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DesertCat March '15 Whole30 Log


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Day 0


Right off the bat I should mention that I am not following guidelines 100%, and so some might think I am not "really" doing a Whole30.  You are entitled to your opinion, but I don't want to hear any admonitions from the rules police, thanks.  I am doing my Whole30 and you can do yours, and we can agree to disagree.


This is my first Whole30, but I have been incorporating Paleo foods for awhile, just not every day.  I already cook most of my meals from scratch, get plenty of organic, grassfed, pastured meats, veggies, etc, and restrict sugar and carbs down to reasonable levels.  I have been on a major diet-lifestyle change for over a year, and have lost over 40 pounds, am basically trying to lose the "last 10" at this point.  So weight loss is just a minor focus for me this month and I don't expect to see a big change there. 


I am mostly doing this Whole30 because of my IBS-C, I have not seen any improvements from losing weight, exercising every day, or eating healthier in general.  I suspect that gluten and/or dairy is most likely the main problem, but have been unwilling to give those up until now.  I have gotten a blood test, and a biopsy test during a colonoscopy, for celiac, that were negative, but I know that doesn't necessarily mean that gluten is okay for me.  I also strongly suspect SIBO.  Later this month I will also be doing a supplement regimen of herbal antibiotics that will hopefully help a lot.  I'll go into more detail about that later.


I am currently in the middle of a DietBet, and so I will be continuing to regularly weigh-in for that (yes I know that is against the rules).  This is my second 6-month DietBet, just started 'round 3' and only need to lose about 2.5 lbs for that, though I'm happy to get ahead of round 4 ;)  I've really enjoyed DietBet, and recommend it to anyone trying to lose at least 10% of their weight, it really makes a difference to be dieting with a group, on a schedule, with more accountability.  And getting paid to lose weight.  I don't recommend the 1-month bets as much, I feel like it's more likely to encourage unhealthy diet behaviors, 4% in one month is really pretty aggressive.


I walk 4-5+ miles generally 7 days a week.  This month I am going to try to incorporate Pilates once a week, and try to fit in more fun "dancercise" type workouts.  I feel like I've gotten into a bit of a lazy rut even though I'm walking more than ever.


My husband is joining me with the Whole30, but it's mostly to support me and make me feel better about it.  He doesn't have any health problems, has no weight problems, and I can tell he kinda thinks this whole thing is silly.  But I'm happy for the support and to not have someone eating non-compliant foods right in front of me.


I have free running sleep disorder and so my "days" don't necessarily match the calender ones.  I'm not trying to cure that disorder.  I also have never been much of a "3 meals" kind of person and don't intend to start now.  I usually eat 2 medium-large meals a day and feel plenty full.  I normally don't snack (nor see snacking as bad) or eat late.


Other health problems I have are Type 2 Diabetes, Sleep Apnea, Chronic Fatigue, low hormones due to early menopause due to hysterectomy, and PCOS, and other minor concerns.  These conditions have already seen improvement from my weight loss and increased exercise, except for hormonal issues from menopause which is pretty recent (but I think sticking to a more Paleo diet after the whole30 will result in improvements eventually - if they don't I'll consider HRT).  My a1c just got down to 7.0 as of a week ago, and I'm sure it will continue to keep going down.


I intend to stay gluten-free for at least 1 year after the whole30, and will not be testing it, but I'm hoping to be able to continue eating dairy, rice, soy, etc.  I personally believe it is fine to eat real sweeteners in moderation and do not support diabetics eating fake sugars like Splenda, Equal, etc., but I have moved towards using more honey, maple, etc, rather than white sugar.  I stopped drinking sodas many years ago and mainly drink water and green tea, with the occasional espresso latte.


I'm in my mid-30s and a lot of my health problems are from genetics, and my childhood and early 20s I had an atrocious diet, full of sugar, and I totally bought into low-fat, eat lots of grains and wheat, etc.  Even though both my parents were diabetic, somehow it didn't occur to them to feed us in a way to not end up with diabetes, so me and both my siblings all got diabetes when we were underweight or normal weight, and pretty young.  Then later into my 20s I started to really clean up my diet but I simply ate way too much food, stuffing myself just because I could afford to, and was really sedentary at the same time.  What really motivated me to educate myself and make a change was my ever-worsening IBS, which keeps me from doing things outside the house sometimes, and my chronic fatigue.  I got to the point where I was in pain all day every day.  Things have gotten better pain-wise but I still have super terrible constipation.  If I don't take a laxative, I can go up to 2 weeks or so without a BM.  As you can imagine, that is painful, and when I do finally go it's usually diarrhea and very sudden, like 'find a toilet in 10 seconds'.  This makes it very difficult to live a normal life, so I'm really hoping to see results from the whole30.  I'll be doing the reintroduction carefully and hope I can catch any sensitivities.


