Laketon79

Are the risks worth it?

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So I know of someone who went on the whole30 and now she can't eat anything processed because of the MSG. So when people hear about that they think the whole30 is crazy, why would you want to do that to yourself and never be able to eat your favorite foods anymore? This also scares me of doing any more whole30's because I don't want that to happen to myself.  Any thoughts?

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Hi Laketon,

 

It is true that people can feel more sensitive to certain foods (including processed ones) after a Whole30.  Following the Whole30 allows a person's gut to heal.  When consistently eating things that are bothersome, a person's gut creates a thicker mucosal lining in order to try and protect itself.  Working through a Whole30 allows that thicker layer to slough off and thin down to what is normal.  Then, when the person eats something that their body finds irritating, that thicker mucosal layer isn't there and the irritation is felt much more intensely.

 

It is possible to "inoculate" yourself to irritating and upsetting foods by eating them consistently because that helps to build that mucosal lining...but that is not a healthy thing to do.  It can cause hormone disruption, gut disruption, poor nutrient absorption, leaky gut and a whole host of other problems that may or may not be experienced physically.

 

Doing a Whole30 allows you to figure out what foods are harmful or damaging to your body.  It can be scary or depressing to discover that you can't eat dairy or legumes (or whatever your desired foods are) without causing your body harm and discomfort but the health that you gain instead is so valuable that people often choose to make the discovery and then act accordingly.  Sometimes that means never having the item again and sometimes that means having the item and knowing what the outcome will be (stomach pain, headache, skin issues etc).

 

The old saying; you don't realize how bad you were feeling until you feel good again!

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Hi Laketon, I have merged the two topics that you have posted (one in Friends and Family and one in Troubleshooting).  Please do not post the same question in separate places on the forum.

 

Thanks!

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kirkor,

 

The thing about it is, she did not have these problems before the whole30. I think she would rather choose to just eat healthy now and still be able to eat occasionally without the horrible side effects. Any of my friends/family who hear of this really scares them away from the whole30 because they don't want that to happen to them, and I don't want it to happen to me!

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The "user friendly" analogy I've heard to explain the muscousal sloughing that LadyShanny mentions is this: imagine someone poking you in the shoulder over and over again. It hurts at first but eventually, if they did it all day every day, you'd "get used to it" and it would fade in to the background. You'd be fine and wouldn't even notice. The Whole30 stops the arm poking for 30 days. So ya, if you start poking the arm again on Day 31 it's going to hurt! It doesn't mean Whole30 caused the hurt, it just meant it made you AWARE of the damage being done.

If your friend wants to keep eating MSG and soy and gluten and sugar and just keep being oblivious to the fact that she may be damaging herself without realizing it, I mean, more power to her, I guess.

Me personally, I'd rather KNOW if I react to certain things than just assume I'm fine.

Let's say I reintro and have a reaction to something I "thought" was a-ok for me? Well, I can choose to fight through that negative reaction and get back to the point of "numb shoulder" (increased mucousal lining ... think about SCABS ON YOUR INTESTINE) or I can realize that, y'know what, even though I like the taste of XYZ, or preparing this dish in such a way is convenient, or this ingredient is x% cheaper, do I REALLY want to put my body through the consequences?

Heck, cocaine probably feels pretty damn amazing, probably even gives people a better feeling that a fresh baked croissant or Ben & Jerry's or whatever ... but to me it's not worth the trade off.

The point of doing a Whole30 is to decide if the trade-off is worth it for each of us on an individual basis.

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Thanks for the thoughts. Trust me, I am not trying to bash the whole30, I totally believe in this program and this way of eating. But this is the ONLY thing that has bothered me about the program and I just can't seem to resolve it. I think that for myself, knowing that I do not want to become unable to eat certain foods, then I should not do more whole30's. I would rather eat healthy most of the time and be able to enjoy eating certain foods when I want without the horrible effects like I could before the whole30. I'm not saying that those foods didn't effect me negatively, but just not in the shut you down for the day/this is not worth it symptoms.

Has anyone else had this happen to them with the whole30 and MSG? Or other symptoms that you never had before the whole30 that are making you wonder if it was worth it?

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I went through a situation like you describe with milk. It affected me a lot more when I reintroduced it, than before I did whole30. Now, 2 years later, my poor gut has healed to the extent that if I want, I can go to a cafe and get a hot chocolate and I don't react too badly. However, I know if I did that every day, I would be doing internal damage and just feel like crap, so I save it for the BEST hot chocolate, and the richest, most decadent ice cream, and the knowledge of how to keep myself healthy and feeling wonderful is worth it 1000 times over.

Hope that helps.

