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I'm on day 9 of my first Whole30, and I am feeling really discouraged. I began Whole30 in hopes of addressing chronic pain, fatigue, and digestive issues. I had previously had trouble with indigestion, bloating, nausea, and gas, and on day four these familiar feelings began to crop back up, along with a new lovely one- acid reflux. I've had the reflux nearly constantly since then, and the other digestive complaints on and off. Also, I am exhausted! Isn't fat adaptation supposed to be kicking in? I have been hoping to wait these issues out and let them resolve themselves, but it is starting to feel HARD. From reading around on this forum, I know that these things could be due to a number of factors- FODMAPS sensitivity, high histamine foods, nightshades, eggs, or any number of other specific foods that could be causing disruption... but I just don't know where to start with all of that! I have a four-year-old kid, and it has already been really challenging to find the time to cook compliant meals that everyone will eat, and make it from meal to meal without snacking- this just feels like too much! How can I possibly eliminate anything else! Argh! I feel very overwhelmed (obviously), and am in need of some direction. Thanks.

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Start by telling us what your meals look like, with specific vegetables and approximate portion sizes -- just a typical day or two. It'll be much easier to give you specific feedback if we know what you're eating. If you've been keeping a food diary,  it can be good to also note when you have symptoms like reflux or indigestion, so that you may be able to see patterns over time.

According to the timeline, you're actually coming up on the hardest days (https://whole30.com/2013/08/revised-timeline/). Hang in there, it will get better.

Be sure you're drinking plenty of water, aiming for 1/2 oz per pound of body weight, so a 120-lb person would need at least 60 oz.

If you're having trouble making it 4-5 hours between meals without snacking, your meals may not be big enough, or they may not be composed quite right. Be sure that at each meal you have 1-2 palm-sized portions of protein, or if eggs are your only protein, have as many whole eggs as you can hold in one hand, which is probably 3-4. Pick one or two servings of fat as listed on the meal template (https://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-meal-planning.pdf), in addition to whatever oil you cooked your food in. And then fill your plate up with vegetables.  Limit fruit to not more than two servings a day most days. You never have to have any fruit, and it's okay to have more if you want it, especially since it's summer and there are so many options in season right now, but be sure you're focusing on getting more vegetables than fruit. Most people feel best if they have one fist-sized serving of starchy vegetable each day (like potato, sweet potato, beets, turnips, rutabaga, carrots, parsnips, or winter squashes like butternut or acorn squash), and some people need more than that, especially if they're very active, prone to depression or anxiety, pregnant, nursing, or in the week or so leading up to their period.

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Thanks for your reply- here's two representative days out of my food log, ones when I've had the worst reflux:

(I do cardio yoga first thing, so try to have a small bit of protein and fat beforehand) Few bites chicken salad (chicken thighs, homemade mayo, apple, celery, carrot, hot sauce)

Breakfast: 3 eggs scrambled in coconut oil with asparagus, chicken sausage, bacon and onions over fresh spinach and raw kraut, plus 1/2 avocado. 2 cups black tea.

Lunch: Leftover chicken curry on cauliflower rice (chicken thighs, coconut milk, yellow curry powder, red bell peppers, spinach, cilantro.), over greens, plus a slice of deli turkey and a celery rib.

Dinner: Grilled steak, sweet potatoes and onions fried in coconut oil, lamb's quarters greens sauteed in clarified butter with dressing (coco aminos, ACV and olive oil.), raw spicy kraut (cabbage, chili pepper, ginger, carrot). Iced mint tea.

 

Slice of deli turkey with mayo before yoga.

Breakfast: 3 eggs scrambled with fried ham in coconut oil, over baby spinach and raw kraut, topped with 1/2 avocado, chives, and raw garlic... plus an apple. 2 cups black tea.

Lunch: Sardine salad (Sardines, olive oil, mayo, apple, celery, olives, capers, paprika) over fresh greens. Kombucha.

Dinner: Coconut chicken (chicken thighs, egg, coconut flour, coconut flakes, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper), almond butter dipping sauce (almond butter, coconut oil, coco aminos, fresh garlic, cayenne, toasted sesame oil, balsamic vinegar, salt), steamed broccoli with clarified butter, raw spicy kraut.

 

I feel fairly confident  that I've been following the general template... but I have been eating as much as I can possibly fit in comfortably at each meal- I usually feel so bloated by the end of a meal that even if I wait ten minutes to see if I'm still hungry, I just feel full and often nauseated. My reflux ramps up shortly after I eat every meal, and sometimes lasts all the way til the next meal. It has been worst after dinner, making it difficult to fall asleep. Today I have it already, even though I have yet to ingest anything.

I do think I need to make an effort to drink more water!

Thank you for your support!

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Your meals look pretty good. If any of what you're eating is new to you, or you're eating a lot more of something than you ever have before, that might be a place to start -- for instance, if you rarely ate eggs before, or kraut is something you haven't eaten before, or you're using more coconut products than before -- if there's something new and different to you, that might be the thing that's causing the reflux.

Other than that, you do have a fair number of nightshades on these days -- peppers, spices like paprika and cayenne, tomatoes. How does that compare to days when your reflux isn't as bad? (Here's more about what nightshades are:  https://www.thepaleomom.com/what-are-nightshades/

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Coconut is what comes to mind as the only thing I've really increased since starting the program... I will try cutting out coconut for a few days, and maybe play with the nightshades if that doesn't work.

Thanks!!

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