By: Alexis Jacinto
Every month, we introduce a new Guest Editor to share his or her musings on wellness, beauty, lifestyle and beyond. This month, we invited Whole30® Certified Coach Alexis Jacinto to take part. Keep reading to learn how to make the 30-day program work for your lifestyle.
We are all so uniquely different. We come from all walks of life from every corner of the globe and that is absolutely reflected in our food. My Whole30® won’t look like your Whole30® and that’s the beauty of it. It’s all about what you grew up eating, where you shop, what you have access to and what your resources are. The good news is there’s no right way to do a Whole30®! Here are 4 ways to make Whole30® work for you.
Comfort food, soul food, childhood favorites, family recipes or something you’re just utterly obsessed with, as long as it’s Whole30® compliant, it’s a Go! If you hate kale, kill all things kale! Because at the end of the day if you don’t eat what you love it just becomes another fad – something temporary and long forgotten. Food shouldn’t be a chore but rather an opportunity to connect with your mind, body and soul as well as with your community aka friends and family. Figure out which recipes or cuisines speak to you or what it was that you loved about a particular dish. Then try and recreate it using compliant ingredients and spices that emulate the same flavor profile. It will be the most satisfying Whole30® meal you’ve ever made.
You build a community the minute you start sourcing your food and prepping for your Whole30®. It begins with getting to know your grocer and butcher by asking questions about produce and products. It starts with building an online community finding like-minded people to connect with and motivate one another. A support network is crucial for the success of your Whole30® since social activities can cause a lot of anxiety for some Whole30®-ers. So, why not host Whole30® parties with your favorite Whole30®-approved or compliant products (like Vital Proteins!) It’ll give you an excuse to practice making tasty mocktails.
I personally love a good pot luck party. It’s a fun way to be festive and social during a round. And lastly, try teaming up. My sister and I double batch cook our dinners and divide each meal. That means we double up on meals with HALF the effort! And hey, if you’re the trailblazer and have to go at it alone, whole30.com is the ultimate free resource on all things Whole30®. There are also some amazing Whole30® Certified Coaches all over the country and beyond that can guide you through your journey every step of the way.
I’ll be honest – this is a tough one. Getting to know yourself means putting a mirror in front of you and taking a deeper look. And that’s never easy. But it’s the best tool for keeping your motivation in check because getting to know yourself means knowing your limitations and habitual tendencies. It holds you accountable to why you started a Whole30® in the first place. Knowing yourself means knowing your why and knowing your WHY is a big driving force behind anyone’s Whole30®. So, whichever way you discover your personality type – whether that’s the Zodiac, Enneagrams, or the Four Tendencies, personality tests are more than just cute memes and buzz words. They can help you better understand how you approach expectations, take on challenges and therefore how to better achieve your goals. Of course, we are all more complex than any one of these personality classifications; they just help give your challenges some perspective.
Getting familiar with local vendors and retailers is not only important for community building but it gets you actively involved in sourcing your food. This allows you to meal prep easier or explore new cuisines. It’s so empowering. Nothing boosts your confidence more than trying new things and taking matters into your own hands. Quite literally! You can do a Whole30® with your own bare hands. You don’t need fancy labels or grocers to do it. You don’t even need the latest kitchen gadget. In fact, when I started Whole30®, all I had was a slow cooker and homemade mayo. The point is, getting to know what’s around you and your community’s offerings can be super helpful and can make all the difference for your Whole30® experience. Check out great resources like your local food bank, co-op grocery store, farmers market, and community gardens.