Dr. Kyle, Dr. Erin, our intern Kim, and many others have embarked on a Whole 30 journey this month! The Whole30 program helps focus on whole foods by eliminating all processed food groups (dairy, sugar, grains, legumes, alcohol). After 26 days, I (Dr, Erin) feel fantastic and have already seen some health improvements such as improved energy, decreased cravings, shinier and fuller hair, as well as a slightly looser waistband.
In addition, with fewer physical cravings, I have really been able to isolate my emotional cravings for unhealthy foods and build new and better ways to address them.
But let it be known - finding food with no added sugar, unhealthy oils, etc. can be tricky! Here are some tips that I have found helpful:
- When cooking, make food in triplicate so you have lots of leftovers
- Snack/quick protein foods: eggs (HB or deviled), celery with almond butter, fruit (sparingly unless a child/pregnant/nursing), raw nuts, RX bars, beef sticks.
- Investing in a Whole 30 cookbook was worth it for me. The recipes were delicious and made for good variety
- Sauces – Recommended sauces made with healthy oils include: Tessemae's and Primal Kitchen. I made my own BBQ using apple juice and dates for sweetener and used it for ketchup
- Drinks – Kombucha is compliant (yay!)- in a wine glass it feels even fancier. I also enjoyed LaCroix frequently. I drank my coffee with nutpod or blended with coconut oil and collagen.
Going out to eat in the Twin Cities:
- Chipotle carnitas salads are compliant! No rice or beans or dairy, but as much veggies, salsas, guac, etc. as you would like!
- Foxy Falafel near the St. Paul campus of the U of MN has an AIP special that usually is compliant! They also have a delicious bone broth.
- At a lovely new restaurant in SW Mpls, Book Club, my server was aware of the Whole 30 and pointed me toward a delicious meal - a turkey leg confit that was fried in its own oil as well as olive oil. Baby potatoes were also prepared on the oil. Kombucha was also on tap, which was a big treat!
I was away for 2 ½ days at a seminar in Atlanta, which was the most difficult part of doing the Whole 30 well. Here are my major travel tips:
- Carry RX or Lara bars, avocado or fruit, raw nuts, beef sticks in case of plane delays or no options
- At a healthy restaurant, I felt free to order a salad that I know had healthy oil with lots of toppings. If I wasn’t sure about the ingredients, I would simply order a meat with no sauce, and a salad with olive oil and vinegar.
As I round out my Whole 30, I’ve decided to maintain a modified version long term. I will slowly introduce foods (chocolate will definitely be first!). Grains, dairy and legumes may always stay off limits for me because I’ve been feeling so good! I can’t recommend the Whole 30 highly enough – whether to lose a few pounds, support an underlying autoimmune disorder, or to break a craving (slay the sugar dragon in Whole 30 terminology!).
Dr. Sheena grew up in the western suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota and completed her undergraduate studies in Architecture, Chemistry, and Sustainability at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.