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It is worth it!  I'm doing this because I want to feel better.  If there are foods out there that I love that contribute to my aches and pains, or sleepless nights, or my anxiety, or feed my cravings for even more unhealthy foods --- I want to know what those foods are, and I might choose to avoid those foods.  Or maybe I love those foods soooo much that I will enjoy them anyway, knowing that they are the cause of some problems.  If there's a food that I used to be able to eat just fine, that totally throws me for a loop post-30, I would think that's a pretty clear sign that it's doing some pretty gnarly things inside my body.  

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That reasoning seems a little strange to me.  My husband quit smoking 2 years ago and now being around smoke makes his eyes burn and really bothers him, even though when he was a smoker, he seriously enjoyed smoking.  It would be like if he said, "I don't want to quit smoking (or I shouldn't have quit smoking) because I used to love to smoke but now cigarettes makes my eyes burn and my lungs hurt."  Well....they are SUPPOSED to make your eyes hurt and your lungs burn because they are doing terrible things to your body!! When he was a smoker, his body was just so damaged that it didn't notice the effects anymore.  Once the body heals, then it is able to recognize poison again.  The Whole30 doens't make your body turn against foods you like, it heals your body, and when your body is healed, it's not going to be happy when you try to harm it.

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This is post is going to be a bit TMI.  This is a very personal struggle that I have for a good many years,  This is to demonstrate the power that food has over our bodies.

 

Since the age of 14 (I am 38 now) I suffered having painful boils along my bikini line.  Walking or just plain sitting was painful.  Later on they escalated getting bigger (ping pong ball size) and then they arrived under my armpits and breasts.  Dr's didn't know what caused them.  Creams that didn't help (helped with healing a bit) and lancing.  But that's all that they would do.  I gave up and assumed that they were just a miserable part of my life.

 

In August of 2012 I did my first whole 30.  By day 10 all the boils had cleared and no new ones were forming.  By day 30 I had only one come up the entire time. (They were chronically there)  My triggers after re-intros - dairy and pork. (Note I can only eat pork that has been extremely over cooked - think shoe leather or extra crispy bacon - which I like)  The boils that I get from pork pass quickly 2 -3 days at most.  The ones I get from dairy happen within hours of consumption and they last for 2 weeks.  So yeah I consumed dairy (and I loved dairy) for years but I also suffered for years too.  So dairy in my book - so not worth it.  

 

The whole 30 just made me very aware of what's going on in my body.

Sugar - not my friend even though I keep on coming back to it. Throws my hormones out of whack.

Soy - no physical problems - all mental problems - I get angry, moody and depressed when I am exposed to soy.  I was extremely depressed (undiagnosed) prior to whole 30.

Dairy - well we covered this above

Non-gluten grains - severe bathroom issues.  That is all I will say about that

Gluten grains - I can "tolerate" these but only if they have a lot of fat.  So a croissant/danish gives me no stomach issues but a slice of bread will feel like I swallowed a bowling ball.

 

Each one of these items I will consume from time to time.  I make the choice though.  I can make an educated choice with each one of these items if it is worth it" or not.  Sure some friends and family think I am just being difficult, but they don't know what I was going through before.  Some congratulate me that I am so in tune with my body.  

 

Listen - it took a lot of work to get here.  Many people are scared of that work, I am sorry to say.  But all I can say is YOU are worth this work.  Who cares what the rest of the world think.

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Wow, Carla, that is a very moving story, kudos to you for sharing that!  It is absolutely amazing the effect that food can have on our bodies and makes me cringe even more when I hear people whose doctors say "sure, you can change your diet but it won't help...but here, take these pills".

 

For me, the things that have vastly improved my quality of life by my awareness...and by awareness I also mean I still indulge from time to time but well aware of the risks:

 

Dairy (for me ice cream, butter and cheese): full body eczema...and I do mean full body...if you catch my meaning. I wake up in the morning with blood caked under my fingernails from night scratching and of course getting in the shower is sheer agony after a night of tearing up my skin....not to mention how not well rested I am.  One instance of dairy including that which is in butter will react by the next day and last for close to 14 days.

Soy: dear God, the stomach issues.

Sugar: I'm an addict to it and it manifests in all the typical addictive ways: anger, guilt, sneaking, hiding, lying.  That is not a healthy experience either physically or psychologically.

 

Are these life threatening?  No.  But they reduced my quality of life (think angry, itchy and crapping myself) and without Whole30 I never would have found out.  Yes, it absolutely BLOWS not to have ice cream all summer long.  It seriously compromises what restaurants we go to (although once we've found favourites that are willing to play nice, we tip handsomely and have become regulars!).  It is scary and depressing and annoying and sad.  But my sad lasts about 10 minutes on a hot day while the hubby is eating an ice cream.  The rest of my life is so much happier and healthier. 

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Lady Shanny - I too had eczema (full body) when I was child. So I truly feel your pain. I honestly thought I grew out if it as it stopped when I hit puberty. I did have one doctor who did make the connection between dairy and my eczema but she suggested skim milk and eliminate butter. :/

 

BTW - have you discovered the beauty of coconut ice cream?  (Disclaimer: Not encouraged to eat while on a whole 30)  It is a beautiful, beautiful thing on those hot humid summer days.  :ph34r:

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Oh, I have seen coconut ice cream but haven't ever tried it!  It's probably smaller containers than standard dairy too which makes it less easy to binge eat it until I explode!

