I did about four successfully modified Whole30s in 2016-2017 (I quit my last one because I found out I was pregnant/suspected I was). The results were always great, but the process difficult.
I’m not really into dieting at all, or cutting out whole food groups, but I did like the Whole30 solely for weight loss and feeling less bloated. It’s an excellent program to jumpstart health, but I personally don’t think it’s sustainable in the long term.
How would I describe the Whole30? Paleo on steroids.
No sugar or sugar substitutes (no honey), no wheat, no grains (yup, no quinoa which I thought was dumb), no popcorn, no treats (I get around this one, but I still think it’s dumb), no legumes (apparently sprouted lentils are okay), no beans, no dairy.
So what did I eat? A fuckton of veggies, fruit, meat, fish and and eggs. So yeah, I was allowed to have potatoes (white and sweet), but no wheat/bread (I may have killed my sourdough starter…I’ll find out).
The first three days are always the hardest for me. The first day FOR SURE I was a moody SOB. The sugar withdrawal sent my moods swinging up and down. Day 2 I was a little sore, but less moody. Day 3, I was feeling better about it and feeling significantly less bloated.
Last night (Day 7), while on vacation (I’m not checking every ingredient on everything or being persnickety about things; it’s vacation, I’m not making most of my food), I caved HARD and had a small piece of the most gorgeous strawberry shortcake I’ve ever seen. It’s the day after, and I feel like trash. I did also spend a large chunk of yesterday in the sun and have a bit of a burn.
This particular Whole30 I started up so that I could, erm, brace yourself for a shallow moment, lose weight and feel a little more energetic. Things might start getting weird for some of you, so I’ll give you a bit of background.
Two years ago, had a baby, haven’t felt the same, am the heaviest I’ve ever weighted, kid has been sleeping through the night for over a year, haven’t woken up feeling rested, felt extra sensitive at the beginning of April when I did a closet sort/purge.
Obviously, I’m not ever going to “get my body back” or “go back to how I was”, but I can make some changes to feel a bit more normal.
I know some people think it’s fully hokey pokey (I’ll admit, I do, too, to a certain extent), but the CT scan I had in April and the conversations with my doctor didn’t rectify my constant fatigue. I felt like I wasn’t getting solutions. I’m all for utilizing the health care system and health care providers (alternative or conventional to the West) to whatever extent I can. I vaccinate myself and my kid and am adamantly pro-vax.
I spoke with a naturopath at the end of June, and she assured me she’d work with my doctor. Turns out, she also loves the doctors at my clinic! We had a conversation about how I’m relatively pragmatic about my own health, and that I don’t like to be on supplements long-term unless they’re legitimately needed (prenatal vitamins = good errday during your childbearing years!!)
We had a conversation about my overall health, the big picture and my health goals (weight loss, more energy, come off of my anti-depressants soon with her help and my doctor’s). She “prescribed” me a Whole30 so we can identify food sensitivities and jump start some weight loss, and a few supplements (four) for my adrenals and to help me sleep at night.
I did have to up my anti-depressants a week in, but I think it’s for the best right now. The baby dose wasn’t really working anymore (I was on the lowest dose to start).
We’re 8 days in, and I feel a HUGE difference in terms of my energy. I wake up feeling rested after the same amount of sleep, and I’m not reaching for cups number two and three of coffee by early afternoon.
To be fair, I think I was hitting a burnout point at work.
Little bit of forest therapy while I’m on vacay, and I think we’ll be good to go!
Maybe no more strawberry shortcake…