It takes 30 days to push the reset button on your health and change your relationship with food. This is the concept behind Melissa and Dallas Hartwig’s Whole30 program. By eating non-processed whole foods and ditching grains, dairy, and sugar, you will reduce inflammation in your system, clear up your skin, and revitalize your energy stores. These are just a few of the benefits this program boasts.
In fact, the health benefits of the paleo diet are unproven. "Our ancestors ate this way and didn't have many of the chronic diseases we do, but that doesn't mean the food they ate is the reason why; drawing that conclusion would be like saying we live three times longer than our Paleolithic ancestors because we eat fast food," says Christopher Ochner, MD, research associate at the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals. Still, a handful of small studies have tried to determine if a paleo diet is a healthier diet. One small study published in the journal Diabetologia found that the diet improved blood sugar over 12 weeks compared to a Mediterranean one that allowed grains, low-fat dairy, and oils, but it's hard to say whether researchers would come to the same results in a larger study.
It was a small class, about a dozen or so brave souls. We paired up, first for a warm-up that included burpees and jumping over our seated partner’s outstretched arms, followed by a circuit routine involving three motions: barbell squats for 10 reps, a power snatch with a barbell plate for 15 reps, and sprints on a stationary bike with a goal of burning 25 calories.
“I was drawn to CrossFit during my recovery from drug and alcohol abuse,” says Daniel Megson , a 32-year-old from Sydney, who founded WOD OUT to unite Australia’s gay CrossFitters.“I had lost so many friends from leaving the party scene behind; the hardest part was feeling isolated and lonely. CrossFit appeared to offer a new community of individuals living a healthier more active lifestyle. CrossFit saved my life!”
And if you've really fallen off the bandwagon, a 30-day reset might be what you need. "Sometimes we need to do a complete overhaul of something in order to change that habit," Daniella Cohn, RD, explains. "Following a temporary diet that eliminates all of the junk that we tend to eat daily can be a great way to remind ourselves to pay attention to what we are eating and make healthy and informed food choices."
Some CrossFitters drink WAYYY too much “kool-aid.” You’ll run into CrossFit people who think CrossFit is the be-all, end-all training solution, and anybody that doesn’t do CrossFit is a wuss. If you can do 20 pull ups, they can do 22, and do them faster than you, after doing 25 handstand push ups and running 400 meters. I tend to dislike elitists no matter what they are elitist about, and CrossFit is no exception.
The Open is the single largest participatory test of fitness on the planet. And it all begins at your local box. What’s special about the Open is that it pushes all of us to dig deeper and to do better than we ever thought we could. It’s an empirical test against a standard applied to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. That’s an invaluable challenge for each of us as athletes and as human beings. For those who don’t see the inherent and unambiguous value in such an examination of self and community, no amount of convincing will suffice. If you’re not in the Open, you’re missing out.
Some specific foods that fall under this rule include: pancakes, waffles, bread, tortillas, biscuits, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, pizza crust, alternative flour pastas, cereal, or ice cream. No commercially-prepared chips (potato, tortilla, plantain, etc.) or French fries either. However, this list is not limited strictly to these items—there may be other foods that you find are not psychologically healthy for your Whole30. Use your best judgment with those foods that aren’t on this list, but that you suspect are not helping you change your habits or break those cravings. Our mantra: When in doubt, leave it out. It’s only 30 days.
While founders Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig are adamant in their book and on their website that “you’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written,” the Whole30 is not for the lazy or noncommittal. Without careful planning, a strong support system and dogged dedication, a business lunch, flight delay or date night can throw you off and send you back to the start. By nature, diets that eliminate entire food groups are tough to follow. On the other hand, it’s only 30 days.
Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn, and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch, and so on. Again, read your labels.
I often get caught up in focusing on numbers and scales, so I decided not to officially weigh myself before or after Whole30. But I can attest that everything about my body just felt better. I know saying something like "I lost eleven pounds" would sound much more convincing, but I could see that my stomach was slimmer, as was my face (which is awkwardly the first place I gain weight).