You know that old saying, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”? Well, it’s safe to say I’m just tired of being tired. Tired of never feeling fully rested, always feeling slightly drained and that looming feeling of not being 100 percent. To be honest, days when I feel like this are alarming, mostly because I’m only 22. However, I don’t want to feel like this when I’m 35, 53 or 87. I just don’t.
Now, right off the bat, there are some things I can immediately point out that make me feel this way- I don’t drink enough water. I could be more consistent in taking my vitamins and iron supplements, etc. Yes, I know that a few drinks the night before don’t make for a sunshine-y clear head the next day. I’m aware.
But, to be honest, I think somewhere between a busy schedule, craving a jolt of energy and the convenience of a drive-thru on the way home, I’ve completely lost my sense of healthy eating habits and really just a healthy relationship with food- a concept I had never even thought about until I looked into Whole30.
A little more than a year ago, my mom told me about this book she read that explained Whole30. She raved about how it explained the adverse effects many foods we eat can have on the various parts and functions of our bodies- vessels that are essentially equipped to sustain and heal themselves, when they’re fueled properly.
Along with explaining the effects of these food groups, the book laid out a 30-day plan to cut these food groups out in an attempt to “re-set” your diet. After 30 days, there is a 10-day reintroduction period where you gradually re-introduce the different food groups that you cut out for the 30 days and document how each one affects various areas of your life after not consuming them for 30 days. This allows you to find which of the groups may have a negative impact on you. For instance, my mom found that gluten makes her feel icky, while some of the other ones don't have a real effect.
My mom and grandmother followed the plan for 30 days. Shortly after they ended their plan, they came to visit me in Missouri on the way back from dropping my younger brother off at college. Both of them had noticeably lost weight (not that they needed to), but that wasn’t even the most notable part. They had more energy. They were happier. They could not stop talking about how much better their sleep was, how much lighter they felt, etc. My grandma, who is in her 70s, suffers from severe Arthritis. She said her joint pain had almost gone away while on the plan. I could not believe it.
In February, about 8 months into my adulting situation, I bought “The Whole30” from a bookstore near where I live. I was tired of being tired, and when I talked to my mom about it, she suggested I try it.
I figured it would be something I could casually try.
False. Upon reading the first 10 pages, I realized that was completely unrealistic.
You see, there are five food groups you cut for Whole30.
Ready? Brace yourself.
They are- Added sugar (of any kind…even syrup and honey), dairy, grain (of ANY kind), alcohol (yup) and legumes.
I know what you’re thinking.
Wtf is even a legume? Right.
Legumes are beans...including peanuts and soy. That’s right. No peanut butter, and no soy sauce. (Not that you can even eat sushi because rice is a grain).
Also, soooo many things have added sugar and soy and random grains. Seriously.
It became very clear to me that I would need to wait, read and understand before I could do this. From reading testimonials, the information in the book and listening to my mom- I know that if I wanted to see results I would have to commit fully. No cheat days. No slip-ups.
So, I decided I would start on May 1st.
Well, toward mid-April my work schedule changed just enough to completely re-arrange how I would be able to meal prep. I knew I wouldn’t be ready, and I had only grown more passionate and determined to do it.
I had a trip planned to Atlanta for mid-June and a week-long conference in New Orleans planned for August. So, I knew the 30 days I needed to commit would have to be in July. (July = no vacations because of ratings..shout out to my fellow TV people)
I planned to start on Saturday, July 1st, but my week starts on Tuesday. I had planned to eat compliant meals leading up to the start to get ready but on Monday night decided to just bite the bullet and start on Tuesday, June 27th.
I realized it just made sense to go ahead and start when my mind and week were both refreshed and ready.
Now, mind you, I have been preparing for this in small ways since May. For instance, I stopped putting cream and sugar in my coffee and have grown used to drinking it black in the past two months. I actually enjoy it now, especially when it’s iced.
I also ate less fast food, drank less soda and made a conscious effort to snack less. Understand, I did not cut those things completely. I’m on the third day, and I have already had that “I want a soda” and “Ohhh, there’s chocolate cake in the break room” thoughts. I’ve already been hit by late night cravings and my sweet tooth.
It’s become really clear to me that I tend to eat, even when I’m not hungry. In those moments, I tend to gravitate to things that make me feel bloated, tired and gross…just because they taste good in the moment.
In the book, it says many people feel sluggish and blah within the first few days. I don’t, but it’s probably because I have been preparing for it, so the change isn’t crazy drastic.
I am putting the link to the Whole30 site here. I am a zillion percent positive it’s explained much better there.
I am super excited for this process for a number of reasons.
I want to feel better, more energized and healthier. There’s also a part of me that just wants to prove to myself that I, a nacho-loving donut queen, can absolutely do this.
I am going to document my first go around with this on my Instagram story (@morganyoungtv).
If you’ve done this before, please slide into the DMs with your favorite recipes and tips (especially for on-the-go).
The link above, the book and the cookbook have a ton of helpful tips, recipes and resources. I feel super prepared, and I am totally confident I can do this, and that I’ll do it again. (After my trip to New Orleans, haha). I already had mental, emotional and energy-level improvements in the months leading up to this, with my small change.
So, as I sip my black coffee and dip another banana slice into my sugar-free almond butter, I wish you all the first steps toward things that scare you. I wish you the encouragement and the bravery you need to fight for yourself, even when it doesn’t seem convenient. You’re beyond worth it.
With Love & Glitter,