The Whole 30

So, let’s talk about this.

One of the biggest benefits, THE BIGGEST BENEFIT of working at Penn State is access to its library. I can ask for ANY book in the world, and within days to weeks, I can have it at my fingertips. There are nights when I surf the Internet, find books, request them, then forget them because they may show up weeks, maybe months,  later.

So, one day I receive a package in my office and it’s a book called “The Whole 30.” I don’t even remember ordering it, but it came from some other college and was due in like 14 days.

When my son was a junior in high school, he had debilitating headaches. It was so bad, he maxed out his allowable sick days and he couldn’t play baseball. We had MRIs, we traveled to Pittsburgh, we enlisted experts from our hospital. He could have had multiple sclerosis, he could have had severe allergies, he might have had a perforated spinal cord. The possibilities were endless and terrifying.

My good friend and coworker had mentioned a witch doctor several times…a lady who could press your arm down while you were holding something and identify if it was toxic to you. A woman who could take 20 of your 25 ailments and make them go away. When all our options turned to drugs, we turned to the witch doctor. She said, “Your son has leaky gut syndrome. He has to stop ingesting A, B, C and X, Y, and Z.” For a month, we complied, and we finally saw improvement. In the following months, he only had to stop ingesting X, Y, and Z. His life was transformed.

But it was hard…so hard.

After a month where he saw improvement, he attended a baseball banquet where everybody brought pizza, hoagies, mac and cheese, cookies, sugar, and junk. He said, “I’m going to eat it. I am going to eat it all.” He did. AND HE WAS SO SICK THE NEXT DAY.

This stuff worked. But to find ways and recipes to make it happen…it was impossible. So, when I found this book, I was like, “Wow. If we had just had this book back then, we’d have been golden.

The program asks you to commit to some pretty stringent rules for 30 days. 30 days. that’s it. Cancer is hard. Giving birth is hard. Giving up bad food and bad habits for 30 days is not hard. My favorite magazine was “Cooking Light,” but if you looked at the recipes, they most certainly didn’t align with the Whole30 Philosophy: No gluten, no sugar, no soy, no rice, no junk! For several years of my life, I thought I’d been eating clean, only to find that most companies hoodwink you. Wouldn’t you know even Hellman’s REAL mayonnaise contains sugar? Why? Why do you need sugar in your mayonnaise? Your ketchup? Your life?

I followed the plan, sticking to it all 30 days. I have never felt more solid, happy, confident, and in control as I did during the Whole30. And for the first time, EVER, I lost weight. EVER. And I didn’t even try hard. I just removed all the irritants. The plan was reasonable and the food was good.

I’m going to stop there, because I’ve become a believer and an evangelist. I will tout all things Whole30, except for spending crazy amounts of money on vendor affiliations. You can do it, if you want, and you can do it on a regular dime.

So there you have it. Over 25 pounds lighter, 2 sizes lesser…I just need to figure out how I can incorporate running again. Let me know if you have any questions!





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