Why Whole30? As I mentioned before, people take on Whole30 for various reasons, while I have always been pleased with the various “side effects” when embarking on Whole30 (better sleep, clearer skin, less inflammation, weight loss, and tiger blood) my “reasons why” include a much deeper motivation. Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at 20 was definitely a game changer in my life. At the time, it was normal practice for doctors to tell patients that there is “absolutely no correlation between IBD and diet, so don’t waste your time and energy on diets that won’t do any good.” You can still hear old school doctors repeating this awful advice to their patients today as well. Yeah, I know right? It sounds backwards even to a person who hasn’t paid hundreds of thousands of dollars and spent a decade studying for a medical degree. At the time, I trusted that advice and never looked any further into healing my gut through diet and just trusted that general medicine would keep things under control.
Thankfully, my UC has been well managed for the past 9 years through a biologic called Remicade. This is an immunosuppressing drug that basically keeps my body from attacking itself. It has worked well to keep me in remission, but as I’ve gotten older, I have worried about the endless list of negative side-effects that come along with it (arthritis, eczema, fatigue, cancer(!) just to name a few). I worry about the effects it could have on my unborn children should my husband and I get pregnant someday. I worry about the costs associated with this medication, I worry about losing my insurance benefits some day and not being able to afford it. I worry about being anchored where I am because I don’t have the freedom to leave. I can only go as far as the IV pole will let me stretch.
Enter Whole30, the re-set that I needed to finally realize that food affects more than my weight… it affects my health and process of healing. Whole30 was the springboard I needed to help me find and prepare for what will ultimately be my lifestyle for the next 2 years… The Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I will provide more detail later on. But basically, I have committed to 2 years of real, whole, good foods that will help to undo and repair the damage that a lifetime of bad food choices have helped to create. This is my 3rd official Whole30, which I will be using as the “starting line” of my journey to better health through food. I’m excited for the determination, confidence, and control that Whole30 gives me over my life and food choices.
As written, the program calls for NO added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, or dairy, while allowing all meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and natural fats. Due to a few previously discovered food intolerances, I will have to limit further some of my Whole30 approved foods. Starchy foods really mess with my gut, which is why during this Whole30, I will also be eliminating most starchy vegetables and fruits (namely, Potatoes, yes even Sweet, Parsnips, and plantains) In the past, these were some of my Whole30 staple foods, but with the knowledge Whole30 has given me about how to listen to my body, I’ve realized these foods are just not my friends.
Some goals I’d like to accomplish during this whole30 include:
– Tame the sugar dragon! (While I have cut out processed sugar a long time ago, I tend to overdo it on honey… like, a lot. So quitting ALL sugar cold turkey will be good for me)
– Get adequate rest and take time for daily prayer, meditation and study (I’d like to focus more on the whole person this time around, and not JUST the physical)
– Keep a food journal and learn to listen to my body when it disagrees with my food choices.
– Be nice to my hubby every day no matter how bad my cravings may get!
– Feel empowered at the end of this Whole30 to take on the next 2 years with determination and a positive attitude.
– Ok and maybe I’d like to lose a few pounds while I’m at it too, if I’m being completely honest… but that isn’t the important thing I promise! Here’s a few “results” shots from my very first whole30 challenge……..
Although I started this journey because I was looking for a natural way to combat medication induced fatigue… the clearer skin and 10 pounds I dropped without counting a single calorie was definitely a nice bonus. 😉
So here’s to the next…. let me check… 28 days and counting! I’ll keep you posted!
Till next time,