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A Month with Whole 30

BOO’s Catherine would describe her eating habits as healthy, but with recent lifestyle changes she found that she and her husband were slipping into unhealthy territory. Traveling, special events and family celebrations meant they were spending more time in restaurants and bars, and they weren’t making quality food choices.

Not one to diet, she nonetheless decided to try the Whole 30—a low carb, high protein plan that eliminates all sugars, gluten, grains, dairy, alcohol and processed foods.

“We got into the routine of eating more fried and processed foods than usual,” Catherine says, “and of course we’re craft beer lovers, so the unhealthy fats and high-carb drinks were something we had to steer away from. So we decided to do a diet reset, which is really what Whole 30 is.”

Not to her surprise, Catherine noted that the recipes and meal plans called for lots of greens and proteins, and almost every one used olive oil as a component. “I started doing things like tossing my broccoli and green beans in Leek Infused Olive Oil before roasting them…super delicious and on the plan!”

At first, breakfast was the biggest challenge of the day; the usual cereals and toast were out of the question. So Catherine made eggy muffins—that is, mini omelettes in muffin tins. Easy to eat hot or cold, they were packable and convenient and could be made ahead (recipe follows).

“We ate a lot of eggs, so it was good to be able to use a variety of flavored olive oils to create some mealtime excitement. And since balsamic vinegars were allowed, we ate lots of delicious salads (spinach, fennel, arugula…really any vegetables or greens that are in the fridge)…I’ll say we fell in love with spinach again!” says Catherine.

Within the first week, the couple discovered they were no longer craving sweets or bready foods. But at the end of the second week, the weather was warm and sunny so they ‘treated’ themselves to a beer after working in the back gardens all afternoon.

While the rules of Whole 30 include restarting on Day 1 if you cheat in any way, Catherine looked at the beer as a challenge—one beer, no regrets, and right back on the plan. “It was a treat, yes, but we were able to get right back on track, starting with dinner that night!”

Now that the 30 days have come and gone, what’s the verdict?

Both Catherine and her husband lost weight and had better energy levels, and Catherine in particular found her moods were much more balanced.

“We’re much more conscious of what we eat and how it affects us…” Catherine reflects. “We had a bit of fried food the other day and neither of us felt very well afterwards. And we feel bread is a bloating culprit. We’re eating much more healthily now, but if we’re having a treat, we just pay attention and appreciate it as a treat as opposed to an everyday occurrence.”

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