how to eat healthy

What This Dietitian Thinks About The Whole30

 
Is Whole30 healthy?
 

SUMMER IS HERE!

As days are getting warmer, people seem determined to shed a few pounds and feel their best in their tank tops, shorts, & bathing suits, & this summer it seems as though the Whole30 is the way to do it. As the Whole30 seems to be the talk of the town, I wanted to share my two cents.


If you haven't heard of The Whole30, it's a strict 30-day elimination diet, prohibiting dairy, legumes, grains, alcohol, & sugar (referred to some as 'paleo on crack'). The creators promise to solve your skin & digestive issues, allergies & chronic pain, improve your eating habits & relationship with food and 'magically' eliminate a variety of symptoms, diseases, & conditions - including, but not limited to: diabetes, Lyme disease, celiac, Crohn's, depression, eating disorders, infertility, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, & more! WOW! Sounds impressive, doesn't it?


To me, the diet is a bit ridiculous & extreme. 

Many Whole30 dieters do report feeling better over the course of their 30 days. However, when you limit things like alcohol, sugars, & processed foods, this is typically what happens. I do think there are other ways to feel better without such an intense, restrictive program.

 

One of my main issues with the Whole30 is the restrictive, fear-mongering nature. See below...

  • This is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. 

  • Don’t even consider the possibility of a “slip.” Unless you physically tripped and your face landed in a pizza, there is no “slip.” You make a choice to eat something unhealthy. It is always a choice, so do not phrase it as if you had an accident.

They actually published these things!


While, they claim it's not a diet, it very much is. You can see on their site the list of 'rules' that must be followed and lists of approved and prohibited foods and ingredients.

The restrictive nature of diets can cause people to just want something more. If they 'slip' and have a prohibited food it usually comes with guilt and shame - two emotions that should not be associated with food.

As you know, I don't believe in restrictive eating patterns unless medically necessary. They say they encourage a healthy relationship with food but with such harsh words and strict rules I find that hard to believe. 
 


The Whole30 diet also encourages followers not to weigh or measure themselves throughout the 30-days. This, I'm okay with! I think it takes the focus off of weight and emphasizes the way you feel.

They also discourage tracking your intake over the 30 day course. This, I don't think is necessary. There are huge benefits to tracking your intake, including making you more aware of your habits surrounding food. I encourage my clients to track their intake before our first session to help us both get a better picture of their current habits and daily intake. Many of my clients even enjoy doing so.


By eliminating so many foods and food groups and gradually adding them back in, some Whole30 followers report that they've been able to self-diagnose food intolerances after following the Whole30. This is great, however, it is usually best to consult your MD, ND, or RD before self-diagnosing.


And finally, many of the studies cited in The Whole30 have been misinterpreted and provide inaccurate claims.  Check out this site for chapter-by-chapter reviews of the scientific claims made in The Whole30.

You can read more reviews here, here, & here!

DIY No Rise No Yeast 3- Ingredient Pizza Dough

Sometimes you just want pizza. It's an easy go-to and even healthy meal. But, who has time (or patience) to actually use yeast and wait for it to rise? Not me! Maybe on the days I plan ahead, but I'm not always that organized.

Sometimes you need a quick last minute meal and lucky for you I have the perfect solution. I made this just the other night- we got home late and needed a quick-fix dinner. I whipped up this dough, threw on some leftover spaghetti sauce, veggies, and cheese and called it dinner (and then lunch the next day).

It can be easy and affordable to buy the pre-made, Pillsbury pop-open can of pizza dough, but I'm personally not a fan of the hydrogenated oils (trans fat) and other mystery ingredients inside. There's a local bakery here in Bozeman that makes pizza dough and sells it at our local grocery store. For the longest time, this is what I would get until I discovered this super easy recipe (thank you, Pinterest!) and made it my own. As much as I love the local dough, at $2.69 each you can make your own for far less, with ingredients you likely already have on hand: flour, beer, and baking powder. (I'll be honest, it doesn't rise quite the same, but I think it tastes great nonetheless). 

I've tried making this with a few different beers. I've had the best luck with the local, lighter beers. I've used a local Amber Ale and a lighter Pale Ale and could not taste the beer at all. Last time, I used Budweiser (unfortunately, all we had), and it definitely had a slightly Budweiser taste. It was edible, but I probably won't be doing that again. Really any beer will work, play around with what you like. I'd recommend a more mild tasting one.

IMG_8016.JPG

 

Ingredients:

3 cups bread flour (I've also used whole wheat and white whole wheat, the bread flour rises a bit better)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 12 oz good beer
~1 Tbsp pizza seasoning (or Italian seasoning, Herbs de Provence, etc. - whatever you have)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Mix ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
2. Spread on a lightly floured surface and roll flat into your desired pizza shape.
3. Lightly brush or rub on a bit of olive oil.
4. Bake for 3-5 minutes until dough is set.
5. Add sauce and toppings (more veggies, less cheese!).
6. Return to oven and cook for ~20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

 

I think you may be able to relate...

