I finished the Whole 30 again on Tuesday, and I've been pondering. I've had the same experience four times now: about ten days into the Whole 30, I start feeling like a MACHINE. The drive to Get Stuff Done burbles up inside me, and lo: I Get Stuff Done. The most striking example for me came on the night when I was dealing with my #1 Tailspin Issue, the thing most likely to send me into a navel-gazing Tizzy of Despair. On one of my Whole 30 adventures, the #1 Tailspin Issue turned into #1 Motivation to Slay the Mending Pile. My mental monologue was not the healthiest as I stood there at the sewing machine (because sitting? is for people eating grains and legumes and probably carrageenan), but I had zero desire to drown my sorrows while hunched over a pint of ice cream.
Whatever criticisms you might want to levy against the Whole 30 are probably justified: gimmicky, expensive, environmentally unfriendly with all that animal protein consumption, etc. I am not saying this is a sensible reaction set of rules. But DANG does it make a difference in my brain. My husband thinks it's the placebo effect, but I don't believe it. I cannot manufacture this level of motivation; I've tried.
I can't eat that way all the time, though. It's just SO restrictive. So I'm trying to figure out: what is it about the Whole 30 that seems to fire up an extra cylinder in my brain? It's not just the produce; I eat a lot of produce all year round. It's not just the sugar; I eat sweets about twice a year. That leaves...grains and legumes and dairy. And placebo effect, I suppose. I don't really want to go gluten-free, but I sure do love that extra cylinder.