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Hello, 

I am wondering if any of you diagnosed with adhd has been successful with sticking to whole30. I’ve definitely have heard the benefits of cutting out gluten and dairy amongst other things when it comes to treating adhd. My issue is I have tried elimination diets (my longest up to maybe 2-3 months?) but I would lose a considerable amount of weight that would put me close to 110lbs at 5’6”. When my food choices are limited (especially ready made foods) I’d rather not eat than to have to cook. Not ideal. I have to eat a lot and I don’t feel full unless I eat at least 2500 calories a day. I can eat half of that in one sitting. 
the problem is my adhd makes it really difficult to plan for cooking, and then cook, and to properly storage food. I am really good at letting food go bad and am clueless about when it’s good to eat. So my diet is mostly processed foods. 
I really want to help my adhd with whole30, but how do I do it if the very thing I want to help gets in the way? 

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I tend to keep my meals fairly simple so that there's usually always food around, but I still have choices. Yesterday I roasted potatoes and broccoli (the broccoli was already cut into florets so it literally involved dumping the bags on a pan, spraying them with some coconut oil spray, and putting it in the oven) and made vaguely taco-seasoned ground turkey. I can just plop those things into a bowl and eat it cold from the fridge, or warm it up, or turn it into something fancier if my mindset's in a place to cook up an omelet or something. 
I also use the instant pot to make soups and stews that I can portion and stick in the freezer. 

The thing that works for me and my ADHD is lists and labeling things. I bulk prep and put the cooked food in the fridge in large containers because my brain thoroughly dislikes when a week's worth of meals are individually prepared and packaged in the fridge. IDK why. It makes me feel trapped and I get food boredom so much easier. Label what's in the container and when I cooked it. 

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I've spent 25+ years (I was 35 when diagnosed) devising systems and habits to support my severe ADD in all aspects of my life. Despite a natural tendancy to disorder (chaos???) I have learned to be super-organized - everything in my home is labelled and in its place at all times. Nothing come into my home without knowing where it will go. Everything I need is at hand - I LIVE by lists and my calendar. I make appointments with myself to plan and prepare - always being ready is key. I don't have more than I need - for example, I have only ever had one set of sheets at a time for my bed - I must wash, dry and remake the bed - no chance for laundry piling up. I only own 4 towels - same deal. Structure, order, planning and ease... Despite a massively unruly and resistant brain, I successfully run my own coaching practice and have done 4 W30s.

The strategies I apply to W30 are the same - I buy what I need and get rid of non-compliant foods. I have lists and reminders EVERYWHERE. I prep all my food ahead of time (chopping all the kale, dividing large packs of meat into portions for example), I schedule in time to cook, I have loads of compliant easy foods around (I don't eat processed foods so dates, nuts, boiled eggs, canned herring etc) if I don't feel like cooking at the last minute. I make soups and stews in the instant pot and freeze them in single serve containers that can be quickly nuked. I allow myself complete grace if I lose interest in finishing dinner prep and eat roasted chicken and raw carrots for dinner. 

W30 has been very good for my mental health - reduced anxiety is a +++ which helps my ADD. I also have reduced depression and SAD which is amazing. I've never experienced a change in my uderlying ADD operating system though. I hope you'll report in and let us know your findings.

Good luck.

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I successfully stuck with one in 2016 and am finding success so far on this round (I'm on day 8). One thing I find helpful, which has been echoed above, is idiot-proofing my kitchen. This applies outside of whole30 for me too--if it's already halfway prepared, I'm more likely to eat it. I have a long habit of doing some sort of meal prep on Sundays, which for me often includes pre-chopping (and sometimes cooking) veggies and fruit, batch cooking, and having 3-4 lunch and dinner options where I can mix and match proteins and sides. Also having at least one thing already made that I can just reheat in the microwave is super helpful, and if I suspect I'm about to let a prepped meal go bad, I stick it in the freezer. 

I always know I have mental capacity to prep on Sundays and I love cooking, so I try to make things as easy as possible for weekday-me who is usually much more tired. It helps, though sometimes I do find myself snacking on a slice of deli ham and nothing else and wondering why I'm hangry. Best of luck!

I have my own question since some ADHD-ers are already on this forum--do you all find that the emotional side of ADHD takes a big swing during the first week? Maybe it's just this past week, but I found a bit of an uptick in my brain trying to process big childlike emotions in my adult body, and it's been, well inconvenient.

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On 1/11/2021 at 9:42 AM, Mallory L. said:

do you all find that the emotional side of ADHD takes a big swing during the first week? Maybe it's just this past week, but I found a bit of an uptick in my brain trying to process big childlike emotions in my adult body, and it's been, well inconvenient.

I actually have done okay during my first weeks on the 4 W30s I've experienced so far. My anxiety settles out within 3 days which I attribute to the sugar (and wine, which is essentilly a sugar too) and I don't have any KATT reactions. But, I suspect diet is really entwined with our brain function so I wouldn't be surprised if you are experiencing emotional lability the first week.

As I approach the middle mark here, my big question is what am I going to do to keep this momentum on day 31?

 

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