You are doing what? Are you crazy??  Why???  These are the questions I have been getting for the past week as I prepare myself for a new challenge on Tuesday September 8.  There are several of us friends, colleagues and clients who are choosing not to consume sugar or alcohol for 30 days.  Additionally, a few of us will also be taking out gluten, dairy, soy and peanuts, and likely grains, beans and legumes….  (I’m still contemplating the removal of grains and legumes….)

What is left to eat you ask? Nutrient Rich foods, no empty calories…. that means: meats, seafood, veggies and fruit.  For 30 days.  The goal?  To cleanse my body.  To decrease inflammation.  To understand how sugar plays it’s part in my daily lift. And to expand my understanding and awareness about how common sugar is used and it’s role in so many of the “healthy” foods we eat.

There are several resources that I have reviewed lately that have brought many questions to mind about sugar and how addictive and toxic it truly is and how sugar sabotages our foods and our health.  Additionally, how sugar plays a significant role in creating inflammation in our bodies which leads to illness and disease.  If you know me, you know I speak a lot about inflammatory foods. My clients often report many issues with things such as:  the basic cold or flu, allergies, muscle strains, chronic back pain, shoulder pain, general fatigue, sleep issues, plantar fasciitis, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, hormonal fluctuations, heart disease, cancer…  My response and education for them is to help them understand how inflammation plays a role in their bodies and their pain.  My goal is to educate them on how the foods they choose to eat affect their pain and their disease by either improving it or worsening it.   This food challenge is just that, putting action into my message.

When the body is experiencing an imbalance or dis-ease it is almost always associated with some sort of inflammation.  Webster defines inflammation as: redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, heat, and disturbed function of an area of the body.  When you look at cell tissue under a microscope that is injured, or is reacting to an allergic reaction, or is affected by cancer, the tissues show similar patterns:  redness, tenderness, swelling and pain all are signs of inflammation.

My challenge for myself and for those joining me, is to gain a better understanding of how sugar plays a role in our daily health.  When we take it out, how will we feel?  Will common and or chronic ailments subside?  I believe it will!

One of my clients said to me on Friday, “Debbie, I am ALL in. I am ready to start this! I have experienced cancer, I know what that is like.  I can live without these things for 30 days. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be easier than dealing with cancer.”

At that point I knew I was ALL in also. How could I not be? Thank you Dr. Jennifer O. for your inspiration.  If you would like to read more about the program that has inspired us, go to: www.whole30.com
This is a free website with lots of resources. I have no association to this site or their books,  nor any connection with the films.  These resources have been shared with me through clients and I wanted to pass on the interesting information to you.  There is clearly a valuable message in all of these resources.

I will be posting on a regular basis my progress and the progress of others who have joined me. Please share your stories with me as you experience the next 30 days.  I will be sharing recipes and suggestions for meals and snacks.  I will be a support on the “tougher” days as we go through this process together.

The resources that I found very interesting:
That Sugar Film – Vudo, or  Netflix DVD only
Fed Up – Netflix Streaming
The Secrets About Sugar – Youtube
“It Starts with Food” Book by Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig
“The Whole 30” Book by Dallas Earwig and Melissa Hartwig
The Whole3o website has links to many who have added many recipes.

The Whole30 Challenge Starts:
Tuesday September 8 through October 7.

Are you in?? Let me know!!

Sincerely In Health,
Debbie