So I'll mostly be using this to log my food, and any progress with the IBS.




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Day 1


Vietnamese Curry Bison Stew - Almonds - Pistachios - Banana - Celery - Jicama - Tomato stuffed Green Olives - Prosciutto - tiny square of 99% chocolate - Tart Cherry Juice




I wasn't super hungry today, and the curry took longer than expected, so I just ate a lot of small things for dinner, I didn't want the curry to give me heartburn eating late.

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Day 2


Gyro Taco Salad w/Pico de Gallo, Jicama, & Tessemae Southwest Ranch Dressing - Smoothie: Coconut Milk, Strawberry, Banana, Almond, Vanilla Bean, Collagen, Moringa - Canadian Bacon, Kalamata Olives, Prosciutto, Jicama



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Day 3


Apple Pie Larabar - Thai Turkey Zucchini Meatballs topped with Pine Nuts, Carrot Sticks, & Pumpkin Seeds - Baked Apples & Bananas




These meatballs were super!  I'm not much of a Turkey person, but these were yummy.  I suggest making way more sauce than the recipe says.  I used Red Thai Curry spice blend from Savory Spice Shop [http://www.savoryspiceshop.com/blends/redthai.html] rather than a canned paste.  I used Aleppo pepper in the meatballs and gochujang and salt in the sauce.  I used a whole brick of coconut cream instead of a can of coconut milk (but had to simmer it way longer because it was grainy-tasting at first).  And I put the green onions in the sauce instead of the meatballs.  I think next time I will put in even more zucchini into the meatballs, and like a whole jar of good tomato sauce to make more sauce.



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Day 4


Shredded Pork Tenderloin topped with Tessemae Matty's BBQ sauce & Fines Herbs over a Baked Potato drizzled with Ghee & Truffle EVOO - Chocolate - Almonds - Egg Drop Soup with Green Onions & Spinach




Tessemae BBQ is very flavorful but also very vinegary, but it is a New England based company, maybe that's what that region likes in their BBQ.  I feel like it's a good flavor profile for grilled fish.  A little goes a long way, I kind of overdid it.


I should maybe stick to eating half a giant potato per meal, or buy smaller potatoes.  I felt some sugar cravings after eating it.



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Day 5


Key Lime Pie Larabar - Shredded Pork Tenderloin Lettuce Wraps with Prickly Pear Hot Sauce (not pictured), homemade Guacamole, & Crushed Pineapple - Blueberry Vanilla Coconut Espresso Smoothie with L-Glutamine, Collagen, & Moringa - Grapes 




Sorry the smoothie isn't pictured, I had already drank it before I thought about a picture.

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Day 7


leftover Chicken Schwarma with raw Cashews, Kalamata Olives, & Tomato-Stuffed Green Olives - Health Nut smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Cafe - more Cashews




Not the best nutrition day, but I'll eat more tomorrow.


week 1 retrospective - Mostly I feel the same as I always do.  The last couple of days I've been struggling with mild mid-day sleepiness.  So has my husband.  I usually have 2 servings of iced green or oolong tea every day, sometimes I have 1 or 2 small lattes or espresso smoothie instead.  But it hasn't been energizing me much this week (which was almost all tea, I don't enjoy unsweetened coffee as much).  But I'll try not to add to my caffeine intake unless I really need to stay up for something.


Cravings have been mild and actually more manageable than usual, or maybe my willpower is just better than usual.  The cravings haven't come from nowhere, they've all been "triggered" by me looking at food things on the internet LOL.  Someone needs to change Pinterest to block pictures of things with gluten in them (it's their "helpful" new ad system that's the problem - it's like "hey, we really know you wanted to see this pin of these cupcakes")  ;)


I've also had a couple of short, mild headaches.  Mostly remarkable because I've mostly stopped having headaches (used to get them all the time in my 20s though).


My husband is a runner and training for a half-marathon and has not had any energy problems, in fact he had a really good week.

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Day 10


Jamba Juice Mega Mango Smoothie - Cashews - Tom Kha Rabbit Soup w/Portobella Mushrooms, Spinach, Kale, & Carrots - tiny square of 99% chocolate




This is actually my first time cooking rabbit.  It takes like a gamier chicken or turkey to me, but it's a lot more expensive, so I'm not sure I will buy it a lot in the future.  It's surprisingly greasy, too, since it looks lean raw.  But the soup was very tasty.

