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Aila's Whole Life


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Hi All,


Just saying hello here.  I'm a 50 year old single mom, who's been eating and living Primally for almost four years.  Over the summer, I realized I needed a stricter protocol, so I at the end of August I started a Whole30, which I have done before.  What's different this time is that I have decided I am going to stay on until I really feel fully "whole" again.  I've also promised to not step on a scale until that happens, which feels immensely freeing.  Today, I'm 36 days in and feeling GREAT.


I also have a journal over at marksdailyapple, another community that has been very helpful to me on this journey.  But, since my focus is Whole30 now, I wanted to start one here as well.  


I've cooked many recipes from Nom Nom Paleo this month which are just yummy, and which (somewhat surprisingly) my kids seem to be liking as well.  I just got a text from my high schooler asking if I could make the pork chops with apples and onions dish tonight.  WOW!! (from Paleo Leap: http://paleoleap.com/quick-paleo-meals/). 


Anyway, happy to cross paths with all of you seeking greater health and wholeness!

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Hi TinMan!  Yes, the reason I wanted something stricter than Primal, and even "regular" Paleo, is that I still have a fair bit of weight to lose, and I really think that dairy in particular was impeding that goal, as well as my occasional other grain (quinoa, rice) and (gluten-free!) beer and wine, allowed as an indulgence on Primal.  It is super, super clear to me that I feel much better, and continue to lose weight, when I eat super clean - a la Whole30 - and I feel less healthy/energetic when I offroad with the above.  I just got real with myself and decided that reverting to those foods before I've achieved optimal health isn't a good idea for me.  


But, of course, YMMV, and I firmly believe we each have to experiment to find what works for us individually.  I dabbled for a long time, and this is just where I am at this point on the journey.  Good luck with your Whole30!  And remember the Troubleshooting forum here if you begin to falter... :)

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Spent a couple of days feeling feverish and achy, assumed flu because I went through carb flu a few weeks ago...  Tried to take it easy and let my body heal itself.  I didn't much want to eat, but made a point to get some foods nonetheless.  Today I have a headache and stuffiness but will try to go into work and see how it goes.  Later today I'll make chicken soup!


Any tips on Whole30'ing while sick are most welcomed, especially how (whether?) to eat if you really don't feel like it...

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Good morning!


What an interesting week this has been.  I have had different symptoms every day, so I am not sure what is going on.  This morning woke with a headache and a little stuffiness, but no fever or aches.  Stayed home from work yesterday.  Had coffee and a mug of chicken broth so far - delish!  I just keep telling myself that I am releasing yucky stuff.  


Amazingly, even though I have symptoms of illness, I am still feeling good physically and psychologically. I think that is part of what W30 is doing for me - I feel in control of my life and my choices, and that has immeasurable ripple effects.  I am really hoping that as I heal, I will become robustly healthy and immune to the random viruses that get passed around, especially in the "indoors" months.  And that my energy levels will continue to soar!


Arose, once again, just before my alarm at 5:45.  I have been working a lot on sleep hygiene (amber glasses at night, bright light in the morning, sleep mask, cool bedroom, 8+ hours of sleep at regular hours) and it is paying dividends.


Today is Whole42, and counting!  Happy day, everyone!

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Forty22!  Wow.  Nice.  I'm envious, but in a good way.  My older mama body felt so much better when I was eating well and as I read your intro post, I was reminded of all the reasons I was drawn to this process.  When you wrote about being able to fight off colds, I was nodding my head.  That was The Best!  I don't have any thoughts on what to eat or not eat when sick, but I do love drinking Apple Cider Vinegar "tea".  I put a tablespoon in hot water and I swear, it helps clear congestion and sinuses about 30 or 40 minutes later.  I drink it several times a day and as I get healthier, I find I don't want it as much.  Way to go on your progress.  It's really nice to read and feel inspired to get myself to that point too.

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Hi Emma! And hello everyone!


Just 42 days, only 12 days more than a regular Whole30, but I do intend to keep going.  In addition to wanting to keeping eating this way until I achieve optimal health (for a woman my age), I've also noted the recently published study that showed that the test subjects who were fed healthy food for 6 months and then tested for cravings craved the healthy food (those who ate crap for 6 months craved crap).  So, the idea that if I ate clean for 6 months I'd crave these healthy foods is strong motivation to keep going.