 

A girl I used to work with had a horrid and extreme yeast infection for months. I'd even say almost a year.  Ended up in the hospital emergency room twice for it, it was so bad.  She came to me asking what she could do and I told her either Whole30 or even the candida protocol that's out there because she was in such rough shape.  She approached her doctor about it and her doctor told her that relating what she ate to a vaginal yeast infection was absurd and to carry on eating as she had been so as not to further "stress" herself.  Crazy to me that a doctor wouldn't at least tell her to go ahead and TRY eliminating sugar and pork and the things that can make it worse. Not even try??!!

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I love those testimonials. However, I do not have horrible problems like you all are describing. I know that there are effects, even ones that I cannot see that are damaging, and I know that they are not healthy for me. However, all I am saying is that I want to be able to enjoy them when I choose without having the horrible efffects, as I could before whole30.

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I was curious about how good I could potentially feel. I definitly notied benefits from the whole30's, that is why I eat SO much healthier than I did before and I am so thankful to know what healthy food is and how I should eat!!

But I never had symptoms that kept me from being able to eat when I went to family gatherings, or going out to eat, etc.

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Despite my issues (which I know are mine) I don't turn down going out for dinner or I don't turn down going over to somebodies house for a meal.  Even when I am doing a whole 30.  All it needs is some extra planning and communication on my part.

 

The big item that I need to avoid is dairy.  All the others I will eat and enjoy and then deal with the various consequences for the next 24 hrs.  For me it's no big deal.  My body has healed to a degree where small occasional consumption of something like corn or legumes won't be life changing.  It will be uncomfortable - but not long term problematic.

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Carlaccini,

That is where my struggle is with doing more whole30's in the future..."you might be able to enjoy it as before-or you might not." I also don't want other people that I recommend this program to, to be mad at me when they can no longer eat what they want without horrible effects, like the MSG thing. I guess I should just warn those people that this can happen? That their body can heal so much that what they could normally eat before whole30 might give them symptoms afterward that they had never experienced before and to ask them if they think it will be worth it?

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Carlaccini,

That is where my struggle is with doing more whole30's in the future..."you might be able to enjoy it as before-or you might not." I also don't want other people that I recommend this program to, to be mad at me when they can no longer eat what they want without horrible effects, like the MSG thing. I guess I should just warn those people that this can happen? That their body can heal so much that what they could normally eat before whole30 might give them symptoms afterward that they had never experienced before and to ask them if they think it will be worth it?

 

This is what riding your own bike is all about.  No one can tell you how your body will respond when you remove foods or when you add them back in. It's an experiment of n=1, as frequently stated in the forum.  

 

Sure, let your friends know that they may have no discernible reactions or they may have significant physical or psychological reactions if they choose to reintroduce certain foods post-Whole30. From that point, it's their call whether they embark on a Whole30 and decide how they want to ride their bike going forward.  

 

Many people go into a Whole30 thinking they will never be able to stop eating a certain food long term, and are shocked to discover, as a result of doing a Whole30, that that's exactly what they want to do.

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All I will say is that they have a potential on getting their health back.  I don't know - is that worth it?

 

Aches and pains have a tendency of disappearing.  Maybe its magic. or possibly pixie dust.  Or it could be something that you are eating.  Who knows.

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I can enjoy everything I used to eat with very mild consequences, if any, as long as I don't eat it often. You might be the same as me. Especially if you have done a Whole30 or two and not had any issues thus far - did I read your post correctly?

 

Or you might be like my beer-loving friend, who now realizes that drinking beer makes her eyeballs itch and her shoulder tendinitis flare up (which was happening pre-W30, too, she just didn't know what was causing it).

 

Dairy - just makes my stomach a little bloaty & gassy, same as before, but back then I didn't know that wasn't normal.

Gluten - a small difference in my morning constitutional, some gurgliness, but nothing that changes my routine. Pretty mild stuff. May have been the same as before, I'm not really sure on this one.

Legumes - again, bloaty & gassy, same as before.

Sugar - total slippery slope, I'm likely to eat way too much of it. Same as before W30. Sugar addiction was the thing that brought me to Whole30. Now I know how to starve out my Sugar Dragon anytime I need to do so.

Alcohol - I totally notice that I don't sleep as well after drinking (same as before). But, I have a better handle on alcohol after doing 3 Whole30s.

Soy - have only reintro'd soy sauce, it gave me a pounding heart for 4 hours, which was just unpleasant. However knowing what I know about soy/MSG and excitotoxins, I stay away from this stuff. Totally not worth the risk. From Wikipedia:

 

 

Obviously, you have to weigh the risks for yourself.

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