Here we are again: A new year upon us and all those unhealthy habits you promised to change taunting you like that second slice of holiday pie. It’s time for something new, time to take control. Melissa Hartwig, cofounder of the Whole30 nutrition program, offers two books to help you do just that.
But real talk for a moment. No one wants to follow another roller coaster fad diet, or a get-fit-quick scam (Remember the ab energy belt?). Hartwig stresses the Whole30 is not simply for shucking pounds. “We are not a weight-loss program. Many nutritional professionals say there’s no one diet-fits-all, but then people wonder ‘How do I figure out what’s right for me?’ The Whole30 is a tool to help you discern and arrive at the perfect, sustainable, long-term diet appropriate for you.”
The emphasis, Hartwig says, lies in people’s ability to push the reset button. “It’s going to create new healthy habits, and force you to look at, and change, your relationship with food.”
Taming the tongue
Hartwig says the Whole30 is based on an elimination diet, removing foods that are inflammatory, or may be unconsciously seducing you to crave more. “Food scientists have figured out how to tap into these primal reward pleasure centers, and almost use that against us. Combined with daily stress, it just piles on that cycle. You obviously have the choice to place the potato chips in your shopping cart, and in your mouth, but it’s also, kind of, not your fault, because the food is designed to promote overconsumption and that craving.”
Whole30 guidelines are available on the company’s website, whole30.com where, Hartwig says, a welcoming community is waiting to engage you on your journey. “We want to make sure that this is as accessible as possible. Everything that’s up there is available and free.”
For those familiar with the Whole30, Hartwig’s two new books will help you stay the course. Fast and Easy provides quick recipes for the busy lifestyle, while the Day by Day guide provides constant motivation and what to expect throughout the process.
It’s not really about food
“Food is the one health pursuit that people feel the most out of control with, it’s the thing they feel the most stress around,” Hartwig says, adding that by reestablishing a sense of control through food choices you can carry that confidence into all areas of your life.
“I hear stories about people who gain confidence through the program, who relearn self-love, and go on to change another aspect of their life they didn’t think they could. It’s about food, but it’s not ‘really’ about food.”
The diet industry focuses so heavily on weight loss that other important factors are lost, she says. “We don’t only want to lose weight. We want to feel better, we want to have a better quality of life, we want to play with our kids, be active, and feel self-confident. If you’re tired of that line where all that matters is the number on the scale, I think you’ll find the Whole30 a refreshing experience.”
Hartwig’s Whole30 book tour will be stopping at the Maumee Library Branch on Tuesday, January 9. She will speak about the program, answer questions, and sign copies of her books. Admission is free.
7-8:30pm. Tuesday, January 9.
Toledo Lucas County Public Library Main Branch
325 N. Michigan Ave. | 419-259-5200