Recently, my husband and I set out to do something neither of us have ever done before. We went all in on a 30-day healthy living program. The concept was simple: healthy, clean eating for 30 days. It was an elimination diet, meaning we cut out foods that are highly addictive, toxic, and/or allergenic, such as gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, processed foods, etc.
In this program, we call it an “edit”, not a diet. We are changing the way we eat, educating ourselves on what clean eating means, and learning about our own food sensitivities. Many of us have food sensitivities we aren’t even aware of, and as a 37 year old, to think that I’ve never tested my own sensitivities to food my whole life is somewhat ridiculous. What if my bloating, irritability, and poor sleeping patterns are the result of what I’m eating, and not just “normal” as I always thought? What if changing my food habits could make me feel 5% or even 100% better? It’s worth trying, right?
And that’s exactly what happened. After 30 days, my sleep improved, my mood lifted, and my energy increased. I lost my cravings for coffee and sugar. And my mental fog, “mom brain” as I liked to call it, vastly improved.
I always knew I had a sensitivity to dairy. About 10 years ago, I started avoiding it and lost 10 pounds in a flash. Those 10 pounds never returned (well, besides pregnancy, of course). And I don’t eliminate dairy altogether, I just minimize my intake. Now that I’ve done the 30-day detox, I’ve learned that I don’t have any intolerance to gluten, but sugar makes me cranky. And coffee and alcohol make my heartburn flare up. Eureka!
Now let’s talk about my husband. I love this man with all my heart, but boy is he stubborn. First, I have to give him credit for doing this detox at all. He has an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality which is fair enough, but his eating habits are poor. Fast food, Pasta Roni, frozen burritos where the grease pools up in the microwave… You get the picture. Yet, he’s very competitive so when I told him I was doing a 30-day challenge, he thought “Game on!”
My husband likes to make fun of people who avoid gluten. He likes to make fun of “trendy eating” and he thinks a lot of the diet options out there are just fads. He’s got a point, too. So when I asked him if he feels different after our program, he said no. But even he can’t deny he lost some weight on this program, which is awesome because he didn’t have a lot of weight to lose, but they were those stubborn, annoying pounds that just never seemed to go away with exercise. So even if he firmly believes he doesn’t feel any different, at the very least he must feel a little lighter!
And maybe the fact that he doesn’t feel any different is great news! Maybe that validates he has no food sensitivities. So that is something worth celebrating.
The nice part about this 30-day program — the best part, in fact — is it doesn’t end at 30 days. We developed new healthy habits and learned new things about clean eating and how to eat hormonally-balanced meals and keep our bodies pH balanced. This education will last a lifetime.
I can’t guarantee that my husband won’t go back to his Burger King lunches. But I can tell you the way I look at food will never be the same. And the icing on the cake (pardon the pun)? Our healthier meals have even impacted our kids. Of course, they weren’t on the program directly, but they ate healthier from the meals we cooked. The other day, my toddler refused to eat the cake at a birthday party because it was “too sweet.” Huh???? Whose kid is this? And my baby, who I am still nursing and was constipated throughout the holidays, is back to regular, healthy poops again. Wow!
I’m so grateful for this time I’ve taken to get to know my body better. If you knew doing something for 30 days would change your life for the better, would you do it?
I coach people through the 30-day healthy living program every month. Contact me or email me at celesteydodge [at] gmail [dot] com for my next available spot!