This book was a surprise hit for me! I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, and only bought it because I was actually doing a Whole30 in January 2017 (it went great! I recommend it—I assume you’re thinking about it if you’re reading this review). We’ve been vegetarian for about 7 years, so eating and cooking so much meat, well, let’s just say I needed some help. The first thing I was impressed with? The recipes are very creative! They are easy to follow, don’t take a lot of time (I have a baby and a toddler and work from home), I particularly loved the slow-cooker recipes that make extra (beef roast, etc) that is then used for different recipes later in the week. Genius!
When the 30 days are up, you can continue eating this way or gradually add some of the foods back in one by one to see which may have been causing your issues. Many people who become devotees of the lifestyle stick to a Paleo diet afterward (The Paleo diet is interpreted differently by different people, but in general, it’s a less strict, long-term lifestyle version of the Whole30).
Before I went on Whole30 I was sleeping 8 to 10 hours a night (yes, I love my sleep), yet come 2 p.m. I'd hit an energy slump. I'd feel high right after I ate (looking back on it, probably because I was eating so much added sugar) but my energy would significantly fluctuate through the day. During the beginning of Whole30 — specifically the first three days — I really struggled. Again, I was a sugar addict and I think detoxing from that really affected my energy levels. But after that slump, my energy was constant — I really had never felt better. Even when things didn't go the way I wanted, I felt energetic and up for any challenge.
In that sense, Whole30 has been so helpful in understanding my body. So how am I eating now? I would say that I'm eating pretty "paleo" these days. I definitely still indulge once in a while, with some red wine or french fries, but I haven't been tempted to binge in the slightest. I would definitely do Whole30 again, but I need a bit of a break from it at the moment. Instead, I'm ready for a mindful and moderate approach to my new chapter of life, back in New York City.
Oils are trickier. Loren Cordain, Ph.D., founder of The Paleo Diet Movement, breaks down which oils are healthy on the paleo diet: olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado and coconut oils are all allowed because they were gathered directly from the plant. While our hunter-gatherer ancestors probably did not consume flaxseed oil, it is allowed because of its content of high alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid.
Gluten is a protein found in things like rye, wheat, and barley. It’s now being said that much of our population may be gluten-intolerant (hence all the new “gluten-free!” items popping up everywhere). Over time, those who are gluten intolerant can develop a dismal array of medical conditions from consuming gluten: dermatitis, joint pain, reproductive problems, acid reflux, and more.
Smoothies are generally discouraged on Whole30. However, if you must have one, choose a recipe with no added sweeteners and low-sugar fruits. This smoothie is more scoopable with a spoon, so you can slow down and savor it (important on Whole30!). The only sweet flavor comes from fresh raspberries — plus, this packs your bowl with fats from avocado and coconut milk.
For many years Arthur De Vany Ph.D. has been writing a book called Evolutionary Fitness on "What Evolution Teaches Us About How to Live and Stay Healthy." The diet he follows fits into my core diet definition. He may have been the first one to use the paleo diet to maximize fitness. His current site is Art's Blog on Fitness, Health, Aging, Nutrition and Exercise [archive.org].
Foods allowed during the program include meat, nuts, seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits. During the Whole30, participants are advised not to count calories or to weigh themselves. After the program is complete, participants are counseled to strategically reintroduce foods outside the endorsed Whole30 list, document the health consequences and culinary value of these additions, and determine if the addition is desired. The program's founders believe that sugar, grains, dairy, alcohol, and legumes affect weight, energy, and stress levels. Losing weight is not a focus of Whole30; calorie-counting and weigh-ins are not allowed.
The Soft Science of Dietary Fat is a summary of an article in Science Magazine reporting that mainstream nutritional science has demonized dietary fat, yet 50 years and hundreds of millions of dollars of research have failed to prove that eating a low-fat diet will help you live longer. In fact, there are good reasons to believe high-carbohydrate diets may be even worse than high-fat diets. Here is the text from the original article by Gary Taubes.
For the handstand push-up, prior to the start of the workout, athletes must measure out and mark a box measuring 36in wide by 24in from the floor. This is for the athlete’s hand placement. The athlete’s palms may not extend beyond this box over the course of any handstand push-up repetition, however, their fingers may. The box must be marked out clearly to be visible in the video. Each repetition begins with the kicking upside down, onto the wall, with the athlete’s hands clearly inside of the box, arms and shoulders locked out, body vertically aligned, with feet in contact with the wall. Once this position is established, the athlete may lower their body down to bring their head in contact with the ground. From here, the athlete may use any style of handstand push-up, including kipping or strict, to press and finish with their body vertically aligned, arms and shoulders locked out, and feet in contact with the wall. Each rep must have the athlete’s head make contact with the floor, and finish in this extended position. If at any point in time an athlete kicks off the wall, they must first establish the locked out finish position, with body vertically aligned before lowering down to begin repetitions. If over the course of a repetition, the athlete’s hands leave the marked box, that rep shall not count. However, if the athlete is resting with their head on the floor, they may adjust their hands (which may have them come out of the box,) but must return them to the box before attempting to complete another repetition. If head cushioning is used, please ensure the head is still level with the hands, or your score will not count
According to the CDC, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Interestingly however, our Paleolithic ancestors and contemporarily studied hunter-gatherers showed virtually no heart attack or stroke while eating ancestral diets. The references below will explore these facts to better help you understand the heart-healthy benefits of a Paleo diet.
Update: So I just finished my first whole30 round and I have to say that I'm super excited by the results. When I hopped on the scale today, I noticed that I had lost 26.6 pounds. I then measured myself and noted that I lost a total of 31.5 inches (-5" from chest, -2" from right arm, -3.5" from left arm, -8" from waist, -5" from hips, -4" from right thigh, and -4" from left thigh). I am really excited by my results!
Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You by Uffe Ravnskov is a new book which includes updated and simplified sections from his previous one (The Cholesterol Myths). Ravnskov also presents his own idea about the cause of heart disease, an idea that explains all the findings that do not fit with the present view. It is a powerful book. Also see his web site. The Amazon.com reviews average to 5 stars. Published January 26, 2009.
I understand the concept of what they’re trying to say, but I feel awkward likening a lackluster cauliflower pizza to dry humping. We’re going to be practicing abstinence for those 30 days. In short, keep your pants on and don’t try to make pancakes. It’s too sexy. It might tempt you to take your pants off eventually and go full-pancake. I’m going to stop talking about taking my pants off now. Perfect.