This week (Feb. 26th - Mar. 4th) is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Unfortunately, I don't know many women who haven't, at some point in their life, experienced negative self-talk surrounding their bodies, called themselves fat, or obsessed over foods they think they 'should' or 'shouldn't' eat.

I'd like to encourage you to use this week to practice a little self-love. The next time you catch yourself hating on your body, I'd like you to do 2 things:

1.) Think about how you would feel if you heard your best friend, your sister, your mom, your daughter say any of those negative things about herself. It would feel awful wouldn't it? So why talk to yourself that way?

And 2.)  Think of 1 quality you love about yourself- a personality trait, an accomplishment, anything- say it aloud, share it with a friend, write it down. 

Remember that your are more than just a number on a scale. You are beautiful and loved and strong and funny and compassionate and ambitious and so much more and I want you to know it.

This week I wanted to share my friend, Robyn's story. I found it relatable and thought you might too. Robyn is an amazing dietitian and nurse practitioner in Boston, MA, you can learn more about her and her practice here. Please read her story below, I think you may be able to relate...


There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead
When she was good
She was very, very good
And when she was bad, she was horrid

The above nursery rhyme, from what was initially a poem, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, feels similar to an eating disorder for me. If you’re ‘good,’ you’re amazing. If you’re starving or purging or over-exercising, you’re fabulous. If you’re horrid, or bad it’s because you’re eating, eating anything, even drinking just water. This is what I hear from my clients. What I learn from their experiences. What they live when they are entrenched. This is why in every initial session with a client I suggest we don’t use these four words around food or our bodies - good, bad, sorry, should.

A long time ago I got on a scale. This is when I was about 14 years old and as a skinny, gangly young teenager weighed exactly 100 pounds. I remember standing on the scale, in my parent’s bedroom, in the morning before school. My mom weighed herself every day. At least this is what I remember. She looked at me that morning - she was still lying in bed - and asked me my weight. When I told her ‘100 pounds,’ her response was, ‘You should always try to stay under 100 pounds, Robyn. Men like thin women.’

At the age of 14 I was not that interested in men. Boys, yes, but even so not very much at that time. I was planning to study abroad and was heavily involved with my friends, school, church, and family. That comment stuck with me though.

Everywhere it seemed the women I knew were infatuated with their weight. Not so much my friends, rather the adult women around me. I also remember my mom saying things like ‘I shouldn’t eat this I should just tape it to my thighs.’ So many comments about weight gained in 3 pregnancies and never lost. And then there was ‘I’m just going to eat what Robyn eats because she’s skinny.’

When you’re young, these comments stick with you. In fact, there is research to suggest that even infants are learning their parents’ body language and attitudes toward food at this very young age. Other research suggests this all begins in utero which makes total sense.

Hearing, listening, wondering, observing, and even learning (not positively) these thoughts and behaviors around food, weight, and bodies was definitely what drew me to my career. Even as a young teen I knew there absolutely had to be a better way to feel about your body. To think and relate to food. What did the scale matter anyway? But it did. For a long while.

It was not until I got to college and upper division nutrition classes that I really began to understand how to position my own nutrition choices and body image around facts. Around science. I literally decided the infatuation around food and weight and negative body image was not going to be my life. But it took years and hard work. Others around me struggled with eating disorders or disordered eating. A college friend passed away, losing her battle with her eating disorder, shortly after graduation.

We do our best as parents. Every single day - even every single hour or moment for that matter. But we are based on our past and present environments and certainly genes. Eating disorders are genetically related. The science is impassable in this regard. I don’t think my mom knew her comments or thoughts about herself and her relationships with food, her body, and her weight were sitting in my heart. In fact, I know she didn’t. It took a lot of undoing though. And I think I am lucky.

Society and the media are just now starting to really accept bodies that come in different shapes and sizes. We have a long way to go. Thank goodness for Lady Gaga and her superbowl performance. Kudos to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. And to Athleta for including bodies of every size in their monthly catalogues and on their website.

When every day can seem harder or every meal can seem like a mountain to climb, don’t give up. Don’t let that boy, girl, friend, mom, dad, sister, brother, parent, or anyone else give up either. There IS way more than the scale. Eating and food can be enjoyable - fun, even. A certain weight to be loved is NOT positive self-esteem. Just my two cents and part of my journey for #EDAW2017. Here’s to the Recovery Warriors who know themselves or not.

 

Below are a few resources with more information and support:

http://www.medainc.org/

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

http://eatingdisordersblogs.com/

https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/

http://www.edcatalogue.com/