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Angela's Whole 30, already in progress

Angela Blythe

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Today is Day 16 for me, and I'm going to try to log the rest of my Whole30 for posterity.  You know, so when archaeologists dig up my PC 1000 years from now they'll have a full and accurate account of my digestion.  Important stuff.  Total dissertation material.  I have no doubt that my bowel habits will be the stuff of legend.

I'm  46 years old (married, no kids) with a long history of autoimmune issues: alopecia areata appearing at age 2, asthma and allergies (indoor, outdoor, and strawberries) starting around age 5, endometriosis in my teens, food allergy changing from strawberries to fish around age 16, eczema in my 20s, alopecia universalis settling in at age 25, infertility as a result of endometriosis in my 30s, fish allergy disappeared in my early 40s, and recently joint pain that is progressing to moderate severity.  Other health issues include ADHD, depression/anxiety, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux, tinnitus, decreased sense of smell (following a raging sinus infection in college).  I've also been a life-long poor sleeper, which has gotten worse as my joint/back pain has increased, waking up at least a half-dozen times a night to find a more comfortable position.  Oh, and I have sleep apnea when I sleep on my back.  I decided to try the Whole30 to see if there is anything I can actively do to improve my health, as surreptitiously rubbing Holy Water on my face where my eyebrows used to be is not working.

The first two weeks of my program have been fairly standard.  The first few days I experienced a flare-up of oral allergy symptoms - little blisters on my lips, itching mouth/nose/eustachian tubes - but that has for the most part settled down.  Days 5-7 I was exhausted, like barely able to hold my head up.  Not tired, necessarily - I didn't sleep - just completely lacking in energy.  That's improved, but I wouldn't say I have tiger blood.  Not feline blood of any sort, really.  More like basset hound blood: content and not feeling any urge to chase that squirrel off the bird feeder.  It's fine on the bird feeder.  In fact, it's kind of cute.

I haven't had true cravings.  My obsession before starting Whole 30 was SweetTarts.  And alcohol.  I consumed a lot of both of those.  I've been surprised to notice no problem leaving either of those off my plate.  I will confess to having a most-nightly fruit snack after dinner.  And I'm in love with the spicy garlic ketchup (see Rutabaga Fries recipe from the Whole30 Cookbook) - I've been known to finish that off with a spoon.   And while I haven't cheated, I haven't exactly followed the spirit of the plan.  There have been days (for instance, days 9-11) where I've sort of existed on approved treats: jerky, Lara and RX bars, coconut flakes, fruit, and apple cider vinegar. From a shot glass.).   And breakfast has been hard.   I'm not a morning person, I commute for an hour and I prefer to eat breakfast on the way to work rather than get up even earlier.  Plus I don't really enjoy eating.  It isn't that I don't enjoy good food, it's just that I vaguely resent having to stop what I'm doing, particularly on the weekends, to feed this body of mine.  After all, it has been a bit of a lemon.  Plus, the job is never over.  Like laundry.  I get myself all fed and satisfied, and then the next day it starts all over again with the belly rumbles and the shopping and the cooking and the eating...  (This Whole30 plan should come with a fainting couch, or at least a personal chef.  Am I right?  C'mon, people!)

So today, on Day 16, I've eaten:

Breakfast: a leftover hamburger patty with onions; coconut flakes; coffee with nutpod creamer;and a V8 as a quick substitute for veggies. 

Lunch: Spinach salad with 3 hard-boiled eggs, an avocado, cucumber, mushrooms, a pinch of approved bacon bits, and oil & vinegar; 1/2 cup of mixed berries

Dinner:  Plan is Butternut Squash and Leek soup with some sort of vegetable side

I didn't do the autoimmune plan, although I'm drastically limiting my intake of nightshades.  To be honest, I just couldn't bear the thought of not having eggs, and as my breakfast had heretofore consisted of two boiled eggs and a yogurt smoothie I lacked the creativity at the time to imagine other options.  I'm loving the burger patty option, though - handheld, completely portable.  My thought is that if I'm not miraculously healed at the end of this (and I have vague intentions of continuing beyond 30 days) I'll try the AI version after the holidays. 

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14 minutes ago, Angela Blythe said:

Today is Day 16 for me, and I'm going to try to log the rest of my Whole30 for posterity.  You know, so when archaeologists dig up my PC 1000 years from now they'll have a full and accurate account of my digestion.  Important stuff.  Total dissertation material.  I have no doubt that my bowel habits will be the stuff of legend.

