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Day 16: Where's the Magic?

Mama K

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Greetings fellow Whole30'ers:

I'm frustrated that on Day 16 of my Whole30, I'm still sleeping poorly, have developed uncomfortable digestive issues, and have very low energy. I'm hoping for some feedback to remind me why I'm doing this & the benefits of sticking with it.

The nutshell:

  • Diagnosed w/Type 2 diabetes last November (2012) & have been eating a Paleo diet (95/5) since then.
  • The difference between my Whole30 & usual Paleo diet is eliminating red wine, 85% chocolate, greek yogurt, hard cheeses, honey, stevia, pancetta, lunch meat & bacon.
  • I go to a CrossFit gym & workout 5-6 days/week. I started w/3 days/week in January '12 & increased the frequency based on the owner's recommendation (3 days on, 1 day off & so forth)
  • My blood sugar has been easily controlled since adopting Paleo & Crossfit. I lost a significant amount of weight at first, but plateaued in May.
  • In June, I was diagnosed w/an underactive thyroid & now am taking a Nature Throid. My weight had been decreasing again once I started that, but has screeched to a halt since starting the Whole 30.
  • I'm 49 years old & in the throws of peri-menopausal mayhem

On Whole 30, I have had a host of digestive issues (bloating, constipation, diarrhea, pain), skin problems (break outs, oily), extreme fatigue & disrupted sleep. I figured that since I'd cleaned my eating habits up & exercise regime up months ago, that participating in this program wouldn't throw my body for as much of a loop - especially after 2 weeks into the program.

Generally, I favor salads, but had read about not eating many raw veggies, so I've heeded that advice & cook most of my veggies. I eat plenty of fat (avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, fatty grass fed meat), protein, veggies, a good amount of carbs (sweet potatoes & fruit) & water. Because of the type 2 diabetes, eating 3 meals a day hasn't been feasible for me, so I've been doing 3 with a mid afternoon 'snack' of blueberries (1 cup), coconut cream, cacao nibs (unsweetened), & macadamia nuts.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Thanks! Karin

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It sounds like your diet hasn't really changed much...you've cleaned it up a bit but I mean I'd be pretty surprised that eliminating wine, chocolate, lunch meat, etc. is causing digestive distress. Your fat content has stayed the same? What about your carb intake? Were you eating more soluble fiber before, like more sweet potatoes, regular potatos, bananas, or even rice? If so, taking that out would do it. Otherwise, since you said you're in the midst of peri-menopause and have low-thyroid, any possibility it's hormonal? Increased progesterone/low estrogen generally has a negative impact on digestion.

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Thanks for your input Shantess. It seems as minor as the changes made on Whole30 from my typical Paleo routine sound, they are having a major impact. It also occurs to me, in reading other posts, that this could be a die-off effect - worse before better. I was eating more soluble fiber before in the form of rice, regular potatoes, bananas & sweet potatoes. I've maintained the sweet potato part on Whole30, but not more than one small sweet potato a day - if that. Seems like the hormones are re-adjusting too, causing difficulties, because my period came later than it normally would have, was heavier & lasted longer than it has before. Just trying to troubleshoot why I'm still feeling poorly 2 weeks in when so many people are feeling great at this point.

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It really could be the decrease in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is "soothing" to inflammed digestive tracts (basically because it's easy to digest and break-down)...this is why people with IBS or digestive disorders are advided to eat some soluble fiber regularly (usually with every meal). If you've decreased it, that could very well be the cause for digestive complaints. You can try upping the sweet potatoes or squash but it will likely balance out. Timing is different for everyone - I only switiched to paleo (began with the Whole30) 2 months ago and my system is still working itself out (but I had issues with digestion before, as well).

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Do you think crossfit 5-6 days a week is too much? My diet was pretty clean before the whole30 and the things I cut out for the whole30 were nuts, dairy and artificial sweeteners. Grains and legumes and sugar were cut out years ago. I felt "ok" for the first 28 days, I would workout about 90 minutes a day most days...then I broke my foot around day 26 (I'm headed for a whole 60 or 90) or so and was forced to stop working out like crazy. I can really only do yoga and upper body weight lifting and pull ups. Once I let my body rest a l started to feel like a new person. I'm sleeping better, my skin looks better, pants that were tight are a bit looser, I'm less anxious and less easily irritated. All of these changes happened when I stopped working out so hard...if I hadn't broken my foot I would still be working out like crazy and feeling "meh".

Try backing off crossfit for a bit and see how you feel. Exercise, especially intense exercise, will cause an inflammatory response too.

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Those are all good points by others. Regarding your thyroid - sounds like medications is newer for you. Have you had your levels tested recently? Sometimes when starting thyroid medication, your body responds well to it at first, and then eventually your body senses it has enough hormone through medication so it stops producing as much, which can cause a dip in your thyroid hormone. It can take a while to find the right dose. If you've tried making some modifications and aren't feeling better, I'd recommend getting your thyroid levels checked.

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