Besides that, I am really feeling great!  Thanks for your Cider Vinegar tea recipe, Emma, it sounds delicious and I will try that at the first signs of another virus.  But for now I'm feeling well, slept well last night and woke feeling refreshed and with no symptoms of illness - yay!


This WOL is so reinforcing.  Who wouldn't want to feel healthier,with more steady energy?  And I can tell, all by myself - no scale involved - that I am lighter, leaner.  Especially around my hips.  I had this thought recently that I really don't need a scale at all, because I *know* when I am at a healthy weight for me (and I know I'm not there now).  Having paid a lot of attention to the scale in the past, including working to celebrate .1 weight loss, I feel really freed from that right now.


I also tried yesterday turning my shower water cold at the end of my regular shower, per some cold therapy readings I've been doing, and I really liked it - very refreshing!


Resurrected my FitBit and will start wearing that to measure my steps during the day, too.


All is well!  Happy Wholeing, everybody!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Day 54 check in!  Wow, do I feel great!!


SO many positive changes thus far:


I *want* vegetables at every meal.  I have always liked veg, but making sure they were a part of every meal has not always been my focus, especially at breakfast.  This has become routine, such that this morning I had leftover pork sirloin and a red leaf lettuce salad for breakfast!


In the past week, I attended two conferences and one staff retreat, and I found it EASY to stay W30 compliant. YAY!


I am sleeping well and waking pretty much every morning before the alarm, feeling refreshed.  My energy is steady throughout the day (and on the few occasions when my body said, "rest!" I listened, and felt really good about it).


My abundant energy is allowing me to get SO much done, both around my house and at work.  It feels great!  I find myself dancing!!


I can feel my body changing, and at the same time it feels great to not be weighing.  People are starting to notice and comment!  And my jeans started to fall off my body this weekend - time to get a smaller size!


Stay tuned for my Day60 check in :)

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Oh - yay for you - and big hopes rising for me!  It's so FUN reading your posts about your abundant energy and your sleep and your overall attitude.  It's nice to feel good about your body and not need a scale.  I hope to get there too.  I've also read studies about the healthy foods and crappy foods - kinda of eye opening because I can really relate from my own experiences.


Looking forward to your 60 Day Check-In!

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Whole60 Report:


First, a technical note: since I'm planning to stay Whole30 compliant until I feel fully healthy and am at a normal weight, I'm not counting 30 exact days each time, but instead am counting the 27th of each month as my check in day.  I started on 8/27/14, so today is my two month check in.


First, this is easy!  I am loving the food I am eating, and making, and I feel so good that this way of eating/living is self-reinforcing.

I am not weighing, and that is very freeing.  I will know when I'm at a normal weight for me, and then I'll step on a scale - but not before.

However, I took pictures on 9/27/14 (sadly, I didn't take any from when I first started), and even the difference from last month to this month is dramatic! (Moreso on the front view than on the side view, but I figure that it'll all work itself out as I go along).


Changes so far:

I am smaller!  Besides the photographic evidence, my jeans are falling off me - even right out of the dryer!

I have oodles more energy, steady energy throughout the day.

I am sleeping well and solidly every night, waking up refreshed every morning. (I've been working on my sleep hygiene a lot.)

I am not craving anything not compliant.  I see those items and have no desire for them.

I have no joint aches.

I want to move!  I'm dancing everywhere!

This is weird, but I am sweating a lot less.

Really unusual, but I am totally noting that I can pay attention and absorb information better.

Overall, I have a calm and/or cheerful mood and am feeling really, really proud of myself!



I am a total food snob.  Crappy food - even when technically W30 compliant (like my chicken here at the hotel last night) - is almost unpalatable.  Oh well, I'll manage..


And onto the next 30 days!  Whole90, here I come!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone!


I'm doing great, well into my Whole90 now! :)  


But, I'm popping in to see if anyone has experienced a cold tongue as part of this process?  It is slightly paler than usual, too (and for sure I've experienced the white tongue when I'm eating crap, but it has been a healthy pink color for some time now).  


