Now that #runCHAARG is officially in motion [ahah – get it?], I’m introducing to you our nutrition component this month – CHAARG is taking on the Whole30! One of our lovely Virtual Chapter members, Virginia Ewen [@virginia_inchaarg], is kindly leading a group of VirtCHAARG girls in this journey + we wanted to share with the rest of you, since we know that a lot of you are interested in what the Whole30 has to offer.
Some of you may have already started – but for those of you who would like to join, us VirtCHAARG girls will be starting this Monday — January 12, just in time for those of you going back to school. Of course, this is completely optional! But, if you are participating — share your journey with us on Instagram using the hashtag #CHAARGWhole30 + look out for recipes + tips on the CHAARG Whole30 Pinterest Board!
The Whole 30 Program was designed as kind of a *reset* for the body. The program involves skipping out on overly processed foods, unnatural additives, added sodium + sugar, + anything else that may be harmful to our bodies + hidden in the foods we eat without us realizing it. It resembles a paleo style diet, but is meant only to be followed for a 30 consecutive days. The goal is to show us how our bodies can feel + function on as natural a diet as possible.
WHAT NOT TO EAT ON THE WHOLE30
The Whole30 consists of removing dairy, all grains, legumes, + added sugars from your diet due to the potentially negative affects they could be having on your health.
This means absolutely no:
- Grains — in any form, even things like quinoa. Also be sure to check labels for things like germ, bran, etc
- Legumes – beans of any kinds, peanuts//peanut butter *tearz emoji*, + soy products [NOTE — if you are vegetarian//vegan the legume category is okay for you!]
- Dairy – milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream – nope, sorry.
- Added sugars, natural//artificial sweeteners – sorry no honey, agave, stevia, nothing
- Carageenan // MSG // Sulfites – or pretty much any weird additives you don’t recognize // can’t pronounce
- Alcohol – no toxins plz [even for cooking], so if ya wanna enjoy that last glass of wine this weekend be my guest ; )
- This last one isn’t so much a food item as a rule – No re-creating junk foods//treats with approved ingredients
A general guideline to follow in planning for your Whole 30 is try to stick to foods in their most natural state – those with little to no ingredients listed.
WHOLE30 SHOPPING LIST ON A COLLEGE BUDGET
I know that following an organic//natural diet can sometimes take a toll on our bank accounts + I also know that college girls have other things to worry about – so I’ve put together a simple shopping list that may be slightly more expensive than ramen noodles [lol : )] but is totally do-able on a college budget. Just know that the least processed the food is – the cheaper it will be! Think bigger cuts of meats + fresh over frozen. If you’d like a printable list to take with you while shopping, you can find one on the Whole30 site here!
- Proteins — chicken breast + salmon or other seafood + eggs + lean beef + pork + you can buy processed meats i.e. bacon//sausage as long as they contain no crazy additives or added sugars.
Tips: whole chicken breasts are usually cheaper than tenderloins//thin cut breast – so always check price per lb! + 10lb frozen bags of seafood are a great deal, but if you don’t have room, you can buy fresh from the seafood dept + freeze as needed.
- Veggies — broccoli, carrots, squashes, GREENS, sweet potatoes – really any veggie is fine
Tips: fresh over frozen again is usually the cheapest option [more for less], it all really comes down to how much room you have to store them. Frozen is next best in quality, but cans can usually be less expensive.
- Fruit — berries, melons, + grapefruits are best, but really any fruit [except dried – limit that] is acceptable.
Tips: Whole30 advises a limited intake of fruits. Only go for fruits that are on sale in a given week to save a little cash.
- Fats — EVOO, coconut products, clarified butter, avo, olives, almonds + almond butter//almond milk [yay!] + other nuts
Tips: These will probably be some of the most expensive items on your list – but you’ll only have to buy things like oils once. Again – go for items on sale, or buy in bulk.
- Coffee + Tea — There would be no way to survive a month without our friend caffeine : ) Just remember, no dairy in it!
Tips: Try adding a splash of almond milk or coconut milk + cinnamon to your coffee — it’s amazing!
WHY WHOLE30 ANYWAYS?
If you can think back to a time before you even ate remotely “healthy” or started working out + then remember how you felt a few weeks later – the change was significant wasn’t it? Working out + putting good foods into your body feels AH-MAZING – I think we can all agree on that. This Whole30 program may not be for everyone, but for those who have completed it + loved it, the consensus is that it makes you feel great. ++ you’ll never know how good you can feel until you try taking out some of these food items that may be affecting your overall wellbeing without you even realizing it
If you’d like more information//resources//printables//recipes you can check out the Whole30’s official website. Also, I highly recommend that you purchase the book It Starts With Food. This was written by the creators of the Whole30 + shares scientific research + real life experience on the Whole30. ++ of course, make sure to share your journey! The official hashtag will be #CHAARGWhole30! I will also be participating – so if you’re interested in my progress, you can follow me @lexx_inchaarg on insta! Can’t wait to get this started! : )
+ Alexa, Community Outreach