Wellness: Whole30 for Better Health
Let’s talk Whole30 (a paleo approach to eating.) First, I must say that I value what I learned from my parents. What I learned early on: the older you get, the more you need to take care of yourself.
Over the years, I’ve learned to pay attention to my health. More recently, I’ve learned that as you age, your doctor becomes more and more concerned about higher than average cholesterol readings. What?!! You want me to take a pill to fix this? Oh, no; there’s got to be a better way!
What’s really important is paying attention to how your diet affects your body. You need to look at what you’re eating and understand how food impacts your health. In an effort to better understand and manage my cholesterol, I looked into Whole30: an eating plan that emphasizes nutrient-loaded, unprocessed food and eliminates some potentially inflammatory food groups. You follow the plan for 30 days.
I fully acknowledge this is the longest 30 days you will ever experience. It’s based on the idea that one month gives your body a chance to move out all the stuff that might be affecting your health and triggering things like high cholesterol readings or itchy skin. You give the plan a try for 30 days and then introduce foods back into your diet to see how you feel.
My health is important to me and I want to enjoy feeling good for as long as I possibly can. As a result, I am doing everything I can to challenge the idea that as we age, we have to accept the way things are. For me, that meant taking those cholesterol results and looking for something other than a pill to “fix it.”
Following the Whole30 plan worked for me but I’ve adapted the plan to suit my needs. There is no Whole365 in my world, but I’ve learned a lot about different foods and meal planning from following the Whole30 guidelines. Now I pay attention to what I eat and I feel great. I balance proteins with fruits/vegetables and include healthy fats. Celebrations still merit the occasional slice of cake or glass of wine and that truly makes them feel like celebrations. Crazy sugar and carb cravings are long gone.
The Whole30 plan may or may not be for you. What’s most important is to take an active interest in your health and not just accept that getting older means being less healthy. It’s also important to research for yourself whatever advice your doctor gives you and not just follow blindly along assuming he or she “must” be right. I’ve learned that this time in my life just isn’t the time to sit back and hope for the best. Go forward and be pro-active about your health, too! (Got it, Dad.)