Erica F.

Schenectady, NY

I finally feel like I have achieved Food Freedom.

I completed my first Whole30 in 2012. After years of yo-yo dieting and trying every fad out there I stumbled upon the Whole30. I knew there had to be a reason and I was ready to try something different!
I liked the plan layout and the commitment you make to yourself for 30-45 days. You are saying “I’m worth it” – and that was a huge breakthrough for me. I had never set a structured timeline before when “dieting” and I felt like I was about to embark on something that would change my relationship with food forever. It felt like a personal challenge instead of a diet and I think that helped change my mindset going into it.
Those first 30 days were definitely challenging. I learned that I really wished I owned a dishwasher, I love making homemade condiments, and not every meal has to be a gourmet Pinterest recipe creation.
When I try to encourage people on their Whole30 journeys, I like to tell them how I completed my first Whole30 before Whole30 Approved products existed, sugar free bacon wasn’t accessible, and white potatoes weren’t compatible! If that makes me like a grandparent telling their grandkids they walked to school 3 miles uphill in the snow, then call me Granny!
Reintroducing foods like dairy, grains and legumes helped me realize that those food groups were having a negative impact on my system. As hard as it is to realize cheese is not my friend, the benefit of not having my skin breakout or flare up in hives outweighs the cheddar.
The non-scale victories were my favorite part. I had so much energy, my skin felt clearer, my clothes fit better and the overall feeling of accomplishment is something I’ll never forget.
I’ve completed 8 rounds so far with my last in Sept 2018. I finally feel like I have achieved Food Freedom. I no longer stress about what to eat, going out, or what I’ll say when someone asks me why I don’t want a particular food or drink. I’m okay with saying no to things and not making excuses for it or feeling bad about it. I know what works for my body and I know what foods are worth it to me on my Food Freedom plan. The feeling of Food Freedom may not have been an overnight victory, but it is well worth the years of lessons in achieving it.
If you’ve ever considered a Whole30 and you’re reading this, I hope you make the commitment to yourself right now to set a start date, read up, prepare, and do it. Do it for yourself, because you’re worth it.

Published by Nuala

Danielle Nuala Schoen (Nuala), lives amongst community in the mountains of western North Carolina. She is a massage therapist (LMBT) and RYT-200 yoga instructor with a background in social work. Nuala is passionate about redefining health and wellness in order to center the self-determination and self-actualization of each unique individual, and thereby, the actualization of the collective.Nuala enjoys ecstatic dance, contact improvisation, creek dips, travel, and sharing Whole30 meals with her loved ones.