I’ve said it 32 times, and I’ll say it again: “where did the year go?”  Actually I’m pretty sure I’ve only said that in recent years, but since I’m not sure exactly when that sentiment became so strong on December 31st, I’m taking it back to the beginning.  It’s a time of year to reflect, and with all-to-recent memories of belly aches and holiday indulgences, it’s tough not to include some sort of health-related resolution.  No matter what side of the fence you stand on with New Years Resolutions, I think it’s always nice to have a defined moment in time to set goals, set intentions, and visualize the things you want in the year to come.

If you have a resolution to lose weight, I urge you to reframe and reimagine that goal (because it is SO not original, and it’s just so negative).  Let’s make this the year we GET HEALTHY.  It’s about abundance, not deprivation.  There are so many life-giving, delicious, colorful, interesting foods to try.  There is so much to learn!  And would you rather give your money to huge corporate food companies who have chemists making your food?  Or local farmers who grow things in dirt and sunshine, things you can take home and experiment with and cook with love?  The decisions are not as hard as we make them seem sometimes.  And while you are doing these things, your health will improve, your energy will increase, your moods will be lifted, your joints will stop aching, your headaches will be less frequent, your skin will start glowing, your digestion will improve, and yes, you might even lose that weight!  You’ll learn just how good you can actually feel.  You may even learn that you felt worse in the past than you even realized.

Last January I did my first Whole30, and I LOVED it.  For anyone looking to improve their health, I strongly recommend following a strict program for a minimum of 3 weeks in order to detox the body and establish new habits.  If you don’t know, the Whole30 is a 30 day program where you eliminate dairy, grains, legumes, added sugar, alcohol, carrageenan, MSG, and sulfites.  Why these foods?  They often have a negative impact on our health.  The goal is to reduce any problems and inflammation, and at the end of the program, reintroduce them systematically so you can assess exactly how these food groups make you feel.  I was surprised to find that legumes caused digestive discomfort for me (which would explain why I didn’t feel great during a plant-based vegan program a couple years prior).

Obviously most processed foods are out.  In fact, you may not open a single package the entire month.  What you WILL be eating is lots of whole foods – tons of vegetables, some fruits, quality (pasture-raised) meats and eggs, seafood, and healthy sources of fat, like nuts, seeds, and olive/avocado/coconut oils.  If you can fully commit to this program for 1 month, I am 100% confident that you will feel great and carry over many of the habits for the rest of the year (and hopefully the rest of your life!).

The only downside to the Whole30 is the amount of planning.  And prepping.  And maybe, if you’re not used to spending much time in the kitchen, it will seem like a lot of cooking.  That’s why I put together Whole30 meal plans (check them out here) to make it easier on you.  The meal plans cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner for every day of the week.  Each meal plan has the recipes for that week, a complete grocery list, and a meal prep guide.  All you have to do is execute it!  I genuinely think you will find lots of foods and familiar flavors you love, and maybe even fall in love with some new things.  You’ll be shocked at how much your tastebuds change over the course of the 30 days.  I’m looking forward to it because I need to re-tame my sugar monster.  BAD.

If you have any questions, check out the official Whole30 website, or feel free to email me: cleanfoodcleanplate@gmail.com.  So what are you waiting for?!  2018, we are ready for you!

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