Monday, February 11, 2013



I am a Whole30 CHAMPION! That’s just to say that I finished the Whole30 Challenge from January 12 to February 10 along with my wife. After going through the full 30 days, I consider anyone who completes it to be a CHAMPION. So for all those out there who did their own Whole30… Congratulations!

For anyone curious about what I am referring to, you can find all the answers at The Whole30 Program overview and in the book It Starts With Food.

Here are the 4 main points that I was concerned about:
1)      I want to have a “healthy psychological response” to food.
2)      I want to have a “healthy hormonal response” to food.
3)      I want to have a “healthy gut.”
4)      I want to “minimize inflammation.”

And in the end, my overall health improvements prove that many of these areas were addressed. I can attest to the same benefits that many other Whole30 CHAMPIONS claim (weight loss, less inflammation, healthy skin, that sexy feeling, etc.) Many of these stories can be found here. But the most beneficial parts of this journey were learning new things about myself, discovering new recipes, and uncovering areas of more focus.


a)      I Love the Kitchen & Cooking: Who knew the kitchen was actually a room worth spending time in? Prior to this challenge, I spent a total of maybe 15 minutes a day in the kitchen pouring a bowl of cereal or reheating leftovers. Since starting this journey, my kitchen-time has grown exponentially.
b)      SURPRISE! Poisonous Food Alert: Who knew our modern diet was inundated with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), soy products, and other “baddies?” Prior to this challenge, I couldn’t have cared less about the ingredients on food labels. Now, I pick up products simply to read the horror stories on the back.
c)       Beware Judgmental Attitudes: Many paleo converts talk about how they are viewed strangely when discussing their diet & lifestyle with others. But I recognized myself becoming judgmental. I would glance at the carts of my fellow grocery shoppers and silently judge them for their gluten-riddled, HFCS-laden foods while I righteously purchased produce items that cashiers couldn’t identify without their handy-dandy flip charts. Be careful people; our diet doesn’t make us better people…just a bit healthier.


                Top Recipe #1: Bone Broth from Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook
                During the thirty days, I caught the cold my four children had and passed around. Bone broth relieved my sore throat, eased my stuffy nose, and  helped me recover just like a yummy bowl of soup. Homemade chicken broth is much better than the canned/boxed stuff. And buying chicken feet is an adventure in and of itself.

                Top Recipe #2: Curried Sweet Potato Soup w/ Coconut Milk from SyrieWongkaew
                I have my sister-in-law to thank for this one. During her 30-day Clean Eating Challenge, we often shared dinners together. She produced this yummy soup. It was so good that I could have glugged down the entire stock pot full. Luckily, I have some self-control. This made enough for many easy work lunches for a couple weeks.

                Top Recipe #3: Fiery Jalapeño Burgers w/ Sweet Potato Pancakes from Practical Paleo
                We also enjoyed chances to entertain people and share some of these unique foods during our thirty days (we didn’t want to horde this experience). So we made this dinner that balanced spicy and sweet. Kitchen Learning Moment: How to Prepare a Jalapeño.


So everything is perfect, right? Not exactly. I will admit I still have an unhealthy psychological response to sweets. Instead of wolfing down a bag of gummy bears, my daughter did witness me hiding myself in the pantry to scarf down a few dates. Yes, I made a risqué date with dates. At least dates are natural, right? But I can definitely see the need for a 21-Day Sugar Detox in my future.

What a coincidence…the next 21-Day Sugar Detox Challenge starts on March 4, 2013 (right after my wife’s birthday). The timing is awesome!

 The 21-Day Sugar Detox

So, congratulations Whole30 CHAMPIONS! I’m happy to join your ranks! And for everyone else…JOIN THE RIDE!


Luci said...

Awesome, Paul! So proud of you and Susanne!

Susanne Mirek said...

Awesome! I love the lessons learned and I have loved spending more time in the kitchen with you!