Ready to uplevel your health for 2021?
Posted on December 21 2020
I think it’s probably safe to say that few of us will be sorry to bid farewell to 2020. So, how do you feel about taking positive action by embracing 2021 on a much healthier footing? It makes a lot of sense to me.
Now, more than ever, people are taking their health more seriously.
2020 delivered a bumper training module outlining the importance of robust immune function. It pinpointed the necessity of increasing nutrient stores such as Vitamins C and D, as well as zinc. We also learned that those of us with underlying conditions are more likely to be hit harder with the coronavirus and its potential lingering symptoms. But the question is, how many of us truly know whether we have any underlying conditions that we should be concerned about? Aren’t we really just taking a gamble on how our immune systems are going to cope should infection come our way?
One thing is certain though, the better we treat our bodies (and, don’t worry, it’s never too late to start), the more solid our overall health will be. Gut health is fundamental to optimal wellness by the way, since 70% of our immune system resides there. So there’s no better way to start than by looking at what we eat.
January Whole30 Program
January is not just a big month for the Whole30 program, it’s an annual tradition. It doesn’t matter whether you think “out with the old, in with the new”, you’re setting a New Year’s resolution, or reeling from over indulgence during the holidays. January 1st offers all the right reasons to pare down to basics, clear out the junk and kickstart our wellness.
An elimination diet is about gifting our body a full reset. It takes 21 days to form new habits, but it’s after 30 days that those habits are not only cemented, but lifelong changes are in place. Elimination diets lend an opportunity for us to work out our food sensitivities, perhaps as we take foods out, but certainly when we bring them back in. I’ve seen it happen time and again in my practice and, although the answer is not always welcome, reframing the news as gratitude for the knowledge is powerful because it enables us to move on and level up our health. As a result our gut health and immune system become stronger.
What to expect after completing a Whole30
By the time you’ve completed a Whole30, you can expect to experience better digestion and improved energy, as well as balanced blood sugar resulting in crushed food cravings and deeper sleep. Clearer skin, brighter eyes and clothes that fit better are also happy add-ons to these dietary changes. Participants commonly experience such positive results that they realize how lacklustre their life was before.
Difference between Whole30 and AIP
There are many similarities between Whole30 and the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), both paleo-based elimination protocols, but there are also differences. The Whole30 is a 30-day reboot designed to ditch processed foods and sugars, bust cravings and develop new and healthier eating habits. It is followed by a 10-30 day reintroduction period before finding food freedom. The AIP, on the other hand, is aimed at those living with autoimmune disease and other chronic inflammatory conditions. A temporary, scientifically proven therapeutic diet, the absolute minimum time spent on the elimination phase is 30 days, however in reality most people will stay there for much longer. A lengthy, strategic reintroduction phase follows, that's divided into four stages determined by how challenging various foods are to bring back in. The focus throughout is on gut healing, immune regulation and hormone balancing, which are achieved with the help of high nutrient foods and lifestyle changes.
Combining Whole30 and AIP
For people with autoimmune challenges, the real magic happens when you combine the two. I know because I’ve done it myself. AIP removes non-Paleo foods, as well as seemingly healthy primal foods that have been shown to cause inflammation in people with autoimmune disease. For instance nightshade vegetables and fruits (such as white potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers and their spices, and goji berries) are known to increase inflammation, especially in those dealing with joint issues such as rheumatoid arthritis. However the AIP allows moderate consumption of unrefined sugar, which can ramp up inflammation, particularly in the form of non nutritive treats and desserts. When sweeteners are also removed, the amount of healing experienced can be even more profound.
Whether we embark on the Whole30, AIP or a combination of the two, the biggest change is the inevitable increase in time spent in the kitchen. Planning meals will minimize the chances of making wrong food choices, and ensure success over the next 30 days. When you take the time to batch cook and store portioned out meals in the freezer, I guarantee you will be thankful in the days to come.
Order Whole30 and AIP Meals to Save Time and Stress
If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of organizing your future meals, or want time off without railroading your healing, the Whole30 and AIP communities are lucky to have another resource to hand. POTG have a broad selection of healthy, ready frozen meals that combine the two diets. Having this option is not only a delicious safety net for travelling, it bridges the gap if you’re busy or not feeling great. It’s also welcome if you need help easing into a routine, or could do with a break from cooking. And who doesn’t want that?
Kate Jay is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, AIP Certified Coach and author of The Autoimmune Protocol Reintroduction Cookbook which is due for release in April 2021. Connect with Kate at www.healingfamilyeats.com and on Instagram @healing_family_eats