On the heels of a summer filled with ice cream and rose, Labor Day marks a harsh snap back to reality.  While you should have no regrets about rose all day, maybe your jeans are feeling a little tight and you’re craving a fresh start to fall.

Enter the Whole30 Challenge.  Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes), while “healthy” foods, could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. 

If you’re reading this to find the perfect post-summer diet, just stop reading now.  This is not a diet.  Let me repeat- this is not a diet. As a health coach, I am generally very anti-diet, in favor of lasting lifestyle changes.  I resort to the Whole30 Challenge as a good food ass kicking, when I really need to knock my sugar and junk food cravings

I know it sounds like a diet because you’re removing, well basically everything.  But it is actually an eye opening, food enlightening experience.  The first time I completed the challenge, I was shocked at how much delicious, whole foods, there really are to eat, once you remove packaged and processed crap.  I was also appalled at how many foods contain sugar, unnecessarily.  Sure, you’re usual sugar suspects like cookies and candy are expected on the list but what about chicken sausage, and roast turkey?  Sugar??  Yup! 

You learn to be completely aware of what you’re consuming and how these removed foods may have been affecting your body.  When stripped from your diet completely, your body can heal and recover.  It’s like pushing the “reset” button on your metabolism.

It sounds crazy, like the extremist equivalent of a foodie, but it completely changed my life.    In just 30 days, it changed the way I felt and thought about food. 

This is not to say it’s easy.  It takes a lot of effort and preparation to avoid some of these foods.  You have to carefully check labels and ask questions, especially when eating out.  But you can do it!  And you’ve done things that are MUCH harder.  To quote the Whole30, “It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will have in this lifetime.”

Even though I’m a health coach, I’ll be the first to admit that this is challenging and I am inclined to “slip.”  To avoid this and encourage myself to complete the challenge, I recommend finding something or someone to hold you accountable while doing it.  This could mean doing it with a friend or blogging about it (like I am doing now), so everyone knows you’re doing it.   

And now you know, I’m doing the Whole30 challenge again.  I am responsible for my own health and I’m taking it into my hands for the next 30 days.  You all are holding me accountable, so thank you!

Over the next 30 days, I will share my challenges, recipes, and more.  If you have any questions or comments, please email me, or post below.  I also encourage you to check out the resources on the Whole30 website.

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