Surprise! I joined a cult


Image resultLeading out of last year, there were many conversations between Tina and her cousin Kelly about trying a new diet in the new year.  One that Kelly learned about through a dietician is called the Whole30 diet.

Dubious at first, Tina researched it and discovered that it was a diet recommended to her a few years ago by our doctor because of Tina’s ongoing, persistent allergies. According to our doctor, whom we both loved and looked up to, the recommendation is that there might be foods in one’s diet that exacerbates certain allergies.

To discover if this is true or not, the dieter must eliminate several food types and groups for 30 days and then over the course of a couple weeks, reintroduce the different foods one at a time. The hope is to discover which foods are causing or exacerbating the allergies.

At the time our doctor recommended it, Tina was like, “No fucking way am I not eating sugar, soy, peanuts, legumes, alcohol, grains, dairy, sugar … sugar … sugar!”

Between Kelly’s wish to do this diet and that Tina already had this kind of a diet on her radar, AND they love each other and support each other especially in the realm of diet and exercise … they decided to set a date in January and try it.

What that really meant is that Kelly’s husband Brian and Tina’s husband Jeremy (Me) are also doing joining the cult, I mean completing the diet with them.

And by cult, I mean, you can’t drink Kool-Aid, but if there were a Whole30 compliant Kool-aid, we have all drunk it.

Imagine, if you will, going to a dinner party or out to a restaurant. You’re all looking over the menu pointing out what looks good to you. Asking what looks good to your friends. The waiter comes over. He asks if anyone has any questions. And that one friend, you know the one, starts asking what kind of extra seasoning is added to the steak or chicken. “Would it be possible if the chef cooked my steak in only salt, pepper and olive oil? … And can I get steamed vegetables only? And I’d love a salad, but please remove anything that might have sugar in it or soy. Oh, and I brought my own salad dressing, so leave that off.”

Everybody buries their head in shame and embarrassment.

Well, that person is now US.

You should hear us telling people about being on this diet. We might as well be a Jehovah’s Witness or a Catholic Nun.

I mean, what’s a cult:

noun: cult; plural noun: cults
• a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
• a person or thing that is popular or fashionable, especially among a particular section of society.

When I was growing up in an evangelical community in the south, we were taught about cults and they always had a pejorative connotation. Yet, every time I read the definition of cult, I thought, “I’m in a cult.”

The answer was always, “No, Jeremy, you’re in the one true faith. All those other thoughts and beliefs are cults.”

Call me stupid, but when I read the definition of cult, I have to admit the truth …

That’s why I think I’m in a cult now. I’m a W30-er. I might as well get a tattoo and hand out pamphlets on the goddamn corner of Michigan Ave & Chicago Ave.

You know why?

Because I’m kinda enjoying the process. I’m an evangelical W30er.

Right now — right this very second — I’m enjoying my breakfast of Peanut Butter Toast with Chocolate dripped over the top. Shit, I can’t eat bread or peanut butter or chocolate.

What I’m really eating is a thinly sliced piece of sweet potato, roasted for 30 minutes, cooled, then toasted, with almond butter spread over it, topped with a banana and cocoa powder. You see the sugars you can eat have to be natural, like in fruit.


There’s no pasta. There’s no bread. What are you, sick in the head?

I haven’t had alcohol in five days. This is something I thought would be tough. And so far, I’m enjoying the clarity of mind and the productivity.

I’m still new to the cult, though. Talk to me in two weeks. Hell, talk to me in two hours. I could totally change my tune, maestro.

I’m doing this diet for the challenge and to support Tina, her cousin and husband. We’re all in this together. Sink or swim. We have each others backs with encouragement and shared experiences. It’s a group building dynamic thing-a-ma-bob.

Stand by for more experiences on W30. I’m trying to come up with a secret handshake. Maybe even start a W30 compliant restaurant. But it would have to be tax exempted, because this shit is a cult … and cults get to hide behind religious craziness so they can write off their big expenses and keep promoting all their woo and magic …

Because whole30 is MAGIC!!!




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