience but you can visit the website and check it our on your own. Also please consider any health conditions you may have and consult a doctor before attempting any drastic changes you are not sure about.
Feel free to ask any questions or share about your experience with The Whole 30 or any other way you keep a healthy lifestyle.
How is the body-mind-spirit balance in your life? Are you taking proper care of your body so you can minister well to others? What adjustments can you make that will restore a healthy balance into your daily life?
Dear Father, thank you for making us three-dimensional beings. I am in awe of You and how You created us… Thank you for giving us a mind to nurture, a spirit to connect with You, and a body to live Your purpose through. Help us keep a healthy balance in our lives so we can do what You have called us to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For His glory,