I don't struggle with body weight. I do struggle with joint pain, auto-immune weirdness, abdominal adhesions, gastro-intestinal troubles, headaches, fatigue and other such non-diagnosible abnormals. Over the past nine years I've increasingly noticed that what I eat seems to have a direct impact on how I feel. About a year ago I asked my doctor about food allergies. He did a blood test which he said didn't show I was allergic to anything, but he encouraged me to eliminate the foods that were making me feel bad. Several months ago I stopped working out much at all because my knee and hip pain has gotten so bad that I can't do the exercises I set out to do, such as squats, running, lunges... anything that involves impact. I saw an orthopedist, had an MRI, and was told basically I have an old lady's knee, hip bursitis and possible IT Band pain. He wants to do orthovisc injections in my knee and gave me some PT exercises to do on my hip and leg. That's when I got mad! I don't want to feel like an old woman at age 38! I knew I could further dig in the medical world for answers to my mystery ailments but I decided to go with my gut.
So when my sister came after Christmas, thanks to her encouragement, I decided to take the Whole30 Challenge. I had already eliminated gluten, except for the occasional cheat which resulted in feeling like I'd been smacked around and kicked in the gut. And I had already decidedly increased my intake of fruits and veggies and decreased my intake of fast food. So I didn't think this Whole30 would be much of a change for me. Boy did I underestimate the power (and hiding places) of sugar!
When we actually eat dinner together at the table as a family we usually do a thing we borrowed from our family in Oregon: everyone takes turns saying the best thing about their day and the worst.
So if you were sitting around the dinner table with me tonight and we were talking best and worst of my Whole30 I'd say:
Best: I feel good and I got to cook some yummy food! Not glamorous. My aches and pains aren't gone, but my daily GI troubles- gone!
Worst: It was expensive and I don't like black coffee... even after a month of drinking it.
Take-away Tip: I did technically fail the Whole30 Challenge. Not because I tripped and fell and my face landed in a pizza or chocolate cake, but more realistically because I didn't read labels of things I assumed would be sugar or artificial ingredient free. So my best take-away tip is READ LABELS!
That's the summary. Here's how in went down in more detail:
Day 1 I ate: Black coffee, a bed of baby spinach with scrambled eggs and avocado, an apple, a banana, some roast beef with a sweet potato, caldo de pollo (Mexican chicken and veggie soup)
I know it sounds strange, but I felt good all day until after I ate the soup I had made. My stomach started rumbling and feeling like the normal GI upset I frequently experience. The thought occured to me to check the ingredients on the chicken boullion... sure enough- sugar and corn starch and other unpronounceable things. GRRRRR! I was ticked at myself for not reading the label. I should know better! Silver lining: I could tell even after one day that sugar and other processed ingredients were having an adverse effect on me!
Day 2: I ate: Black coffee. Scrambled eggs on spinach with homemade salsa and avocado, roast beef with sweet potato and broccoli, cashews, an apple, grilled chicken thigh with salad, salsa, avocado and sweet potato. Finished the day with hot chamomile tea- unsweetened.
My head felt like a bowling ball.
Day 3 I ate: Black coffee. Scramble eggs with beef chorizo on a bed of baby spinach with salsa. 2 fuji apples microwaved with spices. Kiwi with cashews. Chorizo, eggs, 1/2 an avocado with salsa and spinach. Olives. Spring mix salad with mango vinegrette, chicken thigh, 1/4 sweet potato and cashews. Cinnamon Nutmeg Banana ice cream (YUM!)
(Nutmeg Banana Ice Cream)
(My first Frittata with ground beef and bell peppers)
I felt like I ate a lot today. I didn't restrict myself. It was the only way for me to get through the day with the getting-heavier-by-the-moment-bowling-ball-head. From what I've read this is the normal symptom of withdrawl from sugar. I discovered I'm allergic to kiwi. After making the vinegrette my lips and tongue were tingly and weird. Had to take a benedryl! Best discovery of day 3: This ice cream recipe!
I purchased the It Starts With Food book today. Mostly because I wanted to have some good recipes. I started reading it though and its really a good book.
Day 4 I ate: Constant Comment tea (unsweetened). A fritatta (recipe template from the It Starts With Food Book) with ground beef and bell peppers. Bacon. Blueberries. Coconut Lara Bar. Another slice of the frittata. Vanilla roiboos tea (unsweetened). A scoop of banana cocount milk ice cream. Another slice of the frittata. Herbal tea.
I don't like black coffee! So I decided to buy some teas and drink them unsweetened. The taste is better but the caffiene is less so I'm dealing with a bowling-ball head due to sugar detox and caffiene with drawal. I LOVE the recipe templates in the It Starts With Food book. I can use different ingriedents with the template. It's going to be a staple food in this house! (I discovered about half way through the challenge that the bacon I had been eating has sugar in it... of course! Read labels!) Lara Bars are candy! Legal candy for the Whole30 challenge! Thank God for coconuts, dates and cashews!
(My baked fuji apple *pie* :)
Day 5 I ate: A slice of the leftover frittata, tea, a Lara Bar, pulled pork and cole slaw, a baked fuji apple (Slice the apple, sprinkle with gloves, nutmeg, ginger, cinammon, micro for 3 minutes. Wala. Naturally sweet baked apple!), another slice of the frittata and a glass of hot tea.
My headache is gone. I feel good and satisfied. No cravings. The pulled pork was total yumness. And the baked fuji apple is my new apple pie!
Day 6 I ate: A slice of frittata, black coffee, 1/4 sweet potato, blueberries, pulled pork and cabbage slaw, apple, blueberries, tea, Lara Bar, another slice of frittata, tea, bites of eggs and chorizo
Ok... can't do the entire Whole30 day journal in one post. More tomorrow.
Oh, and, today is my official last day of the Whole30, but other than adding in some honey and the occasional out to dinner with loved-ones meal, I plan on this Whole30 thing being my whole way of eating my whole life!