I love the sleepy feel of the week between Christmas and New Year. Most years I am wiped out from marathon baking sessions and hosting Christmas dinner and I really need a little down time. This year I didn’t bake a single cookie and Christmas dinner was just the four of us (for the first time EVER! It was strange, but nice to have a really relaxed afternoon). And though I have had a lot of down time already, it is surprising how much rest I still seem to need these days. So today, in addition to packing up our Christmas decorations, I spent a good deal of time thinking about the coming year and where I hope it will take me.
For those of you who have not been following along, I had a huge health scare in November and am still recovering from surgery. Which makes getting my health and strength back priority number one for 2021! I don’t want to say this is a New Years Resolution, because those generally go out the window. This will be a journey. The first part has been these past weeks of rest and recovery, and now it is time to plan for the next phase, a month long dietary reset beginning January 1st.
Last January Jason and I did the Whole 30 for the first time and we are ready for a repeat performance. The Whole 30 is wildly popular, and there will be tens of thousands of other people doing the same thing come January first. It is pretty restrictive (no alcohol, sugar, dairy, grains, most legumes, and a handful of other additives like MSG), but it is doable. Both meat and potatoes are allowed which makes it a little easier on Jason! We actually have ended up repeating many of our favorite Whole 30 recipes all year long because this is not a bland and boring diet. In a lot of ways I think it expanded our horizons and we definitely ate a lot more vegetables!
The key to success here is planning, which when you think about it is true for all areas in life. If you crack the cookbook or open up the website on Friday morning while sipping your morning coffee it will already be too late. (At least it would be for me because I put cream in my coffee.) So, if you want to do this, now is the time to start a grocery list with a few key new staples and your first week of dinners planned out. I would LOVE to have you join us so I will be posting my meal plan for the first week along with a grocery list tomorrow. That way if you need a little help in the planning department you can just follow along with Jason and I and you will be eating very well indeed.
What I noticed last time I did this was how much better I slept. I did not lose 20 lbs., although both my Dad and Jason did lose quite a bit of weight while on the program. But my skin had never been clearer and I felt better. Many people who have chronic pain notice a decline or even disappearance of their pain while on the Whole 30. And even if you do not have a major health concern that you want to tackle, the energy benefits alone from this program make it worth committing to for the next month. Who doesn’t want to get a running start on 2021?
I am also planning to pay a lot more attention to the reintroduction phase at the end this time around. When we ended our program last time I did try to space it out but I didn’t do it by the book, so any valuable food sensitivity information was lost on me. And though I have a hard time imagining myself as gluten free or never eating dairy again I can no longer ignore that my digestive tract is trying to tell me something, has been trying to tell me something for years in fact! Maybe 2021 will be the year that I finally listen.