Gaileo

Intro and questions about cooking oils, restaurants, exhaustion

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Hey there folks. I really meant to do an introductory post when I started (1/11/13) but I have been busier than expected with work and it just kept getting put off. I will start with a quick-ish history and my reasons for doing the Whole30. I hope this is appropriate for this subforum. If you want to skip everything and go straight to the numbered questions at the end be my guest!

I didn't really realize until recently but I have always been very sugar addicted. Even as a kid I hated eating most meat and made up the difference with lots of fruits and grains. I especially love what other people might consider "boring" food- I used to love eating a bowl of plain white rice with a little furikake or butter, or a whole bunch of whole wheat crackers, or just a few slices of bread unadorned. Now I realize it's probably because my body was relying on the sugar. I also have an unnatural love for candy but have been trying not to think about that at all.

Edited out this paragraph because TMI and I'm a little paranoid.

Fast forward a couple of years and my minor problems keep adding up. My acne has been getting worse and worse in spite of all external treatments I've tried (very frustrating when I am almost 27 years old and starting to get grey hairs!). A weird rash developed on the palm of my hand that looks like eczema and kept getting bigger and worse. All the old complaints remain (stomach pain after eating, constipation alternating with diarrhea, terrible menstrual cramps and long, heavy periods) and I decided I really had to do something to start feeling better. My older sister, who had joint pain and autoimmune symptoms, recently started the autoimmune protocol in Practical Paleo and has seen a lot of improvement. Another friend of mine did the Whole30 with a weight-loss inspiration and I connected the dots and decided this was what I would try.

So I am following the autoimmune and IBS/IBD protocols from ISWF because I really want to eliminate digestive pain and my relationship with food is so unhealthy I have no idea what is causing it. For those who are unfamiliar it cuts out eggs, nightshades (tomatoes peppers eggplant tomatillos and spices made from them), ghee, nuts and seeds, NSAIDs, uncooked veggies, fruit peels, seeded fruits like berries, citrus, and regular and decaf coffee.

I am pretty stubborn & optimistic and I've done a really good job sticking to the plan. I eat a lot of fat because I tend to be underweight and I don't want to lose weight doing this. I will type a sample day's meals in a subsequent post. Here are the things I need help troubleshooting:

1. I am so so so tired. I have been since day 6. Most of the timelines I have read were very accurate to what I experienced for the first five days but since day 6 I have been dog tired. I'm on day 10 and no sign of renewed energy. I did start my period on day 7 and that could be bringing me down also. Should I just be patient?

2. I completely underestimated how working in a restaurant would make me super grumpy. Being around all the forbidden foods and smelling them cooking and watching people drink wine and beer can be totally maddening. I worked a special dinner last night and spent the entire reception glaring at crackers and cheese and waiting to go on break so I could eat my dinner of fish, sweet potatoes, carrots and avocado. Usually I have been able to enjoy my food but that was the first meal I just hated, and it was all contextual. Does anyone have advice to help with this bitterness?

3. The restaurant I work in uses no approved cooking fats. I did some investigating prior to starting and found out what we call olive oil is in fact a blend of only 25% olive oil, and the remaining is a mystery blend of vegetable and seed oils. All of the plain grilled meats are sprayed with Pam that has canola oil and soy lecithin. So I have been bringing my own food to work. Eating food from the restaurant used to be a huge time and money saver for me. Should I just forget about it for the rest of my Whole30? Or is a little unapproved oil OK if I try to keep it to a minimum?

Thanks for reading my long-winded complainy post. The good news is my face is starting to clear up noticeably and the mysterious rash on my hand is almost gone after stubbornly spreading for months. So I am trying to stay positive and keep a good attitude. I am just getting oh so tired of cooking and doing dishes with such a low energy level.

Edited by Gaileo

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A sample day of mine

Meal 1 - homemade turkey sausages (1/2 lb), 3 carrots, 1/2 avocado

Meal 2 - chicken soup (homemade: bone broth, Jidori chicken, yams, carrots, celery, onions) & an apple, spoonful of coconut oil

Meal 3 - pork chops marinated in coconut aminos and spices, acorn squash & carrot puree, 1/2 avocado

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Without a good description of what you are eating, it is impossible to know if your diet might be contributing to your tiredness. Based on how many people do not eat enough and do not eat starchy carbs, you might find that eating more and specifically eating starchy carbs like sweet potatoes might give you more energy.

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I did post a sample day after my original post. Sweet potatoes are a go-to food that I eat a lot. I try to get squash in there whenever I can as well. Also tons of onions, which I hear are high in carbs. I probably use about an onion a day, and that often doesn't get logged because it goes into a meat scramble or something.

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I also work in a restaurant that serves amazing food! The bitterness goes away, trust me. It was very, very hard at the beginning (I'm on day 20 now) and I thought I would never make it. It was all I could do not to waylay those amazing desserts and the wine for myself! I was insanely cranky and miserable. Luckily for me, I have two things on my side here: 1) we serve very high quality, farm to table food. That said, most of our cooking is with butter, with a small amount being an oil blend, or prepped with butter (like herbed butter under the chicken skin, say). So, I brought in a jar of ghee for the cooks to make my food. BUT...2) I am the owner as well as a server, so they pretty much have to make me what I want. I don't know the size of your restaurant, small or large, corporate or independent (mine is small and independent) or what your relationship is with the managers/chef. A lot depends on that. I've worked at larger places where they make one thing for everyone and you take it or leave it, and I've worked at small places like mine where they will pretty much make what you want (even if you don't own the joint). It might be worth asking if you could bring in that ghee to have it on hand for you. Good luck! If it helps at all, I don't crave the sweets/cheese/bread anymore, but I'll certainly be looking forward to a glass of wine!

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Thanks for the reply. I have thought about bringing in some of my own cooking oil but it all depends on so many factors, like you said- which cooks are working, how busy they are, what mood they are in, when I get my break, etc. etc. I am not very high up on the chain so things could get hairy. For now I will continue bringing in at least some protein for the days I need to eat while I'm there- I can always throw it on top of a salad and it's easy enough to bring my homemade dressing. I really appreciate the encouragement; it's super helpful from someone in a similar situation.

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