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Today is day 23. Yay, right the bells, only 1 week left, yada yada.

I'm frustrated and trying to sooth myself with my NSV's - but there aren't nearly as many as I thought there would be by now, and side effects that have me grumpy.

On the plus side:

  • getting better quality sleep
  • my clothes feel looser
  • meal prep and cooking is practically mindless now and easy
  • haven't slipped up at all
  • challenge: still trying to break emotional ties with food (getting cravings for wine when I've had a bad day, for ice scream on those early sunny spring days)

However, this has been so much harder on me than I thought it would be. Notice I said "on me", not for me. I don't find the W30 itself difficult, but what I'm going through has just sucked.

Context - my husband and I are doing this together. BEFORE we started, this is what life was like:

  • HIM:
    • never ate breakfast
    • chipotle burritos for lunch 5 days a week (or some other fast casual restaurant)
    • fast food ~ 1x a week for dinner
    • exercise one day a week
    • casual alcohol 2-3x a week (1-2 drinks) 
  • ME:
    • Already dairy-free lifestyle
    • breakfast every morning, usually some kind of egg and/or fruit
    • homemade lunches every day (chicken breasts, salads, soups, etc)
    • homemade dinners every night (similar things like steak and asparagus, salad, etc)
    • working out 3x a week
    • alcohol 1 night a week or less
    • eating out 1 meal per week

With that in mind, I thought my husband was going to go through withdrawal headaches, exhaustion, and have all the side effects, and that I would coast by easy. Not the case. He had headaches for a day or two. That was it. That's all he dealt with.

On the other hand, I had headaches, exhaustion, bloating, all sorts of stuff for the first two weeks. Week 3 quieted down a bit, but now I'm on day 23 and have TERRIBLE CYSTIC ACNE all over my chin - worse than I've ever had it before, including the long-ago teenage years.

Hubs and I are eating the exact same meals - what am I doing wrong? How is this happening so late into this program? I'm getting frustrated and not really feeling all that different from how I felt before I even started. In fact, possibly feeling worse, except for the joy of clothes being looser. But if you had said "In 30 days I'll give you loose clothes but you must take a chin-full of acne" I would have turned down that offer. 

Can someone talk me off a ledge (and out of finding the wine we hid on the top shelf of a rarely-used closet)? And explain this acne phenomenon? I'm so frustrated and would likely be calling it quits if my husband wasn't seeing great results - I need to at least see this through the end for him.

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It would be helpful if you told us what you are doing as far as food, timing, composition etc. Hard to really comment with no info to go off of besides how you guys were before Whole30.

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Sorry, in my frustration I recognize I was focusing too much on what I was upset about instead of info that could help.

Breakfast, usually one of three things:

  • Egg frittata with red bell peppers, jalepeno, and sausage
  • Chicken sausage with a side of whatever veggies are in the fridge
  • Eggs with potatoes and again, whatever veggies are hanging around (lots of bell peppers, since we get the bulk pack at costco)

Lunch options, typically this or variation:

  • Carrot ginger soup with a side of chicken sausage
  • Chicken breast with a side of potatoes and broccoli
  • Chicken breast on a salad with compliant Annie's tuscan italian

Dinner options, typically something like this:

  • scallops w/a sauteed veg and sometimes potatoes
  • Steak with broccoli, some kind of veggie, sometimes potatoes
  • Chicken breast with a veg sometimes potatoes
  • Fish with broccoli and, you guessed it, sometimes potatoes
  • bacon wrapped chicken breast and grilled pineapple from whole30 recipe book

Snacks - rarely having snacks, but when I do, I will typically have one, or at most two of these per day:

  • nuts - small handful
  • lara bars
  • epic bars
  • 2 or 3 times total in 23 days I have had a serving of dried fruit
  • carrot sticks dipped in compliant salad dressing
  • Banana, apple or mango

Potatoes are common but we make sure not to overdo it in a day - we never have potatoes with more than one meal, and we always have a portion equal to one small red potato or less per person (like a potato that could easily fit in your palm). No fear of oils and fats either, I feel we are being rather generous there with plentiful use of ghee, coconut oil, and olive oil.

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So the first thing that stands out is that you don't appear to be including plated fat with your meals. This would contribute heavily to headaches and exhaustion. 

The second thing that stands out is that you appear to be relying on potatoes more than perhaps we would like. Potatoes can contribute to acne because they can be an insulin spiker which can cause oily skin and then....acne for anyone that might be more prone. Try subbing for a different type of starchy veggie; butternut squash, sweet potato, turnip, carrot etc.  The other issue with potatoes (and peppers, eggplant, tomatoes) is that they are nightshade vegetables and those are acne causers too. Trim those out for a while and see how you do.

Avoid anything with nuts including those bars. There are no bars that are approved for anything other than emergency conditions so you don't want to be snacking on them and nuts can cause skin issues as well as bloating.

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Noted on the bars - they were only relied upon during the first two weeks but I'll be sure I don't slip into that on the final stretch.

Thank you also for the info on the potatoes, bell peppers, etc being nightshades! I hadn't known about any of that before. I will try cutting all those out over the last 7 days and during my re-intro period and see how it helps.

When you say plated fat, what do you mean by that? I was considering the sausage, bacon, salmon, and steak to be fatty, and when not eating those, I've been using at least a tbsp of oil per person. I felt like I was using enough but maybe I'm not fully  understanding what my fat sources should look like?

Thank you :)

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Plated fat: avocado, ghee, mayo, olives, coconut etc. Not cooking fat as it gets divided amongst servings and some is left in the pan so you end up short. If you're actually drizzling oil onto your food then that's fine. Fatty cuts of meats are fine but depending, you might still need to add a bit of fat. If your meals are getting you 4-5 hours between comfortably, you're probably fine. If you're scrambling at 3 hours and starving, add more fat next time.

Nuts and seeds, yes, avoid for now. 

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I know that my acne was surprisingly bad and my period was off (early and painful) which could be a result of hormones responding to the w30 system “shock” - not sure if that is helpful for you as well. That was day 9ish for me? And now I’m on day 26 and that issue is long gone. 

Good luck and hope you finish strong!

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