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WozniakSue

Up and down on this diet

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I am on day 8 and mostly doing great! Yesterday I was on top of the world - fabulous energy, digestion, clarity of mind. Then I didn't eat dinner soon enough, got too hungry. I didn't eat anything off the diet for dinner, but ate over several hours rather than all at once (more like snacking). Today I'm back to feeling hungry, foggy, less energy, almost back to how I felt before diet. Ugh! Are these fluctuations normal? Should I really prioritize keeping the meal together? Was that the thing that probably made the difference?

 

I appreciate thoughts from the Whole30 wise.

 

Sue

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Hi Sue, Whole30 is not a diet in the traditional sense of the word and using that word unfortunately discounts the program as just another weight loss scheme.

 

You should absolutely prioritize eating three meals a day with no snacking.  Your meals should be composed of protein, fat and veggies and should keep you going for 4-5 hours.  This will go a long way towards balancing your blood sugar and your hormones and eventually becoming fat adapted so that you don't have wild hunger fluctuations.  Snacking or grazing all day doesn't give your digestive system and processes any time to rest and recalibrate.  

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Sorry to have used the word "diet". I did not mean it in a weight loss sense. I tend to think of diet as how I eat and behave throughout my life, so I have a much broader definition in my head. Yeah I still think I got my proportions right, I just don't know why I was so dissatisfied and feel like I have gone backwards in my overall feeling of health today. I will definitely keep my meals clumped together. Is it normal, though, to have ups and downs in feelings or hunger, satisfaction, digestion and the rest?

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Sorry to have used the word "diet". I did not mean it in a weight loss sense. I tend to think of diet as how I eat and behave throughout my life, so I have a much broader definition in my head. Yeah I still think I got my proportions right, I just don't know why I was so dissatisfied and feel like I have gone backwards in my overall feeling of health today. I will definitely keep my meals clumped together. Is it normal, though, to have ups and downs in feelings or hunger, satisfaction, digestion and the rest?

OK, cool!  I also think of "diet" in that way but most people don't so I avoid using the word around here.  No harm, no foul!  

 

Fluctuations are totally normal, of course.  We are dynamic and shifting human beings, nothing is ever the same from one day to the next.  Flow with it, tweak your meals so that you are getting 4-5 hours, tweak your sleep habits so that you are getting a nice 8-9 hours, tweak your exercise so that you burn energy and have energy to burn.  

 

Feel free to post a couple days worth of your typical food consumption including portion sizes as they relate to your own palm/thumb, fluids, exercise, stress, sleep and whatever else might be relevant.  We can see if anything stands out.  Note also though that a day of erratic eating and fluctuating blood sugars/hormones is probably going to leave you in the hole the next day as opposed to how you would feel had you been solid in our recommendations.

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Sounds good. Here was my diet yesterday:

 

Yesterday (hunger day)

Breakfast:

  • 2 palmfuls of sauteed shrimp with 2 thumbs coconut oil and red pepper
  • 1 cup spinach wilted on top of shrimp
  • 1/2 of a plantain sauteed with coconut oil
  • 1/2 avocado

Lunch:

  • salmon burger (not ingredients off the list, mostly just salmon)
  • 1 cup roasted kale
    (thought I was full, but this probably wasn't sufficient since I got hungry by 4:00)

Dinner:

  • 2 handfuls almonds
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup roasted kale
  • 3 nori rolls with nori, raw green onions, carrots, cilantro (yes, pretty empty!)
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 unsweetened cashew milk (Silk, no ingredients off the list)
  • coffee
  • tea
  • `1/3 cucumber with 2 tablespoons almond butter

The few days before this were similar, except I had meat chili for lunch and dinner or pork chops one night. I was wanting to get back to fish rather than meat or pork, since I was a vegetarian prior to this. So maybe this is my problem. Maybe I do need the heavier meat still.

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Hmmm....you could use more veggies overall (kale and spinach wilt down to nothing, not enough, you'd need a truckload of them to get satisfied).  

 

Your dinner the other night is definitely a miss on the template, for sure and probably has everything to do with why you are feeling crappy.  

 

Going forward some tips: don't drink nut milks (or juices for that matter).  There is no satiation when you drink calories like there is when you eat them.  Nut based products can also cause digestive issues for some.  You'd mentioned digestive fluctuations earlier, this could be part of the problem.  Add cooked veggies to your routine, both starchy and non starchy.  Energy wise, try moving the starchy veggies to the middle or end of the day meals rather than the first one, that helps some people.  Make sure you are eating 1-2 palms of protein with every meal.  That's not how much you can hold in your palm, it's the length, width and depth of your palm.  The shrimp might have been enough and depending on how much salmon was in the burger and what size it was, it may have been on the small side too.

 

Review the template again (linked below) but basically:

 

1-2 palms protein

1-3 cups veggies (LOTS more if it's salad greens) (include at least one fist sized serving of starchy veggie per day)

1-2 thumbs fat (or half to whole avocado or heaped handful or 2 of olives)

Repeat this 3 times a day!

 

Really give it your best shot to nail the template at each meal and then come back in a week and compare today to a week from now and see if you're feeling better overall?

