CozzaWozzaBozza

Legit general question re Whole30

Recommended Posts

Hi there,

I am seriously considering doing a family Whole 30 but I have a burning question which I have not seen answered in It Starts with Food or the Whole 30 book.

The premise of the book/method is to find a foundation for health, not weight loss or ....., but health. If I was to mimic a diet of a people group who are the most healthy, you would look in the Blue Zones who have a reputation for long life and a lack of disease. My query is, if I look at these people groups, they all eat foods which are not Whole30 compliant, eg. rice, legumes, grains. True health it seems is not linked to specific foods, but a lifestyle of one which involves movement, sunshine, lack of stress, whole foods made from scratch and community/togetherness. My family does not have any health concerns so if my long term intention is to reintroduce some of these foods into our diet, is a Whole30 worth the planning, expense and rules based lifestyle for a month for other reasons? I am a foodie who loves all things food and the thought of cutting out whole food groups, even for a month seems extreme, but I would do it for a challenge, if nothing else. I get why people would do it as a guided elimination diet, but I don't see it as long term or necessary for good health. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance,

Corrie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Whole30 is an elimination protocol that makes it possible for you to say whether it is worth it to you to eat any particular food. Some people can eat beans or rice or even grains without causing themselves problems. Others can't. The way to find out what you can do is to eliminate all the possible troublemakers for 30 days and then to conduct controlled reintroductions. You might find, for example, that one member of your family can eat beans with no issues, but you might have a noticeable, negative response that you would rather avoid going forward. Until you conduct the scientific experiment of the Whole30, you are just speculating about possibilities. Don't live your life based upon theories. Do the experiment and start working with actual knowledge. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So if it is just an elimination protocol, then only people who are showing symptoms of intolerances or health issues should do it? Healthy people should not? What reasons are there for healthy people to try this when research clearly shows that many of the foods the Whole30 eliminates are consumed daily by the healthiest people in the world? (I am genuinely curious, I am not trying to be difficult. I just like doing things for a reason....)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My understanding is even healthy people benefit from w30. Like say you had an intolerance toward dairy but you kept eating it because you never felt bad but you did a whole 30 and after reintroducing butter and cream in your coffee you realized that you broke out anytime you had it and you knew you could live without it. That's one benefit from whole30.

Another benefit for pretty much everyone is squashing the sugar dragon. My family has pretty big sweet tooths so doing a whole 30 and using real food will help kill off the dragon and keep blood sugar more stable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Whole30 was originally invented to help healthy people feel and perform better. Nearly everyone who completed a Whole30 in its first year of existence was active in CrossFit. Before CrossFit became part of popular culture. Back when the people doing CrossFit were mostly athletic types. It shocked lots of those "very healthy" people with how big a difference it made to eat Whole30-style. In fact, the Whole30 would have been a small, self experiment of Dallas and Melissa if it had not become popular among hard-core CrossFitters when they began to write and talk about it. I met all conventional standards of being fit and healthy when I started the Whole30 in 2010. It shocked me what a difference it made to me. Try it. Don't try it. It's your life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True health it seems is not linked to specific foods, but a lifestyle of one which involves movement, sunshine, lack of stress, whole foods made from scratch and community/togetherness.

 

My family does not have any health concerns so if my long term intention is to reintroduce some of these foods into our diet, is a Whole30 worth the planning, expense and rules based lifestyle for a month for other reasons?

 

I don't see it as long term or necessary for good health. 

 

 

A lot of these points have been hit on already but here is my take...

 

Your first point.  Is true.  I have no doubt.  

 

Your second point.  The point of an elimination diet is to "be sure" you can't feel any better.  Sleep, response to stress, skin quality, hair and nail quality, poop quality, hunger, mood, the kiddo's behavior, energy levels... on and on.  You and your family might all very well be at 90% of optimal (if you already meet your first point, I'm sure you are) but often you don't realize something is just a little off until you do an elimination diet and remove the trigger.  Here is my own personal example: my husband's snoring.  It goes away when he does W30 (we weren't looking for or expecting this).  I don't now what about non-W30 causes it (because his regular diet is an non W30 as you can be) but something does.  If he cared enough, maybe we could figure out which "nasty" caused the snoring - but since he can't hear it... well, you know :)  So, while an elimination diet might not seem worth it right now, you'll never really know unless you try it.  Thus only you can answer the question - is it worth it?  Is it worth it to see if you can feel better?  If you are convinced that the answer is no, then probably not.  BUT I would think of the W30 as more of an experiment than a challenge.  If you want a challenge sign up for a Spartan Beast or something :)

 

W30 isn't mean to be long term.  It is meant to be 30 days.  At the end of those 30 days you'll be able to decide if any of the foods you have eliminated are, in fact, detrimental to your (or your partner's, kid's) health as you systematically add them back in.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... True health it seems is not linked to specific foods, but a lifestyle of one which involves movement, sunshine, lack of stress, whole foods made from scratch and community/togetherness....

And in Whole30ville we refer to this lifestyle as Whole9 - We eat good food, we move our bodies, we sleep deeply, handle our stress, connect with others, spend time outdoors, strive for personal growth, have fun & practice temperance...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So if it is just an elimination protocol, then only people who are showing symptoms of intolerances or health issues should do it? Healthy people should not? What reasons are there for healthy people to try this when research clearly shows that many of the foods the Whole30 eliminates are consumed daily by the healthiest people in the world? (I am genuinely curious, I am not trying to be difficult. I just like doing things for a reason....)