I've read all about tongue symptoms as indicators of health, but googling "paleo tongue cold" doesn't yield much on point.  I'm just curious if this might be a byproduct of detoxing? (I know that that issue too is controversial, but it makes sense to me that if toxins are stored in fat cells, that when fat cells shrink those toxins are released and have to go somewhere...)


Also, I've been really inspired by HolyMamaMoly's website and Instagram: http://www.holymamamoly.com/ that was posted on the Whole30 blog a couple of weeks ago.  If you missed it then, check it out now!

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Happy Saturday morning, all!


Cruising on toward 90 days (on 11/25, technically, but I'm counting the 27th of each month rather than exact days).  Life is good!  I am really noticing the mental changes, like I just feel like these are the foods I eat.  I have no cravings for non-compliant foods.  This morning took my daughters and their friend to a make-your-own pancakes place, and I had poached eggs, potatoes and pork belly and felt like I had a much yummier and healthier breakfast!!


Made North African stew a couple of days ago, pretty yummy.  Busy weekend, so it is good to have some items made ahead!


During the week we also had lunch at our local paleo restaurant, Cultured Caveman.  Delish!  Highly recommend this place!


Very much looking forward to my Whole30 Thanksgiving

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Hi Everyone!


Yesterday, a colleague stopped me and said "You look smaller!"  YAY!!  I for sure can see changes, but it is so nice to be affirmed by others.


One thing that I've noticed is that weight loss does not happen uniformly - that is, I'm getting smaller in certain areas faster than in others.  Usually my face shows it, and that's true this time too, but interestingly I have really noticed my waist - the higher part, at the end of the ribcage - of late.  It just feels so good to be in a place of trust, that as long as I keep feeding my body well, and moving it, my body will return to its natural, healthy state.  Today is officially day 85, of the rest of my life!


I spent some time yesterday trying to find a good "before" picture, inspired by HolyMamaMoly and MayDae and others, and not only did I not really find anything suitable (guess I've been avoiding those full body shots for a while), but I noticed that even when I was small and "healthy" I still had a somewhat puffy face.  I'm chalking that up to my years of vegetarianism and grains, soy and dairy, which I do believe are inflammatory for me.  


I've been reading with interest the commentary about the Dr. Oz show today, and look forward to seeing how it all plays out.  I completely understand Dallas and Melissa's point about getting the message out to a wider audience.  I've found Dr. Oz's approach questionable at best, bordering on malpractice, when he touts weight loss products, but I'm hopeful that he will present the Whole 30 information with objectivity.  AND that the credit will stay with Whole9/30!!


I have roasted lamb loin chops and pumpkin chili on the menu for the weekend - yay!  Be well, all!

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YAY!  Just saw the Dr. Oz segment, and it was pretty good!!  Waaay too brief, but I suppose that's how tv spots go now, and hopefully the fact that Whole 30 info will now be up on his website too, more people will learn all about it.  And really nice to see some familiar faces!!

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So today is a good day!  Yesterday I took an afternoon nap (unusual for me) and slept hard, and then this morning when I woke up I really felt like I had released something.  Such an intangible thing to describe, but there it is.  Today especially my waist feels smaller, and I just feel like dancing!  (So I am!!)


B: Two over easy eggs, avocado, pico de gallo, seasoned with salt, pepper and turmeric

L: Big salad (I've been craving salad for several days), with red leaf lettuce, argula, red onion, yellow and red pepper, yellow beets, crimini mushrooms, broccoli, chicken, sunflower seeds, EVOO and balsamic.  Delish!

D: (anticipated): Pan-seared and oven-roasted rosemary pork loin chops with mashed garnet yam (and I may add a green veg too).


I mean honestly, who could look at that menu and not see it as totally healthy?!?


I really am loving Whole30!

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Hi Everyone!  


Thanksgiving Day will mark 3 months of Whole 30ing for me!  Here's what I will be making for myself:


Roast Turkey 

Cranberry Sauce  

Mashed potatoes 

Roasted root vegetables with cinnamon walnuts - rutabaga, parsnip, turnip, butternut squash, yams

Roasted brussels sprouts


Dessert for me:

Pumpkin coconut maple custard cups (mine without maple syrup)


I'll be making a few other non-Whole 30 items for everyone else (eg stuffing), but these dishes are the centerpiece and what I plan to eat.  I honestly think that most traditional Thanksgiving foods are a perfect match, by and large, for Whole 30.  Toying with a few other menu ideas, too...so excited!!  