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Day 11


Sweet Tomatoes buffet lunch (Salad, Veggie Soup, plain Baked Potato) - Jamba Juice Ginger n' Greens Smoothie - 2 Cinnamon Peppercorn Butter Chicken & Gingerbread Souffles




This smoothie, which is new and an impulse choice, is actually really sweet (although it's all fruit sugar...but oops), I wouldn't recommend it.  The menu board seemed to imply it just had lemon in it, not lemonade, or I would have picked something else  :(  But if you're really craving a lemonade (and not on a whole30), it is healthier than just drinking a normal lemonade made with white sugar.  Tastier too, I love lemonade and this is just as sharply citrus as a really good one, with a nice kick of ginger, and all the kale and fruits just add these great layers of flavor but it's mostly a lemonade flavor.


I wanted to make a savory pie today (to celebrate Pi Day), but settled for this souffle, mostly out of laziness.  I realize some of you would consider this item a particularly egregious breaking of the rules.


This is my first time making a souffle.  Or eating a souffle.  It was actually very easy.  Making stiff egg whites is just annoying, getting out the beaters and all that.  But otherwise super easy.  I think I will use this method more often - like for omelets and frittatas too, the light springy texture is really great.  I struggle to eat eggs, I don't like the flavor or the texture of just eggs usually, so I prefer to eat eggs binding other things like a omelet or quiche, or in a cake or custard.

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IBS herbal antibiotic regimen started today.  As I expected, taking this large of a volume of pills is challenging, and my old friend acid reflux is back with a vengeance.  But I won't let anything keep me from getting though these bottles.  I think it's probably more effective for my IBS than the whole30 is, but the diet is an important adjunct.  Keeping a really clean diet while I get through this will hopefully assure that the "bad" bacteria (and whatever else is in there, like any yeast, parasites, or viruses I don't know about) is well killed off in my intestines, giving me a clean slate for April.  It will also hopefully help me identify what food sensitivities I have, so I won't just redevelop the same bad digestive atmosphere.


Here's what the daily load looks like - 




It includes Metagenics Candibactin AR & BR, Neem, AllicinMax (a garlic extract), Lactoferrin, NAC, Natto-Serra, CoQ10, Vitamin C, Digest Ultimate enzymes, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Chlorella.  I'm also trying to get a lot of turmeric, gelatin, and L-Glutamine into my food.  As well as some basic daily vitamins, these act as herbal antibiotics, biofilm destroyers, enzymes to digest food better, and things to help relieve constipation and move out heavy metals.  I normally also take a multivitamin but the one I'm currently using has a lot of things not compatible with Whole30, so I'm skipping it this month.


These meds are a substitute for the prescription antibiotic Xifaxin, which can cost around $1500, and can be challenging to get from a doctor, or to be approved by insurance.  I'm testing the theory that my IBS is caused by SIBO.  


I've always bloated up HUGELY after eating anything (no matter what, healthy or unhealthy, big or small), since I can remember.  I remember people commenting about it even when I was like 10, 11 years old.  I used to get a lot of very sudden diarrhea as a kid and young adult, then slowly progressed over the years to mixed diarrhea and constipation, and then finally mostly constipation, growing ever more severe.  And more and more constant pain in my gut.  I get very gassy, but it often won't come out either end.  


Just in the last maybe 6 years I've developed anxiety about leaving the house, and especially being in the car, because of a lot of very close calls with needing a toilet in seconds.  Having my body rattled hard while driving hurts a lot too, often, like my guts are being stabbed.  It's become increasingly embarrassing, especially around people who aren't close family.  I've always found it very hard to hold down a job, companies don't like chronically sick people, or employees who use the bathroom a lot or for long periods.  I've worked at places where they don't really want you to use the bathroom at all apart from lunch break.  


Due to multiple uterus issues, I took massive amounts of painkillers for increasing amounts of days out of the month, mostly Advil, for almost 20 years, before finally getting a hysterectomy at age 30.  Although I didn't know for sure, I'd long suspected that so many painkillers was not good for my stomach, but I couldn't function (or stay sane) without them.  Even with the painkillers, I sometimes couldn't get out of bed, or walk, on the worst menstrual days.  I've used proton pump inhibitors, birth control pills, and other medications that I had no idea could be messing up my gut further.  I'd never had any doctor tell me these meds could damage my digestion.  I'm also diabetic and used to eat truly crazy amounts of carbs and sugar every day.


I'll definitely update with my progress on this regimen.  I'll be doing the Candibactin AR and Neem for 1 month, and some of the others a bit longer.  If I don't see any improvement in motility, I can try some things for that.  And I'll be adding fermented foods into my diet later.  There is disagreement among different doctors on whether it's better to go super low carb on this regimen, or not, and when to introduce "good" bacteria.  But I'm just going to run with a moderate level of carbs, and minimize extra bacteria at least for the first couple of weeks.

