Chara Blanch

Chara Blanch has worked for the City of Saint Paul for the past 2 years as a Labor Relations Specialist in Human Resources. Prior to coming to the City, she worked as an HR consultant at the University of Minnesota.

Chara is a busy single mom to her highly energetic 10 year old son. He is a hockey player which means most nights they are at practices or games. Not surprisingly, choosing frozen, quick foods or eating out a lot of the time became part of their regular routine.

Unfortunately for Chara, just three weeks after beginning work at the City of Saint Paul, she shattered her ankle. This injury required a second surgery this fall. The pending surgery really got Chara to think about her health. She wanted to go into it as healthy as she could be, hoping it would mean a quicker and easier recovery. It was at this time that a friend told her about the Whole 30 Eating Plan. Her friend had great results – her frequent migraines went from three to four a week to none. Chara decided she had nothing to lose by trying this.

The Whole 30 Eating Plan promotes itself as “a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.” Its philosophy lies in helping you find out how foods you eat may be affecting your health by cutting out different foods and then gradually re-introducing them to your body.
Chara quit the fast food and frozen, quick meals. She found out that planning meals was really not that difficult. The eating plan provided recipes that were tasty and simple – i.e. putting a roast beef in the crock pot with different seasonings.

This new eating plan seemed to work for Chara. She feels like she has a ton of energy and has lost 23 lbs. without feeling hungry. The swelling in her injured ankle was greatly reduced prior to surgery. A few weeks post-surgery, her ankle feels better than it has since she broke it. She has been able to maintain the weight loss. Chara plans to do another Whole 30 program in January and will begin training for a triathlon in the next month.

The Whole 30 Eating Plan is quite a restrictive diet and may not be for everyone. It helped Chara get back on track to following a much healthier way to eat though by cutting out the junk food and adding lots of fruits and veggies

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