Sunday I posted about this crazy plan I have to read through the Bible in January. But that is not the only crazy thing I’m doing next month. I also plan to complete a Whole30.
If you’re not familiar with the Whole30, I will basically be eating only meat, eggs, fruit, and vegetables for the next 30 days. And my sweet husband loves me so much he’s jumping on this crazy train with me.
I have been preparing for this radical shift in our eating habits for quite some time now. I spent weeks collecting recipes (what do you make for dinner that doesn’t include pasta, rice, or white potatoes?), mapping out menu plans, and buying up special ingredients. (Have you ever heard of coconut aminos? I hadn’t, but they are apparently a good substitute for soy sauce, since soy is on the no-no list.) I did my first major shopping trip on Saturday, and I could not believe how much protein I had to buy for one week of meals. (It was 8 pounds of ground beef, 17 chicken breasts, and 5 dozen eggs for our family of four, in case you’re wondering.)
We will be taking the plunge the day after tomorrow, January 2. We considered starting January 1, but it’s a holiday and we have plans with friends, and I feel like we need to get at least a few days under our belts to have this thing figured out before we have to entertain or eat out. After that, it’s 30 days of clean eating, and then a careful, measured reintroduction of non-whole30 foods one at a time to gauge their effect on us.
As a family we do not eat much processed food, but our diet is full of grains and dairy. I am unconvinced that there is anything inherently wrong with either of those food groups, but I’m interested to see how I will feel when I completely eliminate them from my diet. I know having two small children is a lot of work, but still, I think it’s possible to have more energy and be less exhausted and achy at the end of each day, especially considering I’m only 27, weigh a healthy amount for my height, and have no chronic health issues.
This is not a fast. As I’ve mentioned before, I think you would be hard-pressed to make a case, based on Scripture, for defining fasting as anything other than completely abstaining from food. That being said, I do think there are spiritual benefits anytime we willingly choose to deny ourselves of things that are not, in and of themselves, sinful. In Secrets of the Secret Place, Bob Sorge says “The more you deny yourself, the more the scales fall from your eyes. You will begin to see the world for what it is (we naturally get desensitized to the filth of the world system that surrounds us). The world denies itself nothing, so when you embrace self-denial you are doing something other-worldly. Self-denial demonstrates that we do not love the world or the things of the world.”
Part of me really didn’t want to post about the ways I plan to deny myself in January. I wondered, am I writing about this because I want people to think better of me? Am I bragging by posting this? But after wrestling with those issues, I decided to write about it anyway, because I need the accountability of writing it down, where I have to see it on the page, and where everyone else can see it, too. Even now, even with the groceries I need in my house and our first week’s menu plan taped to the fridge, a small part of me wants to back out. The rest of me is so sick of everything else that I’ve been eating and reading that I’m really looking forward to these drastic changes.
So here goes….