Monday, October 14, 2013

Exploring Whole30 and the Merits of a Paleo Diet

Note: This series of blogs about my experience with Whole30 is one I am writing for ASM Wellness, and I am cross-posting from their blog to mine:

For the past month, Mycah Kirkland has followed Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics Instructor Carol Venclik’s journey, growth, and successes with the Engine 2 Diet. I’m very happy for Carol...she is an amazing person, and everyone who knows her wants to see her healthy.
But, as I read the blog series, I kept thinking that the amount of grains involved in the Engine 2 Diet would absolutely not be a good match for me. Personally, I don’t think I could get on board.You see...I am more of a “paleo” kid.  
For those not familiar with “paleo,” it is also often referred to as the “caveman diet,” and it’s a big deal in the CrossFit community. I personally feel that the paleo lifestyle is an optimal path to health and wellness. More specifically, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig’s Whole30 program which began with a paleo template.
Before I tell you the reasons why I’m such a fan of paleo, let me first tell you how I discovered this lifestyle. My wife eats a pescetarian diet, and while I’m not opposed to eating vegetarian, I’m not a big fan of fish. For the longest time, we ate a lot of soy-based protein products, and a generally vegetarian diet. Sometimes, I would have meat and she would have fish.
My wife wanted me to try this thing called the Whole 30 - a 30 day paleo challenge. It sounded so restrictive that I was certain I couldn’t do it. Finally, I committed to doing a Whole 30 with the folks in my gym. Except I only halfway committed. I knew that I had some special events during that month, so I planned days “off” the program.  

It was a good enough “dry run” that eventually, I would go on to commit to and execute a full 30 days of the Whole30 Program. I also read the companion book It Starts With Food. The combination of the two changed my relationship with and perspective on food...permanently.