Stopped by Cultured Caveman this evening as I unexpectedly found myself in their neighborhood, and grabbed dinner and a mason jar of house-rendered beef tallow, and also an Exo Apple Cinnamon bar - made with cricket flour!  This will be my one non-Whole 30 indulgence on Thanksgiving, as it is made with a little bit of honey, but I am so very excited to try it - it is made with cricket flour.  I'm very intrigued with the idea of insects as food (as they are in many parts of the world). So, an adventure for Thanksgiving!


Hope everyone is doing well, and looking forward to a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!

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Howdy Aila!  It's me and I'm back.  You sound great and you're very inspiring.  I'm doing Paleo strictly December 1 and going forward.  30, 40, 60, whatever.


In the time that I've been slacking off I have this to show for it:

dry skin


yeast infection

limp hair

under eye circles

bad sleep

congestion (sneezing, itchy eyes, coughing)


All of that.  So wish me luck and thanks for the inspiration!!!

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Hi TinMan, MeadowLily, and everyone else!


Well, today is officially DAY 90!!  WOW!  I am just trucking along and feeling great, and SO proud of myself.  I have been really inspired in the last few days reading the blog and Instagram account of @becca__swain, to whom Melissa gave a shout out on the Whole30 Facebook page on November 23, her ONE YEAR anniversary (she Whole 30'd a lot, but not all, of that time).  Anyhow, I especially like this picture of her at the beginning of the school year, before she started, and at the end of that same school year: Becca Goes Pro (image about 3 images down the page).  SO AWESOME and inspirational!


I am going to check measurements on 11/27, and the 27th of every month, but not weigh.  It will really be a Happy Thanksgiving for me this year :)


Today, in my ongoing efforts to expand my cuisine options, I made myself a salad of chopped sardines, avocado and raisins.  It was pretty good!  Next I'd like to try goat, but I want to find a reliable source.  


AND, guess what I found at my amazing local grocery store....Paleo Stuffing!!  And it is Whole30 compliant (albeit a little heavy on the fruit - it's sweet potato, apples, nuts, spices).  I was going to skip stuffing this year, but now I don't have to!  I like the look of the ground beef based stuffing on the Whole9 website, but it seemed to me too heavy for Thanksgiving with all the other food; I'll try it another time.  In the meantime, I'll try the store bought stuff.  So happy to support their carrying Paleo items!


A shorter day at work tomorrow and then home to start cooking!  Happy day, all!


p.s. TinMan, I've had most of those symptoms, and all are gone or nearly gone since Whole30'ing....FWIW.  Thanks for stopping by!


Oh, gosh, I almost forgot to report on my dental cleaning yesterday - the hygienist gave me an A+, said she barely had to do any cleaning, and my gums are super healthy!  I can't help but think that a diet free of grains and sugar and dairy has something to do with that!

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I had a lovely day, making and then enjoying delicious healthy food.  Notably, I had one full plate, but had no desire for seconds.  I loved the entire meal, and the Brussels sprouts were especially yummy (I made them with Whole30-approved bacon, pistachios and raisins).  I can also report that the custards were just like eating the filling of pumpkin pie, and I will definitely make them again, and the Exo bar was quite good and I would never know that it is made of crickets!


Had a lovely walk between dinner and dessert, and for the second time in two days someone remarked that I look good.  So validating to get these positive comments from others!


Since today was also the 27th, it marks my 3 months of Whole30ing, so I took photos and measurements as well (but no weighing) and I am feeling really good about my progress - I know that this way of eating and way of life is great for me.  I only have to compare old photos, even from when I first found Primal 4 years ago, to feel fairly convinced that dairy is not my friend.  I do think it causes me inflammation and impedes weight loss, as it is the major difference between Primal and what I'm doing now, at least for me.  Whenever I get ready to do reintroduction (which won't happen until I am once again at a normal weight and feel robustly healthy), I'll try adding some dairy back and see how it goes.  But for now, I'm so so happy with all my food choices on Whole 30 that I feel no deprivation or need for anything non-compliant.


Today, I'm grateful to Melissa and Dallas and Whole9/30, and the entire Paleosphere, for their wisdom - and generosity in sharing it with us.  Wishing you all a healthy holiday weekend!

