Week One

Remember how I said I was going to start Whole30 in July? Well, plans changed. I thought it’d be easier to cut out refined sugar, dairy and alcohol in the summer months, but my boyfriend pointed out that: a) we enjoy going to pubs together and b) I enjoy having a drink with my friends. It would, in fact, be easier to follow the eating plan in the winter. Sure, I could give up alcohol for the summer – but why?

OK – I get that. I also get that I am ready to make a change. So, I’m doing a modified Whole30. I have food allergies (carry-an-Epipen-just-in-case-type-of-allergies) to all nuts, legumes and lentils. Giving those up? Done. I already avoid most grains because they don’t agree with my Hashimoto’s Disease. I feel better when I don’t eat them. So – grains? Done.

I love cheese. I mean, I LOVE cheese!! Giving up dairy? I’m on Day Four. It’s not easy. I also like having fruit and yougurt for breakfast. Not happening. My body knows it. It sent out a craving for ice cream today that was overwhelming. It didn’t help having temperatures in the high 20’s (Celcius) and living in a condo without air conditioning. I was SO tempted. I even drove past the DQ thinking, “I can start again tomorrow.”

I kept driving. If I stopped, I’d be letting myself down. I’d only be dragging out the withdrawal effects. I had a constant headache and extreme fatigue all day. A “quick fix” of dairy would have made me feel better. But, would it? Psychologically, yes. Physically, maybe not. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to cut out things I know to be inflammatory and reintroduce them one at a time to observe the effects on my body and mind.

I’ve also stopped eating or drinking anything with refined sugar. I know alcohol has it, but I don’t drink very much. Reducing by 90% is better than not reducing at all.

Over the weekend, I stocked up on fresh produce. Did you know cotton candy grapes actually taste like cotton candy?? I froze some and it seems to have intensified the flavour. I snacked on cucumbers today. I haven’t done that in ages. When the craving for something sweet got too strong, I made a fruit smoothie. I have chocolate protein powder that is dairy/gluten/sugar free and thought it might help. It did – minimally.

I’m eating whole foods. Nothing refined or processed. Only things found in nature. I’m not counting calories. I eat when I’m hungry and until I’m full. I took the forecast into account and cooked up eight chicken breasts yesterday so I don’t have to use the oven this week. If you knew how much I dislike grocery shopping and cooking for one, you’d know this way of eating is a big effort and commitment for me.

Today was a rough day. My body knows something is changing. I expected it. I was sorely tempted to say “F*** it!”, and I didn’t. Tomorrow might be similar, and that’s OK. Next week will be better.

I hope.

Summer Adventure

Reading the title, you might think I’m planning an exciting trip. Instead, my big adventure for the summer is to clean up my eating by undertaking the Whole30 eating plan. I’ve done it once before and know it’s a commitment, and it’s not easy.

I planned to start today, July 1, but changed my mind. I’m going to ease into it. Because of food allergies and having Hashimoto’s Disease, I already avoid quite a few foods. So, during the next week, I’m going to stop eating all grains – not a huge step because I’m already gluten-free. It’ll mostly be rice and my granola bars I avoid. Next week, I’ll stop eating dairy products. This one is tougher because I love cheese and yougurt. Finally, I’ll start the Whole30 eating plan and give up sugar and alcohol – 30 days with no umbrella drinks!

Why am I doing this? I know I’ll feel better at the end. As I reintroduce foods after the 30 days, I’ll have a better idea of which foods my body tolerates and which it doesn’t. I know – once I’m through any withdrawal symptoms – I’ll have more energy and I may even start to sleep better.

I enjoy a challenge. When I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, I followed the Autoimmune Plan (AIP) for seven months. That was the MOST restrictive eating plan I’ve ever done. It was Whole30 on steroids! At the time, I needed to figure out what foods made me feel good and which ones made me feel worse. As a result, I avoid gluten, nightshades, and potatoes. I’m not allergic to these, but I know eating them makes me feel bloated, fatigued, and achey – almost flu-ish.

As much as I’ll miss having drinks on a patio, it’s a good time to undertake Whole30. I’m settled into my new home and job. Martin is working most of the summer so my eating plan won’t be restricting what he eats (he already avoids a lot of foods he likes because of my allergies and Hashis). And, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve done it so it feels like it’s time to hit the “reset” button. I find it easier to adjust my eating in the summer when there’s things to do outside. During the winter, it’s hard to give up hot chocolate. 🙂

So, there will be blogs about this eating adventure. I know I’ll go through sugar cravings the first few days I stop eating it. I’ll get frustrated with having to grocery shop for fresh produce every week and meal plan. Near the end of the 30 days, I’ll start to think I’ve done it “long enough” and contemplate quitting. Blogging about it will keep me honest and on track.

Anyone want to join me on this adventure?