Yes, we know what you’re thinking. We haaaaaaaate the word diet. In fact, you may often hear us preaching, “It’s a lifestyle, not a diet,” whenever people speak of such things.
However, sometimes you just need a little motivation to get your booty in gear.
Enter the Whole 30 Challenge, “a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits and relationships with food.”
This is not a juice cleanse nor is this some crazy diet that forces you to eat cabbage soup for every meal. It’s simply eliminating any of the foods that could be having a negative impact on your health or fitness. Even if you think you eat healthy already, sometimes you don’t even realize that certain foods are making you feel tired, giving you headaches or causing digestive problems until you strip them from your diet completely.
Well, we have decided to do our own challenge, which will last 25 days instead of 30 (because we’re not going to pretend for one second that anyone would stick to this over Memorial Day weekend), and we’re inviting you to join us. Want to start “eating clean” but don’t know where to start? Well, here’s your chance! Feel like you’ve been going a little overboard with the “cheats”? Time to hit the reset button!
The challenge will begin on Monday, April 29th and continue through Wednesday, May 23rd. The rules are simple. Eat real food. Lots of veggies. Lots of protein. Fruits. Healthy fats. Nothing processed. No toxins. No inflammatory foods.
More specifically, here is what you can eat:
LOTS of vegetables
Meat – beef, chicken, turkey, ham, etc.
Fats from oils, nuts and seeds (almond butter is allowed if it’s made from RAW almonds only!)
Legumes that are allowed – green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas
Vinegar – white, balsamic, apple cider, red wine and white (just make sure there is no added sugar!)
And here is what you CANNOT eat:
No added sugar of any kind, real or fake. For realz, none.
No processed foods.
No alcohol (I know, we’re crying over here too.)
No grains. This includes wheat, rye, barley, millet, oats, corn, rice, sprouted grains, quinoa, bran germ, starch, etc.
No legumes. This includes all beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, peanutbutter and all forms of soy (soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc.)
No dairy. Yes, this means black coffee.
No white potatoes (sweet potatoes are ok!)
No “paleo” treats. This means no pancakes!
Now you’re thinking to yourself, “WTF am I supposed to eat? No bread?! NO PEANUT BUTTER?!?!”
Well, there are a million online resources where people have documented their Whole 30 meals. One of our favorites is Nom Nom Paleo, who documented her meals each day while completing the challenge.
We’ll also be posting our meals on Instagram (@average2athlete), and we’d love to see yours as well! Simply mupload your pictures to Instagram and tag #a2achallenge.
Ok, so you’re no longer afraid of starving, but now you’re thinking, “But it’s May and there are going to be so many fun happy hours I’m going to miss!”
Unfortunately, there is NEVER going to be a good time to do something like this. There will ALWAYS be an excuse. It’s only 25 days. 25 DAYS! That’s seriously nothing. You got this.
And don’t worry, there are things that we’re going to miss too…
Ok, enough embarrassing photos. Just join is. Pleeeeease? Misery loves company?
Oh, and we should probably also mention that this is NOT an excuse to stop eating altogether. That is absolutely not the point and please do not destroy your metabolism because you’d rather starve than eat your veggies. Enjoy this and eat up, knowing that everything you put in our mouth is GOOD for you!
Finally, we encourage you to take pictures of yourself (and calculate your body composition, if possible) before and after completing the challenge. However, during the challenge, just focus on eating right and think about how you feel. Trust us, if you stick to the plan, the physical results will come!
Questions? Let us know in the comments.
Good luck everyone!
~Julia and Kayte