On October 1, 2014, me and 25 other people started out on a Whole30 challenge, which my business Back 2 Basics Cooking is hosting. Even though I have been eating (95%) Paleo since April of this year, this will be the first Whole30 program that I personally have completed, as well as the first time I have hosted a challenge. I put a lot of effort and time into organizing this event, and was worried that no one would sign up or that no one would complete the challenge.
Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, and raisins.
While it has given my business some positive exposure, I did not organize this challenge to raise profits. Therefore, it would have been quite the bummer if no one signed up, or if everyone only participated half heartedly. Not only have many of the participants continued to participate, many of them are taking extra time out of their day to help support each other!
Chicken sautéed with some spinach and coconut oil and tomatoes with roasted brussel sprouts-all covered with fresh lemon juice~Submitted by Jessica
On top of that, I have been learning a lot myself from hosting the challenge. I am already figuring out ways to make the next challenge more helpful. Considering that about a week before the challenge I was very down and ready to throw in the towel, this is very exciting to me! A few people have dropped out of the challenge, but I am still very happy that they even attempted it. I hope that the time they participated helped open their eyes to how food affects them, which will help them to make more whole food choices in the future. There are even people who have asked to follow the group, so that they can learn more!
Apples, almond butter, and kombucha~Submitted by Jen
Since we have officially made it through the one week mark, I thought I would take a moment to write a quick post about some of the things participating and hosting this challenge has taught me:
Hamburger mixed with carrots, zucchini, and onions ~Submitted by Ambra
1. Support is CRUCIAL for some when it comes to change. I am one of those someones. If I had not put together this challenge I know I would have given up on this already, even though I am 100% aware of how much it will help my health. But it would be kind of messed up of me to give up now though, since I am encouraging everyone else to continue. haha
Batch cooking some roast, potatoes, carrots, and onions~Submitted by Jessica
2.I thought that since I have been grain, soy, dairy (with the exception of grass-fed butter), and food-dye free since April, that I would not have much to learn from participating in the program….silly me! Sugar is a hard habit to kick, and just because you are eating honey instead of table sugar it still doesn’t mean you aren’t still addicted to sugar.
Tuna, celery, and raisins over spinach ~Submitted by Jen
3. I need to have my own kitchen by the time I have the next challenge, so that I can have the support meetings there. Then I could give small demonstrations also. I also want to have a meeting either the day before or the first day of the next challenge. My sister was in from Canada and I had to take her to the airport in KC on Oct 1, so that just wasn’t an option this time.
Baked sweet potato chips with cinnamon and ginger~Submitted by Jerale
4.Having a support group on Facebook, has really helped some of us out. For example, I was not aware that we couldn’t have any extracts on this program (even though I am the “leader”), but because of the facebook group I was able to find out before we were too far in. Others have thought they needed to be low carb, but I was able to explain that isn’t necessary. You CAN be low carb, but you do not have to be. Simply eat the RIGHT carbs. It has also helped out with people asking me the same questions. This way I can just refer them to the post instead of saying the same thing over and over.
Baked pears, coconut milk, and walnuts ~Submitted by Cassandra
5.Being able to share recipes and meal ideas is also great! I would have never thought to put apples, tuna, and cucumbers together on my own. Someone else shared the idea so I gave it a shot and wow! I was already aware of what a wide range of meals and snacks would be available, I talked about it in this post. But I believe sharing ideas with each other has helped to speed up everyone’s learning curve. As you can see by all of the food pictures that I took from our Facebook group, we haven’t had a shortage of meal ideas. 🙂
Tuna mixed with cucumbers, onions, apples, olive oil, and avocado.
6.Food can be very addictive and we should not downplay that. In my opinion, it is like a drug for many of us and should be treated as such. (Only drugs don’t line the shelves of every gas station and grocery store around!)
Chicken topped with mango and tomato with a side of roasted potatoes ~Submitted by Jessa
7.People are noticing how much better they are feeling, how they are staying full longer, and how amazing whole foods taste when you clean up your body much faster than I had anticipated. This is awesome to me!
Hamburger with green beans, onions, and green peppers with roasted broccoli and sweet potato fries~Submitted by Kara
For all of my Whole 30ers who are reading this: Please take a moment and comment below. Give a short explanation of how the first week has went for you. what you have learned and why you are continuing with the challenge. It is ok to add the good and the bad. I am hoping to help motivate others to start eating more whole foods and your feedback will help tons!
Ground turkey, marinara sauce & spaghetti squash ~Submitted by Jessica
(If you are not part of our challenge, but have completed a Whole30 Program before, please feel free to comment as well.)