I have a secret. It’s not a torrid, juicy secret. It’s just something that I have not shared with everyone. I am doing the Whole 30. As a matter of fact, I’m day 25. Less than a week to go.
When I first heard about this craziness, I thought, why would anyone subject themselves to this? It sounds like torture! No bread for a month? Are you kidding me? No cheese? Who is this sadist?
This was last summer. Since then, I learned that Whole 30 is not a process of organized torture but an elimination diet. A way to determine what may not be compatible with your system. You remove dairy, legumes, added sugar, gluten and alcohol for 30 days. You let your body “heal” for 30 days and then you gradually introduce the eliminated foods back into your diet so you can determine what is good or bad for you.
I’ve been rolling it around in the back of my brain that I should do this for a few months. In the last 6-8 months, I have been breaking out in these weird hives. Huge patches of red, itchy bumps. It was like I was allergic to something, but nothing had changed as far as my diet or environment. It became clear to me that I was having some inflammatory issues.
Next were my digestive issues. I was convinced that I had IBS for years until I was tested and the bloodwork came back negative. So I blamed it on my thyroid. Why not? I spent a LOT of time on the porcelain throne and took Immodium on a regular basis.
What if a better diet helped the menstrual cramps that have gone off the charts in the last 5-10 years?
So I’d been rolling this secret around when a co-worker mentioned that she was going to do the Whole 30 (again) in June and asked me to do it with her. I decided to take charge and just do it. I would be home from Scotland and there was nothing holding me back.
There is an entire book detailing the process of Whole 30, companion books as well as a website with all kinds of tools. There is a lot of encouragement to do planning for the program, cleaning out your pantry of the bad stuff and filling it with the good stuff.
I did neither. Bad start, right? There really is a good excuse. I got back from Scotland on the evening of May 29th so I had only two days to prepare and I was returning back to work (and all the craziness of my desk) and it just didn’t happen.
So what did I do? Well, June 1st was on a Friday, so I knew that I just needed to get through the work day and then prepare once I got home from work and over the weekend. I stopped by the grocery store on the way to work and picked up what I needed for breakfast, lunch and a snack for the day. On my way home from work, I picked up several more items and I was on my way!
So how has my secret been? Amazingly easy. I know you’re thinking, “well isn’t she smug?” I really cannot explain except I think that I was just ready. Ready to find the answer to what is causing so much trouble in my system.
That first weekend I binge watched as many You Tube videos as I could find. I found one guy that said when he started, he ate as much as wanted even though you aren’t supposed to snack and then he settled into a regular eating pattern. I followed the same plan, eating however much I wanted for the first few days and then it just seemed like I wasn’t snacking hardly at all anymore.
What is missing?
What about bread? So far, I haven’t missed it. Pasta? Definitely miss the pasta. Pizza, flour tortillas and corn tortilla chips were frequent visitors in my diet.
Milk? Don’t care. I don’t drink milk. I have been using cashew milk in my coffee and prior to Whole 30, my cereal. Cheese? Oh yeah. See Pizza above.
Lack of beans is killing me. I love beans. Black, white, pinto, whole, refried. I will take them all. I’ll even eat fresh green beans. Forget the canned and frozen
This one has been my nemesis. Not so much sweets, I’m doing okay with that. What is so frustrating is the added sugar in JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING! I was just at the store today and tried to buy some pre-cooked chicken and reading the label, found dextrose. That’s sugar alright. Bacon. Do you know how hard it is to find bacon that doesn’t have added sugar? I haven’t found one yet.
No, not the candy. Here are the things that have been the secret to my success:
Kombucha. I absolutely love this stuff. Kombucha has allowed me to satisfy my need for bubbles as I cannot have my beloved Diet Dr. Pepper. It also tastes like I’m having a cocktail so I haven’t missed drinking alcohol at all. As a matter of fact, my bartenders have been so awesome letting me bring in my kombucha and hang out with my husband and my friends. I almost bought some drink umbrellas at the Family Dollar to dress my drinks up.
La Croix Sparkling Water. I try to limit my kombucha consumption to one a day so flavored sparkling water fills in the gaps for me.
Avocados. Boy do I love a good avocado. I think that I have eaten at least half of an avocado every day for the last 25 days. They are creamy and delicious and good for you.
Salmon. Six ounce portions have been on a great sale at my grocery store for $5 for the last several weeks. Love it!
Results (so far)
So how do I feel? Amazing. Truly amazing. I have so much energy and I am sleeping much better. The only time that I get the afternoon sleepies is when I stay up too late and still get up early in the morning.
I’m not allowed to weigh or measure myself until Day 31 so I don’t know how much weight I have lost but I have dropped at least a few pounds because my clothes are looser.
Zero tummy issues. Zero.
Cramps? Much milder. Still there, but much, much better.
My only disappointment is that I still have a focus issue. I was really hoping that losing the gluten would help with my brain fog as it was a symptom of gluten sensitivity. Nope. Still wandering around or staring at the computer screen trying to remember what the heck I was doing. Going to have to go a different direction for a solution for that.
So Now What?
I have five and a half days left. Feeling strong and dying to get on that scale! I know that it shouldn’t matter, but it does.
Here’s the kicker. I’m not really done at that point. It’s not like I can go back to the way things were before. It would completely defeat the purpose of the 30 days of restrictions.
For Days 31-40 I will be reintroducing one restricted group at a time, followed by two days of full restrictions to observe the results of my test day. It will be interesting to see what has been the culprit. I hope it’s not all of it!
So here’s to the final countdown!