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HAPPY DECEMBER!  Welcome to all you brave folks who are starting a Whole 30 today!

Today is Day 96 for me, and I'm looking forward to a fabulous, healthy month!


So...this morning my shower was tepid, so I went to check the water heater, saw that the dial was on zero, went to move it and got a bad electrical shock! As to the "Avoid Poisons" tenet from Primal Blueprint, this was a complete fail - there are warning signs all over the tank saying DISCONNECT FROM ELECTRICAL SOURCE. I felt like a fool. I was pretty sure that when I was shown by the contractor how to adjust it, that's all he did was move the dial. I'm either wrong about that or there's a bigger problem. Anyhow...

This led to my getting checked out at the doc, because I do have a burn mark at the entry point and still, a couple of hours later, tingling in my arm. The point of this story is to say that, as per usual, they wanted to weigh me at the doc, so I said, "Do me a favor and don't tell me what it says." The nurse said okay, and covered up the digital display (I was closing my eyes anyway). She very respectfully said, "Okay, I've got it" and kept her hand on the display until I got off and turned away. So I said, by way of explanation, "I'm doing something...[pause, courage] I'm doing the Whole 30 and I'm not supposed to weigh.

Then we got into the room and she went to log in the info and said, "Do you want to know if you've lost weight since your last visit?" so I said, "sure, you can tell me that." And she said, "You've lost almost 20 lbs since you were last here!" Okay, so that was more information than I thought she was going to give me (I thought she'd say "yes you've lost weight" but not an amount) but still I was pretty happy. And most especially because, although I don't remember at all when I was last there or what my weight might have been, I'm thinking that 20lbs less is pretty damned good!

B: 3 eggs scrambled in CO with leftover autumn root vegetables and cinnamon pecans.

So, I'm considering December my "prep" month for 2015. To that end, I am:

Meditating twice a day, 20 mins each
Getting outdoors 15 mins a day min
Exercising at least 1 min for each day it is, working up to 30 mins daily
Only using screens between sunrise and sunset (inc tv, laptop, phone except for radio function)

On that last element, I am aiming to go a level better than amber glasses (which I love) and see what happens when I confine blue light to the same hours as actual sunlight. Liz from Skintervention says when she did this she was the healthiest she's ever been. That's worth it to me, to give it a try.

Okay, peeps, let's have a great month!

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Today I am sick :(.  I woke up in the middle of the night with abdominal pain, and as I came to awakeness realized I was really not feeling well.  Was awake for a couple of hours trying to feel better - did abdominal massage, drank water, vacated ;).  I felt chilled in my body and feverish in my head.  Finally I went back to sleep and when I woke up this morning still hurt so decided to stay home from work.  


About mid-morning I went into the bathroom and noticed in the mirror that I have a rash all over my forehead - so weird!!


At lunch I decided to try to eat and had some sweet potato, and very quickly had a recurrence of pain, so I'm going to lay off food for a while.  I'm about to have some ginger tea.


Working theories:

1. food poisoning? (I made a green salad and pumpkin chili last night - maybe the meat was not great? maybe the lettuce? not sure...)

2. detoxing? (I've read that as your gut heals, this pain can happen cyclically, and rashes are often associated with detox)

3. virus?


Not sure, just going to take it easy and hope it resolves.  One thing I know for sure - It's better to be healthy and then get sick than to be unhealthy and then get sick...I feel like I can manage this and take good care of myself while I heal.


Wishing you all robust health!

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Good morning!  


Yesterday was Day 100 for me!  I'm still feeling good, although not quite "regular" yet in the GI tract, and I am rather congested today. To quell my slight nausea last night I had a spoonful of coconut butter which seemed to help.  I want to make some more bone broth this weekend, and freeze a bunch, so I always make sure I have some on hand, especially for when I am feeling sick. 


However, I am on the whole feeling so good, which I credit to taking such good care of myself over the past 100 days.  This morning, I feel smaller in my hips.  Not weighing on the scale has made me notice more clearly the actual physical changes in my body.  


Also spent some time yesterday planning my Spring Break beach vacation, which makes me happy!  I'm looking forward to being slimmer by then, and I also spent some time scouting a grocery and restaurants there where I'll be able to get Paleo/Whole 30 options.  YAY!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi December Whole30ers!


