Whole Nerdy

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  1. Whole Nerdy

    Over-50 Whole 30

    Hello Debra, Thanks for sharing your concerns. I would venture to say that if you are in the early stages of menopause, whatever is true for you now may not be true a year from now. Or even a month, or a week from now. (: Your body is trying to find a new normal, and the way it does that may cause discomfort. That said, I have found Whole30 to be a wonderful way to experiment with what foods your body wants to have currently, and as a general reset. I am not a medical or nutritional expert, but I would hazard a guess that what you eat within a 30-day period is not going to have an adverse long-term impact. For me, the best payoff for my Whole45 (see my post above) was the reintroductions, because I got to see how foods I had been eating routinely affected me either positively or negatively. I had no idea what these foods had been doing to my body and mind my whole life until I stopped eating them. I've been in menopause for 5-1/2 years now and it's settled down some, but I remember how rough and disorienting the first couple years can be. Hang in there--it is worth it!--I have whole new perspectives on my life now. I went on a low dose of hormones for about 2 years because my energy was so low. That's not what I originally planned to do, and that's OK--one gift of menopause is to get rid of the shoulds, and just start living. My cholesterol and most notably LDLs (although not other unhealthy markers) continue to increase, so I am going to have to decide what to do about that. As far as what those figures mean, and whether it is really unhealthy, it all depends on what experts you consult, what websites you consult, what studies they reference. There's a lot of hot disagreement between the paleo (along with other alternative health communities) and conventional, mainstream medicine on this issue, and on the advisability of going on statins. Good luck! and let your body, your mind and your own intuition be your best guides.
  2. Whole Nerdy

    Over-50 Whole 30

    I want to share a bit about what I see as the advantages of Whole 30 eating for people over 50, with one possible caveat. A while back when I was a lithe young thing in my thirties, a friend of mine in his mid-fifties sat down heavily on a bench and said to me, "You see, this is what happens when you get older--your muscles get all achy." I remember thinking, Oh, no, I don't want that to be me. Cut to me in my late forties and early fifties--sure enough, I'd wake up in the morning, shuffle my sore limbs to the bathroom, and look back at a puffy face. I just thought it was normal. Then I started a paleo-style diet, and the achiness almost immediately went away. It was dramatic: I could bend over and place my palms on the floor first thing in the morning, which I couldn't have dreamed about before. Recently, my sugar habit came back, with a vengeance. I would feel tired and creaky just walking up the stairs. So I did a Whole45, just to really keep the sugar demons at bay. It was a joy to feel the litheness I had felt in my limbs at a young age return. I felt like someone had literally oiled my joints. I am emphasizing this because so many people believe that soreness and lack of flexibility are an inevitable product of old age. It ain't so. Another great advantage of Whole30-ing for older people is the way it changes your habits. By the time you've been on the planet for half a century or more, your manner of thinking about food and your style of eating have become pretty well engrained. Your mind may try to be as inflexible as your body once was. We all know from research and from the examples of people around us that changing habits and learning new skills are both an important part of aging well. With Whole30 you have to rethink a lot of things you may have been doing automatically that no longer serve you. This in itself is freeing. What's the caveat? My lipids level zoomed up along with my adoption of the paleo diet--both HDL and LDL increased; my doctors have been pestering me to go on statins. Women lose the protection that estrogen previously gave to their heart when they go through menopause, so heart-released problems often show up at this stage. I am not sure how much this increase in cholesterol had to do with my change in diet or with menopause itself. Probably a combination of both. Now that I have completed my Whole45 I am experimenting with a Mediterranean-style diet--still grain-free, but veering in the direction of fish and lowering my intake of red meat, which is problematic anyway (increases cancer risk in many studies, high carbon footprint). I have learned so much from this Whole45, including how much the foods I eat influence my cognitive and concentration skills. (Hint: much more than I previously thought!) Again, eating the foods that work for me help me to preserve that most precious resource. Good luck to all you at all ages.
  3. Whole Nerdy

    Sore throat relief for middle of the night

    I hadn't thought of that, it could be as I live in inland Northern California and it's very dry in summer, humidity is low all year. I will try it; thanks.
  4. I'm going to start my second Whole 30 (I hope Whole 45) in a couple of weeks. I have looked around and see that cough drops are a no-no. I don't have any problem with that--I'm planning on doing a Whole 45 because I've gotten badly sugar-addicted and think I really need a 6-week reset--except that I wake up almost every night about ten minutes after I have fallen asleep with a scratchy throat. I've gotten very used to popping a cough drop in my mouth and going back to sleep, allowing it to slowly dissolve. Any substitutes come to mind to soothe a throat in the middle of the night? I could get up and gargle with salt water, but that would disrupt my sleep much more.
  5. Whole Nerdy

    yummy breakfast this morning...

    Wondrous help for the Whole30 trip: Slice into rounds and roast one eggplant and one or two zucchini. Drizzle olive oil and a little salt on top; herbs (basil, marjoram, thyme) are good too. Bake in oven at 375 for about 20 minutes. If eggplant gets too soft, it will shrivel down to nothing. (Although very good for making baba ghanouj.) I keep this in a container in my fridge and then top with tahini sauce (Trader Joe's has a great one with compliant ingredients) when I want a good snack. It also makes a great breakfast and is easy to eat on the go: add sliced turkey (if you look, you can get kinds with no added sugar or honey), olives, sliced tomato, avocado, or any combination of above. This is great for breakfast on a day when you don't have time to cook, or can't stand the sight of eggs anymore. Also works as a light meal on a hot day, or any time at all. Personally, I have found olives to be so inviting on Whole30--providing robust flavor and making a meal or a snack come alive. Because of their strong flavor, I tend to have an automatic limit on how much I eat. And I always have some in my fridge.
  6. Whole Nerdy

    April 1st Start Date - Support Group

    Hello, checking in here, Day 22 of 1st Whole 30. Mainly looking to contain uncontrolled snacking and be in deep dialogue with various sugar demons. What I noticed right away on this diet is that my attitude toward my food changed. I am much more conscious, organized, and intentional towards my food. I am not buying food on impulse, taking a few bites, and then discarding it for my next treat. This is important because I used to be vegetarian, and now I am eating meat in a pretty serious way and wanting to respect the animal by not throwing out more than I need to. Even my fridge is neater and cleaner--although I'm eating at home as much as possible, so it's full of food. Up until a couple days ago, my sugar craving was continual. To satisfy it, I kept snacking, although with compliant ingredients--you know, an apple slathered with sun butter, followed by berries in coconut milk, followed by pistachios and dried fruit, followed by... well, you get the idea. Melissa keeps saying in the Whole30 book not to do this, and I thought the sugar cravings would subside and I would stop snacking, but it didn't happen. Finally I decided to seize the beast by the horns and cease snacking, and cut out nuts and dried fruit for the last 10 days. (I do plan to use sun butter to make Sunshine Sauce.) Since that happened--voila--those awful sugar cravings have mostly gone away. And I thought it was all physical. Hah. It's habitual--which I believe is the point of these guidelines. So I feel encouraged. Reversing a habit is no easy thing.