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Is it possible I cut something out that my body needs?

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Hi everyone,

I am new to Whole30 (doing it with some co-workers which really helps keep me motivated with the daily accountability!) and I am in the middle of day 18. My main question: is it possible that I cut something out that my body desperately needs? I understand Whole30 isn't for everyone, but that it can be beneficial for everyone by understanding your body and getting to the point where I should know what a 'healthy' diet is for me. I don't want to give up now as I am not a quitter, but maybe someone else has experienced the same things I am currently experiencing? 

First things first, here's what I've eaten during these first 18 days: 

Breakfast - not much different from my normal breakfast before Whole30: 2 or 3 scrambled eggs (sometimes with sauteed spinach), fist size piece of meat (usually compliant sausage or bacon), cup of mixed fruit or a banana

Lunch & Dinner - lunch is usually left-overs of what I cooked the night before. Here are some examples: 

1. 4 chicken tenderloins, baked sweet potato, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto

2. Chicken breast, roasted veggies (combo or red or white potatoes, broccoli, carrots, whatever veggies I have on hand)

3. Baked potato with 1 1/2 fist sized amount of sloppy joe meat, fist size (or more) side of whatever veggies I have on hand

4. Ground beef meatballs (enough for 2 fist sizes), sweet potato fries (enough from 1.5 potatoes), side salad 

5. Burger with lettuce wrap, baked potato or roasted red potatoes with asparagus 

6. Large Cobb salad with shredded chicken (either a breast or several tenderloins)

7. If I find myself having to eat out, I always check the allergy and nutritional menus beforehand, ask questions and focus the meal around a compliant meat source then add everything else around it. 

I am always full until the next meal, so as it's suggested, I do not snack that often. If I do need a snack, it's usually a banana, a handful of roasted almonds/ pecans, couple hard boiled eggs, etc. Also, I make sure I drink the amount of water needed according to my body weight. Now, here are my symptoms: constant low-grade headache (for past 8 days), bowel movements are 3 times daily and does not look healthy, and I struggle to make it through a simple core workout at home. Throughout the process, day 2 and 3 were my worst (suffering major headaches from lack of sugar), but I started feeling just fine starting on day 4 through day 9. Day 10 is when the headaches started (and I know this is in the "hardest days" period, so I pushed it to the side to get through). I read that I may not be eating enough, so I began increasing my intake at meals on day 12 and throughout the days, but the symptoms progressed. I tried laying off the nuts for a couple days, as I read nuts are hard on the system, but that did not change anything. I am wondering if my daily serving of yogurt was beneficial to my body - has anyone else found that to be true? 

On the plus side, I have determined that I definitely had a sugar addiction (will be reading labels more often!) and tomatoes are a cause of bloat for me, so I will lay off the salsa and the tomato sauce on pizza from now on. 

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Thanks for your reply, and sorry for leaving that out. I cook with either ghee or clarified butter and use extra virgin olive oil with the potatoes and meats where appropriate. Some of the times I cooked chicken, I used the bacon grease from the approved bacon. I do add avocados to my salads (especially the cobb salad) and I had them on a burger once. 

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Ok, so over and above the fats you're using to cook with you're only adding fat to your meals occasionally?

Are you salting your food?

Have you noticed the headaches are maybe worse on days that you eat white potatoes?

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Yes, I would die if salt were not allowed, haha! I have not noticed the headaches getting any worse or any easier. It's been a constant low-grade for about a week, and the potato sources have varied between sweet potatoes, red potatoes and white potatoes.

What other fats are you implying? I may be misunderstanding what else is considered a fat as I've been using the Whole30 shopping list as a guide on what to buy and how to balance my meals. 

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3 minutes ago, bapow17 said:

What other fats are you implying?

Mayo, coconut milk, ghee/clarified butter, olives, fatty cuts of meat - any kind of fat that you would add to your meal once it's plated, over and above what you've used for cooking (which mostly stays in the pan, or is divided out between portions).

The brain is 60% fat and so it requires fat for brain health - headaches are often associated with a lack of fat in the diet so I'm wondering if you're just not getting enough...

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1 hour ago, bapow17 said:

Okay, say I increase the fats after my meal is plated. Should this also cure my issues in the bathroom (i.e. 3+ times a day, not healthy looking)? 

No one can really answer that for you. It would be an experiment that you do where you tweak your intake and then notice changes in headaches, bowel movements etc.

You might want to keep a detailed food diary so that you can determine what foods might be distressing your digestive system. Usually something you're eating up to 2-3 days prior. 

If you think that maybe yogurt was helping your digestive system as a result of the probiotics that are in it, you can try including some fermented foods in your diet as they will also have good amounts of happy gut bacteria. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha etc are all good choices. The sauerkraut you would need to buy is the one in the refrigerator section. The shelf stable ones won't help. Just make sure to read ingredients! :) 

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