Briefly dropping in to say that I am still going strong, 3.5 months of Whole30'ing and I feel AWESOME.


A few items of note:

First, my daughter started complaining that my breath was bad, to the point that she wanted me to face forward rather than look at her when we were driving in the car. Since I attend well to my oral hygiene, I was surprised, so I googled and think that what she's noticing is keto-breath! She agreed it smelled like rotten fruit, which is typical. Looks like there's not much you can do, and it is a good sign that my body is burning fat for fuel. So, I'm just going to try to make sure I'm drinking plenty of water, which can sometimes help, and attend to not breathing directly on anyone, and hope that I adapt over time...

I am really enjoying the effects of not weighing myself - how much more attentive it makes me to the "Non-Scale Victories." A few of late: I moved in a set of clasps on my bra! Also, my "go to" shirt (that at any weight always got compliments, a black and white clingy number, is now LOOSE on me! When I clasp my hands together, the fingers fit better - I can tell the difference! 

I have completely abandoned the "no electronics/blue light between sunrise and sunset" goal I had for December. I did it long enough to realize that here in these northern latitudes, that makes a LOT of hours with low light, and I also realized how much I use electronics to keep me company. One day I really felt depressed, and decided it was time to call it. I think I will try this experiment again, just not in the dead of winter.

At a holiday party over the weekend I did really well, really was not tempted at all to stray from plan even though there were lovely offerings. Had a conversation with two folks who'd done Whole30 last year, both did Whole60's actually. It's good to commune with like-minded people. One said that his doc, though, wants to talk with him about his cholesterol and the Paleo diet, so he's prepping for that. I know I've read some stuff on point and will try to find it for him. They also do with their kids what I do with mine - make the main healthy meal, and if the kids want something else (instead or in addition) they can make it themselves.

In food news: this weekend I made a really yummy meatloaf recently and froze a bunch of individual slices for lunches, also made more bone broth (with grass fed beef bones) to stock up the freezer, and then this slow cooker butter chicken recipe - it was YUM! The spice combo is delicious! The recipe says 6-8 hours in the slow cooker, and I think that 6 would do fine.

Hope everyone is well!

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Hi all!  


Well, as I close in on 4 months of Whole30ing, I am noticing something new.  This is the third time in the last few days that I have noticed feeling itchy shortly after eating, especially on my arms and legs.  Unfortunately, tonight's dinner was a big salad with many ingredients, so I'm not able to easily isolate a cause.  


I looked at the AIP, low FODMAP and low histamine shopping lists on the Whole9 website, thinking maybe I'd just eliminate a whole bunch of foods and see what might happen, but when I saw how many things I'd have to eliminate, I decided instead to just try to make note more carefully of my foods right before this reaction, and perhaps that will help me figure it out.  


So, tonight I had chicken, white potatoes (roasted), lettuce, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, red onion, cauliflower, cucumber, carrot, hard boiled egg, sunflower seeds, olive oil, balsamic vinegar.  


Of course, it's also possible that this is just part of detoxing, as opposed to an allergic reaction to a certain food.  I know that concept is considered silly by some, but it feels plausible to me.


Stay tuned!

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Just a brief check in - did not have breakfast this morning (other than coffee), then had a salad for lunch, purposely leaving out some of the possible allergens (tomatoes, green pepper, onion).  Today's salad had red leaf lettuce, kale, carrots, cukes, broccoli, cauliflower, ham, pumpkin seeds, hard boiled egg, a few raisins, beets, EVOO and balsamic vinegar.  Had very slight itch reaction (still having it).  Last night's itch lasted 5-6 hours, until I went to bed.  No discernible visible rash, though.


I read up on the Troubleshooting thread and one person suggested a candida die-off reaction.  Googled more and it seems possible, although I don't know if it's reasonable to imagine that I'd only now be having die-off, since I've been W30ing for nearly 4 months.  But who knows?  The body is mysterious....  :)


From my reading, other possible culprits: nuts/seeds, eggs, vinegar.  Will keep a close watch, as I don't want to eliminate any food unnecessarily.


Final preparation for Christmas is on tap for the weekend!  Can't wait to make my Whole30-approved Christmas dinner!

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