Why I’m Using Whole30 to Start the Year!

Among all the choices for diet and exercise plans, Whole30 is what I'm choosing to jumpstart my goals for 2017. Here's why.

I get in a rut in the holiday season – I think it comes from working so hard to stay away from bad food and working so hard to get out of the house in the cold and go work out, and I get a little crazy from having failed to live my “best fitness life.” For this reason, January has always been an exciting time for me, health-wise: it’s a REAL reset, a time to ignore any past mistakes and throw myself into a new routine.

This year, that new routine is the Whole30. I know other people who make healthy food choices 24/7, and I admire them, but the more finite plan of the Whole30 is right for me for a few reasons.

Starting with the 30: I love the idea of a “cleansing” month, something that doesn’t have to go on forever (unless I love it!) but which teaches my body something new about how I can, indeed, live without processed food and I can indeed live without dairy and grain.

For me, January is also the perfect month for it: the New Years Eve champagne has been drunk and done with, and now the month of no food-related holidays can commence. I’ll be back ready for chocolate in February, but for January, I can stay away from unhealthy food traditions and really isolate my food choices without skipping on fun socializing. In January, no one really wants to hang out anyway where I live – it’s cold and often snowy!

I also have a perfect storm of “participators” this year – a few friends from my college days, my husband, and even my mother-in-law will be conspiring and commiserating with me as we go through the unfamiliar challenge of switching our diet for a while. My husband is super healthy already but wants to try something new to see if it makes him feel more energetic (one of the many potential benefits of Whole30). We’ve also talked and talked about how we need to cut down on eating at restaurants, and a month of pretty much no food from restaurants will be kind to our budget and give us cozy evenings in the wonderful-smelling kitchen.

Speaking of which, I love that Whole30 is all about flavorful, meaningful, tastes-great food – yes, there are a ton of things you cannot eat, but many of the things you can eat are wonderful. I have made the distinction in the past between foods I like and foods I crave; most of the craveable foods are off-limits in this month, but so many of the foods I like are Whole30 approved! Among them? Bacon. Now I know I can’t eat a ton of bacon and expect Whole30 to lose me weight, but honestly… a diet with bacon? Count me in!

Last but not least, I think that giving myself a challenge that I can struggle through and emerge victorious over in one month is like doing a Kickstarter DietBet at the start of the year (which I did last year!) – rather than a vague 12-month long goal of a “new year’s resolution,” it’s a specific plan. It’s an action that you take and get all the successful triumph from right at the start of February!

I love the energy of New Year’s Resolutions, but I fear that too many of them peter out rather than getting completed and celebrated. This year, Whole30 is my new year’s plan – one I know I can accomplish, and plan to celebrate (healthily, of course).

Make it WayBetter

If Whole30 isn’t your style, do a little research: what might be a beneficial add-in (A multivitamin? More water? More spinach?) or subtraction from your diet? You don’t have to do it for all of 2017, just commit to 30 days of the change and see if you feel so great that you naturally want to keep going. That way, you can celebrate your victory and keep the momentum going if you want.