Food Should Make You Healthy
This is the premise behind the Whole30, and chapter one in It Starts with Food, written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.
“The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options.”
That is a pretty BIG statement, and great to chew on… pardon my pun. It is as simple and easy to digest as that.
The challenge is that what is healthy for one person isn’t necessarily healthy for another person. Then throw in that food is highly charged and emotional, and each of us have both conscious and unconscious contexts around the food that brings us comfort. AND “food is sneaky”, and Dallas and Melissa term it, The food manufacturers have been modifying food to be as appealing and addictive as it can be–so that you’ll keep eating, and keep buying it. The chemicals, added sugars, food preservatives, dyes, genetic modification, and pesticides used on growing plants affect our bodies in ways that you might never think is related to your diet.
We eat three to six times a day. Changing the food we put on our plate, and in our bodies is the simplest way to regulate what goes in. Doing the Whole30, and identifying the culprits that trigger a host of symptoms you are living with is the key to understanding which foods are healthy for you, and which are not so healthy.
The Whole30 has these tenants they call the Good Food Standards.
The foods we eat should:
Promote a healthy psychological response
Promote a healthy hormonal response
Support a healthy gut
Support immune function and minimize inflammation
Can you see why I love the Whole30? Makes me want to say, “Yes, Of Course!”
The Whole30’s Good Food Standards help us address our relationship with food, kick cravings to the curb, reboot our metabolism, heal our disrupted gut, and down regulate an overactive immune response. In 30 days we aim to “get rid of nutrient poor, calorie dense, low satiety foods.” (Whole30 page 4)
Addressing Our Relationship with Food
Foods are manufactured to keep us eating, and don’t promote satiety–this is to say that these foods do not promote a healthy psychological response. Challenging Good Food Standard #1. You know the ones I’m talking about, sweet, salty, crunchy, foods the Hartwig’s refer to as “franken-foods–food with no brakes.” What do I mean, “food with no brakes?” You can have six bites of chicken and feel like you are getting full, the protein and fat in the chicken promote satiety. Or, you eat ten Oreos, and not feel satiated, and you could eat ten more., and ten more after that. You know the cycle… I can pop a bag of chips in the front seat of the car and consume at least half of it on the way home form the grocery store. Hours later when I realize I didn’t eat, I feel bad that I basically had a bag of chips for dinner.
The Whole30 will help you identify your emotional response to foods, and kick your cravings to the curb. On our journey together, we’ll be sharing success strategies, like leaving ALL the healthy food you bought at the grocery store in the back of the car until you get home. Over the next 30 days, you get to choose which foods you eat, how much, and when. Essentially putting you in control, so that you don’t feel like the Oreos or chips have You.
Addressing Metabolic Reactions
Consuming manufactured foods, the ones that don’t promote satiety, also disrupts hormone balance, disregulates blood sugar, and causes the body to choose sugar and carbohydrates as its preferred source for fuel. I used to be the person, eating every few hours, living on granola bars, chips, and crackers so that I didn’t get too “hangry” between meals. Eating this way, you are a slave to your rollercoaster of cravings, and hunger. This viscous cycle creates an environment inside the body where a a host of symptoms flourish, disrupting hormones, triggering auto-immune responses, and setting the table for chronic disease.
Doing the Whole30 helps to stabilize blood sugar, getting you off the rollercoaster of cravings. In 30 days time your body will start to use protein and fats as its preferred metabolic fuel. This leads to hormone regulation, metabolic reset, and healthier brain function. IF you stick with it, most people notice their brain fog lift, and their metabolic markers improve.
Addressing Digestive Distress
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “leaky gut.” This refers to increased permeability in the small intestines. The theory is that the tight gap junctions “loosen” allowing microscopic particles of what we eat into our blood stream, instead of keeping it in our digestive tract. This means we are not getting nourishment from our food, and these foreign particles in the blood stream trigger an immune response–causing chronic systemic inflammation.
Doing the Whole30 eliminates the foods known to cause “leaky gut” and help the body heal the digestive tract. I’m definitely one of the folks whose body speaks to them with digestive distress signals: gas, heartburn, bloating, constipation, diarrhea. When I eat clean, and honor the tenants of the Whole30 my whole digestive tract settles down and works smoothly!
Thanks for tuning in.
That is my overview of the Good Food Standards. Tomorrow I’ll chime in and talk about An Over Active Immune Response, and Chronic Systemic Inflammation. IF you are interested, I am running a Whole30 Reset Challenge in March, 2021. You can join my private Facebook group: Optimal Health Blueprint. The content is organized in units so you can and join in at any time.