Whole30 Vegan: What, Why & How
Hi friends! I have been conducting a little experiment over here and I am excited to finally share with you. The reason I didn’t share sooner is because I didn’t want anyone to influence my choice about doing this too early into my commitment as that always makes it easy to stop – I wanted to gain a little momentum first! With 7 days under my belt I am feeling pretty confident to share my journey thus far, and to invite you along with me on my Whole30 Vegan journey! PS: you can see day to day updates by following me on instagram!
What is Whole30?
The original Whole30 plan is a short-term “nutrition reset” founded by Melissa Hartwig that is said to have been designed to “help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.”
“Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff.
So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you? Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.”
Is Whole30 Vegan Possible?
Yes and no. I mean technically no because I will not be consuming meat, but with a few minor adjustments sorta-kinda yes; you can still mirror the program, and I am going to show you how I am doing just that.
Why am I doing the Whole30 Vegan?
Well the main reason I am doing this Whole30 vegan experiment is because I have been experiencing bloating and inflammation in my body. I also have had various skin irritations, the main one being a slew of tiny bumps that randomly appear on my chest, shoulders and belly- which come and go seemingly without any identifiable reason. My intuition is telling me it is something I am eating, but I don’t know what- so in order to find out I wanted to do a total reset/elimination diet. At the end of last year I did a food intolerance test in an effort to get to the bottom of the symptoms I listed above but I haven’t had much luck in pin pointing what it is. I mean it could not be food related at all but I’d like to at least see, and if that ends up being the case then I’ll close the chapter on that and keep investigating.
Back on the subject of food intolerances: wheat and oats are 2 foods that actually showed up on the food intolerance test I did at the end of 2017, and if I am going to be honest I haven’t been very diligent about cutting it out- so I figured I would once and for all commit to 30 days of SOMETHING to help me (hopefully) get down to the bottom of these issues I have been experiencing for quite some time now.
In the spirit of total honesty: I also have been experiencing MAJOR sugar and carb cravings, which over the last 5 or so months I was very lax about “treating myself” when they popped up, but the indulgences had become so frequent they were no longer “treats” and had become a daily part of my diet- no bueno. Overall my eating habits had become quite erratic, and unbalanced; and this whole experiment is less about how I look and more about how I FEEL, and if I am going to be 100% honest with you: I have been feeling like total crap. I am hoping with this major reset to be able to identify what foods are causing me to bloat, itch, and have crazy cravings; and I am also hoping to reestablish a healthy relationship with food and find more balance in my diet.
Whole30 Vegan Guidlines
(or rules as they are called on Whole30.com)
- No sugar or sweeteners of ANY kind (that means no maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, coconut sugar, sucanat, cane juice, stevia, xylitol, etc.)
- No alcohol
- No grain (that means no wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, quinoa, etc.) as well as any grain derivatives (which means rice oil, corn oil, cornstarch, rice syrup, etc.)
- Limited legumes: beans, peas, lentils*
- Limited organic non-GMO soy*
- No peanuts (yes that also means peanut butter)
- No dairy (which for us vegans is just fine- we don’t do dairy anyways!)
- No carrageenan, MSG, sulfites (all 3 of which are common additives)
- No making “healthy” or “compliant” treats or foods made with approved ingredients
*As you can see numbers 4 and 5 are starred, and here’s why: in the original Whole30 guidelines all legumes, beans, peas and soy products are a no no; but because we as vegans are not consuming any meat, it is a good idea to integrate legumes, peas, beans and some non-GMO + organic soy products as additional sources of protein, especially if you plan to workout during the 30 days you are complying with the Whole30 Vegan diet. It is very important that if and when you eat any of these items that they are non-GMO, organic, and prepared properly: that means beans need to be soaked prior to eating so that they can be digested properly, and always go for organic, non-GMO tofu that is also sprouted!
Alright I am going to leave you with this for now!
My next post will be the Whole30 vegan shopping list, my starting stats, overview of my first week + week 1 meal plan! Make sure you subscribe to my blog to get notified when a new blog post goes live! 🙂
PS: have you checked out my new vegan e-book?!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional! PLEASE consult a medical professional prior to adhering to this diet and this meal plan.