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That sounds great. Oh I also remembered I ate a huge pile of steamed broccoli with sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil. Usually getting enough veggies are not my problem, but protein is probably a bigger one. I noticed that I've gone through half a jar of coconut oil in just a week, so I think I'm doing okay on the oils too. I'll check back in in a week and pay attention to this template.

Thanks!

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Getting adequate protein is crucial to your success. Glad we caught this early. Doing better on that front will make a HUGE difference.

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Hello I am feeling a lot better now. So much better that I didn't even know what day I was on! Just checked, and it's day 16 (I think!). I made a few changes to the initial diet, all of which seem like they helped:

  • added more protein to every meal
  • diversified vegetables: I'm now eating more starchy vegetables, witha  balance of cooked and raw. I used to eat mostly raw
  • fruit: I thought I had understood that fruit should pretty much not be eaten at all. Then I got the Whole30 book and read the whole thing. Now I know it's okay to eat fruit, so I'm eating about 2 pieces per day.

My energy is more consistent and mostly I'm not getting hungry between meals (although sometimes at night still). I sometimes have to add a 4th meal, and I'm sure to include all the elements and the right balance still.

 

The issue I've had more trouble with recently is elmiination in the digestive sense. This diet is not too dissimilar to what I ate previously. I was a pescatarian without dairy, however. The addition of meat, while it gives me more energy, I find takes longer to eliminate. The other change is that I ate granola for breakfast, and that was a really strong digestive aid. I have adapted by starting with a raw vegetable, like half a cucumber, 2 cups of coffee, and sitting down to read the paper. That helps, but it's still not as easy to eliminate as it was with the granola. My system tends towards constipation, so this may be more of an issue for me than most. I wonder, though, if you have thoughts on elimination that could help. Granola is really the only thing that I miss, and for this purpose.

 

These are the things I've done to help:

  • make sure I'm drinking a lot of water between and not with meals, both lukewarm and hot
  • 2-3 cups of coffee a day
  • regular exercise several times a day (having a dog helps!, plus strength training and running)
  • fruit: I do feel the enzymes in fruit help my digestion. I'm not sure that I have gotten down the best timing to eat it for this purpose. I don't feel my body is responding to the sugar in fruit. I'm not craving it in that sense.

I appreciate your thoughts. I could certainly write down a day's worth of eating if that helps.

 

Much appreciated!

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Glad to see you are feeling better overall, I had a post it note to check on you this weekend!  :)

 

Granola probably wasn't a digestive aid so much as it was inflamming and angering your digestive system to the point that it would cause elimination just to get it out. 

 

Try a magnesium supplement (Natural Calm Unflavoured is compliant) and take it in small doses, building up.  Magnesium naturally draws water into the intestines with a side effect of diarrhea if done too quickly.  It should help as you build up.  Epsom salt soak or magnesium oil rubbed on the insides of the arms can help also.

 

Consider proper elimination posture also.  Squatting lines up the digestive and rectal tract so that there is no straining required.  A modification to squatting is to seat yourself, raise up your feet to your tippy toes, put your elbows on the edge of your knees and relax forward.  Some deep air squats prior to sitting down to go can help also.  Resist using the caffeine in coffee as a bowel stimulant.  Proper bowel health is not dependant on requiring any sort of stimulant and the caffeine can be an appetite suppressant which is no bueno.

 

You can also try a digestive enzyme if your body is not yet equipped to efficiently digest meat.  

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Thanks for your reply. I do take magnesium twice a day, and that does help. I also pay attention to posture, do squats, keep my body upright. I do fine with fish, but don't want to overdo it for either the fish's sake or potential contaminant intake with fish in general. I guess I will try a digestive enzyme for the meat. I wonder, though, if I could strategize when I eat my fruit for this sake. I do feel the enzymes in fruit and sense that that helps. Just don't want to overdo it on that either.

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Thanks for your reply. I do take magnesium twice a day, and that does help. I also pay attention to posture, do squats, keep my body upright. I do fine with fish, but don't want to overdo it for either the fish's sake or potential contaminant intake with fish in general. I guess I will try a digestive enzyme for the meat. I wonder, though, if I could strategize when I eat my fruit for this sake. I do feel the enzymes in fruit and sense that that helps. Just don't want to overdo it on that either.

When you say you do fine with fish, do you mean that you don't get constipated if fish is your protein source? If that's the case you are definitely a candidate for a digestive enzyme to help populate your gut with the bacteria needed for meat digestion.

 

You might also consider probiotics from fermented foods; kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi etc.

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Yes that's what I mean. I digest fish swimmingly :). Glad to know that this makes me a good candidate for digestive enzymes. I don't like to take supplements that I don't need.

 

I also have another drink that really helps, prescribed by a naturopath: 1/4 c. unsweetened cranberry juice, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water. This is refreshing, delicious, alkalizing, and really helps my elimination. It's a bit crazy, but the strong acidity somehow has an alkalizing effect digestively. I do use sauerkraut and find that also helps. It just seems to take an awful lot of focus for me to have proper elimination.

 

Thanks

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