 

Just to reinforce all of the good things being said - I too am a foodie and struggled with the idea of eliminating things I didn't think irritated my body. But... I found out that these things did have an impact on my overall health, and through reintroductions, I have learned that there is a breaking point for my body. I can still have the things I love, but I have to trim it back to a specific amount. Not having things considered healthy like black beans or nonfat Greek yogurt also forced me to make better choices with veggies (completely filling my plate with them).

 

I never would have 1) known that my body has a breaking point 2) seen so many NSVs 3) learned the importance of veggies 4) changed my perspective on food if I hadn't done a full Whole30. It's not forever, but it is very helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So if it is just an elimination protocol, then only people who are showing symptoms of intolerances or health issues should do it? Healthy people should not? What reasons are there for healthy people to try this when research clearly shows that many of the foods the Whole30 eliminates are consumed daily by the healthiest people in the world? (I am genuinely curious, I am not trying to be difficult. I just like doing things for a reason....)

Whole30 is not for everyone. But if you are seeking a balanced life of health and vitality (the Whole9), doing a Whole30 AND doing the reintroductions (as essential as the Whole30) will give you personalized information about exactly how foods (whether "heathy" or "unhealthy") affect YOU (both physically and psychologically) so that YOU can make decisions that will maximize YOUR health.

If you do decide to do a Whole30, I'd highly recommend that you do it on your own (or with a willing partner) first so that you clearly understand the program and its benefits before trying to encourage family members to try it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone. I am genuinely grateful for your input here. Another question if I may, if I suspect my body reacts to something that IS Whole30 compliant eg. nuts, is the process to leave those out of the menu too and then reintroduce them like anything else?

Cheers,

Corrie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone. I am genuinely grateful for your input here. Another question if I may, if I suspect my body reacts to something that IS Whole30 compliant eg. nuts, is the process to leave those out of the menu too and then reintroduce them like anything else?

Cheers,

Corrie

Yes. Anything you know or suspect causes problems for you should be left out. If you know you react badly to something, you don't have to reintroduce it -- for instance, if you know you're lactose intolerant you never need to reintroduce milk. If it's just that you suspect an issue, reintroduce that item on its own day during your reintroduction period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone. I am genuinely grateful for your input here. Another question if I may, if I suspect my body reacts to something that IS Whole30 compliant eg. nuts, is the process to leave those out of the menu too and then reintroduce them like anything else?

Cheers,

Corrie

 

That's another layer of complexity in the elimination process which you may or may not include in your first Whole30. It was only after my first Whole30 that I zeroed in on how some nightshades (peppers, especially) caused skin rashes and itchiness for me. They're technically Whole30 compliant, but they did not apparently, agree with me -- and so I avoid them now. It's up to you how restrictive you want to be. The experiment will be as unique as you are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just on a really amateur side note.  You say your family is healthy so I'm assuming that means no acne, depression, fatigue, sleeplessness, anxiety, seasonal allergies, etc?  I'm not trying to be snotty but some of the things that I accepted as being part of life (adolescence, menopause, pre-menopause) actually aren't or don't have to be.

 

Good luck what ever you decide!  I'm so glad that you're considering this holistically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks tinman57. It sounds like it is worth doing just to see what we possibly accept as normal but could be inflammation in some way. Both my kids are teenagers have some acne but I assume this is normal, but maybe it can be avoided or reduced. Both kids get some hayfever once or twice a year, but other than this, we are all very healthy. Anyway, thanks everyone for the wisdom. Maybe I can make plans for joining the huge Seltember Whole30....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

something I'd like to add is that yes there are countries where the majority of people live longer - and if you look at their diets you'll see that they might be eating something none complient - however, the vast majority of diet isn't a choice for most people, it's built into the society that they live in, they've been brought up eating certain things, acting in certain ways.  It's only recently with the internet and globalization, etc that we richer countries have the oportunity to eat optimally healthy foods.  I can buy olives, avocados, kiwis, sweet potatoes, olive oil, coconuts in all styles, etc - none of which grow natively in the UK.  These all help provide alternatives and options to enable a W30 to be more interesting and less likely that I'll eat the same thing every day.

the vast majority of people who are eating rice three times a day aren't doing so because they chose to, they're doing it because it's what they've always done, it's cheap, it's plentiful, and they don't see any reasons why not to.  They have eaten it their whole lives, so have become normalised to any negatives that it might have, which will probably be slight, but annoying.  similarly with dairy or gluten/wheat.

Irish people have always eaten loads of potatos (well, since the potato arrived in Ireland anyway) - but they're not optimally healthy, but if the choice is eat what's available or starve then people will eat less optimal food.

we don't have to.

 

I didn't think I was that unhealthy, but it turns out I really was.  I cycled to work occaisionally but not all the time as I didn't have the energy - I thought that doing more exercise would help, but didn't realise that eating the right stuff helped a lot more.  Since doing W30 I have more energy, and now chose to cycle to work, as I know that I can, and it's sometimes quicker than public transport, and it's definitely cheaper.  the extra exercise makes me more healthy on top of being healthier from eating right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now