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Tucker

Looking for direction

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I just completed my second Whole30 in as many years.  Both were different experiences.  During the first, i lost quite a bit of weight and felt very energized.  But I was really focused on the food; not so much on the freedom after.  I continued to eat well for a long time, but did include things to excess that i shouldn't have.  This clearly led to the need for a second Whole30.  However, what I really wanted to focus on this time was HOW food was affecting me.  I was not feeling well - little energy, major afternoon slumps, too much wine after work, poor sleep and a lot of inflammation.  

The second Whole30 was much easier.  But I did not see some of the changes I was hoping to.  I remained exhausted every morning when I woke up.  Getting out of bed continued to be a chore until the last day.  Also, the inflammation did not go away.  I saw no relationship between the foods i eliminated and the pain.  I did feel more energetic and afternoon slumps went away, however.  

When I finished my Whole30 I reintroduced wine first as my husband and I had company that very night.  I had a couple of glasses and felt horrible the next day.  I was actually glad that happened.  While I craved wine each night of my Whole30, that craving has actually been eliminated since this reintroduction.  That feels like a major win for me.  However, I was less successful with reintroducing other foods the past couple of weeks.  A couple of things happened that interrupted that.   I am very disappointed in this as my goal was to really focus on the reintroduction portion so that I could determine how each food really impacts me.  I have reintroduced grains (oatmeal and a toast DO NOT keep me full until lunch).  I am also very gassy.  I think this is the grains, but I have also had cheese in there and some preservatives.  I also have very little energy again, inflammation still, and mood change.  I have been around a lot of illness at work, and did feel poorly for a day, but have not been sick (that would not be causing my fatigue and mood change).  

My concern is that I have not isolated the impact of each food as some have been introduced together.  I really want to figure out how foods are impacting me.  So my question: Would you recommend that i start the Whole30 again and then try again to reintroduce properly or would you recommend something else?  I am also seeing a chiropractor for neck pain.  He has encouraged me to have blood tests to determine if there is ongoing inflammation that is being caused by something else besides my arthritis.  My goals for this Whole30 were 1.) to determine which food are causing the pain, fatigue and bloating and 2.) to eliminate those foods and create the diet that will help me maintain the energy and good health that i want.  

Additionally: any thoughts on my I continued to wake up exhausted each day?  There is a lot here.  Thank you for any time someone can give this.  

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I also wanted to add that I am wondering if a step is to eliminate nightshades and see if that impacts the inflammation - not sure if it is the next step or if I should do the Whole30 again, reintroduce properly and then tackle nightshades.  

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Hi, Tucker - I've only done one w30 and am about 45 days post and still doing well - so this is experiential feedback not official recommendation but here you go!  If for the most part you are not going nuts, and it sounds like you are not, a whole7 or something similar seems to be okay for a bit of a restart for your system to test something.  It will be different for everyone (it takes me about 4 days to get a slice of pizza literally "out" of my system and the blood chemistry effects may be longer) but I would not think you'd have to do another whole30 to check on just one thing at a time...but again, not an expert here.  What I have found is that a re-introduction of foods that are technically non-compliant but not 100% horrible (like cassava chips to get back to being able to eat chips and salsa, but not corn chips) has helped me expand my options a little bit without getting too crazy.  I don't worry about sugar in my ingredients (tomato sauce, etc.) but I am very, very judicious with deliberately having dessert or adding any sugar to anything (stuck to unsugared coffee with coconut milk).  I tried oatmeal (used to eat it all the time) but it's a no-go for me, alas (or if I decide to have it, I know what the price will be) - same with sushi, which is a tiny tragedy but there you go.

All that said, I am also reminded that not everything that happens to us is whole30 or diet related, so look at the rest of your life too.  I feel a little achy today - is it because I had garbanzo bean salad yesterday at a party or is it the sangria (with club soda, but still sugar/alcohol!) or is it from moving all our furniture around to accommodate that party - I don't know.  What I do know is that getting back 100% whole30 for a few days makes me feel a ton better and ready to "restart" reintroduction of things (or not).

Last thought - since you never felt better during your 2nd w30...and the tiredness, etc. continued (were you actually sleeping and still tired, or tossing/turning?).  There's also some good info in the books that maybe you need another week or so past 30 if you are dealing with other medical issues - so maybe just get back on and give yourself some more time in compliance-land until you DO feel better.  I guess your body is telling you it's not there yet - or that something else is going on.

I know that's not much help - but hopefully it's given you a few things to think about and I hope you are able to get to a solution (or have already done so since your post is from February!) with your doctor.  

- Lou Ellen

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