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Day 13


Clif Kit's Organic Apricot & Sesame Seeds Bar - leftover Pork Tagine - Chocolate Berry Vanilla Almond Smoothie with Moringa, Collagen, & L-Glutamine - Cantaloupe & Honeydew Melon - Bacon Kalamata Carrot Sunflower Seed Salad

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Day 14


Cold Banana Pecan Coconut Cinnamon Chia Porridge - Roast Garlic-Lemon-Dill Chicken & Cauliflower - 1 Pink Lady & 1 Fuji Apple - Tart Cherry Juice - Almonds




The porridge isn't bad, I've had it before, but it's definitely better when you can add just a little more sweet to it beyond the bananas, even just a little honey or maple.

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Day 15 - 


leftover Chicken & Cauliflower - Strawberry Cherry Banana Almond Coconut Milk Smoothie w/Collagen - 6 slices Bacon - Green Olives


This was a very tasty smoothie, didn't miss the sugar in this one at all.  I wish I had a avocado to add, I'll have to try that soon.

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Day 16 - 


Clif Kit's Organic Cherry & Pumpkin Seed Bar - Lion's Head Bison Meatballs in Spicy Coconut-Tomato Sauce & Pineapple - Chocolate Spice Souffles




So, I've reached the halfway point.  I have not lost any weight, but I think I've been eating more than I usually do, and exercising a bit less because I've been very busy helping my sister find a house and wrangle her toddler.  Which is also making me quite tired and stressed.  Stress is the enemy of weight loss.  But I also haven't gained any weight.  And even though it's been less than one week, my antibiotic regimen is already doing wonders for my constipation (was not seeing any results at all before the pills), so that's awesome.  I think if I get in lots of extra exercise and can de-stress a bit, I might actually make my March Dietbet goal or at least come pretty close, so I won't be so stressed for April's goal.  I've been wanting to exercise more, or at least more diversely, so maybe this will turn out to be a good push for me.  I finally tried out some dance videos on youtube yesterday, trying to entertain the kiddo, that was fun.  Kid loves her some Pharrell.


Also, in case anyone is wondering - the Kit's Organic bars are really not quite as tasty as Larabars.  Larabar has more complex flavor and usually more tart, or more spiced, which I like.  I got them to save a few bucks but I think in the future, I will stick with Larabar.

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Day 18 - 


Pulled Pork Tenderloin, Baked Sweet Potato, & Guacamole - Red Grapes - Cashews & Pistachios - Clif Kit's Organic Apricot & Sesame Seeds Bar




I've been buying some of my meat from U.S. Wellness since around New Year's, and their pork tenderloin is consistently the best I've ever eaten.  Barely any fat so you don't have to trim anything (I don't like eating chunks of fat on any kind of meat, I don't think it's bad, I'm just really honestly dislike a lot of fat and skin and stuff), just rub with Hawaiian salt (and liquid smoke and/or sage if you have it) and toss in the crockpot for 8-10 hours on low.  Sooo delicious and flavorful.  I've been satisfied with most of their other products as well.  But this one stands out as good meat, good portion for 2 people for 2 meals, good price.  I kind of even hate to mention it, because they sell out so much on there, LOL  :)  I sure wish I could afford their Tasmanian steak products.

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Day 19 - 


local(ish) farm-made Bündnerfleisch w/Honeydew Melon, Cantaloupe, & Jicama - Cashews - Cinnamon Bison & Carrot Stew




Swiss Bündnerfleisch is basically the same as Italian Bresaola, cured air-dried beef. 

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Day 20 - 


Strawberry Honeydew Cantaloupe Cherry Vanilla Almond Coconut Smoothie w/Moringa, Collagen, & L-Glutamine - Kotmis Satsivi/Georgian Walnut Chicken Stew & Lemon-Garlic-Sage Crispy Roasted Potatoes




What I definitely miss the most is cheese  :)  I really hope I'll be able to at least eat non-cow cheeses, raw, grassfed, that kinda stuff.  I am going to test cow milk, but I think I can live without it if necessary.  And I still miss being able to have a little rice or rice pasta on the side.  I already cut my portions way down (both for weight loss and diabetes blood-sugar spiking reasons) and don't consider eating small amounts of it, not every single day, to be a concern for the future.

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Day 22 - 

Clif Kit's Organic Apricot & Sesame Seeds Bar - Almonds - Albondigas Soup w/Avocado - Strawberries



Fatigue is hitting me really hard these last couple of days.  But my constipation is coming back, so that's probably it.  I'm sure these herbal antibiotics are making my body work really hard.

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