I would be lying to you if I said that the first week of Whole 30 wasn’t hard. It was. It was a test of mental strength, physical endurance and my basic knowledge of the program and nutrition. I’ve been reading Deep Nutrition which is written by Catherine Shanahan, MD, the nutritionist for the Lakers and it has offered some insight on how to successfully maintain a healthy yet anti-inflammatory diet. It’s a big book, almost textbook status, but it has so much interesting information about how to heal yourself through food and how what you eat has a direct impact on what your kids will look like… scary, I know.
Before I get too ahead of myself, I want to explain the basics of the diet and why I’m doing it. So, here goes nothing.
What is Whole 30?
It’s an elimination diet where you stop eating processed foods, sugar, legumes, grains, alcohol and dairy for 30 days. After the 30 day period, you slowly reintroduce each food group back into your system a day at a time. This allows you to see the way your body reacts to each food group, as well as to see what your body is actually craving instead of what you think it should be consuming.
Why did I start Whole 30?
For most of my life I’ve been blessed with a healthy digestive system and a very limited amount of stomach problems. That changed this year where my body began reacting differently depending on what I was putting into it. After calling out of work one day crying with stomach pain that I was unsure from what it was caused, I decided that enough was enough. I wanted to figure out what was reacting so violently with my digestive system so I didn’t have to feel that way anymore.
Two of the harshest (and most frequently consumed) ingredients that we consume in our daily lives are sugar and dairy. These are also the two ingredients that have been proven to heal our bodies from the inside out, especially for women who suffer from endometriosis and other ovarian problems. Experiencing my first ovarian issue this year, I wanted to try out this diet to see if cutting two of the things I most frequently was consuming could actually help heal the pain I was in and the issues I was facing.
Whole 30 Days 1-7: How do I feel?
Like I said earlier, the first few days of Whole 30 were ROUGH. My body was craving its regular routine. It felt deprived when I substituted my usual morning breakfast ritual (oatmeal with honey, almond milk, dried coconut flakes and flax seeds) with two eggs scrambled with kale and a small potato. It felt deprived when I went out to dinner with my family and was unable to eat cheesy garlic bread, pasta, wine or any of my usual dinner staples. It felt deprived when my usual afternoon yogurt was replace with a piece of fruit and the rest of my snacking was cut down drastically. And then all of a sudden… it didn’t.
As the days dragged on my body started to adapt. When I went through the pantry I could feel my eyes focus in on the foods that I knew I could eat and blur the ones that I couldn’t. I realized that potatoes were going to be my savior (both sweet and regular) and fruit was how I was going to satisfy my sweet tooth. Now on Day 7, I still miss oatmeal and the apple and blueberry pies that were up for grabs in my office kitchen (happy belated pi day!) almost made me quit. But today I realized that for the first time in a long time I don’t feel any stomach pain when I eat. My digestive system is working better than usual and I start to feel fuller while eating less food. (Did you know most processed foods are created chemically to leave you feeling hungry so that the industry makes more money and you buy/eat more food?) I’ve also lost weight, am more motivated to work out every day and drink a TON of water and herbal teas – did I mention that I gave up caffeine as well?
I’ll keep you updated on my progress the next few days but from what I’ve experienced so far I urge you to try Whole 30! Even if you can only make it for a few days, you’ll see how much your body can change when you eat whole non-processed foods. If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask! x
Stay Classy! xx