For the second January in a row, I am doing (participating in? torturing myself with? Choosing to eat according to?) what I call the Three Quarters 30. What is the Three Quarters 30? A variant on the Whole 30. Since I am vegetarian, and getting pretty close to being a vegan, the actual Whole 30 is near impossible. Last year when I researched the ‘program’, I found that the suggest to actually eat meat during your thirty days, which just isn’t going to happen. But what is Whole 30? You can read all about it, but in a nutshell it’s a program built on not eating anything that you want to eat. No grains (bread, rice, pasta, etc.), no added sugar (hello, sugar is in everything), no beans, no dairy, and (gasp) no alcohol. In essence, it eliminates processed foods, plus sweets and alcohol and it is brutal. My Three Quarters 30 is based on the Whole 30’s recommended food list for vegetarians, though I don’t include eggs or seafood.
Why would anyone do this, and why am I particularly? I’m sure most people do it because they think they will lose weight or view it as a cleanse. I believe the point is to eliminate items that cause inflammation and move a person toward better health, but who are they kidding? People want to look good. My goal is a bit of a cleanse after the holiday season carb/sugar/alcohol fest, I feel gross. I want to reset my whole system, and of course lose some weight and look good. The ‘program’ hits on my two weak spots: carbs and alcohol. Oh, do I love my wine, and it loves me back, too. That love is settling in on my midsection for a nice long winter. Last year, it did wonders for my skin and I did lose a bit of weight, but possibly the best part of it was it made me aware of how certain foods (ahem, simple carbs and my favorite food group, sugar) impact me. When I ingested a lot of bread or personal kryptonite, peanut butter cups, after Whole 30 I was hyper aware of my bodies response, which was weeeeeeeee….. blood sugar! And it wasn’t a good feeling. One would hope I could learn to maintain that and eat less of these things for a longer period, but I slowly slipped back into my old habits over the year, leading up to the debauchery of the holiday season. This year, my goal is to kick off the year, but clearing out last years mess and starting fresh, followed by figuring out how to eat sensibly because I know in the long run, no gimmick or plan that involves long term deprivation is going to work. Being aware of what I eat and drink is the first step. So I’m off to make a breakfast smoothie. Wish me luck.