It was at this point that I already knew I was going to like you. :D As a fellow autoimmune sister (Hashimoto's and psoriasis, woohoo), I have to say I have also fully embraced the eggy-ness of my Whole30 this time around and it hasn't seemed to bother me much. I can barely stomach any other kind of protein at 7:00 AM, and I can't have chicken sausage every. Single. Day. I just keep out the peppers/tomatoes/white potatoes as much as possible and I definitely think it helps.

You're doing great, keep going! It may not always be the cookie-cutter version of the rules that others follow but if it works for you and helps you feel better, that's what matters. And now I'm going to follow your log because you're hilarious. Best of luck!

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Day 16 ended very tragically for me - I discovered a salad dressing I'd ordered contains honey.  I've used it twice, and honestly didn't notice that it tasted particularly sweet.  What I did notice, and what made me look at the ingredients, is my joints were suddenly more painful than they'd been over the last couple of weeks.  I should have been more careful - I followed a link to a "Whole30 Approved" vendor, ordered a tri-pack of salad dressings, and didn't even think to double check the ingredients when they arrived.  Alas.  But I'm going to continue the program and get as much benefit as I can, even with this unintentional ingestion of organic honey.  And the other two dressings are safe.

Dinner last night looked more like this: Butternut squash and leek soup, followed by a Chomps jerky stick, a banana, and finally a RXbar.  I evidently suck at starving the sugar dragon.   I'd blame the sneaky honey, but really it's just me getting the sugar jones around 8:00 and not fighting through.   I smite my own forehead and resolve to do better this evening.

Breakfast:  Hamburger patty with onions; one hard-boiled egg; coffee with nutpods; raw broccoli & cauliflower florets; coconut flakes

Lunch: Left-over chicken tikka masala; spinach salad with an avocado, cucumber, mushrooms, a pinch of approved bacon bits, and different goddam dressing; apple

Dinner: Plan is beef roast with sweet potatoes and green salad.  Followed by mindless and indiscriminate grazing on fruit and any fruit-based snack I can get my greedy little paws on.  Just kidding.  Cuz I've ordered a dose of will power.  Should be here soon. 

Plus, I'm out of RX and Lara bars.  ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I didn't complete my Whole 30.  After accidentally ingesting honey, twice (see above) - I did continue the plan, until attending a fancy work function November 2.  It wasn't my expressed intention to fall off my Whole 30 wagon that evening, but on autopilot I ordered my usual non-alcoholic go-to beverage of choice, a tonic and lime.  It wasn't until I'd had a couple of good slugs that I even thought to wonder if tonic water is compliant.  Secret googling in the ladies room reveals sugar.  Brief disappointment, as bitter as my tonic water, followed by a surge of euphoria.  Since I'd already failed thrice at this Whole 30 thing, I reasoned, I may as well enjoy the party.  And enjoy the party I did.  I'm not going to lie to you - I indulged (with moderation) in every hors d'oeuvres presented to me, and I hit every single forbidden food group there is.  Gluten? Check!  Dairy? Check!  Added sugars? Undoubtedly check!  Alcohol? Check and double check!  Oh, and these fantastic dark chocolate truffles with coarse sea salt on top - check, check, check, check, check!  (It's a good thing I was only carrying a small evening clutch or I'd have made off with every single truffle on that dessert table.)  

In the fallout category, I've noticed the following:
1) My cravings for non-compliant food have increased again. Not to an unmanageable point, but the memory of all that good, good, not-so-good food lingers on my palate.  Wee truffle, come live with me and be my love! 
2)  My joints are KILLING ME!!  I went (almost) right back on the plan (except for perhaps a bit of pizza the day after the party), and my shoulders are almost as painful as they were before I started.  I would smite myself in my own forehead if I had that mobility. 
3) My skin is right on the verge of breaking out whereas it had been marvelously clear for the three weeks before. 

So I need to start over, and I need to be more attentive to reading labels.  I am going to start over with the autoimmune version on January 10.  Until then, I'm going to follow the original plan, with the understanding that I will most likely indulge a bit at Thanksgiving and at a conference I have January 7-9.  But I will indulge gently, with awareness, and only when I'm not able to control the options.  So that's my plan.  

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